Publicity is always good they say especially in the ‘Shark Tank’. The premise of the show is straightforward enough: a budding entrepreneur comes in and makes a pitch in front of “sharks” that could potentially offer an investment deal. The main goal is to bag the deal but an entrepreneur can actually go home empty-handed and still gain more. For example, several entrepreneurs would refuse any offer from the “sharks”. So why appear on the show? Here’s why: the show packs on an estimated $4-5 million worth of marketing exposure.
What is the Shark Tank Effect?
Marketing exposure is the very backbone of the Shark Tank Effect. An appearance is enough to boost an app’s downloads with some apps featured on the show amassing up to hundreds of thousands of downloads within a few hours of the show’s airing. This boost can last for several days with a secured deal helping bolster the Shark Tank Effect for a few more weeks.
The Shark Tank Effect is considered as a popular example of the impact of publicity on a product. The same effect is attributed to an app featured in tech websites like TechCrunch and Mashable. There’s even something called “The TechCrunch Effect” that works similarly to the Shark Tank Effect. In this effect, featured start-ups experience a snowball effect from almost all aspect of the business from inquiries, orders and down to capital investments. For apps, benefits can be:
According to a study, mass exposure is the second most effective publicity strategy for apps (the most effective being featured in the new apps charts). In the USA alone, there are 285 million TV viewers as of the fourth quarter of 2014. About 7.9 of these people watch Shark Tank. TechCrunch peak on a million visitors while Mashable can peak up to 4.9 million visitors for a given month.
Promotion of Virality
In the same study, mass exposure exhibits an epidemic curve right after a publicity event. For excellent apps, the magnitude of the curve is larger but the duration of the epidemic is shorter. The Shark Tank show, therefore, provides a different type of virality. Most viral apps circulate through recommendations with the app first tested before it receives marketing exposure. But some apps featured on Shark Tank don’t hold up to the audience’s expectations and thus, don’t really make the most out of the effect.
Gives the App Credibility
Being associated with a trusted brand can create a “halo effect” wherein the audience’s’ impression of your app is based on the perceived image of the brand that endorses it. Even though Shark Tank and TechCrunch don’t necessarily endorse your app, the trust the audience has for these names creates an impression that the featured apps are legitimate and are pre-screened.
Increase of Visibility in More Ways
One of the indirect effects of publicity is the increase in visibility as search frequency of the app’s keywords increases. The app’s ranking in these keywords increases so is its ranking in mobile SERPs. The app’s exposure in social media also increases as it becomes viral. The audience would also most likely access your app’s web page for more information instead of downloading it directly from the App Store. Some blogs and review sites may even cover the app as an analysis on the before and after effects of the publicity.