A marketing calendar will be a crucial part of your marketing plan as you map out the development and marketing aspects of your app. It will keep you focused and driving toward specific dates. Your marketing calendar should answer questions such as the following: How long do you expect your app to take for development? Are there special graphics you need to have developed that might take extra time? What other things might contribute to possible delays in the launch of your app?
You also want to look for opportunities to promote you app around various events during the year, such as complementary product launches, tradeshows, and conferences. You first begin by reviewing a 12-month calendar so that you have a picture of the coming year. Start by considering holidays throughout the year—do any lend themselves as promotional opportunities for your app sales? You can use these holidays as promotional opportunities on your personal website. Next is a list of holidays and promotions to consider:
• New Year's Day—Almost all apps can leverage something around New Year's, such as getting organized, making a fresh start, keeping resolutions, and so on.
• Valentine's Day—Great time to promote lifestyle apps.
• St. Patrick's Day—Fun holiday to promote "green" apps.
• Memorial Day—Traditional start-of-summer travel and vacations. Does your app have a play here?
• Independence Day (Fourth of July)—Promote patriotic-themed apps or other activities related to the holiday.
• Labor Day—Traditional end-of-summer travel and vacations. Travel apps could fit in here.
• Halloween—Fun holiday for game apps.
• Veteran's Day—Great holiday to support the troops! Offer a percentage of daily app profits as a donation to a veteran's organization.
• Thanksgiving—Family, giving thanks, or big meal-themed promotions.
• Christmas/Hanukkah—Holiday-related apps. Scheduling and appointment setting apps may fit in here nicely.
Many other holidays may be relevant for your app sales—Easter, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Secretary's Day, Grandparent's Day—and on and on. Again, carefully review the calendar and think through the holidays that you could leverage to create a unique promotion for your app. Once you've reviewed the holidays and determined which ones would be good promotional events for your business, take another look through the calendar for annual events that are not necessarily holidays—but are certainly traditions. Here is a list of annual events to consider:
• Super Bowl—Guaranteed football parties and an especially great event if your local NFL team is in the Super Bowl (equally, the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl are great for promotions of local NFL teams). Is your app football related?
• Mardi Gras—A fun party-themed promotion. You can even donate a portion of the app's proceeds toward New Orleans rebuilding efforts.
• March Madness—Celebrate college basketball's greatest tournament— especially fun to offer promotions if your app is in any way related to college basketball.
• Tax Day—Great way to promote a discount for your tax calculator app. No one really likes tax day, so you might as well create a promotion to help lift the burden.
• World Series—Similar to Super Bowl promotions—extremely effective if your app is in any way related to baseball; offer discounts for your app or offer a drawing on your website for a pair of baseball tickets to one of the World Series games.
• Earth Day—Great day to offer "green" and earth-friendly promotions for your app.
• Seasons or solstices/equinoxes—Spring, summer, fall, and winter are great themes for a marketing campaign, as are the summer and winter solstices as well as vernal and autumnal equinoxes. You might have a nature-related app that would work in this category.
• Mother's Day—Celebrate mothers by offering a discount or something just for mothers, such as a short-term discount on your app.
• Father's Day—Celebrate fathers by offering a discount on your app for fathers.
• Time Change—Spring forward and fall back—or whatever your area time change ritual is; you might find something relevant to promote concerning your app around the changing times.
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