Business Book Review: iPhone And iPad App Marketing

iPhone And iPad App MarketingFeeling the fever to produce an app for your business?  With the recent app store announcement from Google, combined with the phenomenal growth of iPad sales, it’s understandable. (To learn what’s out there, see a great list of 50 iPhone and iPad apps from Shara Karasic).

Yet even after creating a working app, your work is not done. You must market the app along with your website, not to mention maintaining a social media presence.  Doing it all can be a daunting task.

Enter iPhone & iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling Your iPhone and iPad Apps, a short guide in the Que Biz-Tech book series, written by Jeffery Hughes.  Hughes is an application developer and Associate Professor at the University of Vermont.  This guide offers some surprising ways to strategically offer an app for a growing business.

More Than Just Marketing

A number of application development books have been brought to market, but iPhone And iPad Apps is worth reading first.  In its effort to provide marketing tips, it also provides valuable guidance on the steps to take before starting app development.  Example:  it includes a graphic layout to explain and remain focused on the app’s purpose.  It offers specific to-dos that can showcase an app, all of them within reach for a small business.

One great segment is about pricing.  Hughes cautions business people not to expect their app to be successful simply because it is cheap:

“The chances of entering the top 100 in sales on the App store by pricing your app at $0.99 is getting slimmer by the day as more and more apps are added to the store.”

In another segment, Hughes compares the economic cost of creating an app in-house to paying a service to build it for you.

A segment on app promotion with respect to budget is brilliantly explained, as are discussions on considering target audiences for app usage.  Hughes presents plenty of tips and ideas that can be followed in sequence for a newbie or experienced developer.  But even if you jump around when reading the book, you won’t get the sense of missing a needed step.

A few analytics tools are recommended, namely Flurry and Mobelix.  I have not tried either, so I not sure of their effectiveness.  Regardless, I am certain more solutions will come on the market.

The book covers some noteworthy tactics.  Most are eye-opening, although others may already be familiar to those with a lot of app marketing experience.  A SWOT overview is used to determine how to position an app, but you may rethink the advice if the app is a part of a grander business strategy.  Hughes ends with a segment on the potential benefits and pitfalls of releasing an app — a reminder that you need some solid reading (like this book) before marching off to build that dream app.

What Books Does This Guide Complement?

Overall, iPhone & iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling Your iPhone and iPad Apps is certainly a useful guide.  As of this writing it is one of the few dedicated to app marketing.  Even though some tips may be familiar to old webheads and seasoned marketers, business owners who barely understanding scripting language and online marketing will appreciate the tips regarding Web copy and online benchmarking.  They serve as reminders of the importance of integrating each marketing step into the development and launch of your app.

To pack an even greater punch, you may also want to pick up a sales book along with this one.  Combine ideas for best results. The advice and tactics on pricing could easily complement  1% Windfall (see Ivana Taylor’s review).  If you are working to develop a website, combine this book with Effective Websites for Small Businesses (see Anita Campbell’s great review), which discusses Web design in layman’s terms. You may come up with ideas on website layout that will enhance marketing the app as well as your product or service.

Further still, you may want to read Hughes’ book in conjunction with a social media guide, such as Power Friending (review here) or  Social Media Metrics (review here). That way you can expand your social media strategy to encompass promoting your app.

It should be noted, Hughes also wrote an Android app version of this book.  There are some similarities in suggestions and approach. But no matter which app for which device, you certainly will be well on your way to a great start to enhancing your online presence.

Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.