4 min read

How to Build Your App Reviews without Resorting to Review Exchanges

This post talks about how to get good reviews for app without the help of review exchanges

One of the most critical factors in increasing app downloads is the number of positive and high-star rated reviews the app has when the customer lands on the app’s page.

Though the app’s title and keyword usage play a key factor in bringing up the app during customer’s search in the app store, and the descriptions substantiates the app’s uniqueness, reviews play the final nudging role in creating a perception of the game or the app that makes it download-worthy.

Let’s call it the popularity problem.

It’s human psychology. Think about it this way, you’re searching for an app related to increasing productivity. A number of apps appear for the search keywords you have used. How do you sift through the apps? The ones at the top, followed by the ones with the most star ratings (reviews) and number of downloads.

This has many developers searching for ways to add reviews to their app, mostly during the period before announcement and official launch. One way of doing that is to share a prelaunch version with niche bloggers and let them review it for you, the second one is to exchange reviews with other app developers.

The later can be devastating for the lifecycle of the app.

In this post I will discuss and argue how getting reviews from actual users instead of exchanging reviews from app developers can help app developers make their app successful.

Importance of Reviews for App

From a Discovery perspective: ratings and reviews are considered as metadata for search and can even help to categorize your app in search results according to news which broke this week on TechCrunch on possible enhancements Apple is making from their recent acquisition of Chomp, a leading app search engine, which uses customer feedback to influence discovery. If this is true, then gaining reviews becomes key for app publishers not only to get valuable feedback but also to ensure that their page is rich with keywords which can help them be found in search results.

From a Download perspective: ratings and reviews could mean the difference of a potential user downloading your app over direct competitors – especially in list view on the device.

The Best Sources of Getting Reviews

Some of the best methods for getting meaningful reviews include:

  • Pitching the app to bloggers and journalists
  • Pitch it to review sites and get featured on their “best of [category] for [month/week, etc]”
  • Content creation
  • News-jacking

Pitching Your App to Bloggers and Journalists

Bloggers and journalists are always looking for engaging content for their readership. A new app that  can answer some of the pressing concerns of their visitors (health, entertainment, games, etc.) will be welcomed.

However, choose who you pick carefully. You want to leverage their trust and fan base to boost your app’s reach for reviews. This means their website should have an active community base, one that willingly engages in discussions through the comments section. Select niche bloggers and journalists and pitch only if you believe their target audience is the right match for your app.

Pitching Your App to Review Sites

Relax. They’re not illegal. Check the list of youtubers that review sites, some interesting review sites, or even a reddit. They are like the movie and game critics “committed” to keeping the app world clean and to weed out the bad ones from the mix.

Search through their categories and find the ones where your app can get featured. The best options would be their monthly and category-based listicles and reviews. Find sites that feature every month’s best releases and discoveries for different categories. Pitch it to them.

Create Content around Your App

People want to read engaging content. Write authoritatively about topics the niche your app is targeting, create guides and resources, and pitch your app as a CTA at the end of the post. You already know a lot about the niche to have created the app, so talk about the problems in more detail through blogs, articles, or curate content from other niche experts and introduce your app through them. Remember, introducing an app is far different from selling the app.

News Jacking

People want to remain abreast of the latest news. Why not get on the bandwagon of the current raging news and use it to get an angle on your app? It’s similar to writing content, except you’re leveraging the latest trends to boost your app for the short haul.

All the best!

This blog post is based in the advice given by successful app entrepreneurs in the App Entrepreneurs and Marketers Group. Stay tuned for more informative and insightful posts from us!

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