App development has become a multibillion dollar industry with seemingly endless potential. There are thousands of apps hitting app stores every day. Out of these thousands, however, a big number of apps fail due to one reason or another. The key to developing a successful mobile application is to create an app that delivers a rich user experience and brings some sort of a benefit to the users.
Bad marketing is one of the most common reasons behind the failure of apps. In many cases, people are not even aware that the app they are in need of actually exists. The Apple App Store is one of the best app marketplaces in the mobile industry, and getting your app featured in it is the holy grail of app marketing strategies.
It’s no secret that featured apps have the potential to drive downloads and increase virality. For e.g.: Songza, a music discovery app, scored more than 500,000 new downloads after it was featured in the iPad App Store.
So how do you get your app featured in Apple’s App Store?
To begin with, keep these 6 things in mind:
1. Create an Outstanding App
As we are talking here about Apple, this seems quite an obvious point but then it must be emphasized. Apple pays attention to and acknowledges apps that are original and of a high quality. The main tactic to get featured by Apple is to craft an innovative app that is either extremely useful or incredibly entertaining.
But coming up with an innovative idea and building a totally new kind of app that is already not present in the app market is rather difficult. To resolve this issue you can make sure you alter your app in some way so that it stands out in the crowd of other similar kind of apps. Your app should offer something special to Apple’s customers.
If your app is poor, people will uninstall it. Uninstallations will hurt your ranking and will definitely prevent you from getting featured. On the other hand, if your app offers flawless functionality and a great design, it will resonate with its users, thus holding a chance of getting featured by Apple.
2. Follow Apple’s App Store Rules
Apple has accepted a huge number of apps into the App Store since it first opened itself to developers in 2008. As per reports, from these around 1.1 million apps are currently available in store for download. The rest have been either removed by Apple due to copyright infringements or taken down by developers themselves. So, how do you make sure your app is approved by and sticks around in Apple App Store?
Apple has many guidelines concerning in-store screenshots, marketing and more. Make sure your app follow’s Apple’s legal and content guidelines.
App Store marketing guidelines are a living document, which Apple can edit any time, so ensure you check the rules regularly to stay up to date.
3. Create a Meaningful User Experience
Creating an app that has carefully executed UX will earn you points with feature editors. The app should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also be designed in a way that helps users easily understand how it functions.
To offer a great user experience, you need to employ a user-centered design approach. The goal is to understand the real needs of your iPhone users and address those in the most appropriate way.
4. Be Apple-Friendly
Integrating your app into Apple technology like the iCloud and using different features of iOS gives Apple a greater reason to feature your app. It’s in Apple’s interest to highlight apps that show off the latest OS and hardware releases as that drives adoption of those technologies and devices. So you need to stay informed on Apple’s latest updates and consider making use of them in your app.
Also, make your app a universal iOS app available across Apple devices — Mac, iPhone and iPad. Apple always welcomes universal apps.
5. Get Strong Press Coverage
With over a million apps out there, getting media coverage is challenging but the payoff is huge. A developer needs to make consistent efforts to establish relationships with the right journalists and bloggers in order to share the story of their app with the world.
After sorting out apps for feature section in the App Store, Apple editors search for reviews about the sorted apps in Google and some authority portals and forums to help them with their selections. This makes it necessary for developers to make sure they receive positive feedback from bloggers and tech sites.
6. Make a Helpful Video
Apple is known for its out-of-the-world products (design and functionality wise) and to an extent it employs the same kind of criteria when picking apps to feature. A developer can use screenshots to describe his app in a nutshell, but there’s a catch. While screenshots are great to portray the appearance of an app, they do nothing to convey its functionality.
A well-presented video, which walks the visitors through your app, can be of great help in this regard.
Bonus Tip: Establish a Relationship with Apple’s Editorial Team
The app editorial team at Apple receives hundreds of app submissions every day. There are chances that your app may get lost in the crowd of apps and fail to catch the attention of the editors at the App Store. To catch their eye, try getting in touch with someone at Apple. For this you can attend Apple’s WWDC and talk to developers.
If you manage to network and find a way to demonstrate your app in front of them, that might help your app get featured.
The editorial team at Apple is looking for best apps as ultimately that will help them sell more iPhones, iPads and Macs. To get featured in the Apple App Store, ensure you take on board the above mentioned points and create an app that benefits Apple as well as its customers.