A coveted spot in the featured section of Apple’s App Store could mean the difference between rags and riches. There are over 2 million apps in the App Store, and counting. Getting noticed means more traffic. Increased traffic leads to more downloads. More downloads mean more money, whether in purchasing the app, subscription fees, or advertisements. Read on for our favorite strategies to get featured.
Apps are one of the biggest assets Apple has to offer its users. As such, the editors of the App Store put a lot of stock in which apps they choose to feature. So how does Apple choose which apps to uplift to this revered position? First of all, mobile app developers earn Apple billions of dollars through the apps they create. Developers that have made a name for themselves releasing monetarily valuable apps, like King of Candy Crush fame, will be rewarded through features.
What’s new in the App Store?
This summer, Apple redesigned its app store. Now, more information is available in the description of an app. Apps are also easier to discover, as they are broken down into categories such as free, games, hot this week, etc. The app store will also be less cluttered in this update, making chances of being featured better.
How to get featured:
1. Design & submit an app
Before your app can be featured in the App Store, it has to be listed in the App Store. This is accomplished by submitting your app for review – and hopefully inclusion – by the Apple team. Apple doesn’t accept just any app for inclusion in its Store, though. Be sure your app is creative, well-designed, easy to use, and serves a segment of the population (i.e. those who would download it).
2. Bugs are a deal breaker
Do your best to ensure the first iteration of your app listed in the App Store is error-free. Surely, improvements and bug-fixes will be needed along the way. Updates to the app can add new features and tweak existing ones. However, it’s important to make a good first impression – both on the editors and users. Early experiences of your app will affect reviews. Reviews will affect downloads and features.
3. Native is nice
Like any company, Apple maintains and grows its market share by differentiating itself from competitors. A primary way of doing this is by creating content and special features exclusive to your brand. This is precisely the type of app Apple wants to showcase. Develop your app specifically with the iOS platform in mind (as opposed to initially for the Droid or cross-platform), and Apple will be more likely to feature your app.
4. Align your App with Apple’s Objectives
Keep an eye on Apple’s upcoming-product pipeline to really cash in on features potential. For example, with the upcoming focus on augmented reality in November’s iPhone X, apps utilizing this kind of technology are likely to be prioritized. Featuring AR apps encourages users to purchase a phone that supports AR capabilities…most notably, the iPhone X.
5. Up-to-date takes the cake
Users and App Store editors, alike, value frequently-updated apps. For one, this minimizes the likelihood of bugs. Another way to keep apps relevant is by including seasonal updates, as Snapchat does with its filters of national and international holidays. Apple specifically seeks out new and recently-updated apps to feature; yet another reason to keep yours up to date.
6. Get rave reviews
As we’ve alluded to throughout this article, much of what developers should aspire to include in their app is in service to the customer/user. High user satisfaction (useful features, fun updates, minimal bugs) begets high user ratings. A high user score gets you noticed by the App Store editors, especially once you have a significant number of reviewers. The more users leaving you positive reviews, the better.
7. Be buzzing
Get the word out about your app before and after the launch. Craft and send out compelling press releases, post on social media, hold in-person events to build anticipation before your app comes out. Once it’s out, offer incentives, promotions, or contests for users who download and engage with your app.
8. Ask to be featured
Perhaps the most deceptively simple tip of all. The most direct route to get your app featured is to pitch the App Store editors on your app. Keep in mind, they receive thousands of pitches to include apps in their featured section. Make your pitch stand out by creating a uniquely-useful and well-designed app that fits into any of the App Store categories.
Formally apply to be featured by filling out the form at AppStore.com/promote.
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