App Store Optimization is absolutely essential to make your app stand out in the crowded App Store. However, if you want to put every chances on your side, you may want to use other ways to get your app known and therefore, to increase your downloads. Here are our 20 – and entirely free – tips to promote your app.
Developing an app is the easy part. Getting downloads is harder. Much harder. It requires a lot of work and patience in most of the cases. With over 1,200,000 apps on the App Store, it is increasingly difficult to be visible. And without any visibility, your app will slowly die and inevitably end up in the Z world.
Our first advice is of course to build a great app. After that, you will need to work on App Store Optimization and improve every factor having an impact on the App Store algorithm. Remember that ASO is an ongoing process; you will have to monitor regularly every trend of your app and market. You also need to stay up-to-date to every App Store changes.
Besides these fundamentals, there are many other ways that can help you to increase your app awareness, reputation, rankings and therefore downloads. Good news: it doesn’t always require tons of money. Many app developers have actually made it without spending a single dollar on promoting their app. Some were very lucky as their app generated a huge buzz on social media and with very little effort, their app ranked 1st in the App Store. Do you know Flappy Bird? Of course you do…
But don’t get me wrong, it will be hard for you to be the next Flappy Bird of course. This kind of success does not happen all the time; that’s what actually makes it so extraordinary.
It does not mean that you can’t succeed in the app world!
Promoting your app is essential and here are our 20 free ways to do it…
1. Create a unique website for your app. This will allow you to have a strong informational basis which will give content about your app. Unlike the app description pages (on Google Play Store or Apple App Store), your website is entirely customizable without any limitation or restriction so you can be as creative as you want and build your app’s identity. Use your website’s URL in all your communications.
2. Build a blog. In addition to your website, it’s recommended to create a blog (attached to your website) that will offer – on a regular basis – news about your app and/or valuable content revolving around the universe of your app. Be interesting and entertaining. Your articles might get shared all over social media and people will end up on your website… and therefore be aware of your app.
3. Build your social presence. Have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google+ and a LinkedIn profile, an Instagram account and so on. Try to pick 3 or 4 of the most popular and relevant social media. Find a different content strategy for each of them. This gives you more occasions to get your app known and spread. Word-of-mouth is a strong weapon in your App Marketing strategy. Use these channels to share great content and news about your app. Also, use them to convey your website and blog URLs.
4. Get reviews of your app. One more way to increase your app awareness is to be present on app reviews websites. Here’s a list of 157 iOS app reviews sites.
5. Improve your SEO. Working on improving the SEO of your website and blog, as well as your app description page on the App Store will drastically help your app to get known. An entire blog article has been dedicated to these 5 first points right here.
6. Create a promoting video. Although there are various paid ways to get it done professionally (Apptamin or 87seconds for example), you can still manage to do one on your own and create something creative and fun. Put it on YouTube and share it on social media and on your website. There’s also free online services to create animated videos like Powtoon.
7. Ask your friends to tell their friends to tell their friends. As we said, word-of-mouth is extremely powerful and can spread anything very quickly online and offline. You need to start somewhere, so use your close relationships as a starting point and ask them to spread the word.
8. Post on social groups. Social media are full of specific groups on which it would be wise to post content and share your website URL. Find groups formed of people with common interests related to your app. They are actually a great target and are likely to be interested in what you’re saying.
9. Get bloggers to talk about your app. Try to find interesting blogs on which your app could be mentioned. Identify blogs related to your app’s universe. Get in touch with the editors and pitch them in a creative way.
10. Send an awesome press release to the media. PR is extremely important. Use it to announce your app and its awesome features. It will boost your popularity and raise awareness, especially if you’re conveyed by popular media. Use screenshots in your press release and a link to download your app.
11. Make your app free at launch. If your app is paid, make it free at the beginning. You want to pull as much customers as you can to download your app. Showing that you make it free when it is usually paid will inevitably stir curiosity and drive more downloads.
12. Ask for reviews. Use every possible way to ask users to review your app. Reviews and ratings impact a lot the App Store algorithm. If you have many, you will rank higher and build a good reputation. Use pop-up message after 5 or 10 uses of you app. Don’t be too pushy but still, show your users that their opinion matters. You can also ask them on your social media.
13. Try to get VIP testimonial. Along with the previous idea, try to find people who have a certain authority and who are popular. Try to get them using your app and write a small testimonial. Showcase it on your website, blog and social media. You can also display it in your app description.
14. Take part in app contests. By participating to app contests, you will gain visibility and increase awareness, as you will get some press coverage. If you win, you will get an award and even more credibility and press around your app. There are several app contests such as the Appsters Awards (associated with the Appsworld) or The Mobileys.
15. Name your app anywhere you can. A good (and very simple) way to mention your app is in your e-mail signature. Put your website URL or the download link right next to it as well. You can also mention your app on your voicemail. This will increase a little bit more your app awareness.
16. Run a contest. There are several creative contests that can be organized in order to promote your app. Why not ask your users to tweet or share some content related to your app universe on social media. The winner will get a promo code if your app is paid and/or a funny goodie in relation to your app. This will encourage people to engage within your app and increase visibility.
17. Upgrade your app regularly. Freshness is an important factor in the App Store. Add few updates to your app and communicate about it to your social media audience and to your users directly (in your app description for example).
18. Always react to negative reviews or comments. Whether it is on your social media or on your app reviews directly, it is important to always respond to negative feedback. Don’t leave these unanswered. Always try to find solutions or way to improve the pointed flaws and tell your audience about it. Be honest and transparent. If your customers are happy, they will tell the world about it. Same if they’re not.
19. Try to answer questions on various popular forums. If you bring valuable content and relevant answers to public questions on forums like Quora, you will increase your chances of getting known. If your app is a problem solver, mention it on your post. Otherwise, don’t be too self-promotional.
20. Reward your most faithful customers. It is important to nurture the interest of your fans for your app. Thank them if they congratulate or send a positive feedback. Retweet their tweets, follow them, like them… you can even offer a promo code. The point is to show your fans that you’re happy they’re happy. You want them to be real ambassadors of your app. Get as close as you can to them and build a strong relationship.
That’s it for now! I hope that these 20 free ways of promoting your app will be useful to you. Don’t forget that App Store Optimization is also absolutely essential. AppTweak instantly offers your App Marketing report and shows you which ASO factors can be improved. You can also find the best keywords for your app thanks to our unique 4 quadrants graph. Finally, AppTweak also offers you detailed analytics helping you to monitor your app.
What do you think about these 20 free ways to promote your app? Do you have others in mind? Share your thoughts in the comments below, thanks!
By Laurie Galazzo