Now that my latest app (Banzai Bugs) has been on the app store for a few weeks, I thought it was a pretty good time to take stock of what has happened and think about what I have learned in terms of free marketing of my app.
Most of what I am about to say has been said before, but if you are like me, until you see a trend in information you are never sure what to believe, so I'll add my voice to the others and maybe these thoughts will help guide iPhone app developers out there.
What marketing did I attempt:
Posting on forums, twitter, emailing press release to gamespress, emailing press release to game websites and creating a facebook page.
Nothing I suspect will be on that list that suprises you. But the window in which some of those marketing channels is open might.
Banzai Bugs got listed on the gamespress website (thanks guys) and stayed on their front page for... less than 12 hours.
Posting a release in the correct forum within touchArcade gets you top post for around 30 minutes to an hour at best. Within a day you are out of the first page of posts.
Emailing journalists at various games websites got zero response.
However one site (digitallydownloaded.net) got in contact via the gamespress release and promised a review within one week! This was great and when the 4 out of 5 review came through, I celebrated with joe public by making the app free for a day! Something I'm sure everyone would like to know about! Not so... the press release went out to all the regular haunts and got less of a response.
As for Apple, they really messed up. The app was available from the 21st of June, yet I didn't see it on the stores until the 24th! This meant my little app never stood a chance when it came to the "Whats New" chart as this is taken from the live date. I sent a query to apple regarding this and the reply I got (about a week later) was "We have checked and it is available on the store". Completely missing the point.
So what have I learnt from this and other apps I have now tried (and failed) to get into the public domain? If you haven't built up a following for your product BEFORE you launch... there is a good chance you are not going to get any interest from most of the games press channels. Why might that be? Well it's catch 22, press want eyeballs, if eyeballs are on a particular product, create an article on it, review it. It's much easier, and we all like an easy life.