PR: iPhone App Developers Need to Rise Above the Digital Dust
President of Westwind Communications Scott Lorenz, illustrates how developers need to rise above the confusion to get noticed. The contacts and relationships a PR specialist has are 1000% more apt to gain a radio interview or inclusion in a newspaper column than the technology developer who cannot be expected to have these kinds of contacts. For every iPhone developer who surges to success, there are thousands with their apps who do little more than gather ‘digital dust’ on Apple App shelves.
Plymouth, Michigan – “For every iPhone developer who surges to success, there are thousands with their apps who do little more than gather ‘digital dust’ on Apple App shelves,” says Scott Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications an iPhone App marketer.
“That’s why iPhone app marketing is the most important part of iPhone app development,” says Lorenz. “There’s no doubt that creating, developing and selling iPhone apps is one of the hottest entrepreneurial opportunities out there and the explosive popularity of iPhone and iPod and iPad will dramatically expand this number even more in the years to come.”
“Developers need to rise above the confusion and get noticed. To see what you are up against, just go to the Apple App Store and see all the apps available. With 200,000 apps to choose from that’s an astounding pace of 182 new apps a day!” says Lorenz.
Some developers rely upon word of mouth to market their apps. Word of mouth is a great tool but you need PR to fuel up word of mouth. What is really needed is a PR plan that reaches both the end users – the consumers – and the media who can reach those buyers.
Lorenz says that developers of technology of any kind tend to speak to other tech people in their own world. “They trade ideas, swap insight, discuss roadblocks, and share code. But to market and ultimately sell their iPhone apps, developers must reach out to the people who talk to their end users. They need to reach non-technical journalists who can mention an app on a TV newscast, write a newspaper column that reaches a few hundred thousand readers or a syndicated radio show with 100,000-plus listeners across the U.S. Every media outlet is writing about apps, they have to in order to be relevant to their audience. And with apps that cover just about every conceivable niche, there’s a media outlet just waiting to hear about your app.”
Lorenz stressed that a public relations firm or publicist has an extensive list of media contacts with whom he has developed a professional relationship and history that can be pitched. The contacts and relationships a PR specialist has are 1000 percent more apt to gain a radio interview or inclusion in a newspaper column than the technology developer who cannot be expected to have these kinds of contacts. That’s why an iPhone app developer needs to invest time and resources with the publicist best equipped to make the app well enough known in the right places that it will become a popular seller.”
iPhone App Reviews:
“When I work with an app developer, my beginning point is to assess what I think the media potential is for the app. Would the media even be interested? Is it a niche app or is it an app that would be of wide consumer interest? Then I’d determine which journalists, columnists, television, bloggers, and radio and TV producers would be interested in that app and pitch them. We’ll also go beyond traditional media and include product reviewers at major media outlets as well as bloggers and those with large followings on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. We’ll start to create a buzz on the Internet and generate traffic to the developer’s website or and the iPhone App Store. If appropriate, I’d get celebrities to use my client’s app and then get a testimonial from the celebrity to talk about how great the app is and its use.
“With one recent iPhone app promotion for the app “ICEPICS” our YouTube views increased by 13,500 from 11pm to 6am after an interview on Wall Street Journal Radio and a couple of highly trafficked review sites. We then got a nice mention in the Los Angeles Times for as well and that round up story went worldwide on their world wide syndicate. Reviews matter. PR matters,” says Lorenz.
iPhone App Marketing:
If the budget allows it, Lorenz strongly suggests that iPhone app developers use Google ad words (PPC) to drive people to their website where users can find a link to an online demo that clearly shows what the app is all about.
“Developers also need to have a YouTube video that can capture consumers looking on YouTube for a new app or who stumble upon it while looking for something else. The URL to the YouTube video and the URL to the website demo link should then both be used in all promotional materials to drive sales and traffic,” says Lorenz. One of our promotions for a California-only iPhone app which early on put forth links to the developer’s website and to a YouTube video for a demo, was on a very fast download pace and in fact was ahead of the Bible for downloads on the iTunes Store.”
One Westwind Communications client capitalized on what he foresaw as the fervor that was to ensue for the use of those dreaded Vuvuzelas during World Cup Soccer. He anticipated the turmoil weeks and months in advance and created an iPhone app game called Vuvuzaga to play into this interest. The day after the games started the word ‘Vuvuzelas’ was surging on Google and Twitter and people were talking about this game. Few people outside South Africa had ever heard of Vuvuzelas but this developer clearly had the foresight and acted upon it. Can you?
Going Viral with Your iPhone App:
Westwind Communications conducted a YouTube campaign for a musician/teacher who created educational rap music to be used in the classroom. Press releases included links to where the music could be downloaded free, to YouTube videos and to his website. “We created buzz on YouTube and other Internet hotspots that drove sales and pushed him above all other videos on TeacherTube (like YouTube but primarily for teachers and students). At last check we were approaching 1.5 Million Views of his “Fractions” video making it the most popular video on TeacherTube,” says Lorenz.
iPhone App Public Relations:
These efforts are intended as illustrations of how a public relations professional, especially one with Internet marketing savvy, can move an App developer high above the clutter into the niche market arena that will place him in the middle of shoppers, buyers, and highly curious end users. For more ideas on promoting an iPhone app visit the author’s web site.
Westwind Communications: http://www.westwindcos.com/
52 Ways To Promote Your iPhone App: http://www.westwindcos.com/releases/52_Ways_to_Promote_Your_iPhone_App.htm
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Check out Lorenz’s article “52 Ways to Promote Your iPhone App.” Learn more about Westwind Communications’ iPhone app promotion visiting them online or contact Lorenz by phone at 734-667-2090. Copyright (C) 2010 Westwind Communications. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.