What are the most important first steps in marketing a new iOS App?


There are a number of pre-launch marketing activities you need to ensure you have done:

Buzz, buzz, more buzz. No hype.
There has never been an easier time to create an online business. But, equally, there has never been a more difficult time to grow one. Build as much hype as you can, you’ll need it.

The most effective pre-launch campaign has got to be the application Mailbox. They absolutely nailed it. I’ve tried to dig deep into the actual activities they did for people reading and I have simplified it into a list for ease of implementation.

These activities are not unique to Mailbox, so test parts of these and see which convert best for you.

Social Media
Grab your social handles. If you can get a decent name for your application on Facebook and Twitter, that’s brilliant. Similarly, to future proof yourself from changes in the social paradigm, keep an eye on new social networks like Snapchat. People will soon find a way to utilise that effectively for mobile app promotion.

Now you’re signed up, get talking. Create a spreadsheet where you pinpoint the influencers in your area and connect with them. Post content related to your product and build reputation. It’s very important to realise that you shouldn’t use social to directly sell your product. You must add value to the conversation that is already happening around you.

Now you have started to create some noise on social, don’t be afraid to put some modest PPC spend behind it.

Join HackerNews/Reddit and start to join and add to discussions which are based on a similar niche to your products. You’ll earn Karma, which means when you eventually come to pushing your content - you have gravitas. This is an interesting post on HackerNews.

Get active and provide brilliant content on other forums and social sites (like Quora) to post on topics related to your product. Again, don’t overly push your content but add real value to the discussions that are already taking place.

Your own blog can become one of your most effective user acquisition channels. Buffer have had incredible success with it and we see a similar trend. Your customers, who are humans, like to talk with humans, not brands. Check out what Buffer have achieved here.

There are many clever/smart growth hacks you can utilise on these social networks to maximise your newsletter sign ups. Mr Ryan Hoover discusses a pretty cool little hack he used here and, of course, I wrote personally about growth hacking on my blog here, which was very well received.

After you have spent some time establishing yourself in these various distribution channels, you can now start to connect the dots. However, even after you have spent time establishing yourself, you must tread carefully. Don’t oversell yourself.

Setup the funnel
One of the most important things you must ensure is installed and tagged correctly from day one is that your conversion funnel is measured. We use Mixpanel here at Tapdaq for our conversion funnel and we think it’s pretty good. Your conversion funnel is needed to continually iterate your product to ensure you maximise the hits you generate on your landing page.