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iPhone: Marketing hell! Please help! [Zakks]

04-08-2009, 01:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 38
Marketing hell! Please help! [Zakks]

So, my sales are not great. But, I just got a glowing review from appcraver, and the first sentence says it all:
"Every once in a while, I come across a game or an application that makes me really, really happy to be an AppCraver reviewer, because otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have seen it, or if I’d seen it, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second look."
I've heard this time and time again from.. everybody who plays. rich_952000 basically had the same thing to say.

So, my iTunes marketing absolutely sucks. I've learned a lot about iphone game marketing in the last few days (thanks largely to many of you here), and made some important changes, but not enough. What I would love from this community is some (harsh) constructive criticism of why my itunes page just does not catch people.


* Does my icon suck?
* Are my screenshots not exciting?
* Is my description confusing / unexciting / too long? (I will be adding quotes from the new review soon, so hopefully that'll help)

The only bit of marketing I'm sure of is that I need a lite version, and that's on the way. But, I can't imagine people will pick that up in droves based on that quote from appcraver.

04-08-2009, 01:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
Send a message via AIM to dogmeat
I don't have itunes on my work computer here, but what is your app? can you post the icon? I'm a pixel artist if you need help making a real nice icon, I have plenty of samples, really depends on what your app is though.

I can make small, low color, high quality stuff like an avatar I made of my self seen here:


Anyway, if you have more info, that would be cool.

04-08-2009, 01:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 879
So much of this is a crap-shoot. Placement in "What's New" or "What's Hot" is an Apple Editorial decision.

A late game is only late until it ships. A bad game is bad until the end of time.

- Shigeru Miyamoto
04-08-2009, 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
Send a message via AIM to dogmeat
Ah, i just figured out this was for Zakks

Which I can't find screens or info for without downloading itunes on my machine here.

aha, found some info here: http://www.appcraver.com/invasion-of-the-zakks/

Looks kind of like smashtv. Maybe you should market yourself with a few screenshots showing some action.
04-08-2009, 01:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 818
ya icon could be more interesting and put more gameplay shots in the pics than menu shots
04-08-2009, 01:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 136
The icon isn't that bad. The game graphics are kinda meh, looks like an early 90s PC game. Maybe have some more gameplay screenshots rather than those ones with the orange tint to them (the 3rd and 5th).

Also a big part of marketing is knowing your target audience. You can't cater a game to everyone. Think about who would end up buying and playing this type of game and tailor the description to them. Right now it is entirely too long, I'll be honest, I didn't even read all of it. You also have to get out and do some self promotion; hand out promo codes, give copies to review sites (it sounds like only one site has reviewed it so far?), also looking into having some one distribute the game for you rather than doing it as an independent.
04-08-2009, 01:19 PM
I would add any reviewers quotes along w/ their final score/grade to the description. Because of people now becoming more and more skeptical of fake reviews on Itunes

I also appreciate the cut scene screenshots, but only one gameplay screen makes me think of lack of variety in gameplay. I prefer to see more gameplay screens than the 2 menu screens......

Maybe just your title screen, one cutscene and 3 gameplay shots?

I might be the only one that thinks this, but that is my personal preference.
04-08-2009, 01:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
Your icon has little to do with this. Marketing involves getting you message across to your audience. The screenshots help, but it comes down to a few things:

1) Be clear in the description of your game. If you can't explain in it in one sentence, that's a problem. This is really at the heart of everything--messaging. Most people will not read through several paragraphs to understand something. The promo video needs to change to show more gameplay. The current video may get a few laughs, but it won't help sales.

2) Develop a clear objective of how you want to market yourself (other outlets, contests, moving up the Top 100 quickly or gradually, etc.); then form a strategy around that (pricing, advertising, etc.) On a side note, do not arbitrarily hand out promo codes without a strategy.

3) Reach out to the various gaming pubs and communities for reviews; be persistent

These are general guidelines because frankly, each situation is different, and I don't want to bore anyone with the details.
04-08-2009, 01:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
Send a message via AIM to dogmeat
Also the promo video is a little cheesy, ok a lot cheesy, its like a bad bill & ted instead of showcasing the features of your game.

I'd say you just need to think about your marketing a bit more, improve everything:

Icons are everything so yeah, go for an upgrade on that.

Having 3 nicely done screenshots with the iphone mockup behind it would look flashy and showcase the game.

Highlight the features of your game with bullet points, reading through paragraphs of text you loose about 80% of what you're reading, with bullet points in bold people can easily identify the features of your game:

- Massive Explosions!!
- Mind Busting Puzzles!!
- Over 800 levels!!
- 1300 hours of gameplay!!
- Updates, new levels and more!!

kind of like that.

Also, there is this old arcade game that I played recently that has this same exact gameplay, except you used lazers or something to keep the enemy away from you.

I don't know what kind of budget you have or resources but having an online top 15 scoreboard would create an insane ammount of replayability.
04-08-2009, 01:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1,612
That promo video was horrible

Playing: FIFA 12 Monster Island Quarrel Deluxe FIFA Superstars Fix-It-Up
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