This is for all you web app developers out there. There are ten resources every app should make easily available to members of the press, including bloggers, via their website. These are resources for people interested in sharing information, reviews or thoughts about your web app — with a few being tremendously helpful for your users.
If you offer a web app or service, you need to check this list to see what kind of marketing you’re missing.
These are the top ten application and service resources, for both web and desktop, I find commonly missing. These resources should be available via your website, easy to find and accessible 24/7. You should not expect people to ask you for these. Neglecting to provide resources such as these does nothing but hinder the potential free marketing and advertising of your app or service.
I would like to point out that this is coming from someone who evaluates 15-20 or more applications and services each week. Hint: create a press/media kit.
1. High Resolution Logo
It might seem obvious, but a [relatively] high resolution logo is often hard to find when I’m reviewing an app or service. The common idea being that I’ll contact you and request one. The simple fact, though, is I probably won’t and will end up using whatever I can find via your website, social media networks or Google. I should not have to use Google to find promotional materials for your app.
The typical blogger almost certainly won’t contact you for a quality logo and will use something crappy, reflecting poorly on everyone.
2. High Resolution Icon
Most apps and services use an identifying graphic in the logo; provide this along with your logo but as an individual image. People like eye candy, bloggers and media know this and may want to use the eye candy you’ve created for your logo to promote your app. Many blogs, such as this one, use 200 by 200 pixel intro. images and we would prefer to use your sexy logo graphic, not necessarily your whole logo.
It’s usually best to offer this in a version with transparent background so we can put it on a screenshot of your website or application.
3. Short and Long Description
You should be able to tell people what your app or service does in one sentence but also offer a more in-depth explanation, usually on an About page. When people evaluate or talk about your app, they’ll have a short description to use (in tweets, on Facebook, in blogs) but will also have a better idea of what to expect from the app from your in-depth description.
If you don’t tell people what to say about your app, they’ll come up with it themselves and sometimes it’s inaccurate or crappy. Places such as directories and review blogs will have something to use as well.
4. Video Demonstration
When given the choice between reading 1K words or watching a 5 minute video demonstration, most people will choose the video. Why? People are lazy. If you want people to use your app, don’t make them work to understand it — just show it to them.
If you make this demonstration video embeddable, you’ll get more people watching your application demo.
5. Application Screenshots
Demo videos are great, but not everyone will embed them when reviewing your app. If you provide screenshots of your app being used in a [simulated] real world situation, they’ll likely be better than the screenshots you’ll see from someone just reviewing your app.
As someone who evaluates apps, I would prefer to use screenshots of the app filled with data than spend a significant amount of time filling the data myself. I can evaluate your app without loading it full of data, so if you don’t provide great looking demo screenshots I’ll take them myself without the app filled with data.
6. Make It Easy to Find Press Contact Information
Many apps and services, surprisingly, don’t make it easy to find press-related contact information. In fact, many apps don’t even provide it at all. If I can’t find someone to contact with press-related questions, they won’t get answered and it will affect what is said about your app.
It’s usually safest to include this within the About page, possibly on a press informational page. A link in the footer is often very helpful as well.
7. Press Benefits
Most app developers are more than willing to provide qualifying members of the press with an evaluation account, though few sites mention it. I’m always more inclined to contact the app developers who specifically make an effort to let members of the press know they’re available for questions, demos or evaluation accounts.
8. List Your Social Media Networks
It’s actually quite amusing that I nearly use Google more often to find an app’s social media networks than their own websites. Though most people have caught on, this is a basic one that should not be overlooked.
Offering ways for people to share your app via their favorite social network is a good way to get a little extra exposure.
9. Create a Media Kit
Once you get all your media and marketing materials created, put them together in a media kit for download. This makes my job easier and enables people to display better demonstration or review materials in their reviews.
10. Include a Sitemap
This may seem obvious, but I find myself clicking around like a lost puppy all too often, trying to find the page with the information I’m looking for. Websites with sitemaps generally don’t have this problem and make it a little easier to find deeply nested pages people would otherwise never see.
When writing reviews and how-tos for applications, a relatively significant amount of time goes towards finding quality logos and icons to create an introduction image to represent the app as well as taking screenshots while evaluating the app. The apps and services that provide these resources generally look better in the review and give me additional time to spend working on the writing portion of the review.
If you’re not offering these resources, you should be asking yourself why not. You want people to spread the word about your great app or service and the best way to ensure they make it look good is to help them do it.
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