As a company who specializes in creating marketing and public relations campaigns for mobile apps, video games and consumer electronics, we are often approached by a variety of companies looking for us to help them build a compelling strategy to gain exposure for their new product.  However, with the sheer quantity of apps coming out weekly on iOS, Android and even Kindle devices — the vast majority of new business opportunities that now come our way are for mobile applications.  More often than not, they are also only looking to engage in a PR campaign, devoid of marketing support.  The classic, “get rich quick exposure approach.”  On the surface, it is understandable as tremendous media publicity is priceless and can propel an app to great success.  However, the truth is that such an approach is an incredibly risky and usually inefficient way to go about launching your product.  It is also only giving your app one path to success, which is a recipe for failure.  Here are three quick reasons why you should supplement your smart tactical public relations campaign with creative marketing strategies such as advertising, promotions, social media marketing and more.

1.  Your app might be awesome, but it’s likely not really “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking.”  In fact, it’s probably not even the best in its category in the eyes of press who will review it.  This alone makes a “PR only”strategy dangerous.  Technology media have certainly heard of things that were “the latest & greatest” only to be disappointed with the end product.  As a result, they can be notoriously skeptical bunch and hard to impress.  If you are counting on them to universally love your app and create a ton of hype, you are going to be disappointed 99% of the time.

2.  Getting your first few thousand users is the biggest hurdle.  Those first few thousand users can often be more influential than a great media review.  They are your early adopters and if they love your app, they will likely tell their friends they found an awesome new app that they should check out.  The irony is that it is fairly easy to acquire those crucial first thousand users with simple marketing tactics such as paid user acquisition platforms, social media promotions or Facebook advertising… all these can help obtain a nice base of users from the start.

3.  With the estimated 800-1,000 apps released each week, your window for press coverage is pretty small.  Most large tech outlets will only review or a handful of apps per week — usually as close to its launch as possible, and possibly as a round-up.  Exceptions are made for the .001% that become a pop culture phenomenon..  So if you aren’t covered the first week or if your app is out for a while, the likelihood you will get huge media coverage is pretty slim.  If you have a PR only strategy, you are now officially sunk only a few weeks after release.  However, if you are spending money promoting your product with marketing, you still have a chance to be discovered and catch on weeks, or even months, after your release.  Simple tactics like Facebook advertising, social media sharing incentives, pay per click ads, marketing promotions and more, could all help you acquire new users well after launch.

There are many additional reasons why a well-balanced public relations and marketing campaign give your app the best chance to be successful. We’ll cover more in future blogs and welcome feedback from fellow PR and marketing professionals, as well as app publishers and developers.

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