Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.
If you’ve seen a spike in downloads that doesn’t necessarily related to any of your other marketing activity, you may have been featured in the App Store somewhere in the world. Additionally, if you want to be featured by Apple, it’s important to know what your options are.
I’ve written before about App Store Collections as a possible feature location but I thought it’d be useful to give a full run through of all of the locations where apps can get featured. Just to note – this review looks at the Apple App Store, but the Google Play Store is very similar in placement opportunities. I’ve added a brief note at the bottom on how these two differ from the Windows 8 Store.
The Main Page
The main page of the App Store offers a number of opportunities for featured placement.
- The Header. This is the primary real estate on the App Store. Apple is showcasing fewer individual apps in this section, instead saving this space for Apple’s own collections or apps, but they do include one or two individual apps each week.
- New & Noteworthy. While a new app or an updated app might get a nod in this section, in fact this seems to be another place for Apple to feature certain apps regardless of update time.
- What’s Hot. Like New & Noteworthy, the apps in this section are not necessarily the most downloaded or popular that week, but are simply apps featured by the App Store team. In many cases, you will see apps here that were in New & Noteworthy the week before.
- App of the Week. This promotional placement is often reserved for a paid app that is offered for free by the App Store for a week.
The subcategories, such as Games, Lifestyle, Education, etc offer more featured placements. While apps featured here may have fewer downloads overall, the audience is likely to be more targeted.
- The Header (US App Store only). In the US App Store, subcategories get a large header image like that of the homepage. This is a highly prominent placement and in the subcategories, it usually features individual apps rather than collections or Apple’s own apps.
- Small Banners. These button-like banners showcase a single app in more detail than the New & Noteworthy or What’s Hot sections. These same placements exist on the main page but are rarely, if ever, used to promote a single app rather than a collection.
- New & Noteworthy.
- What’s Hot.
As of July, 2013, Apple has the following App Collections to showcase apps that may not stand out in the subcategories but are useful for particular interest groups.
- Hall of Fame
- Apps for Kids
- Camera and Photography
- Music Discovery
- Apps for Parents
- Social Networking
- On the Town
- Band in Your Hand
- Get in Shape
- Apps for Shopping
- Get Stuff Done
- Your News
- TV Time
- Money Management
- Apps for Business
- Apps for Heathcare Professionals
More are being added all the time and there are different app collections for iPhone and iPad apps.
Other App Stores
Beyond the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, there are opportunities to get featured in third party app stores like Amazon or Opera.
For other platforms, there may be slightly different featured requirements or options. For example, for the Windows 8 Store, featured options are very limited – which means being featured can lead to a lot more notice for the apps that gain that placement. With Windows 8, there are only three levels, the featured apps on the home page, the apps that have passed Windows’ design review process that sit one click down in the subcategories (such as Social, Entertainment or Games) and then the apps that have been submitted but haven’t been through the Windows design review process that sit one click down from the subcategory.
As a final note, being featured can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand you get a boost in downloads but on the other, you can potentially acquire a lot of users who don’t stick around, especially if you have a free app.
Anything I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!