´╗┐Richard just asked a good question on the income report #1 post:

“how long did it take, to get that number of downloads for your free apps? What kind of advertising/promotion did you consider? Have you advertised them? Would be interesting to read about the ascent of your downloads over time…”

I think this might be of general interest, so here are my answers.

The AL Voice Recorder started on 4th of July 2010, so it has been in the Market for about a year now (~335.000 downloads). 3D Invaders was released on 29th of November 2010 (~80.000). For both apps I did not do any paid advertising. What I did was App Store Optimization and social media marketing (blogs, forums, twitter, etc.).

I recorded the downloads of the AL Voice Recorder for five of months, here is the result:

AL Voice Recorder download stats

AL Voice Recorder download stats

On 07th of November 2010 I made an App Store Optimization and the app was ranked #1 for the search query ‘voice recorder’ since then. You can see the huge increase in downloads on the chart.

My impression on advertising is that it is only usefull when you are able to spend enough money for being present for a longer period of time. This will sure have an effect on your download rates. Most developers spend $50 on their apps and then say “AdMob (normally it’s AdMob) burned my money!”. Of course you wont see big results when spending $50 for an ad campaign. Assume that one click costs $0.05 and the conversion rate is 10%, than that’s 100 new downloads for $50 (or $0.50 per download). I think advertisements in mobile ad networks are necessary as a part of huge ad campaigns, including social media presence, ASO, viral marketing and so on. When relying on ad networks only, the success will probably not be that sustainable.

I hope this was helpful, please feel free to leave comments.