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Indie Pic is an International Pick

An independent film was in need of distribution and a strategy to spread good stuff. Using cause marketing experience gained from past campaigns, we partnered the film with a national foundation that supported an illness featured in the film.

We launched the movie on iTunes with a special donation drive for the foundation, and approached blogs related to the illness to review the film, receiving an array of favorable reviews and comments, including international coverage of our campaign online.

Results: An international distribution deal for the film, and a forthcoming cover story in an international online publication to announce the distribution deal.

Car Manufacturer Drives Sports Fans

A worldwide car manufacturer sought to create excitement about a recent international sports tournament by offering games, prizes, and sweepstakes.   The goal of the endeavor was to build brand recognition for the manufacturer among fans of the sport, and to add over 30,000 fans on Facebook.
 
Led a team of six market community managers. The outreach included tailored pitches to bloggers around the world - in local languages - to help build excitement around the sporting event, and engaged audience using social networks such as Facebook.
 
Results:  Team secured over 60 blog posts about the campaign around the world, and tallied over 41,000 fans on Facebook in 8 weeks.

Search Engine Finds New Fans

A prominent online search site wanted to find fans for its online initiative around a worldwide sporting event.  They hoped to spread positive word online about the initiative and the involvement of an international soccer star.
 
Project managed a team of eight local market community managers - creative pitches were developed to build excitement among bloggers and online influencers around the world, and to encourage the fans of the sport to become involved and engaged via Facebook and offline promotions with famous soccer players.
 
Results:  Team secured over 210 blog placements about the game and soccer star involvement around the world, and built a fan base of over 30,000 on Facebook.

Smashing Magazine: The Art of Launching An App

You’ve made your first app!

Now what?

Anyone in the app business knows that marketing an app is tough. And according to a recent article on TechCrunch, “Getting a mobile app noticed in the increasingly crowded mobile app market is more difficult than ever.” Some titles and concepts are truly unique. Angry Birds? Its title and screenshot alone were enough to catapult it to number one in Finland, according to Mikael Hed, CEO of Finnish game studio Rovio, which develops the game. Some apps are downright genius. Who doesn’t loath maintaining a to-do list? But now with Clear, it’s astonishingly fun! Who in the media wouldn’t cover something this clever? These two special cases were a shoe-in for the coveted feature page.

OK, so we have two apps that have leaped the giant “feature” hurdle and scored attention, much to the envy of countless wannabe developers. But not every app is an Angry Birds or Clear. And any developer surely knows that they are in extraordinary company — 91,754 iOS apps and 122,220 Android apps were released between 16 May and 8 September 2011, according to a recent Mobilewalla report. The researchers also found that during 2011, the number of available iOS apps increased from 338,000 to 589,148, while Android apps also more than doubled, from 115,000 to 319,774.

The app world is becoming like one giant forest, millions and millions of trees. So, if one of those trees falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Sure, there are SEO tricks, word-of-mouth marketing tools and built-in demographic identifiers that might help move your product up the ever-growing search list of apps, whether the list is for books, games or lifestyle tools. Moreover, thousands of companies in the market today make extravagant claims of being able to get your app noticed.

Many developers fall into the trap of allocating tight budget dollars to quick “tech” fixes in a desperate attempt to lift their app above the crowd. However, in this age of digital distraction, one mechanism to help that tree stand out is a tried-and-true PR marketing campaign. And the best initiatives are those that involve choosing strategic partners, creating clever story angles that dovetail with newsworthy occasions, and running a cause marketing campaign and contest. This case study will cover some of these tactics and offer some of the lessons we learned along the way.
[Note: Have you already pre-ordered your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #3? The book is a professional guide on how to redesign websites and it also introduces a whole new mindset for progressive Web design, written by experts for you.]

Case Study: David and Goliath

According to a recent article in Publishing Perspectives, “The children’s market is a huge opportunity within the digital publishing arena.” Jumping Pages, a children’s app developer, decided to enter this market with an expertly produced book app for children, the first interactive app version of the epic tale of David and Goliath. Based on the work of the team of artists, animators and programmers, the iPad app is filled with vivid graphics and 3-D and 2.5-D animation that runs with interactive components at the same time on the same panel. The reader is able to interact with hundreds of original assets: shoot arrows, catapult burning weapons, populate flowers. Shake the iPad to awaken the sleeping Goliath; sway the iPad to swing a hanging lantern; turn the iPad to change the character’s points of view.

The quality of the work was undeniable, so it was imperative to the developer that the app get attention. But how would the app be differentiated to the consumer, considering that a David and Goliath book app for kids already exists. Strike one. Moreover, regardless of its quality, the likelihood of the app landing on a feature page was slim, considering that most retailers are reluctant to highlight stories with religious overtones. Strike two. A final dilemma was how to make a story that has been around forever feel relevant in the crowded world of kids book apps. Strike three?

Not so fast!

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

From a production standpoint, the David and Goliath for iPad app was ready to launch in July 2011. The only thing that wasn’t ready was a plan of action on how to make some noise for a story that, for all intents and purposes, already exists as an app. This scenario holds true for many developers who are ready to submit improved versions of models that exist in various categories; there is a plethora of apps for weather, productivity and games (Who’d like to wager on the best poker app?). Many developers spend countless hours designing, programming and shaping their apps. They become so immersed in the product that they often drink the Kool-Aid, so to speak, and believe that their superior work will speak for itself and that word of mouth about their amazing app will spread quickly. Many developers with this mentality simply see no need to create a cool marketing plan around the app. Sounds like buying a lottery ticket.

Being proud of and confident in your product is nice, but better to be realistic about how to introduce it into the marketplace. Thus, after careful thought and shuffling around scarce budget dollars, Jumping Pages re-examined the landscape and decided to be smart about launching. The company set out to create a targeted and focused consumer marketing strategy. It decided it needed to implement an effective campaign in order to rise above the other book apps that were entering the fray in increasing numbers and to set itself apart from a version of the story that was already available. And because of budgetary constraints, it had no time for a protracted strategy. It’s first swing had to be a hit.
Finding the Perfect Partner

First, the company wanted an effective “marketing” partner, a narrator for the story who would help sell it. Ideally, the narrator would have a back story that was relevant both to the biblical tale and to the targeted demographic, and who would have broad media appeal (in order to be newsworthy). Jumping Pages reached out to baseball star and 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein to narrate the app. As many sports fans know, Eckstein has had a noteworthy career, overcoming his relatively short stature to achieve glory at the Major League level. Hence, the back story: a modern-day David whose life story mirrors that of the biblical David.

Upon arranging for his participation and partnership, the company moved the launch date of the app to October to coincide with the start of the World Series. Coincidentally, October 2011 marked the five-year anniversary of Eckstein’s World Series MVP performance; so, Jumping Pages created an “MVP Edition” of the book (same app, different narrator), which would be released to dovetail with the newsworthiness of the fall classic.

Newsworthiness Needed

Being newsworthy is key, particularly when you’re trying to generate media coverage. Many developers view the mere existence of their cool app as being newsworthy in itself, but while the launch might be exciting to the developer, 99 times out of 100, it means nothing to a reporter or blogger. The main objective of a reporter is to speak to their audience’s interests and tie those interests to current events — presidential election, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, the Final Four, the Oscars. Timing is everything when pitching a story. (Coincidentally, given the baseball spin, this article is timely because the annual spring opening of the Major League Baseball season in the US is a newsworthy event.)

Pinpointing an Audience

Additionally, in order to successfully market a new app, particularly a kid’s app, the developer has to strike a balance between reaching kids and their parents. David Eckstein fits the bill — a baseball hero to dads and sons who enjoy baseball together. Moreover, Eckstein was featured in the film Champions of Faith, so he appeals to those interested in biblical narratives.

Had Jumping Pages stuck with its original version of the app, the launch would have been too general, and the company would not have had an opportunity to reach a specific demographic. Many app developers feel that their apps are good for everyone — all moms or all kids, for example. Whittling down your audience to a very precise demographic is imperative. Reaching a niche audience, one that will respond positively to your app, is enough to spark word of mouth.

Triple Play and “A” Reviews

With David’s cooperation, Jumping Pages had a narrator whose back story matched that of the story’s protagonist — a star athlete tied to an newsworthy sporting event and who resonates with a specific demographic. Eckstein made for a triple play and thus gave the developer an opportunity for multiple story angles. The app was featured in over two dozen outlets using a variety of angles to appeal to enthusiasts of sports (Yardbarker), religion (The Christian Post), baseball (MLB.com) and technology (Wired and GeekDad).

Also, the timeliness of the World Series gave app reviewers a reason to talk about the app in October. The strategy was effective, and reviews were posted far more quickly than normal. All developers appreciate how important early reviews are, given the usual time lag. The app was praised: “like watching a Disney production,” “… animation is picture perfect and it made me want to read the story again and again,” “…is outstanding with fantastic, vibrant animations and images….” It continues to receive impressive reviews.

Cause, Demo and Contest

In addition, through Eckstein’s involvement, Jumping Pages had an opportunity to incorporate a cause marketing component into the launch. Eckstein’s charity of choice, Bags of Hope, helped promote the app to its members and Facebook fans. Next, with Eckstein’s involvement, a public reading and demo of the app was arranged, part of a post-launch strategy that would keep the app top of mind during the approaching holidays. A demo and reading of the app featuring Eckstein and his wife, Ashley, took place on November 30th in a Manhattan Apple store, during the start of the hectic holiday shopping season.

Finally, Jumping Pages sought a contest partner to run an iPad giveaway (iPad being the number one requested gift for the holidays and the platform of the David and Goliath app). It approached Smart Apps for Kids, a leading review website for children’s apps, to be a partner. The contest, which ran the week before Christmas, garnered over 1,500 new fans for Jumping Pages’ Facebook page and generated excitement for the app and for the developer during the critical last-minute holiday shopping period.

Hits the Mark on the First Shot

The founding of Jumping Pages and the launch of the David and Goliath app were a success. The high praise, along with the company’s achievements in development and marketing, have enabled the company to move forward on two forthcoming apps: an original interactive story that teaches kids and parents respect for the home, and an interactive musical app for kids, both set for release in the spring of 2012.

Rather than haphazardly launch its app or throw precious dollars at risky online maneuvers, Jumping Pages has demonstrated that a thoughtful, strategic and patient approach usually works best. Many app developers rush their product to market without considering the consequences. These days, with the overwhelming amount of information and the number of apps, the more carefully a developer plans their strategy, the more likely their product will launch successfully. And like David, they usually have just one shot at getting it right! Thanks to its partnerships, creative story angles, newsworthy connection, cause component, contest and patience, Jumping Pages did it right.

freshfluff Founder as App Industry "Rock Star"

The art and skill of launching a mobile app – with FreshFluff founder John Casey

By Rob Woodbridge, May 1, 2012

What does it take to launch a mobile application successfully? Forget the corner cases like Angry Birds and Instagram, most apps out there get released and wallow in obscurity. How can they break through? What needs to happen before, during and after the ideation, conceptualization, development and launch?

This is what John Casey, founder of FreshFluff, talks us through based on the successful launch of the children’s book app “David and Goliath” created by Jumping Pages. This is the story of how John’s team changed the shape of the marketing efforts, launched this app to thunderous media coverage in non-tech press and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

What does St. Louis Cardinals World Series MVP, David Eckstein have to do with this? It’s all in here.

Enjoy!

http://untether.tv/2012/the-art-and-skill-of-launching-a-mobile-app-with...

Exclusive Interview with John Casey, author of “The Art of Launching an App”

Exclusive Interview with John Casey, author of “The Art of Launching an App”

May, 2012 in Interviews, News

With more than 600,000 Apps available in the App Store it can be extremely hard to get your app noticed. Recently John Casey wrote a very interesting article titled “The Art of Launching an App“ in it he describes the app world like a giant forest filled with millions of trees.

Today we are lucky enough to present to you an exclusive interview with John Casey where he answers some of the questions on all developers minds, he discussed things such as developers needing to treat their app launch more as a product launch, the importance of spending enough time testing your app, as well as the dangers of only positive reviews.

1) You mentioned that app developers are a lot like independent filmmakers, can you explain?

First, having worked with both developers and filmmakers, love them both! They are alike in expressing their passion and creativity, and to some extent how they treat their marketing endeavors. Both groups create these wonderful vivid and engaging products, and then in some cases, just push them out to the masses, without much thought as to how to market them effectively. The founder of Jumping Pages, Rania Ajami, a kids mobile app developer, is also a filmmaker, and she, like other smart filmmakers and developers, makes sure to integrate a thoughtful marketing strategy, with an eye towards a successful launch that reaches and excites key demographics. The promotional step is becoming a paramount requisite in both the ever changing film-making and app development communities.

2) Why is it becoming more necessary for app developers to treat their productions like a retail product?

I have experience working for four major retailers, so I see an evolving symmetry taking place in the app world. Venues like the iTunes store are quickly becoming preferred online shopping destinations, so developers should be treating their apps like they were putting a product on a shelf at a retail store. Now, what do I mean by that? Generally, big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target aren’t going to promote your product. So, if you make detergent, for example, your product goes on the shelf with the rest of the other detergent brands. It’s up to you, as the detergent manufacturer, to “scream” louder than the other brands and get the buyers attention. As apps become more mainstream and face more competition in the online market places, it behooves the developer to cleverly market the product, via a strong retail-like strategy, in order to stand-out on the iTunes “shelf”.

3) At what point in the production process should an app developer begin to form a marketing strategy?

There are three points at which a marketing strategy can be formed. Preferably and first, a strategy should be conceptualized during the initial production process, so that the app can include components that can be used to facilitate a broader marketing campaign. Secondly, for Jumping Pages, we incorporated a new narrator for the David & Goliath story at the end of the production process, and re-calibrated our marketing strategy around the narrator, and moved our launch date to provide for a successful implementation of the strategy. Finally, apps are adaptable in the way they can be updated, changed, and enhanced at any time. Thus, for many developers who aren’t seeing movement from their existing apps on the iTunes store, it’s never too late to re-examine the landscape, devise ideas for a re-launch via a strategic publicity campaign, and incorporate slight changes to the app that will accommodate an agreed upon marketing strategy.

4) Why is it important for developers to be cognizant of apps as new mediums for brand awareness?

TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, even the film industry, these traditional forms of media are all seeing the affect of lagging ad sales, ratings, circulations, purchases and attendance. And as such, brands that would traditionally advertise or purchase product or brand placement opportunities with these outlets are furiously searching for alternate and more creative ways to spread awareness about their brand or products via new media. App downloads are off the charts, and people are spending more and more time using these apps. Why not capitalize on these facts? It just makes sense for brands to start using apps as an additional medium to engage their audiences, provide entertainment/value, and promote themselves. Thus, app developers should take a look at their apps, and start to think about them as venues for brand or product placement.

5) You mention that it is important to pinpoint an audience, do you think it is impossible or impractical to target too broad an audience(i.e. everyone) ?

If there’s an app for living longer, then maybe you’ve got something for everyone! But, without question, it’s impractical and virtually impossible to target “everybody”. This is a big world, there are a gazillion products, services, etc. flying in the face of consumers everyday. A smart developer will realize their app isn’t for everyone, and take the necessary steps to develop a marketing strategy that engages and excites a niche audience that will be the spark of the fire that spreads positive word of mouth.

6) A lot of developers get their friends and their dog to review an app with 5 stars, do you think this is a good/bad idea?

Those poor dogs, and to a certain extent those poor friends! Don’t you hate it when you feel obligated to fulfill a request on your Facebook news feed, even from actual friends, to review, comment, or like something they’re trying to sell? Most people want to use their own initiative when making the effort to review, comment or like anything. It’s better just to let them know that the app is available via a friendly post, for example, and if they feel so inclined, they’ll post something positive. To that end, many consumers are growing wary of any extreme comments, reviews, etc. – partially because they suspect that these tend to come from the developers’ friends or paid reviewers. It’s just best to have reviews and comments happen organically, and again the best way to do that is to generate buzz via a strategic and targeted promotional campaign. The unprompted and genuine comments are the ones that resonate best with consumers.

7) What is your advice for developers that rush through the development process, just to get their App out there?

There’s an old Chinese proverb: “If you are in a hurry, you will never get there!” Millions of people aren’t sitting around waiting for your app, unless it’s an app that helps you sit around and wait for apps. Timing is everything, particularly in marketing, because that could determine the success/failure of your product. Be thoughtful about how you’re going to introduce your app. I like to say that I would never tell a developer how to code, but I can tell them how to promote that code! It’s always best to engage an expert in the process, get your house in order, and spend a little time making sure that you have an effective launch strategy that will be more likely to generate a better end result, i.e. more measurable sales and downloads.

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About John Casey

John has over 20 years of experience in public relations and marketing, having served in executive and consulting positions with Toys “R” Us, Sears, Kmart and Macy’s. John’s employers and client’s have been featured in all major news and talk broadcast programs, as well as all major magazines, newspapers and online venues in the U.S. John is also the founder of freshfluff, a social media/PR agency in Manhattan. He is quickly becoming an authority about promoting mobile apps, and has been featured in dozens and blogs and websites around the world, including “Luxury Daily”, a recent appearance on UNTETHER.tv, and an in-depth article last month in industry leading “Smashing Magazine”.

The Art of Story Telling Around An App!

Every app tells a story. Apps like Pandora tell the story of music; apps like Tip N Split tell a story of a calculator; and apps like Temperature tell the story of weather. Then we have storybook apps like Alice for the iPad, which literally tell stories!

The story of the cluttered app market is well known! Biz Report recently reported that the number of app downloads is estimated to reach 56 billion in 2013. And the San Francisco Chronicle has just reported that over 700,000 apps are for sale in the iTunes Store. Getting noticed is a major concern for app developers, and getting noticed sometimes requires not only a breakthrough app, but a compelling story.

For any app developer, conveying an app’s story at launch is critical. And just as important as promoting the story of your app is developing a story around the app that promotes the app’s story, that helps the app to stand out on digital store shelves, and that differentiates the app from its competitors.

To that end, what follows is a story about storytelling for a storybook app!

The Big Brands And Storytelling

Storytelling has been described as a method of explaining a series of events through narrative. Storytelling is used by marketers as a tool to entertain or to establish an emotional connection; it can be employed to illustrate a concept, to steer an argument and to encourage consumer loyalty. “The digital age equals a commitment to storytelling,” explains Marian Salzman, Havas PR North America CEO and author of the annual trend-spotting book What’s Next: What to Expect in 2013. “As such, brands are always looking to create stories around their products as a way to relate more personally to the consumer and, at the same time, capture the attention of the media. Storytelling was a trend in 2012, and will continue to be on the upswing in 2013.”

Indeed, this year’s Super Bowl advertisements and viral videos reinforced the focus on storytelling by brands. Taco Bell told a tale of seniors gone wild, a group of elderly partiers who escape their beds and hit the pools and bars one evening, ending their night by eating at Taco Bell. The spot tied the brand to youthfulness. Volkswagen’s clever use of famous YouTube “anger” stars dancing in a field to “Come On Get Happy” — the theme to ’70s sitcom The Partridge Family — tied the brand to the emotive story of happiness.

Taking a page from the major brands’ use of storytelling and applying it to the release of its book app, Jumping Pages sought ways to tell the story of “The House That Went on Strike.” And as the team did with its first production, “David and Goliath” (hopefully you read about that in “The Art of Launching an App”), it set out to provide backstories that support the house’s strike and to provide promotional opportunities for storytelling.
The House That Went On Strike

It all began one day while filmmaker and founder of Jumping Pages, Rania Ajami, was juggling her job, two kids and her home — and the home unfortunately seemed to be losing out. “One day, I just felt like I couldn’t keep up and, feeling unappreciated, threatened to go on strike. Then, as I looked around my own home, it occurred to me that with the TV blaring, lights burning, washer and dryer continually spinning, a kitchen resembling a 24-hour diner — maybe the house wanted to strike, too, and that’s when the idea for the story struck!”

Thus, “The House That Went on Strike” was born. The rhyming tale of an errant family that repents after its neglected house and appliances go on strike became a critical hit. MyMac called the story the “epitome of interactive books.” The ultimate critic in the book industry, Kirkus, hailed the book app as “a lesson… delivered in a blend of equally lively sound, art and animation.” And the storytelling that the team generated to promote the book provided a myriad of media stories. The book app was positively featured in political, publishing and home stories in newspapers, magazines and websites around the US. But achieving these results wasn’t easy. The process was well thought out.
Building Stories

As all app developers know, the production process follows a formula, and it’s no different when adapting a book into an app. The Jumping Pages team began the production route for “House” by writing a story about how a home would lead her troops (i.e. her appliances) on a strike to teach the residing family a lesson. The script was then transformed into a sequence of panels for the iPad, with each panel containing interactive and animated scenes that directly related to the story.

With the prose and plans for each panel in place, the company’s graphic artist, Walter Krudop, added the wonderful images, and the production team completed the visual, aural, musical, animated and interactive components. The next step was to choose a narrator. The team wanted a celebrated mom, one who had a background as a leader, because calling a strike would require the heft of an authority figure.

It’s easy for creative developers to fall into the trap of insisting on a trained actor to read their story. Naturally, you want the quality of the narration to match the quality of the app and the story. Yet a trained actor might not draw attention to your app or have the background to storytell around the app. Therefore, just as designing, coding and building an application take some creativity, so does selecting a voice for the app. For “The House That Went on Strike”, Jumping Pages rocked the house with its selection.

Former congresswoman Pat Schroeder is not only a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, but is a former presidential candidate, the first mother to serve on the US House Armed Services Committee, and the former CEO of the Association of American Publishers. Schroeder was literally a “house mom,” and her memoir, 24 Years of House Work… And the Place Is Still a Mess, was a complementary metaphor for the Jumping Pages story.

She was the perfect choice not only because of her background, but because she excels in narration and has since received numerous plaudits for her work. Finally, she helped to provide multiple storytelling tracks.
In The News

One way to storytell is to find something in the news that relates to a component of your app. By anyone’s standard, members of the US House of Representatives didn’t get along too well in 2012, and its low approval ratings and ongoing negative headlines bore that out. As a former member of this esteemed body, Schroeder had firsthand experience dealing with that rancorous House. In fact, she had suggested that one way to get the representative body to work together was to call for a House strike.

Using that angle, prominent political publications in the US, including the National Journal and Roll Call, wrote articles about Schroeder’s narration of the app and how its message could help the US House become more orderly. As Roll Call reports:

“Schroeder said she used to dream of leading her colleagues on a strike against “the messy House” they created and hopes that the house in this story will inspire Congress to take similar action. “They oughta strike,” she said about Congress’ ongoing fights in the Roll Call article.”

Effect On The Industry

As book app developers know, the market is exploding. Some book apps are quite fancy, with a lot of interactivity, animation, and even videos and games embedded within. “The House That Went on Strike” contains interactivity, sounds and animation that relate directly to the story. And that is the difference. It’s a storybook first, and it’s important for this story to be told.

After leaving the House of Representatives, Pat served for over 10 years as the head of the Association of American Publishers, representing the top publishers in the US. Thus, she provided an authoritative voice about books and was recognized as a leader in the publishing industry. Furthermore, she could lend a stamp of approval about a book app, particularly one targeted at children.

While most parents have to weigh the pros and cons of downloading a book for their kids on an iPad, Pat could offer reassurance that the app was just fine for kids, provided that it was a storybook first and that any additional components of the app tied directly to the story. Consequently, she penned a blog post in the Huffington Post’s books section titled “A House Grandma’s iPad Story,” which spoke at length about her experience working on “The House That Went on Strike” and offered insight into how books should be produced for the mobile format (it’s even perhaps a must-read for developers who produce kids content for the mobile platform).

Furthermore, Pat’s experience in the industry helped the app get featured in Publisher’s Weekly, the bible of the publishing industry.
Teaching A Lesson

Most stories have a lesson, and indeed most apps do, too. “The House That Went on Strike” provided a lesson not only for kids, but for their parents: treat your home with respect. And while newspapers, magazines and blogs about the home traditionally feature decorating and “fashion” tips, the Jumping Pages team worked to create a story angle about how the app could help families come together to take care of their home.

The result was a nationally syndicated newspaper column by prominent home columnist Marnie Jameson, which appeared in over 30 newspapers in the US, including the San Jose Mercury News (the newspaper of Silicon Valley), the Denver Post and the Orlando Sentinel. The headlines from across the country, chosen by editors of the papers, ranged from “House on Strike: All Must Pitch In” to “Pat Schroeder Narrates a Book on Keeping the Home Tidy” to, appropriately enough, “The House That Went on Strike.” The story even made Marnie’s year-end “Lessons Learned in 2012.”

Media Success

Indeed, the “The House That Went on Strike” was a lesson in successful storytelling. The app generated dozens of media stories about several storytelling themes. The book app, and the slew of publicity around it, helped Jumping Pages secure work for a soon-to-be-released animal app for kids by a prominent animal expert, and a groundbreaking app for kids related to the entertainment industry. In addition, the company plans a sequel to ride the success of the original “House” production.

Storytelling is fun for kids, adults and the media, and it can be fun for app developers, too. When promoting your app, remember that it’s not always about the final product, but perhaps rather about something indirectly related to it. The best brands sell to you by telling stories around their products. Similarly, “The House That Went on Strike” became a media darling and a hit on the strength of its heartwarming storytelling. As a media success story, the “House” cleaned house!
Four Tips On Storytelling

Deciding on the story for your app will require some careful thought and creativity. The first rule of thumb is to find a story that will resonate with a very specific niche audience, and then determine the optimal time to launch the app along with the story.

For example, the app KillsWitch, which makes it easy to entirely eliminate your ex’s presence from your Facebook timeline, was launched this past Valentine’s Day. Why? Simple: the developers created a story about all of the lonely and scorned lovers who seek revenge for their plight on the day traditionally celebrated for love. The app’s story had a clear demographic in mind, and it allowed the media to take an opposing angle for stories around the holiday.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when crafting your app’s story:

Emotional component
Does your app capture memories (Instagram) or make you happy (Emoticon App) or sad (Crying Translator)? Find the emotion that best matches your app, and find a reason for a niche audience to laugh or cry about it. Will your app make people cry? Create a story about grown men crying, and launch it on World Smile Day.
Newsworthiness
If something is making the news, grab hold of it. Speaking of which, seasonal stories are always a good hook — for example, the Boating Weather app is tied to spring, and the TanningBooth app gives you a “tan” in winter. In addition, marking an anniversary is always a great way to keep your story newsworthy; for example, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s app marks the brand’s 180th anniversary in 2013, and the financial app Wonga Bazaar launched on the 25th anniversary of Black Monday.
Industry effect
An app can have an impact on the industry it was created for — and some crazy stories can be woven to grab that industry’s attention. Was Vine’s story about pornography?
Lessons learned
Does your app provide insight, have a special message or raise awareness? Climate Mobile provides information and lessons about global warming, particularly relevant this year as the subject gains traction. Does your app promote a lesson in thriftiness, like ExpenseTracker; a smart launch at the start of the holiday shopping season might appeal to stingy dads.