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How To Get Editors Choice In The App Store

Table of Contents

  • Mobile App Growth Hacking Through App Store Features
  • Why The App Store Features Mobile Apps On The Editor’s Choice Section
  • 8 Strategies To Get Your App Featured On The App Store
    1. #1: Design a Superb User Interface
    2. #2: Go Native
    3. #3: Align Your App With What Apple Is Trying To Promote
    4. #4: Make Your Mobile App Universal
    5. #5: Focus Only On One or Two Use Cases
    6. #6: Get Your App Icon Right
    7. #7: Be Exclusive
    8. #8: Prepare a Press Release

Your mobile app growth hacking shouldn’t end with App Store Optimization and paid app marketing. While you continue promoting your mobile app across Facebook, Twitter, and other popular digital platforms, you should also consider getting it featured on the App Store, and possibly even the Google Play Store.

Why?

Well, imagine – for instance – all the publicity that a product would enjoy by getting featured right at the entrance of The Dubai Mall, which happens to be the world’s largest and arguably the most popular mall. It attracts more than 80 million visitors per year and has been named the world’s most visited destination on several occasions.

If you think that’s something, now imagine having a mobile app featured on the app store, which hosts half a billion visitors each week. The thing is, if the App Store was a mall, The Dubai Mall would take six and a half years to match the App Store’s weekly traffic volume. So, consider the potential exposure that you stand to gain.

What am I driving at here?

You see, with the amount of traffic the App Store is attracting, getting your mobile app featured could boost its organic app downloads by up to 1,747%.

And in terms of revenue, it turns out that at least half of the featured mobile apps ultimately get to make $10,000 or more from their active users each day. And the same applies to the Google Play Store.

Featured App Download Boost Rates
Featured App Download Boost Rates.Source: Apptopia

Now, does that sound like a mobile app growth hacking strategy you’d want to try out?

In this post, we’ll be unraveling:

  • All the critical elements that you need to focus on to convince Apple to feature your new app on the App Store.
  • Everything that Apple considers before publishing a mobile app in the Editor’s Choice section of the App Store.
  • How to drive app discoverability by getting featured on the App Store.
  • What you stand to gain in the long run when you get your mobile app featured on the App Store.

Mobile App Growth Hacking Through App Store Features

The best thing about all this is, unlike in The Dubai Mall, you don’t pay to be featured on the App Store or Google Play Store. Yes, that’s right, Editor’s Choice features are completely free of charge. Apple and Google Play won’t charge you even a dime.

But then again, come to think of it, that’s a double-edged sword. Since Apple is not charging anything, you can bet that pretty much all app marketers and growth hackers are always trying to capitalize on the opportunity.

To be precise, it’s a scramble of over 1600 mobile application submissions per day, and Apple knows this all too well. That means your mobile app needs to stand out with exceptional all-around features to stand a chance of beating the rest.

Now that’s no easy undertaking, especially when you consider the fact that you’ll be competing against seasoned developers utilizing top-of-the-range app marketing services.

Tell you what, though. I’ll be showing you 8 strategies you could use to beat the system.

But, before we jump into that, you might want to familiarise yourself with the basics. For instance, ever wondered why the App Store and Google Play Store even feature mobile apps in the first place?

Free App Secrets Book - How To Create A Million Dollar App

Why The App Store Features Mobile Apps In The Editor’s Choice Section

Here’s the thing. There’s a powerful, dynamic, and mutually beneficial relationship between mobile app developers and Apple. It’s hard to tell who needs the other more, but Apple is sure making a lot of money from the App Store.

If the App Store was a company on its own, it would be among the highest-ranked Fortune 500 companies. In 2015 alone, at a time when Apple was earning 30 cents on every dollar made through apps, the App Store grossed over $20 billion in revenue – placing it in the league of businesses like Netflix.

They recorded a 40% growth in the following year – with mobile app developers earning $20 billion and Apple taking home a little bit over $8 billion. Then by 2019, at least according to a press release from Apple, developers had cumulatively made over $155 billion through the App Store.

App Developers Earnings on Apple's App Store
App Developers Earnings on Apple’s App Store. Source: Statista

Apple, on the other hand, currently generates over $60 billion from the App Store each year. That, of course, makes the App Store one of the company’s biggest assets.

As such, Apple strives to maintain a healthy relationship with the mobile app developer ecosystem, knowing too well that the App Store would amount to nothing without creative and genius apps. In fact, that would even correspondingly make Apple’s products completely worthless, since they are heavily reliant on the applications.

Therefore, we can say that Apple features mobile apps to promote quality mobile app development, as well as encourage app developers. It’s more of a tap on the back and a quality stamp from their editorial team. And the same applies to Android apps when it comes to the Google Play Store.

In simple terms, editor’s choice apps on both the App Store and Google Play Store have been reviewed by editors and, subsequently, recommended for download.

Now, with that said, how exactly do you get your mobile app featured on the App Store?

8 Strategies To Get Your App Featured On The App Store

As we’ve mentioned, that stamp doesn’t come easy. But you can hack the system, and have your app featured on the App Store using the following mobile growth tips:

#1: Design a Superb User Interface

While there’s constant debate on whether Apple’s products match their competitors’ tech, one thing everyone seems to agree on is user experience. One of Steve Jobs most famous quotes is:

You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

Both consumers and designers seem to agree with him. According to a 2013 eConsultancy User Experience Survey Report, 95% of the people surveyed nodded to the statement that “good user experience just makes sense.”

That’s why Apple has persistently continued to build on user experience with each new iOS release. The App Store even got a major overhaul on iOS 11, with a bold typeface and an emphasis on images – all of which are meant to improve the experience of scrolling and downloading apps.

Mobile Operating System User Experience Index
Apple Leading on Mobile Operating System User Experience Index. Source: Apple Insider

If you want Apple to look your way, you’ve got to be on the same page. And what better to do so than borrowing a cue from their own ecosystem?

For optimal user experience, you’ll notice that Apple principally focuses on three themes- depth, clarity, and UI.

  • Does your mobile app easily communicate its purpose and objectives?
  • Do you have an app demo video that mobile users can follow through?
  • Is your mobile app easy to figure out?
  • Does the mobile app elicit emotions of satisfaction and accomplishment?
  • Are your app preview shots clear and engaging?
  • Does your mobile app effectively and conveniently accomplish its goals?

Essentially, the simpler it is to navigate and find the way around your app, the better.

100000 New App Downloads - type 2 - blue

#2: Go Native

If you’re the type that prefers to have their mobile apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, you might already be toying with the idea of going hybrid.

Quite an understandable approach, especially for a startup. But, although hybrid has its many benefits, Apple is having none of it.

Why?

Well, for starters, hybrid is what mobile app developers may refer to as “the easiest way around”. That means you won’t have to develop a separate mobile app for each ecosystem.  Instead, you just need to build a single app on HTML/JavaScript, package everything accordingly, and then conveniently repackage the whole coding onto any platform- iOS, Windows, Android, you name it.

Sounds cool, right?

Unfortunately, while such hybrid mobile app development may seem to be more flexible than native app development, it turns out the resultant apps are often laden with problems. User experience, in particular, is largely compromised when you try to design a universal interface for both Android apps and iOS apps.

I guess that’s why Mark Zuckerberg went on record saying that betting on HTML5 over native is the biggest mistake Facebook has made as a company. Hybrid just isn’t working well for the social media giant.

To avoid all these issues, Apple encourages its mobile app developers to stick to native app development. You’ll notice that all the featured mobile apps are strictly natively developed for the iOS ecosystem.

#3: Align Your App With What Apple Is Trying To Promote

Apple is very dynamic. It’s like they quickly get bored with their own products, and then challenge their engineers to come up with better, edgier gadgets and software.

Whenever there’s something new, you’ve got to give it up to their marketers for all the buzz they generate across different platforms. And it’s not just on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They also have ways of reaching out to mobile app users through push notifications and the App Store.

As such, you might want to capitalize on Apple’s marketing as a growth strategy.  Try to seamlessly incorporate any new Apple product or software into your iOS or macOS app, and you’ll definitely get their attention.

During the launch of Apple Watch, for instance, apps that heavily integrated its features were noticeably featured on the App Store. Editors predominantly focused on Apple Watch apps.

iPhone X - Wide Screen
iPhone X Wide-Screen. Source: Unsplash

iPhone X, 11, and 12 now have wider screens than their predecessors, and the Apple community is very excited about them. That’s one thing you could take advantage of by optimizing your app’s full-screen experience.

#4: Make Your Mobile App Universal

As we’ve previously mentioned, Apple always has thousands of options to choose from when it comes to app features. It’s also worth noting that the company has a wide range of devices on multiple platforms- Apple TV, Macbook, Apple Watch, iPhone, iTunes, and iPad.

So, putting all this into consideration, do you think they’ll proceed to feature an app that’s only available on one platform; or will they promote a universal one that’s available on all their devices?

If you were Apple, we bet you’d pick universal without any hesitation.

You see, as a company, Apple seeks to support all its devices. It obviously wouldn’t want any of its customers to feel left out. That’s why it continues encouraging developers to embrace universal apps as a way of not only boosting the user experience but also increasing the potential user base.

So, in simple terms, you can indeed achieve mobile growth by going universal. Your app should be available in both the iOS App Store and Mac App Store.

Besides, you’ll be driving user acquisition by marketing your app across various Apple platforms – as an iPhone app, iPad app, Mac app, Apple TV app, Apple Watch app, etc.

#5: Focus Only On One or Two Use Cases

The best iPhone apps have been known to solve complicated problems. But they do so in the simplest ways possible. And that should be evident in your use case.

A use case is a principal reason why a mobile user might feel compelled to download and use your app. And while your mobile app might be dynamic with multi-dimensional marketing, it’s always advisable to maintain simple, clear, concise use cases.

Two should be enough. Any more than that makes your mobile app confusing, which further complicates even your app store optimization strategies.

Maintaining one or two use cases not only aligns your app with Apple’s design guidelines but also helps editors comprehend your overall objectives within the first few seconds. With thousands of apps to look into, you can be sure they won’t be paying too much attention to your app reviews.

#6: Get Your App Icon Right

Remember the first apps you opened immediately you acquired your first smartphone? What did they have in common?

Designing a stellar icon is the number one secret to getting your app noticed by not only Apple but also your target mobile users. According to Tiny Hearts founder Robleh Jama, whose apps have graced the App Store features on several occasions;

“We’ve been featured a few times, and we heard directly from Apple that they notice good app icons”

A perfect example is Gmail’s app icon- simple, and very straightforward about what the app is all about. In addition to replicating the default email interface theme, the icon’s designers made it vibrant enough to pop against other apps.

gmail-icon
Gmail Icon

#7: Be Exclusive

Have you ever walked out of the house in a fresh, new outfit, feeling really good, only to bump into someone with exactly the same look? There’s a reason the rarest designer items are usually the most expensive.

Apple is not any different. While they might understand that you could possibly be seeking to launch in a big way across all the platforms, exclusivity has always been the rule of business.

Apple has a lot to gain from an exclusive mobile app that’s not available on the Google Play Store. It’s one more reason why someone would consider getting an Apple gadget.

Well, of course, that shouldn’t stop you from developing an app for android or windows and marketing it. Just make sure you launch it on the App Store first to boost your chances of being featured.

Discover Why Top Apps Choose PreApps - Type 3 - mobile

#8: Prepare a Press Release

While Conor McGregor’s chances against an undefeated world champion in an unfamiliar sport were slim from the word go, pre-fight conferences were serious marketing bonanzas. They knew just how to generate buzz around an event which seasoned analysts knew would be just a formality. So much so that by fight day, they were poised to smash pay-TV records, and all top sports brands wanted a piece of it.

Now that’s exactly what a well-thought-out app press release will do for you. Get a super team that knows just how to conduct pre-launch app marketing, and Apple will be looking out for your mobile app before you even submit it for publishing.

PreApps, for instance, is one app marketing company that knows just how to creatively strategize your growth marketing – to not only increase your app’s chances of being featured on the App Store but also boost your mobile app downloads by up to 10 times.

How To Get An Extra 100,000 App Downloads

Conclusion

To recap:

  • The App Store hosts half a billion visitors each week.
  • Featured apps receive up to a 1,747% boost on their regular download rates.
  • According to research conducted by Apptopia, the resultant exposure has seen at least half of the featured apps make $10,000 or more revenue per day.
  • Over 1600 applications are submitted to the App Store each day.
  • The App Store and Google Play Store features apps to promote mobile apps and encourage developers. It’s more of a tap on the back and a quality stamp from their editorial team.
  • According to a 2013 eConsultancy User Experience Survey Report, 95% of the people surveyed nodded to the statement that “good user experience just makes sense.”
  • For optimal user experience, you’ll notice that Apple principally focuses on three themes- depth, clarity, and UI.
  • Hybrid apps may sometimes seem to be cooler and more flexible than native apps, but they are often laden with problems. Apple would only be interested in featuring a native app.
  • Try seamlessly incorporating any new Apple product or software in your app, and you’ll definitely get their attention.
  • Apple continues encouraging developers to embrace universal apps to not only boost customer experience, but also increase their potential user base.
  • The best iOS apps have been known to solve complicated problems. But they do so in the simplest ways possible.
  • While your app may be dynamic with multidimensional approaches, it’s always advisable to maintain simple, clear, concise use cases. Two should be enough.
  • Designing a stellar app icon is the number one secret to getting your app noticed by not only Apple, but also your target users.
  • Apple has a lot to gain from an exclusive iOS app. It’s one more reason why someone would consider getting an Apple gadget.
  • Get a super team that knows just how to conduct pre-launch app marketing, and Apple will be looking out for your app before you even submit it.

Finally, you could save yourself a lot of trouble by following one of the oldest rules in the book- talk to someone who knows someone. PreApps has handled thousands of applications, and its app marketers know just who to call at Apple to get your mobile app reviewed for a possible App Store feature.

As you think about giving it a shot, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Are you ready to get your app featured in the App Store? We’re here to lend a helping hand. Feel free to get in touch with us to know more.

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Sean Casto
Posted By

Sean Casto

I am the founder and CEO of PreApps.com, the leading mobile marketing and discovery platform. I have been a guest speaker at industry conventions for Microsoft and Samsung and lectured at Universities such as Northeastern and Harvard. I have acquired a deep understanding of the struggles developers face and a passion to serve the growing mobile app community.

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