You have a terrific magazine idea. You’ve lined up writers. You’ve shaped the editorial direction. You’re getting close to submitting your app. What’s missing? An audience!
What can you do to get the word out about your upcoming magazine? When is the appropriate time to start generating buzz?
Set a launch date you can control
Apple suggests leaving up to two weeks to have your app reviewed. Allow enough of a time cushion to have your app reviewed, so you can control when your app launches.
What are the benefits of controlling your launch date? Apple bases your App Store chart ranking on your download numbers from the last few days, so try to make your first few days big. Prep people for your launch. You can only do that by controlling your launch date. Leverage that date!
Cultivate an audience before you launch
Start marketing your magazine as soon as you come up with your concept. A great way to do this is to create a marketing website for your magazine long before it’s launched. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
A simple WordPress or Squarespace site is just fine. Try to offer sample content to show people the unique, quality content you will be offering. Get your concept out there!
A newsletter allows you to keep people’s interest and get them excited for the launch of your magazine. You can use services like Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, or Sendicate to easily get a mailing list started.
Maintain a list of people and publications you think would appreciate your magazine, then follow their blogs and social media. They don’t have to be the biggest bloggers on the internet.
Interact with them like a real human. Your goal is to cultivate relationships and a loyal following. Don’t be weird and salesy. Comment on blog posts and Tweets when you feel you truly have something to add to the conversation. Don’t just make noise.
Tell anyone you can about your new endeavor. Don’t assume they know. According to research by The Nielsen Company, 52 percent of users learn about new apps by word of mouth. Get blabbing!
Engage the press
As experienced marketer, Alicia Kan notes, “A pitch should be personal, not a total cut-and-paste job”. Pitching to the press can be tricky, but it can be done, and done well. If you plan to pitch members of the press, do yourself a favor and check out Alicia’s gem of an article spelling out the do’s and dont’s. It even includes a before and after email from her time helping us market TypeEngine.
Once your magazine is starting to take shape and you want to start pitching it, have a press kit on your site. Your press kit should include: a concise description of your magazine and why it’s uniquely awesome; high-quality screenshots, logos and any other graphics; relevant links, such as to any press you may have already received; and contact information. This makes it easy for people to talk about you.
Remember your launch isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning! Keep practicing these tips long after you launch.