22 Ways To Promote Your App For Free

  1. Promote your app on your website and give it its own “Download Now” button.
  2. Write a  Announcement Blog Post about your app and post that link all over your social media platforms, including groups and forums that you are a part of.
  3. Use e-mail campaigns to target your existing customer database and newsletter database.
  4. Consider getting your app onto other app stores such as:

5. Apply for Awards:

  • Appy Awards      http://www.mediapost.com/appyawards/
  • Best App Ever Awards    http://www.bestappever.com/
  • AppCircus Competition    http://appcircus.com/
  • Apple Design Awards    https://developer.apple.com/design/awards/
  • Appsters Awards    https://the-appsters.com/
  • Ericsson Application Awards    http://www.ericsson.com/thecompany/events/eia-2016
  • The Webby Awards    http://webbyawards.com/
  • Best Mobile App Awards    https://bestmobileappawards.com/
  • OZApp    http://ozapp.com.au/

6. SEO (Search Engine Optimize) your app using best targeted keywords that you want to rank for. Analyze which keywords your app is currently ranking on. Use these awesome tools:

7. Search for blogs you can be featured on. If you own a consignment store, Google search for “best consignment store apps” and you may find that many of the top hits are actually blogs. Contact those bloggers and see if you can guest blog or if they would like to write about you.

8. Join Social Media Groups where you can share your app. If you cater to women or Moms join groups that cater to those demographics. Look for entrepreneurial groups, foodie groups (if you’re in the food industry), pet groups, etc.

9.  Have an app icon that stands out. Many companies want to just their logo which is sometimes fine but if your photo doesn’t fit with the criteria below, you may find it beneficial to enlist the help of a graphic designer to design your app icon. App developers typically do not do graphics work, or they may for a small additional fee. But we recommend using a graphic designer who knows their trade. To make your icon stand out:

  • Have a unique shape that is distinct
  • Have a limited color pallet – 2 or 3 at the very most
  • Avoid using a photo
  • Avoid a lot of text (too small to read anyway)

Look up on the App store or Google Play these apps for examples of great icons:

  • BDC Plastic Surgery
  • One Password
  • Fit Envy
  • Covering Katy
  • The Vault
  • Fifi’s Amelia Island
  • Homes with Cachet
  • LKN Savings
  • Maddys Fattys
  • Title Boxing Charlotte

10. Put your BEST Screenshots forward in the app store, so when people see images of your app before downloading, they don’t see just any old screen shot of your app, they instead see a scenario of what your app is all about. For a great example, go to the App Store or Google Play and look up Vine.

11. ASO (App Store Optimization) is just like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but ASO is for the App Store and with 1.5 million apps (as of the writing of this article in April, 2016) and growing, both Apple and its App users recognize the need for better search ability for apps in their store.  We dedicated an entire article to ASO. Click on here to read it.

12. Have a great app landing page. Many App Developers include this when they build your app, but if you’re building your own app, they are pretty easy to do and most DIY sites come with this functionality built in. An app landing page can be printed and used as a flyer. It can also be printed on the back of your business cards and its GREAT to use frequently across all your social media platforms as a post. 

13. Take a screen shot of your landing page or create a simple banner that can be used as your cover photo on Twitter and Facebook to promote the download of your app. Works beautifully! If you need help creating your own banner you can use on-line (free) software like Canva or download these free apps:

  • Diptic
  • TextontPictures
  • Ripl
  • Vine

14. Get featured on mobile app review sites. Here is list of 113 places to submit your app thanks to BuildFire https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OkyL-r6XQz0QIat_nVJtVF3pWQGsVOdGcesbBBFrTs0/edit#gid=0

15. Write a Press Release. Many on-line and print magazines are looking for interesting stories. You may not think that having a mobile app is newsworthy, but it is!  Here are 20 free press release distribution sites http://mashable.com/2007/10/19/press-releases/#Erg9FH0ZhSqs  thanks to Mashable.

16. Create a Promo Video and post on You Tube, share frequently on your social media platforms. Click here to see the app Clear’s video they produced using Vimeo  https://vimeo.com/35693267  Its a very simple production that last’s 51 seconds. You can shoot your own video with your own mobile device and use the website www.Fiverr.com to have your video edited for $5 – $25. If you want to go a little more pro you can hire an expert such as Vibrant Video Productions, one of our personal favorites. OK, Paul is a personal friend, but he does do ahhh-mazing videos !!  Be sure to note how many views Clear’s video received. You might be a local business owner or you may be targeting nationally or internationally. Geographic location doesn’t matter – make a video to promote your app because that video will also show up in the Search Engines!

17. Create an app link in your e-mail signature. Despite the many e-mails and mass promotion of your app, it can take people many “touches” before they download your app. Having your app link in your e-mail signature keeps it in front anyone you send an e-mail to.

18. If you’re a brick and mortar business owner, place your app’s QR code in your storefront window, in the restrooms, on mirrors in fitting rooms, and even incorporate it onto in-store signage as you create new signage throughout the year. You can print a copy of your App’s Landing page and display it at the check out counter or on table tents throughout your business.

19. When you print up new business cards, be sure to place your QR code on your business card as well as the verbiage: “Download our app by scanning QR code or visiting Google Play or the App Store and typing in: (name of your app here).”

20. When possible, in place of handing out business cards, share your app instead. All apps have a share button on them so you can text or e-mail the link directly to the person you’re standing in front of at that moment in time who’s asked your for a business card.

21. Use Influencers in your industry to help promote your app. You can offer them a joint venture where they receive something of value to them (a place on your app?) in exchange for their help in promoting your app or, if your app is relevant to them they may just in fact promote it because its helpful for them to do so. Use http://buzzsumo.com/ to help find out who the big Influencers are in your industry. Use this tool https://contentmarketer.io/  where you can schedule a bunch of tweets that will be fed out over time and you can use copromote.com where you can create a “tribe” of people where they share your stuff and you share theirs.

22. Resort to gorilla marketing methods of using mass distribution of flyers and a massive word of mouth campaign promoting your app. Unlike print media which is a one-run and done campaign for businesses, an app is perpetual value. The more downloads you get the more valuable your app becomes. You’ll start with your first 10 downloads and when you send a push notification you’re promoting to those 10 people. But when you reach 100, then 1500, then 10,000 downloads you’re now marketing to that many people every time you send a push notification. Rolling up your sleeves and hitting the streets to get app downloads is worth its weight in gold. Once you have downloads read the article about how to use your app to build long lasting relationships.

Colleen is co-founder of Brandgarden Mobile Solutions.

Colleen is Co-Founder of BrandgardenTech.com DIY Mobile Apps and Brandgarden.biz Mobile Solutions. She’s an Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Trainer and Napoleon Hill Instructor. She lives in Charlotte, NC and enjoys Bikram yoga, wine and a great cup of coffee. Follow her #Coffeetalk on Instagram @AppGirlontheGo

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