15 ways to promote your app for free

Nightborn - 15 ways to promote your app for free

Once your application is finished you are proud. The application is the product resulting from understanding your audience and providing efficient solutions for their problems. However, the story does not end there.

After the application is ready for use, your audience needs to know about its existence. This means promoting your application.  This process might require a lot of resources. There are however additional ways to promote your app which are free. You might or might not know about them yet. The next paragraphs will inform you about the possibilities of promoting your app for free.

Promoting your app for free will only cost you time and we are confident that if you follow our tips you will get a significant increase in the number of followers and downloads.

1. Create a website or landing page

If the app is related to your existing business, you could dedicate a whole page to the app on your website or include it in a section on your website to improve awareness.

If you decide to create a unique landing page about the app you should mention the problems to which your app is a solution, the features & benefits of the app, and clearly explain how to properly use the app. You could also include some customer experiences with your app to confirm its utility. Never forget to include the download link, in the end, you want visitors to download your app.

Creating a landing page is definitely a must in order to kickstart your mobile app marketing that will increase your visibility through search engines.

2. Write and get featured in blogs

Include your app in one or multiple relevant blog posts. This is basically free exposure. You can also dedicate an entire blog to your app. Make sure to include a call to action with a download link so readers can easily download the app.

When you decide to write an entire blog about the app, make sure the origin and purpose of the app are highlighted. Try to make use of quality images and/or videos to give the reader a better understanding of your app and a smoother reading experience.

It is also very useful if your app is included in other blogs your target audience would read. Try to find quality blogs that are relevant to your niche and try to ask the industry experts if they would be interested in writing about your app. Your app will increase in visibility through the blog itself and the website due to the increase from the backlinks to your website.

3. Send emails and newsletters

If your app is related to an existing business, and you already have a mailing list, then use it to reach your customers via emails and newsletters.

This is an opportunity to promote your app by reaching out to your customers, even before launching your application. Create an announcement newsletter and include the app description, explain its features, and how it could benefit customers. Of course, don't forget to add a call to action to invite customers to download the app.

Also, make sure to include the button "I want to receive more news about the app" within your application in order to have the possibility to grow your contact base for your new app.

Use emails to ask for their feedback regarding the project. Asking for feedback can result in the discovery of flaws, customer needs you didn’t think through, and their expectations. Not only is their feedback valuable information, but feedback also involves your audience with the creation of the app.

4. Optimize your visibility in the App stores

Before a user hits enter after typing a keyword to search for an app, he can see 5 suggested apps based on that keyword. These results are not random. They are shown because of their App Store Optimization which is related to the entered keyword. This is called the ASO. To optimally make use of ASO you could investigate and analyze the most relevant keywords for your app as well as which keywords your app is responding to at the moment. It is imperative your app is displayed at the top of the searches since there is a lot of competition.

5. Publish your app on alternative App stores

You could also consider releasing your app to alternative app stores to improve visibility resulting in more downloads for your app. Some examples are Amazon Appstore, Opera Mobile Store, and Appbrain.

6. Share feature within your app

Include share options within your app so that users can share their content with others. This increases the app’s exposure. This app exposure results in an increase in downloads for your app.

7. Promote within existing apps

When you have multiple apps already you could promote your new app through these existing apps. It is recommended to only promote the new app through relevant existing apps to increase engagement with the app users. You could also give your users a “benefit” if they download the new app to increase engagement even more. This benefit can be a free upgrade, new features, or a trial for a higher value option of the new app.

8. Be active on social media

If you have active social media accounts you can write a post regarding the app as well. Interacting with the comment section of said posts is always a good idea to improve engagement. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from your followers. 

If you really want to build a community around your app you could create a unique page dedicated to your app. In this environment, your audience can discuss, leave feedback, and share ideas regarding your app. This way you really create a community around your app. Make sure to regularly check this page and engage with your followers to optimize engagement.

You could also use the name of your app as a hashtag, and promote it on your social media accounts. If your app hits the trending pages it will be exposed to an even greater audience.

9. Join relevant groups

By joining groups on social media & other platforms, you get to connect with potential customers and increase your network. You could include your own post with the subject of the app asking for feedback. By doing this you get to improve your network and receive valuable feedback and ideas, kill two birds with one stone.

10. People love videos, so make one

Demo videos can also prove useful to include on your website, and post on your social media accounts. Demos offer visual experience and help viewers understand what it’s all about. You can also include a promo video on your website and social media accounts.

11. Be active on forums

In case your app is aimed at a niche market you could make use of forums. By becoming an active participant on a forum with the subject of your niche you could put the link of your app in your signature. This leads to exposure each time you post on said forum.

12. Ask for reviews and feedback

Include the possibility to send feedback within your app. This results in a lower threshold for the user to send feedback since the feedback option is rapidly available. Also, try to stimulate users to leave a review of the app in the app store itself. These reviews can increase your position in searches and ranking.

A happy user is a user who will refer your app to his friends and relatives.

13. Get featured in the press, podcasts, and everywhere else you can

Try to get featured on several platforms. You could, for instance, try to get featured as a guest speaker on podcasts relevant to your target audience.

Another possibility is to get featured on app review sites. One example is Product Hunt. It is important to convince the owners of the app reviewing site with a well-prepared pitch.

There’s also the option to cross-promote apps. The best-case scenario is when the other app is complementary to yours. This increases relevance for both audiences.

14. Partner with influencers

Try to give influencers the benefits of your app for free. If they use the app and like it, they could decide to write a positive post/review about your app. Choose your influencers wisely by screening their relevance and target audience in comparison to your target audience.

15. Submit your app to award competitions

You could enter an award competition for apps to increase exposure. If you win you will also gain more credibility. Along with these advantages, you could get more reviews and maybe even some press coverage.

Here are a few award competitions you could consider entering:

In conclusion

There are numerous methods for promoting your app. This doesn't necessarily mean you need a large budget. There are plenty of free promotional methods you could use as shown in this blog. It is definitely worth considering implementing one or multiple ways of free promotion.

Note that most of these promotional methods also involve customer feedback which can be very valuable both for your product development and your customer engagement.

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Lennert Vermeir

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