Today’s guest post is brought to us by Steve Young, indie app developer and founder of AppMasters.co. Don’t hesitate to download his free App Marketing Resource Kit to maximize your app traction. In this article, you will discover his 7 step process to boost your app downloads through media coverage. Find out Steve’s tips & tricks to get your app covered by big publications.
Did you know that getting press coverage for your app launch can drive huge amounts of downloads and even lead an Apple Feature?
Want to discover the simple process that you can use to get your app covered by a big publication like TechCrunch?
It’s a simple 7 step process that I’ve used to get coverage on iMore, The Next Web, AppAdvice and more.
#1: Tell a Good Story
Get this wrong and you can kiss your press coverage good-bye.
One of the most crucial steps is making sure you’re telling a good story.
Reporters became reporters because they like to write and cover interesting topics and products.
When coming up with the right story, it’s important to think about the following:
Unique Features: What makes your app different? Try showing your app to strangers to see what features get them excited.
Founder’s Story: Is there something from your past worth mentioning? Did you build a cool technology?
Social Proof: Can you share testimonials from an influencer? Did one of your beta testers do something phenomenal in your app? Did your past apps get featured by Apple or Google?
To learn more about the popular story-telling formats, you can listen to my interview with former iPhoneLife Editor Alex Cequea.
#2: Find the Right Reporter
One of the most common misconceptions about PR is that editors hand down all the writing assignments. In fact, most reporters find their own stories through websites like Product Hunt, Reddit, Hacker News and more.
Finding the right reporter who covers your industry or category is another important step in the PR process.
Search for competitors or keywords and try to find a reporter that has written about a topic that you want to pitch him.
Also, don’t make the mistake of pitching a reporter an iOS app when they say that they only cover Android apps.
Ninja tip: Look for a reporter that just started at the publication or has a low post count. Usually these reporters are NOT getting as many pitches as the more senior writers.
#3: Be Personable
I have the luxury of being on both sides of the PR table.
I help clients with PR through my app marketing agency and I also get PR pitches for those looking to come on to my podcast.
I receive quite a few emails where it obviously looks like the founder BCC'ed every reporter that he knew.
Saying something as simple as “Hi Steve, love your podcast!” will make your pitch 1,000% better than most pitches that I receive.
If you can point out your favorite episode then even better.
There are a few places in my PR pitch emails where I like to be personable. You don’t have to use all of them, but consider one or two of them.
Subject line: There are times where I’ll include the reporters name in the subject line. For example, “Steve, oSnap lets you touch anywhere to take a pic.” Just that little personalization can literally guarantee that the reporter will open your email.
First two lines: If you’re going to personalize the first two lines, then make sure they are short. I once pitched a reporter who lives in Dublin, Ireland by saying that I’m a fellow Dublin-er (but I’m in California). It was short and sweet and showed that I did a bit of research.
S.: Most people will often skim the email, but pay attention to the “P.S.” part of the email. I use this section to reiterate an important feature or say something personal about the reporter.
#4: Email on Non-Busy Days
From my experience it’s best to email reporters towards the end of the week. Thursdays or Fridays during mid-morning is when I typically reach out to reporters.
The reason is that most big companies make their announcements in the beginning of the week. I’m assuming this allows them the longest news cycle as possible.
If Facebook or Google is making an announcement on the same day as you, your app will never see the light of day.
You can also trying emailing on the weekends as you will have less competition and reporters are always checking email.
#5: Reach Out on Twitter
Most reporters HATE receiving pitches on Twitter, so why do I suggest you do it?
Well, I have found success getting responses and reviews when I’ve done so.
But the secret is…
Find a reporter that does NOT have a huge following (less than 5,000 followers). These reporters tend to receive less mentions and will usually respond to your tweet and email.
You can also tweet the reporter to let them know that you pitched them. I had one reporter from a big publication finally open my emails when I tweeted at him.
#6: Follow Up on the Weekends
In step 4, I highlighted that you should email reporters on non-busy days such as Thursdays and Fridays. I like this strategy because it allows me to time my follow up emails on the weekends.
You will catch their inbox at a time when they are NOT receiving many pitches.
In your follow up email, be sure to include everything you included in your first email. Do NOT respond with a “just following up” message.
Make it easy for the reporter to read about your app and include all the same important information you included in your first email.
#7: Send Thank Yous
If you do get covered by a publication make sure you send a thank you email.
Or go above and beyond and send a physical thank you card to the reporter’s mailing address.
A huge part of PR is relationships and being personable will make you more likely to get coverage in the future.
Plus, you won’t come off as a press hungry blood sucking app developer. =)
You can start building relationships with key reporters and get coverage for your launch using this simple 7 step process.
Remember to always be friendly and tell a good story. Now go pitch, get coverage and drive downloads.
What do you think of this 7 step process? Did you ever manage to get covered by big publications? Share your experience with us in the comments below, thanks!