5 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App for Free

Monday February 15th, 2016

Whether you are planning to develop your first app or your tenth app, marketing is critical to the app’s success. But, marketing an app within a budget could be challenging.

You should be glad to know that there are a couple of mobile app marketing strategies that does not cost a single penny. And, these strategies can generate significant results if done correctly.

Are you wondering what these are?

Well… then take a look at these top five mobile app marketing strategies that you can implement without the need for a budget.

1. Upload on Alternative App Stores

According to a report by the One Platform Foundation, submitting your app on alternative app stores can increase its downloads by 200% compared to submitting it to Google Play.

Also, alternative app stores can help you target national or niche audiences.

You could, for example, upload your app on Wandouija, if you want to tap the Chinese market. Wandouija is China’s largest alternative app store with over 300 million users and 30 million app downloads every day.

Similarly, if you plan to target the Korean market, then you can opt for SK T-Store.

You can even target specific smartphone users, such as Samsung Galaxy users. Samsung Galaxy Apps could help you target Galaxy users, as it is already pre-installed on over 100 million Galaxy smartphones.

Here are a couple of other popular alternative app stores that you can explore:

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2. Take Compelling Screenshots

Taking your app’s screenshot and uploading it on the app store is simple, but it is insufficient to generate the results you want.

There are millions of apps on the app stores. So, it is impossible for users to download every app. They decide which app to download by looking at the screenshots only.

For example, if you put yourself in the users’ shoes, then you would realize that you would not explore an app that does not clearly indicate what the app is about with its screenshots.

So, you should ensure your screenshot is compelling.

The best way to do this is to add more visual elements and add relevant captions to your screenshots. This would help your app stand out and can lead to more downloads.

Below is an example of how Vine did it.

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Vine has combined compelling screenshots with captions in such a way that you can fully understand the features offered by the app at a glance. This simplifies the users’ decision to either download the app or not to download it.

You should follow a similar approach.

3. Get Featured on App Review Sites

Reviews play a key role in the success of any product and mobile apps is no exception.

Getting featured on a popular mobile app review site, such as AppAdvice, can bring a lot of unique visitors within just 24 hours! You can expect similar results by getting a review from The Next Web, another popular site.

If you want to get your app reviewed, then submit your app to any of these top 100 sites.

These sites have millions of Twitter followers, Facebook fans and tens of millions of unique visitors per month. So, if your app is featured on these sites, you could get a lot of downloads and visibility.

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4. Go for Press Releases

Every journalist has to find new and exciting stories to publish at regular intervals. So, you can satisfy their needs by sending out press release kits to increase the chances of your story being published.

Below is a list of the information that you must include in your press release kit to ensure that the target journalist has all the details that he or she needs.

 App Summary Guide

This should have a complete overview of:

  • What your app is all about,
  • How it is used,
  • The target audience,
  • The pain point it solves,
  • Why it matters and/or how it stands out, and
  • Any other important information about the app that the journalist must know.

Your press release should also cover:

  • Why you need press coverage,
  • The problem your app solves,
  • Why it is being released now, and
  • Any facts or statistics about the advantages of using the app.

 

Screenshots

Include a lot of screenshots and make sure that each explains the features well. The journalist should not have any difficulty in understanding the app based on the screenshots.

If you plan to send the same press release kit to a number of media outlets, you should allow the journalists to choose images that have not already been used by other outlets.

Design Multiple Collaterals

Make sure that you include all the logo sizes, icon sizes and any other design collaterals in your press release kit.

This will ensure that your branding in the article looks clean. Blurred images could damage your brand’s visibility.

Videos

Videos can attract more attention than text and images. So, include a good intro video that clearly explains what your app is all about.

Founder Pictures and Bios

Make sure that you include photos and background information about the brains behind the app. This will help you build a stolid brand image for the company and the people behind the app.

Once you are done with your press release kit, you can use these free press release distribution sites to get started.

You can even follow the hashtag #journorequest on Twitter to identify those journalists looking for new stories so that you can pitch to them accordingly.

5. Leverage Social Media

Social media is one of the best free marketing channels that you must use. Here are a couple of strategies that you should follow to harness the full power of social media.

Be on Social Media Platforms that Are Relevant to Your Target Audience

Make sure that you are on social media platforms that are relevant to your niche market only.

For example, if you are trying to market an app for college students, then Facebook could be more beneficial for you than LinkedIn.

Similarly, Instagram could be more useful than other social networks if you are marketing an app related to photography.

Share Interesting and Relevant Content

Share content that your target audience or fans would love to read and share. It does not necessarily have to be your own original content.

If you can share other people’s content that is interesting enough, then your target audience will soon start to follow your social media account as a credible source.

You can even use tools like Sniply to drive visitors to your app, even from the shared content.

Moreover, you can explore sites like Alltop to get interesting content. You can also create an account on newsfeed tools, such as Feedly, and add your favorite sites where you find interesting contents to it.

In this way, you will have a steady stream of fresh content and can share it at your convenience.

But, you should make sure that you share content when your followers are mostly available. This will maximize the content reach.

In addition, there are several social media management tools, such as Hootsuite and Bufferapp that show you the optimal time to post your content.

 Engage

Just creating an account and sharing content will not help until you engage with your followers. When engaging with people, you help them know who you are and what you do. Also, you may even get customers.

You can even target influencers and engage with them to drive interest in your app.

Tools like Klear and Klout can help you find influencers in your industry and could even show you the frequency of their engagement.

Moreover, you can join relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups and participate in relevant conversations to make your presence felt.

Use Social Media Monitoring Tools

Social media monitoring is another excellent way to market your app.

For example, you can use a social monitoring tool to identify whether any users of your competitors’ apps are frustrated with their features.

You can then directly contact those users to tell them how your app can solve the problem to get your app noticed.

Twitter advanced search is an excellent free tool to help you search relevant queries on Twitter. Here is a guide you can use to get started.

You can also explore other useful tools such as Social MentionTweetDeck and Mention.

Conclusion

In addition to the above top five ways to market your app for free; there are other free strategies you could follow. These include the following:

  • Leverage your mobile website.
  • Do app store optimization.
  • Build a compelling app landing page.
  • Link your app in your email signature.
  • Run a contest.
  • Get speaking opportunities.
  • Start a blog.