By Linh Nguyen Mai Khanh | April 12, 2017
Nothing in this world can be achieved without spending a single penny. But there are always some ways to save your budget. After you have struggled to create your app, the pain comes after is bringing it to the audience. App promotion is hard and tricky. Create a promotion plan with a limited budget is like solving a maths problem. You gotta know the formula and even get some tricks. These below tactics can be used as additions to your core marketing strategy.
It’s worth building a home for your app. It will be a place where you can freely describe how great your app is without the limitations of the app market description page. A website allows you to use old-school marketing techniques of site promotion like banners, SEO and link exchanges. It is the place where you’ll keep all the important info so that people can access it and check out what you have to offer whenever they choose to do so.
The site should be well-designed to raise the brand awareness, but be simple to draw visitors’ attention to crucial information. Most of the websites are one-page sites with a large download button, which proves to be very effective. Besides, you can put social buttons like Facebook Share, reTweet, Google+ etc. on your website so that people can share your app with their community.
Luckily, there are a number of easy ways to do this nowadays. There are a lot of services available. WordPress must be the first to be mentioned, as it is really a painless and useful tool to set up a website. Blogger, Tumblr, and Posterous are some good alternatives that give you a place to host a free website.
You should try to update your website often with hot and useful information and allow for comments and feedback to be given. You should even try to start a blog and write interesting content that will draw people to your website. What is more to notice is that your website is also the perfect place to embed introductory and instructive videos.
The best time for starting to open up a website is one or two months before officially launching your app, so you have time to build up a great content and interface for your website and get a constant traffic. Then put the website URL in the App Store description, in the signature of all your emails, etc., or supply the link to anyone that want more info about your app.
Try to buy banners through ad networks. If the prices are too high, try to buy banners directly from the site owners. Send them a screenshot of their site with the banner you want to place in it. Negotiate to get a prominent position to put your banner in, like a location they haven’t been using, making it look like an integral part of the site itself so that more people pay attention.
You surely know the strategy to use various mobile app review websites to promote your app. But spam your app all over the place is not an effective practice, not to mention it can be a double-edged sword.
Instead, you can actually find much more suitable and cost-effective way to reach your target audience by just aiming for relevant niche websites, blogs or forums where your potential audience are likely to visit regularly. For instance, a children’s app can be pitched to bloggers or forums for mothers. If lucky enough, you can find some well-known blogs or websites that have stable high traffic volume. Sites like 148apps, AppStoreApps and AppAdvice can generate a lot of buzz for your app if they mention it. Remember, the websites or blogs have their own principles to keep their prestige. Then give them a compelling reason to mention it.
Joining the community before launching your app is a great approach, too. Create a topic about your upcoming app and ask people for their insights. Then you can get the feedbacks and common problems people may have. Even you can some new ideas. By this way, you can gather a firm pre-launch attention while taking an effort to improve your app before bringing out the best version.
For example, you have an app about dog training tips, go and find dog training communities. Or maybe you have a cooking app with delicious and healthy recipes, try websites for moms – they usually share recipes among each other.
You have the reason to afraid that veteran bloggers ask for a sum of money. But if you provide a win-win chance, they have no reason to help you with an affordable cost.
Go and find a famous blogger or book author and then present your app as a practical implementation of his writing. Send personalized emails to blog or website owners and offer your exclusive stories.
If you are developing a fitness app, pick a well-known personal trainer in your area and convince him to promote your app in his professional training course.
Use social toolkits on prevalent social networking services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles to promote your app. Form a group of people with common interests related to your app’s niche so they can meet and socialize regularly. If your app caters to hikers, for example, create a hiking group. Use blog images, infographics and visual content from your app to create content on your Pinterest board. You should do this several times a week.
You can also integrate social within the app. This will make it obvious to users to share with others. Path app allows users to share photographs on social networks and Draw Something makes sure you rope in a friend or more.
You can also contact admins of related Facebook pages. Look for pages with 100k+ likes and reach out to their admins. Make sure these pages have something to do with the niche of your app.
People nowadays tend to receive the message much more easily in form of picture or sound than that in words. So start to think of creating some creative, funny, thought-provoking short clips that contain stories that your potential customers find useful and can be identified with. A six-second how-to series on the popular Vine is not a bad idea. Don’t forget to put hashtags so your videos can be the top trending and involve more viewers. Taking cues from Snapchat and Path is another good choice.
You can also try to publish a podcast on iTunes, or your own website, or Dubbler – a 60-second audio social network. Draw content from the niche your app caters to most.
People love a good story behind a product, and app users are no exception. It even develops an emotional attachment. This concept is especially useful for games. Even with non-gaming apps, you need an inspiring story that makes people go for it. Use a unique concept, characters and story that anyone could be a fan of. Once they get lost in the world you created, they likely to turn into your loyal customers. Make sure to share the story everywhere including your website, or in the app’s description page.
When launching your app, offer it for free. There is no point in creating another barrier to download. Price your app but present the free download as a launch promotion. If your app is a pay-to-download one, consider a promotional pricing during the launch time. This price point encourages impulse purchases.
A powerful, effective and cheap tool for acquiring new users, yet so undervalued. One of the reasons why social games get many engagements is the fact they smoothly implemented the invite functionality. Assuming you have a useful app or great game there is a chance that satisfied users will spread a word about it. Word-of-mouth marketing is more powerful than you think. And now it grows its wings by the growth of social media tools. It is always good to add some social functionality to your app if possible using Facebook, Twitter or SMS. A great example could be the InstaWeather app which allows you to invite other people directly and share your check-ins and photos among each other.
The best thing in business is contacts. Know your audience and manually find them is not a bad practice. First, get speaking opportunities. Conferences are the best place to start. Research events that touch on the topic your app addresses and visit such events to meet new people and discuss. Join a group of game developers heading to a bar in the evening and grab some drinks with them. You will find it is totally worth.