After weeks and months of painstaking efforts of coding and managing the development of iOS/Android app, not surprisingly most developers aren’t willing to focus on such seemingly trivial matters like marketing an app, let alone drumming up hype with press. However, public relations is a critical component in the marketing mix that sets the momentum for an app’s success. With that in said, here are a few app PR tips offered by AppFlood that you should keep in mind in preparation for your app’s launch.
What makes your app special?
Before you do anything else, decide on your app’s unique positioning and offer a value proposition. Focus on your app’s best qualities: Does your app offer a unique solution to a problem? Does its UI make it stand out from the crowd? What makes it special and one-of-a-kind? Try to be as precise as possible, but don’t get carried away with your description – you want to make it real, not to offer something that would not live up to users’ expectations.
Finalize it before the Big Day
It may seem like an obvious point, but you have no idea how many apps end up dead in the water post-launch because of bugs and other issues that were detrimental to the user experience. The journalists that you’re reaching out to receive a massive amount of PR pitches daily and you generally only get one shot to impress them. If the app launch deadline is approaching faster than you had expected and your app just isn’t ready for the prime time, you can opt for a limited release and target local journalists in target regions. This strategy (which we’ll dive more into later) gives you more time to polish your app before launch day. If you make a poor first impression, you might not get another chance.
Find and target appropriate audiences
You want to target the right audience for your app. Read reviews about competing apps much beforehand, search for the journalists’ names and contact info and reach out to them directly. Executing PR yourself might be a challenging and often time-consuming burden if you don’t know what strings to pull. You may want to invest in a professional PR firm such as Inner Circle Labs in the U.S. or Dimoso in the U.K that can help you with your PR strategy.
Make sure that your app submission has been approved by the app store. At least a few weeks before the launch, use beta test platforms like TestFlight so that you can give journalists a first-look and the chance to play around with your app. Prepare a journo-ready “preview” of your app and set an embargo date – the time and date that the press can publish their reviews of your app. This gives your application the chance to convert the initial flood of traffic into users, which would help your app climb app store rankings at launch.
Control the PR ‘Buzz’.
There are always some unexpected obstacles at launch. Don’t get discouraged! Monitor closely what your users are saying, and quickly deal with any issues they discover. Make sure you observe what’s said in the press about your product. Keep in mind that even unfavorable controversy can be flipped around in your favor. As the saying goes in PR, “any press is good press.”
Expanding on the “limited release” app PR strategy
Putting a beta app right in front of the press where it’s vulnerable to scrutiny might be risky and stressful. What you can do is release the app quietly, and give yourself a window of time to iterate and make improvements. You can also focus your initial PR on a small region, where the chances of your app hitting mainstream press is minimal. Once the local press is receptive to your app, turn your attention to the more influential journalists. You may approach them with a major app update, milestones, or any other newsworthy story. However, don’t wait longer than 6 months to approach the thought leader journalists. You have a better chance of journalists covering your app when it’s still fresh and new.
Learn more from the experience of some of the most famous apps. Read more on app PR: