Getting featured on the Apple App Store can help improve your visibility and increase your downloads.
But how do you stand out from the thousands of apps that are published on the App Store every month? Why should your app be featured instead of the other hundreds of apps?
One way to take your place amongst the top apps is to get featured on the App Store
In this blog post, we will share with you the strategies that app publishers are using to get featured on the App Store and how you can do it too.
1. Keep Updating Your App
You may be under the impression that all you have to do is send an email and Apple will recognize your genius immediately. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Remember that Editors can get hundreds of requests to be featured every day. Even if your app is fantastic, it may still slip through the cracks.
So you will have to be consistent and persistent. Try different angles at getting featured. You will also have to continually update your app and use those updates to try to get featured.
App localization is an update that can get you featured in another App Store country. It may be almost impossible to get featured in your primary App Store, but another country may be much less competitive.
Your app might get featured right away, but it is much more likely that you will have to grind a little before you make it.
2. Use Apple Search Ads
What better way to impress Apple than using their very own user acquisition channel. For those who don’t know, Apple Search Ads is a mobile ad network where developers can advertise their apps at the top of the search results.
Using Apple Search Ads, you can promote your apps in different countries to different audiences. Especially after iOS 14.5 and the deprecation of the IDFA, this platform is becoming increasingly popular amongst app marketers.
Another advantage of this platform is that it has a bidirectional relationship with App Store Optimization. When you have a solid ASO strategy, the search algorithm will better understand your app and its relevant keywords. This way, when you use these keywords in your Apple Search Ads campaign, it will be easier for you to get impressions. On the other hand, you can find new and unique keywords through Apple Search Ads, especially through Discovery Campaigns.
When Apple Search Ads automatically matches your ad to certain keywords, this means that your app is considered relevant to those keywords. Thus using them in your App Store Optimization keyword pool can boost your ASO strategy. For a comprehensive app marketing strategy, utilizing both ASO and Apple Search Ads seems to be a good idea, and hopefully, it will increase your chances of getting featured in the App Store as well. If you are thinking of how to promote your app in different ways, Apple Search Ads should be on top of your list!
3. Establish Relationships
Don’t submit your request and call it a day. Remember that there are real people who read those form submissions.
One way to do this is to look for apps that have already been featured and talk to the people on their team.
Whenever you work on making contacts like this, it can be easy to get caught up in what you want. But in order for you to get what you want, you need to help others get what they want.
Let’s take a look at the players in this equation and what they want:
- Apple: They want to sell more devices and apps. Help them do that by showing them how your app can increase their revenue.
- Apple Editors: They want to be the “cool kid” who discovered the latest blockbuster app. Make them look good by showing them why your app is the next big thing. Also suggest other apps that haven’t been featured yet, but you think are the best in their niche. Make their job easier.
- The team that got featured: They probably want to hang out with other cool developers and get help with some of their problems. They want help promoting their app. They also want to get into the good graces of their Apple Editor contact, so they might get featured again. Start by offering some suggestions on how to improve their app. Then offer to buy them coffee or jump on a quick call to exchange information. If they like your app, then they should be willing to pass it on to their contact or even introduce you directly. Help promote their app by upvoting it on Product Hunt and mentioning it whenever possible.
When you offer to help first, you are much more likely to get help in return.
4. Tell a Good Story
What are some of the real behind-the-scenes storylines that have made your app what it is? Are there new features in your app that no other app has? What is the reason that you created the app?
Apps are just pictures and lines of code. When you can add a human element to it, that’s when people don’t just use your app…they form an emotional bond.
That can help get your app featured and create long-term relationships with your users.
5. Use Apple’s Latest Features
Creating a quality app that utilizes Apple’s latest and greatest technology will surely give you an edge over your competitors.
Pay attention to the Apple Developer Blog and figure out how you can be an early adopter of Apple’s upcoming features. Staying ahead of the curve also helps you take advantage of events like WWDC and Apple’s product launches.
When people watch these events, they get excited about the new tech and will search for apps that can take advantage of these cool new features.
When you make your app universal, it gives you a much larger footprint and a little more feature-worthy. Also consider making your app compatible with Apple Watch, Apple TV and iMessage.
On a related topic, if you have a new app that is going to launch soon, consider launching on iOS first. In some rare cases, it may also make sense to only have an iOS app.
When you have a great app that Apple can rub in Google’s face, so to speak, they are much more likely to want to show it off.
6. Pay Attention to What is Getting Other Apps Featured
Finally, stay up-to-date with what is working for others. If you follow resources about the app market, you can get the inside scoop on tips and tricks that can help you get featured.
There are some developers, who have been featured multiple times. Follow those blogs. Download those apps. What do they have in common? The perfect way to do this is through MobileAction’s App Intelligence tool, where you can take a look at the featured apps in specific locations and categories and dates.
For example, if you were trying to get your Finance app to be featured, you can set the criteria to view the finance apps which were featured in the app store in the US in the last month. From here you can try and understand what these apps have in common.
7. Have an Outstanding App
No amount of marketing will help you to get your app featured on the App Store if it is not good. So make sure that your app is feature-worthy before you try to get featured.
If you just launched your app, it may be tempting to try to get your app featured so you can get some immediate traction.
Even though you might have a great app, you still need to consider some questions: Is your app as polished as the other apps that have been featured before?
Apple wants to feature the best of the best. Does your app really fall into that category? If not, consider holding off on your bid to get featured. Reaching the App Store top charts is a tricky game, so waiting until the right time to bid to get your app featured might be better than rushing into it.
So before you start investing time and energy in getting featured, ask yourself if your app is worthy of getting featured? If it isn’t quite there yet, keep improving.
Once you get featured, there is one last thing that you have to remember to do…take a screenshot.
Remember that getting your app featured should not be your only marketing goal. It should be used as an additional effort to boost your already active marketing strategies such as app store optimization and paid growth efforts.
Even if you have the best app in the world, an Apple Editor may not see it that way.
The good news is that once you figure out how to get featured, it should be much easier the next time. If you do get featured, don’t stop there.
by Mehmet Can Cavas