Monday, January 31, 2011
An Overwhelming Market!!!
The App Store is truly a competitive marketplace. It's a grocery store full of similar foods where the aisles go on forever. There are over 332,000 "Active Apps" in the App Store right now. Every 2.5 minutes, another app is submitted. Over 3 billion apps have been downloaded. The average app buyer has 65 apps. He has spent approximately $80.00, and 65% of his apps are free.
This is a lot to take in! If you think that you can just go to the App Store and submit an app with no marketing... well, I hope you are pursuing development as a side venture and using some rich guy's money who could care less how you spend it. Without marketing, you can almost be sure your app won't be seen, and therefore, won't be bought.
"But, what if my app was selected as a Staff Favorite, or the Top 10 or even Top 100?" Once again, that would be so cool, but you have a lot of completion out there and it is much more likely your potentially awesome app would go largely unnoticed.
How do we make an app that hits big? That's the million dollar question. I like to think that if you go to the trouble of developing an app, you should make it an app that you would love to have for yourself. Create an app that would really make your life a lot happier, more efficient or easier. Chances are there are a lot of people like you out there who have similar needs or wants. You can do all the market research you want, but in the end, create something you love. J.K. Rowling was asked why she chose to write about such dark subject matter for her Harry Potter series. Did she realize that could scare kids? Her response was that she was writing Harry Potter for herself and that it just so happened that kids liked it, too. She never lost sight of why she was writing her books. She created something she genuinely loved.
This has been the common theme shared universally among popular artists. From Michelangelo to Pixar, people admire an artist's passion to create something that resonates with everyone. So, when you make your app, make an app you are passionate about.
BUT THEN MARKET IT! We artists and programers hate thinking about this kind of thing. Marketing is for other people; we just want to create. I wish I lived in that world, but the competition is so fierce these days. Marketing is a skill that should be considered as fundamental, as important as the idea, the art, and the programming itself.
If you have a truly great idea, then it should be realized. If your app is not getting noticed, start doing some heavy research about internet marketing. Get involved in Facebook, Blogger, Twitter and YouTube. See what's on people's minds; particularly on the minds of the people you want to sell to. Talk to them. Be a social butterfly.
Still no sales? Think further: maybe you should change your logo, publish an update, do a press release... a REAL press release. Contact podcasters, reviewers, mommy bloggers and family-themed groups, Churches or your local newspaper...absolutely any place your app might find a voice.
If you have a great idea don't ever give up on it.