July 28, 2017
Marketing your app doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
In fact, it better not. If you go for paid advertising, it’s not likely that the cost of a customer acquisition will be lower than the price of your app. Many entrepreneurs behind popular apps never invested in marketing. Some used press publicity, others generated social media buzz or relied on customer referrals.
My experience in app marketing taught me that it’s smart to start marketing an app with free or cheap strategies. Here are 10 effective marketing tactics that won’t break your wallet.
1. Build a website
Every app needs a website. It can be a simple design featuring a landing page where you share information about your app and a form to collect the e-mails of customers who want to get notified when the app launches.
Set up a website at least two months before you launch your app. Make sure to add the URL in the App Store description, but also in your e-mail signature and similar places. Include social buttons on your website to help people share your app to their networks.
2. Start a blog
Content marketing is all the rage right now. Compelling content will attract people to your website, improving your brand awareness and boosting the position of your site in search engine rankings.
Remember to update your blog regularly. Write about recent updates or features you plan to add. Make sure that visitors can leave comments – that’s a smart way to collect valuable feedback and solve problems before launching your app.
3. Optimize your profile in the App Store
App Store Optimization works like SEO for mobile. App discovery happens inside app stores, so you need to create an attractive app profile to improve your app’s popularity.
Come up with a unique name for your app. Don’t undervalue the potential of keyword optimization. Include updated descriptions and release notes to show users that you’re always perfecting your product. Remember to feature some beautiful screenshots of your app.
4. Make a proper use of social networks
Social media offers many options for free app marketing:
- Use your personal profiles to promote the app to your network.
- Set up profiles or pages for your app on relevant platforms and start sharing news about it. Include visual content like blog images or infographics to attract more people.
- Get in touch with other admins of related social pages where your target hangs out and ask them to mention your app (provide them with good reason too!).
- Create a Facebook group for your app’s niche where your target audience can socialize.
5. Integrate social in your app
If you invest your time into social media, make sure that your app allows users to share content with others easily. It can be pictures, drawings, or game results. The important thing is that your app features a social component.
6. Create a video
Create a fun and engaging video about your app. Tell a compelling story that will help your target to understand your idea and motivate your audience to try the app.
You can post short videos to Vine or Instagram where you show your app in action. A quick tutorial video will also articulate the value of your app.
7. Pitch to app review websites
Your app needs reviews to thrive.
Getting featured on sites like AppStoreApps or AppAdvice is bound to give your app a significant boost in popularity. Before you target the giants, try getting in touch with smaller platforms like The Smartphone App Review or iPhone AppStorm.
8. Get an influencer to try your app
An endorsement from niche influencers or celebrities is a passport to popularity.
If you’ve got connections in the sector you’re targeting, reach out to them. Connect with influencers to have them promote your app through their blog or social channels.
Before asking the influencer for support, make sure that their audience aligns with yours. Building a relationship with top influencers in your niche opens the door to spreading the word about your app.
9. Write guest posts for blogs in your niche
Find relevant blogs that cater to your niche and ask them if they accept guest posts. Most will say yes.
By publishing on these platforms, you’ll build your brand’s credibility. Put a link to your website and app in the author’s bio to boost your SEO and improve your app’s download number.
10. Invest in search ads
Search ads are a form of paid advertisement within the App Store. Bid for relevant keywords so when users are searching for these words, your app pops up in the top rank.
Remember that even cheap marketing methods demand effort, inventiveness and attention. Your strategies have to be well thought-out if they are to bring profit, irrespective of whether they have been self-launched or planned by professional marketing specialists. There is also a number of things to consider before starting an app marketing campaign; they will increase your chances for success in later stages.
Develop a solid app user acquisition strategy and use these 10 tactics to help your app soar to popularity. And then get a little creative — you’re bound to find more cheap ways for marketing your app.
Thomas is a developer at Ready4s: an award-winning app development agency with offices in the USA, the UK, Ukraine and Poland. As a senior software engineer he is responsible for leading the most challenging development projects, planning projects' architecture, using software design patterns and doing code review. He started as an iOS developer programming in Objective-C and Swift, but now he mostly develop android apps based on Java. He is also a fan of everything marketing-related and likes to be involved in planning marketing strategies. When he isn’t working on new apps he likes to share his views by writing articles.