The dust is beginning to settle. Those who spent their morning waiting in line have left Moscone. AAPL is trading down $3 since the keynote ended. Now it's time to turn Apple's announcements into actions for you, the app marketer.
iOS 7 won't be released to the general public until the fall of this year, but that shouldn't stop us from thinking about how to take advantage of the changes announced today. Start strategizing today for a successful launch in the fall.
Let's take a look at each of the big (or little) announcements Apple made related to app marketers and how you could potentially take advantage of them, at least based on the knowledge we have today. We'll add future posts as we continue to learn more about iOS 7 and its impact, but the following is based on what we heard in the keynote this morning.
In no particular order at all...
It was a little unclear if AirDrop will be available to any app (read: via API), or just those Apple allows (read: Apple apps), but it sounded like AirDrop might be added to the new iOS 7 APIs. If so, this opens a whole slew of sharing possibilities for your app and its users.
We all know telling your friends about apps is a primary driver of (un-attributable) app installs, but the process is anything but seamless. You tell your friend, they open the App Store, search by app name, find the app, and install.
With AirDrop, the process could be greatly simplified: simply share the app with your friend and let them install.
As a marketer, you could take advantage of this by implementing AirDrop and placing the option to share pieces of content (or your app) throughout your app, and at times when a user would be more inclined to share.
Even if an API doesn't come to fruition, you could still be clever and allow photos to be exported from your app (have a game? create "success" photos after a particularly difficult level, for instance) which can then be shared via AirDrop. This would, of course, require some fun and creativity in terms of the actual image created to make it enticing enough for users to save and share.
In fact, you could take it a step further, and include some sort of secret code or discount code within the image that gives the receiving user a real reason to view the image and install the app.
Another announcement made was a handcrafted Kids category that will display age appropriate apps for any age range.
If you market an app tailored towards kids, ensure you're setting up your age restrictions well and get in touch with Apple. This is a curated list of apps, which means Apple will handpick the apps in this category. Even in the App Store, relationships matter so build relationships with Apple and get into this category, which will surely be high-traffic and helpful to your distribution.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of iOS 7 is that all apps will be auto-updated to all installed devices immediately. No more pushing to the App Store and hoping that your users will update. Instead, now you can release to the App Store and know immediately that your app will be updated on all your users' devices.
This feature has the potential to impact your marketing in many interesting ways:
First, it's likely to completely change your update lifecycle. Many of our clients don't like to update their app too frequently because they like to build up large numbers of ratings, so that the card layout shows the app with many ratings. This increases confidence that the app is used by many users and offers social proof for potential downloaders.
No longer. Now, you can feel better updating your app more frequently because all users will get the new version, which will lead to more ratings, more quickly. The MTTUR (Mean Time To Updated Rating, a term I just made up) will drop substantially, and allow you more freedom with your updates.
Second, the more frequent your update cycle becomes, the more opportunity to test new features to boost engagement and sharing.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. The downside to auto-updating is that you must, from a user experience perspective, keep things similar. Don't go changing your app so drastically every week that your users have no idea how to use your app every time they open it (without necessarily knowing it was updated). Instead, make smaller refinements that will allow them to experience a new use case or workflow in a way that won't cause too many head scratches.
Apps Near Me
The last feature I want to cover quickly is the new Apps Near Me discovery vector in the App Store. This will tell you which apps are frequently used by users in your area.
For a location-based app, this could be an incredibly interesting marketing opportunity. Even for non-location-based apps, this could be interesting.
Say you're Uber, an app that only works in specific cities. As Uber's marketer, you can now focus hard on trying to target users in a particular city (say, New York), with the specific goal of reaching the top of the chart in Apps Near Me for New York based users.
Think of it as another Top Chart. Just as you focus on trying to get to a specific position in the Top Charts, you can also try to get into a specific position in a specific location in Apps Near Me.
As always, we've only just begun scratching the surface of the app ecosystem. With every new release and platform update, the opportunities to reach more customers, make more money, and build successful businesses grow dramatically. The iOS 7 announcement today is no different.
It's still too early to know what the full impact of many of these features will be, but it's clear that there is an opportunity to be creative and find success with them as an app marketer. Start thinking about it now -- we certainly will be here at MobileDevHQ. If you'd like to hear some of our thoughts for your app in particular, get in touch; we'd love to work with you for a successful iOS 7 launch.