July 12, 2012

Apple’s Marketing Guide

Part #1

As any iOS developer can attest to, submitting apps for publication on the App Store has never been an easy task. Developers are only human, and as such have always run the risk of failing to follow Apple’s notoriously specific guidelines, requirements, or restrictions to a tee. One aspect of their app maybe be viewed as controversial, triggering Apple’s approval team to instantly reject it from consideration. This results in app launch delays, and a myriad of possible headaches.

I don’t think that there’s a 100% effective way to guarantee success your app is approved to be published on the app, but there is a document released by Apple that may help developers minimize their risks when submitting and advertising their apps. This is Apple’s “App Store Marketing and Advertising Guidelines for Developers”, which was produced specifically for iOS developers’ reference. The document goes through a review process every once in awhile as policies get tweaked, and we’ve taken the liberty of annotating the most important points from the March edition for you to review. .

If our notes don’t suit you, feel free to check out the entire document here – App Store Marketing Guidelines.

One clear point to emphasize before we begin though: This guide does not provide any tips or hints from Apple regarding HOW developers should promote their apps. It only gives them an overview of what fly and what doesn’t stylistically, and how developers should utilize anything that associates their product with Apple including logos, product naming regulations, and etc.

APPLE APPROVAL REQUIREMENT

All materials in print or video format, whether marketing or advertising, should be submitted and approved by Apple, prior their usage. Submit your initial concept, storyboard, or a final material material to get this material approved. All materials containing custom photography or video of Apple products must be submitted and approved by Apple before publication or broadcast.

FEATURING APPLE PRODUCTS

Here Apple provides detailed do’s and don’ts of how developers can present the company’s products. Some of these requirements are obvious, while others are anything but. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“…Do not substitute white Apple products for the black product images provided by Apple…”

Quite frankly, even we’re not sure what Apple’s exact reasons behind some of their requirements are. That’s really besides the point though because they should be taken into account when preparing your marketing materials and choosing what iPhone, iPad, or iPod model images to use.

PROMOTING YOUR APP

Using Apple product names in copy

It may look obvious at first but in reality it’s very common to see developers and advertisers alike make potentially problematic mistakes. For instance naming Apple products incorrectly such as saying “Apple iPhone” and “iPod Touch” instead of simply saying “iPhone” and “iPod touch”. No other versions are acceptable, and trust me, Apple WILL care. One last note, when you need to list all 3 iOS devices together, you should always name them in the same order: iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Using “App Store” in copy

Regardless of how many times you might read different ad or PR copy referring to some developer having “an app at the App Store” there is, according to Apple only a few correct ways to say this – “an app is available on the App Store” or “download from the App Store”. Both words in the name “App Store” have to be capitalized and written in English, even when copy texts are published in other languages.

URL address naming

Almost every single iOS app has a website – or at least a blog page – to give it another an online presence in addition to their dedicated page on the App Store. One rule to remember is that you can’t register a domain for your app that contains Apple trademarked words like iPhone, iPodtouch, or iPad as a part of the name. Apple trademarked names can be included in your URL address only when the trademark follows your company or the app’s name. For instance – www.companyname.com/appname/iphone.

Be sure to check back soon as we publish other helpful tid bits of this guide. For now, to be continued. . .

Artyom Diogtev,
Head of Social Media

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