What makes the difference between an app with a hundred downloads and an app with a hundred thousand? It’s all about promotion! When the quality of development or user interface is poor, the product itself restricts your app from becoming popular (even if you spend a lot of money promoting it). However, good quality alone will never make your app popular. You need to work hard promoting your app. At least as hard as you work when developing it. So, be active with your app promotion and don’t let your new mobile application languish in the app store!
App promotion may seem difficult or expensive, but no one will ever know about your app until you promote it—there is no other way to make your app successful! Luckily, there are many ways to promote your app, and some of them are pretty simple and, better yet, free. Here are some ideas to get you started if you’re not sure how to promote an app.
Leverage your social media accounts
If you already have a strong social media presence (as a person or as a company), that’s great; you’ve already got an audience. People usually interact with social media through their mobile devices, so your social media followers may become your first app users. Don’t have a social media presence yet? It’s a great time to start, especially if you’re creating an app assuming any kind of social interaction. And if it makes sense, add social features to your app! Apps that support sharing help your customers promote your app for you.
Join relevant social groups
While your app is still in development, it can be helpful to join development groups and groups for entrepreneurs, where you can get feedback on your app early. Groups for your industry can also be a great source for feedback. People in these groups can help you determine how to promote an app because they’re familiar with the audience you’re targeting, and they may be your audience themselves, in which case you have the chance to establish a customer base even before your official launch.
Participate in online communities which represent your target audience
This might sound a bit similar to the last tip, but the important difference is that this one is more relaxed, and you don’t have to always be in “marketing mode.” If every social media post is of promotional nature, people will soon just start ignoring them, but if you engage in a genuine way with communities that may have an interest in your app, you’ll create a favourable impression of your business. This passive form of app promotion will pay off in the long run.
Create a great app icon
Your app is entering a field with plenty of competition. Give it the best chance of success by creating an app icon that can stand out among the crowd. You’ll want something immediately recognizable. Avoid small text that’s difficult to read on a little app icon. Browse through the app stores and pay attention to the app icons that catch your eye. You’ll probably see bold colours and simple but unique shapes. Along with too much text, other things to avoid are photos (which can look weird at small sizes), and any design with too many colours. If you already have a good colour story and fonts for your business, website and other marketing materials, start with those, but you’ll want that app icon to stand out and look reputable, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments. After you finalize your requirements, we recommend you using Fiverr freelance website to get this app icon done by a professional designer:
Update your website
Even if you don’t know any professional marketing tricks and details of how to promote an app, there are lots of simple things you can do to get started. One of those things is your website. It is a great place to let people know about your new mobile application. Website promotion methods like SEO or Pay Per Click advertising are excellent for bringing users to your app. Website promotion industry is old and established, and you have been probably doing some website promotion activities for years already. Don’t just add a little link in your website’s navigation—create a banner that stands out on your homepage and other important pages so that website visitors can’t miss it. It’s also a good idea to have a landing page dedicated to the app (or even a separate domain name) so that you have one convenient place to link to from any of your promotional channels.
Write a launch announcement
If your website has a blog or a kind of news section, write a post about your new app, detailing its features and what benefits it will have for your customers. This post, or a shortened version of it, can also be sent out as an email blast. Don’t be afraid to advertise! If it’s not too repetitive and annoying, it is absolutely fine to let people know! Remember, that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into developing your app. App promotion doesn’t happen by accident, so letting everyone know that you’ve launched is an important step to success.
Build a promotional package
Take the time to put together a promotional package for your app. Have a description, good screenshots, intro videos, links, booklets, testimonials, and possibly some promo codes ready. It takes some time to prepare but having this assembled will make it easy to promote your app in different channels without losing a moment or an opportunity. Sometimes you unexpectedly find a chance to give a good and cheap promotion to your application, and the last thing you want is to be unprepared!
Pitch to app review sites
There are a lot of popular websites out there that review new mobile apps. Take advantage of them by sending them your promotional package if they’re accepting pitches (try to email them even if they don’t officially state that). If you have a quality app and a solid pitch, you may end up getting featured on a site that can send thousands or even tens of thousands of potential clients. It’s not guaranteed, but worth a try.
Keep in touch with your existing customers
This may seem obvious, but it’s important let your customer base know that your new app is on its way. You’ll have better conversion rates from your app promotion activities when targeting people who are already familiar with your business. If you already have email lists, take advantage of them. Send out an email blast - use your promotional package. If you reach out early, you can even arrange a closed beta test and get valuable feedback from your target audience (about what features they want to see in your app).
Polish your app store presentation
Once you get people to your app’s page in the app stores, you’ll want that page to look as attractive as possible, with high-quality videos and screenshots that promote your app at its best. A good promo video that demonstrates your app’s features is invaluable. The same as with the app icon, your promo video could be ordered on Fiverr freelance website at a very reasonable price. Screenshots should show all the important sections of your app, including settings. You can even include text on your screenshot images that further explains them. These images and your promo video will often be your potential customers’ first impression, so make it count.
Optimize for app stores and search engines
If you are familiar with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and use it to get visitors to your website, you will easily get familiar with the App Store Optimization (ASO) too. It operates on similar principles, focusing on keyword relevance and density to help your app show up in search results. You can improve your positions in Google and other search engines, as well as in app stores. Review your app description to make sure that it is optimized, and you’ll avoid shooting yourself in the foot and missing out on being seen by people who may be looking for exactly what you have to offer.
Promote your app offline and in person
If you have a store front or meet with customers in person, be sure to have some kind of take-away information about your app available. You can print business cards with a QR code that sends people to your landing page or directly to the app store, you can include your app’s logo on other printed materials, and you can even get a decal of your QR code for your store window. People who are already engaging with you are prime recipients for app promotion, so make sure that it’s visible or you’re losing out on downloads.
Keep your app up to date
Regular updates are very important, not only for the security and stability of your app, but they can help with promotion as well. Some app review websites inform their visitors about app updates or publish the list of recently updated apps. Moreover, app stores list the date of the most recent update, and an app that hasn’t been updated in a while can give potential customers pause. Such an app can be downgraded in search results by the app stores too. Regular updates reassure customers that the app is maintained, and that’s especially important if they’re paying for the app.
Make customer service a priority
It may not seem like an aspect of how to promote an app, but good customer service is one of the best ways to sell a product, and it’s no different when it comes to promoting your app. Take the time to respond to inquiries and reviews, whether positive or negative. Be sincere and helpful, and your attention will be noticed by both current and potential customers, moreover, your app will be recommended to friends.
Think outside the box
You know your app and your audience, so take some time to brainstorm some promotional ideas that are uniquely suited to your business and your app. You can discover many creative ways to promote an app because you know your clients best. Maybe there are events that you already attend for your business where you could include a drawing for prizes, including some app promo codes, etc. Keep an eye out for any opportunity, and your app promotion will become second nature.
These free or inexpensive strategies will help you get your app seen by your existing customers and potential new ones. Don’t let app promotion intimidate you – it is your time to shine, and don’t let opportunities to promote your app pass you by!