As with any piece of software, apps for the iPhone / iPad have to have all the little marketing things done right. For instance, there should be a press release done (preferably at launch time, but for Fruit of the Spirit there was some lag because I immediately moved to releasing the next project rather than moving into marketing phase for the app.) For previous app releases things had been pretty much ‘fire and forget’ – get the app into the app store, and see what sort of results it got with no extra press.
For Fruit of the Spirit, that worked a bit. It’s been selling a small trickle of copies on it’s own with only a couple of mentions on Twitter and Facebook, plus the newly updated website. Now that I’m in the middle of other projects (OK, not in the middle of as many projects – there’s still stuff going on!), I decided it was time to start pushing the marketing side of things.
Unfortunately I’ve got a marketing budget of $0. Which means I’m going to have to depend on finding free venues for the press release phase, and depend on my own writing skills for the press release. Writing a press release isn’t new, but I feel that Fruit of the Spirit’s – which you can find in the Press Release archive here on the site – was pretty blah.
After some Google work, I ended up finding a number of lists of free press release locations. Unfortunately, many of them were old – sites had passed on, had become pay only release sites, or seemed to be horribly broken at the time I tried to use them. The worst example was as site that sold a submission service for “only $9.95!” that listed 50 sites they submitted too – a good portion of those sites were dead. I had been planning on building up a nice checklist of sites to use for the next app release, so rather than just keep it on my computer I decided I’d add one more list of free Press Release sites to the Internet. Since it’s designed to be an active checklist it’s more likely to get updated from time to time as the status of sites change.
The requirements of being on the list: The site must work, still be active, and provide a free press release service of some sort (almost all of them have an ‘upsell’ component to them.) They are not ranked by any level of importance, traffic, or even listed alphabetically at the moment.
Submission results for these sites aren’t all back yet – however, a good 25% have posted within the first 24 hours, and two have beeen rejected (one for “too much advertising language” and one for “grammatical error.”
Why bother with the Press Release? Three reasons: One, on the off chance a press release actually does fall into the right hands, resulting in a review on a app news site. While it’s not that likely, it could happen.
Two, the chance that someone might actually see it and buy a copy. For every copy that ends up in someone’s hands, it’s another chance that someone gives it a five-star rating in the App Store. Again, unlikely, but as the game is played right now, those five star ratings are important. (Despite being the best selling app I have, “Fruit of the Spirit” has no ratings in the app store. The Story of Gamer Zone has reviews and Bang The Keys has a single review, despite the fact that both of them combined have sold less copies than Fruit of the Spirit. Go fig.)
Finally, Google link fodder. Adding more links out there that match up with your search term and link to your site can help your ranking on Google, to a certain degree. Google has already optimized out some of the spam sites (which is what a few of the Press Release sites are), and my site already has a page rank higher than a few of the sites I submitted too. But, every little bit helps. 🙂
Next update to this list will be the App Submission sites – places to try and get the apps reviewed. I’ll be posting that update in a day or two I’m guessing.