Getting Your Indie iPhone Apps and Games Noticed
While the App Store is a pretty convenient place for you (as the consumer) to browse, search and purchase apps for the iPhone, it’s also a very competitive place for app developers. How do you cope with the sheer number of apps that getting more than a handful of competitors is very real possibility. In the case of the indie game developer, how do you actually get ahead of the competition? This might be a surprise for you, but you might find that this doesn’t necessary mean coming up with a better game than the competition.
Since I started focusing on iPhone apps on Nine Over Ten 9/10, I’ve been fortunate to come in contact with several indie app developers whose primary focus are games. Games make up probably the largest chunk of apps in App Store and there’s always a dilemma that when you create a great game, no one takes notice. The key here is to create buzz which will eventually lead to traffic and then app downloads.
While most indie developers have pretty cool concepts for their games and often translate them well to the actual app, promoting their apps seem to pretty down on the priority list. Having seen how some Community Managers work on behalf of companies like EA on promoting their games, I’ve got several suggestions for cheap and the first one involves something that we’re awfully familiar with.
The idea here is to create a community, to generate buzz on the particular game/indie developer company and to engage the user base. It’s pretty easy to spread the word on Facebook, reach out to your friends to become fans of your Fan Page and implore them to also reach out to their respective group of friends.
From here onwards, the you can always create announcements, contests, anything with regards to the games. Also, don’t forget to reach out to other related game pages, particularly those belonging to the iPhone app/games interest groups.
Like Facebook, Twitter can also be used to engage potential users. Post up frequent updates and if there are none, keep up the banter with your followers. It would be nice as well if your game can actually post something up to Twitter. This can be used as a form of friendly competition, not to mention it does attract attention. An example of an app that uses this would be DoodleJump.
One thing when it comes to using Twitter is that you shouldn’t not opt for a private account whereby your posts can only be read by your followers. It’s pretty obvious you’ll need to attract followers and having a private account will just be putting your efforts to naught.
Bloggers and Game Sites
Bloggers and video gaming sites SHOULD always be engaged as for the near future, will be the primary means for potential app users to know about your app. One thing that should be noted is that it is better to give a professional looking press release, rather than a messy e-mail, along with the necessary supporting documents like screenshots and videos to help the two mediums in disseminating information.
I myself don’t mind an e-mail filled with bullet points, but hey, if you are writing something, think of whether would it piqued the interest of the reader in the first place.
One thing I noticed is that even there are only three suggestions listed down here, they actually involve a lot of work. It’s the same reason why EA has community managers to do these user engagements. But hey, if you are willing to sit down, spend a couple of hours on Facebook, writting to bloggers and probably spend more time engaging users on Twitter, you should be able to get something positive out of this.
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