Improving your app regularly increases the number of downloads. And otherwise, if your enthusiastic users become unhappy one day, downloads and ratings can go down.

If you’ve ever released an app before, you should know that the task is not finished once it’s published on the store. You have to constantly keep your users engaged and your app always improved by updates. Once you put hard work into these, you’ll as well get the word out.

Keep Your Users Engaged and Happy

You need to regularly update your app in order to keep your customers always happy and engaged. And even if you think that you’ve put all your care into developing the first version of the application, there are still chances that you didn’t make everything right.

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Of course, the first thing you should pay attention to is fixing the bugs. You might also want to add or improve some features users and bloggers complain about when leaving their reviews. But don’t go crazy with updates, releasing a new one every 2 or 3 weeks. Steer a middle course: don’t let your current users get bored and don’t make your potential users think that your app is dead.

Updates Play a Bigger Role than App Store Optimization

Did you know that release of iOS6 had big impact on App Store Optimization? Among the biggest benefits is the new feature on the details page named “What’s new?” The new section becomes equally important as the general app description does.

The metadata for every update appears directly on the user’s iPad. That means you’ll have to use the first couple of your app description to describe your product and then use the first few lines of the “What’s new” tab for promotion and showing that your app has been recently improved.

Why not to use that additional space, where you can encourage users to download the app? Don’t limit yourself just to “new features, bugs’ fixes” when writing the metadata for your application’s update. Straight after the first lines you may embed the list of new features. You can also use special symbols or characters in order to make these more visible.

These can be asterisks or anything else you prefer. Try not to be too techy when talking about the bugs or features: most users will not understand that entire technical staff, so keep it simple. In the end do the same thing you do in your description, inserting call-to-action offering users to download the updated version of your app now.

You may think that some of these are just small details but it won’t take lots of your time to get this part right. In case you’re doing an update just to fix some bugs, you can also include info on what’s new is there in this version.

How and Where to Promote Your Updates

When releasing little bug-fixing updates, you may do it quietly. But when it comes to completely new outstanding features of your app, you have a great opportunity to talk with your favorite users as well as reach out to new customers. Here are some things you can do right now to start promoting your app’s updates.

Promo Codes Giveaway before Your App Update

In case your app in not brand new, you are not likely to use all those promo codes each time. But try to apply some of those promo codes before submitting your app’s updates to Apple Store. When announce about an update coming, give a link on Twitter/Facebook, where anybody interested can use the app promo codes. In case you have more than 1 app you can also consider a cross-promotion.

Control the Release Date

As well as for an app launch, if you want to communicate with your audience about an event, it’s better to set a time for that. Make things easier both for you and your customers. We recommend you to plan to do your submission 3-4 weeks before the moment you’d like to officially release your update.

Promote Your Update

If you have a blog, write a small post about the update.

It shouldn’t be difficult as it has to be a detailed version of what you submitted in the “What’s New” section of the App Store. Try to describe each feature you added and explain why. It will be also nice to insert a couple of screenshots, provide the link to the App Store, and motivate users to get the update.

Use Facebook/Twitter to tell about the app update

You can start talking about the update even before you start working on it. Just let people know when you’re going to prepare the new release (check promo codes info above). After you’ve released the update you can once again tell about it in the “What’s new” section, giving a link to the app’s page or your blog post.

Having a push notification system you can alert your users as well. But make sure to use it only for big updates that really improve your application and/or fix any major issues. People shouldn’t feel spammed.
Trying to be less intrusive you may consider the small popup that appears at first opening following the updates with friendly explications of what’s new there is for users who automatically download the updates.

One more thing you can consider for major updates is contact journalists and bloggers who can be interested in them. But make sure to do this only if your update is newsworthy, as otherwise, you’ll just spoil your relationship with your contacts.

If some bloggers reviewed an earlier version of your app and talked about something he didn’t like, make sure to let him know about the improvements you made to correct some features and you’d like these people to try and review the new version of your app once again.

Remember, updates are crucial for keeping your app alive on the market and are a perfect way to show your users that their opinion is important for you and you do your best to improve the app. Use this amazing opportunity to talk about your work and discuss what benefits your users can have by using it.