Mobile App promotion
Mobile App promotion
Mobile App promotion
Simple Ways To Promote Your Mobile App
So you’ve finally built your mobile app and are ready to introduce it to the world? Congratulations. But unless you market your app to your target audience, it will get lost in the sea of other apps out there.
I'd like to share a compilation of the 65 best ways to promote your app. This list is in no specific order, so you should pick the ideas that most appeal to you, and that you think will best fit into your existing marketing plan. Start with a handful—or even just one—and test what works for you and what doesn't:
1. Define your landing page. Make a simple and clear introduction of your app—one sentence should suffice. Get inspiration from Tinder, which is one of the best example out there right now.
2. Start a blog. Regular updates on a topic that focuses on your core service makes you a niche expert, and perhaps worth downloading!
3. Use social media. But do it wisely; too many people think copy and pasting a link is enough. Engage your audience. Be interesting. Tease. Intrigue. Make yourself click-worthy and share-worthy. Be creative about your intro text. Mashable does this very well.
4. Use teasers. Create a teaser landing page before the app launches, and collect beta subscribers via an email submission field.
5. Create a video intro to your app. This is something you should be careful with. Creating a video for your app should only be an option if you have proven your app’s concept, you’ve gained some traction, and you’re sure that you have a winner. You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money to produce a video for an app that has changed three times since it launched. If you feel ready for this step, check out Sandwich Video for inspiration.
6. Pitch tech blogs. This is a tough one. While you think you’ve got the most awesome app launching tomorrow, others might be less impressed. Don’t despair. Make a list of contacts, email them your perfect pitch, and hope for the best. Note: Do not stalk these editors, they get tons of pitches regularly and if they're interested, they'll contact you.
7. Ask for app reviews. Besides the big tech blogs, there are tons of app review sites. I run one of them, Mevvy, but there’s tons more. Here is a list of the best app review websites, but don’t stop digging for more. Even though you want the whole world to know about your app, try to stay relevant.
8. Contact writers in the niche. This is one of the most effective techniques out there. If you find people who care to write about [insert your niche here], then they might want to write about your awesome solution, too! Again, don’t be pushy—you don't want to burn bridges with influential writers.
9. Use Disqus or other content discovery tools. Remember that blog I mentioned earlier? Be sure to plug in your Disqus channel. It helps tremendously in getting the word out, and drives traffic back to your blog or website!
10. Contribute to the online conversation. If you read news and articles on other websites, and the site uses Disqus, leave a non-self-promotional but valuable comment. This way you’re building your expert level on multiple ends.
11. Create and share interesting infographics. Use a tool like Vizualize.me to create an infographic, and then share it with writers, bloggers, and via social media.
12. Apply for app awards. There are tons of organizations that give prizes to new, innovative applications for their functionality, design, and so on. Research these contests online and apply to those you think you're a good contender for.
13. Talk to one user at a time. This is extremely crucial. In the beginning your primary goal should be user retention rather than user acquisition. If you manage to form a small group of users that provide essential feedback to help you validate your app’s purpose, and get them to remain loyal, then you’ve got the biggest hurdle behind you. In general, no matter what stage you are at, seek a direct conversation with a user. Ask them questions, listen to their critiques, offer help, make them happy. There is nothing better than word-of-mouth marketing.
14. Offer a helping hand. Not everything you do has to lead back to an app-download button. Find users who have a problem you can help with, offer advice, and become a little hero—the downloads will roll in later as a thank you!
15. Clearly define the problem your app solves. Make it a statement and use that to identify your target customers. Market your app to those people first.
16. Record a podcast. In your show talk about the problem your app solves (note: the problem, not the solution). The guys over at Fizzle.co do this well, and host their own show on Soundcloud.
17. Start a community. Good places do this include Facebook (for online groups) and Meetup.com (for local groups). Surround yourself with people who care about the same things you do.
18. Host a giveaway. With a service like Rafflecopter.com you can create special prizes and raffle them away to those who share your app, post about you, or complete other tasks.
19. Work hard on your ASO (app store optimization) strategy. You can optimize your icon, title, description, and screenshots in order to be found faster on official app stores.
20. Promote in all your communications. Include links to your app website, blog, and social media channels in your email signature. Use voicemail, and let everyone who calls know what you are working on.
21. Become a speaker. Try to land public speaking engagements and share your wisdom at conferences, panel discussions, and presentations. Make it always about the problem, not your solution.
22. Host a contest. Tell your audience to complete a certain task and tag themselves with contest-specific hashtags on social media in order to follow the development. Reward the winners publically.
23. Post a job. I am not proud of this one, but it has always served its purpose. People will discover your app and your company as they are looking for their next mission in life.
24. Create a video channel on YouTube or Vimeo. Make sure to regularly post interesting content, be it “best of” series, development updates, industry news flashes, user surveys. or user content (big hint!). Always add your main hashtag and descriptive hashtags to maximize exposure on social media.
25. Hire a PR firm. PR work can be pricey but very effective. Remember the Mailbox app and when it launched? It had half a million waitlist subscribers before it even came out! All the result of good PR.
26. Advertise. Book advertising space via www.buysellads.com on relevant websites.
27. Go offline and try guerrilla marketing. Remember that these campaigns are most effective in areas with a high concentration of your target customer. The cornerstones of a guerrilla marketing campaign are: 1. appear - 2. confuse - 3. clarify - 4. disappear. The clarification must be the genius part of your campaign!
28. Try out StumbleUpon’s paid discovery. StumbleUpon allows people to discover content they’d otherwise never find, based on their interests and browsing habits. It’s also cheaper than Facebook or AdWords ads.
29. Try AdWords, too. But only do so if you have your keywords down, and if you have some time each day to adjust your campaigns (yes, multiple) as needed.
30. Communicate with your circle. Let your friends, family, colleagues, and classmates know what you are doing. An occasional update will be enough, since friends and family are a lot less engaged in your activities than you might believe.
31. Offer discounts. If you are working with in-app purchases, offer them at cheaper prices on certain days, and let your users know via push notifications or your email newsletter.
32. Grow your subscriber list. Talking about that newsletter, keep collecting email addresses and grow your list. You’ll be happy to see the numbers growing and send your updates to thousands instead of dozens!
33. Give love to your critics. Retaining customers is 80% cheaper than acquiring new ones. Focus on those negative reviews, and reach out to users and help them solve their problem with your app. You can use Apptentive.com for this.
34. Link in your business cards. Add a short code or a scanable code to your business cards so that people can download your app faster.
35. Find a partner. Can you team up with another app? Then do so! Cross-promote each other and show that you’re not all about getting new users, but that you are a great collaborator.
36. Get featured in an “app of the day” contest. These types of contests are hosted by several app discovery services.
37. Give out swag. Think outside the box and deliver something that is relevant to your target audience. At Mevvy, we created screen cleaners and played off the world “tool,” as Mevvy was intended to be a platform to discover apps and tools for business and life. We distributed them in co-working spaces around Miami.
38. Encourage customer ratings. Ask your happy users to leave a rating on the app store —but keep it real! Customers can smell fake reviews from a mile away these days.
39. Put your app in the right spot. Choose your app keywords and your app categories very carefully. They will determine your ranking in those areas.
40. If applicable, create an invite system. Users who have the option between paying or inviting their friends are more likely to send out the invites. Remember Candy Crush?
41. Monitor your performance. Keep checking your analytics via AppAnnie or Flurry to understand how your users interact with your app. Draw new conclusions, prepare an action plan, execute, rinse, repeat!
42. Get noticed. Enter the “new and noteworthy” shelf on the app stores by trying to build relationships with the editors there. You might just have their next favorite app.
43. Become a guest blogger. Contribute to other websites and share your expertise. You’ll be allowed to put a link back to your app into your bio, that’s for sure!
44. Consider coupons. Find a coupon service that’s relevant to your market and run a campaign. The best part is that you can track the outcome very easily through the coupon codes.
45. Re-engage users who have already installed your app. Google has launched a new initiative where you can run ads to drive users to open your app. Facebook does a similar thing now, too.
46. Run an ad campaign on Facebook. Get installs off of people’s newsfeeds.
47. Create your own stamps. Customize the postage stamps you use for mail. Visit http://photo.stamps.com/Store/.
48. Answer questions. Help others get the answers they need on Quora.com, and use your app name in your author bio. Don’t be shamelessly self-promotional; the community there doesn’t like that.
49. Be noteworthy. That is, be funny, cool, or even shocking, and you have a chance to make it into Reddit.
50. Create a SlideShare presentation. Perhaps your presentation can help someone else in the development of a project, and get you a few downloads along the way.
51. Help users promote your app. Add an in-app "tell a friend" feature so that your current users can share the app with their friends, family, co-workers, and colleagues. Incentivize this sharing feature by offering credits or discounts for every new subscriber someone brings onboard.
52. Exchange ad space with other mobile apps. Appsfire and AdMob are best known for this kind of service.
53. Join LinkedIn groups. Participate in discussions and comment on interesting content. Share your own when relevant.
54. Host an app launch party. Make it a fun and engaging experience. Invite your core users and some press.
55. Broadcast your event. Extend your launch party into the Internet and publish a live stream of it (if your app is meant to be international). Let people all over the world witness and participate in the fun!
56. Go old school. Although old-fashioned, don’t forget about classified ads. An ad titled “Do you need a tutor for your child?” could be the perfect opening statement for your freelance teacher app!
57. Design wallpapers and posters that your users will love. Distribute them to those who will actually care to put them up and promote your app for you!
58. Have a logo stamp made. Get a customized stamp and cover your town with your app logo and slogan.
59. Offer free trials. If your app is paid, offer a free trial to collect potential user information. Then, reach out and enquire if they don’t sign up for a paid plan. Build a relationship. Bring them in.
60. Try retargeting ads with AdRoll. Sometimes, people need to look twice. AdRoll helps you chase previous website visitors and bring them back to your app’s website
61. Create app mini cards. Much like Starbuck's "song of the week" cards, you can have your own cards created with Moo.com and distribute them in cafes and other local businesses.
62. Install a heat map on your mobile app. Analyze what content people care and don’t care about.
63. Contact your local community. If your app is meant to address a local community, consider a local mailout. A welcome card or letter is a great way to onboard new users.
64. Share interesting content on Pinterest. Just be sure to watermark your images with your app logo. Better yet, share that content on your blog first, and then upload those images from there. Users who really care will flow directly off Pinterest onto your website.
65. Give out promo codes. Users are much more likely to engage if they can save some money.
Above all, always listen to your current users. They can provide tremendous insight not only in their user experience, but their onboarding path as well. Some might share a similar story, and you might just find the most lucrative marketing channel within your current user base.