Whats a good way to promote Mac App Store apps?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mediachicken, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. mediachicken macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    I recently finished working on my code editor "small", and after releasing to the app store, i was ecstatic to see that it sat on the front page of developer tools for quite some time :)

    But I was under the impression that the feed got refreshed upon new apps and updates, so no big deal, when I fall in the ranks I'll just release an update and once again be on the front page of developer tools.

    When I released an update though, my position remained the same. Giving me some anxiety about the future of my app, as more and more developer tools are released every day. Before long, my app will be nowhere to be found. And if I don't stay within the top 100 free developer tools, my app will be invisible outside of searches.

    This leads me to my question.. What's a good way to promote MAS apps? There's a plethora of platforms for marketing iOS apps (both free and paid), but the OS X market seems a bit... open.

    So what have been your steps to ensure that you app stays relevant and doesn't disappear to the cold dark places of the Mac App Store?
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Purely based on opinion, not experience, I would recommend you post some screenshots of the app, as what you've provided doesn't really show anything. I don't think this will help with ranking, but could help to capture more downloads. Also, your name is VERY general, and searching for just 'small', you're ranked third - behind an app that has small at the end of its name.
  3. mediachicken thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    Yeah, the actual app name is "Small Code Editor" But for some reason, apple wouldn't accept that as the title of the app because the executable is called small.app. Kinda weird IMO.

    As far as my downloads go, I don't think my numbers are bad at all. For the first week I was getting 100 downloads a day, and since then I dropped to 30-40 a day. In the past few days I've again risen to getting 50-60 downloads a day.

    How are those numbers for the Mac App Store? This is my first app, so I'm still trying to feel out the market. The thing I don't get, is why I still have no rating next to my name. I've released iOS apps in the past when I worked at my last job, and we would have a rating next to the app after 5 or so reviews. I have like 9 ratings or so, and at least 5 different written reviews across all the different languages (averaging 5 stars). Why does my app still appear unrated?
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    You definitely need better screenshots (just show the app against the desktop). On the MAS over here, if you search "code editor", Small is #4 behind TextWrangler, Textastic, and Quiver (which isn't an editor).

    And just as a suggestion for future updates, it makes sense to show the extensions of the file, and maybe to default to HTML syntax. Probably pushing it a bit, but on a lot of apps nowadays, you can usually click "Untitled" and name/place the file from there and it would be a nice addition.
  5. mediachicken thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback! First off, I don't mind being #4 to those 3 apps, as they're the most popular code editors in the app store. As long as mine is visible in search, being #1 isn't my short-term goal. And as far as clicking the file to name it, that goes along with the auto-save feature of the new OS X versions. So you can't rename the file via the title bar unless auto-save is enabled (which is going to be a preference toggle in the next version of small).

    Any suggestions for external advertising though? I'll definitely add some better screenshots in the coming versions.
  6. ericv macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2015
    I 100% agree. I would never download your app due to the lack of screenshots. I want to see what I am getting before I download it, even if it is free.
  7. viperacr99, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    viperacr99 macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2016
    Out of curiosity why do you want to externally advertise your free app? I assume you would pay for the service, so you might be planning in-app purchases or have some much larger business plan.

    This thread came up in the list of similar threads below the comment box: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...r-mac-app-store-promotions-giveaways.1948709/ Possibly something you are interested in. (But be careful, I suspect most of these use questionable tactics.)

    I agree with the other comments. You should improve your images to show better screenshots and features. And maybe it's an app store issue currently, but there is no small image for your app (in search results or at the top left of the details for your app). I see a few other apps missing it too, closing and restarting the app store didn't make it appear, but I get the feeling it's an app store temporary problem.

    Honestly, I'm not sure trying to promote your app a bunch is going to be worth your time (at least right now). In my opinion, the best promotion you can do is being responsive to reviews and support emails, adding more features regularly, and promoting it on sites like this. Word of mouth can be an extremely powerful tool! And let's face it, you are competing against other well established players, free or otherwise :)

    I downloaded your app. Looks pretty nice so far and I've been looking for something like this for a while (starts fast with syntax highlighting, and FREE). With a few additional improvements and features, I could probably start using it daily for those things I'm not wanting to open in an IDE. Nice job and good luck with it!
  8. mediachicken, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016

    mediachicken thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    Thanks a lot for the honest assessment and pointers! I've already created better screenshots that will be live in the next version. If you're interested, here's the new screenshots, hopefully they attract more potential users.


    I do have a bigger business plan for down the road, but one thing you can count on, is that this code editor will always be free,

    I also have an official thread open for the development of the app (and a link to get to the thread from inside the app itself). So if you have any more suggestions for the actual app (not relating to advertising, as this original thread was about), please feel free to voice your words there :)

    As a side note, I must be doing something right, as I hit #4 on the Free Develop App charts! Which means I showed up in the sidebar!

    I saw a significant increase in traffic on my smallpaste.com API, so I'm guessing my numbers will be a bit higher today. I wish iTunesConnect had realtime numbers!
  9. mediachicken thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    Just a quick update on my stats yesterday. In one day of being in the top 10 developer tools, my user base almost doubled in one day! To my surprise, I woke up today and saw small featured at the very top of the Developer Tools category!

    I guess whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it right. Excited to see what comes out of this :)

  10. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    Good work, and congrats with your first app!

    I think it's always hard to judge the success of a free app, because folks will download anything if its free and probably won't complain much if they don't like it.

    Maybe the number of people who upgrade your app after an update is a better indicator of how many people are actually using it. Of course, some users may be just blindly updating an app they never use, but at least they haven't deleted it. I guess that's a better indicator of success/failure than total downloads.

    Looks like a nicely designed app though. I'll take it for a test drive when I have chance.
  11. mediachicken thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 26, 2016
    Very true. I thought about that and have been intently monitoring updates. So far it seems that I have retained a majority of my users, having most of them update within the first 2 days of an update being released.

    Thanks for wanting to test drive my app! If you do notice anything, I have setup a feedback forum at http://help.mediachicken.com so please post anything feedback related there :)

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