MOBILE APP MARKETING PLAYBOOK: 36 Tactics to Promote Your Mobile App

by Sujan Patel

An analysis of desktop, mobile, and app data by app commerce company poq found that
app users “are the most enthusiastic digital shoppers.”

Specifically, it found that the average mobile app shopper generates 2.6x more revenue than those shopping on a mobile website, and 1.5x more than those shopping on desktop.

This raises an important question:

Does your business ​need ​a mobile app, or will a mobile-optimized website suffice?
And if you ​do need a mobile app, how do you market it effectively to ensure the right people know about it, download it, and use it?

According to stats reported in June 2016, there are 2 million apps in the Apple app store and 2.2 million in the Android store. In January of 2016, 618 new apps were submitted to the Apple store each and every day.

That means huge competition for consumers’ attention, both before and after they download your app.

In this playbook we’re going to teach you 32 tactics that you can use as part of a strategy for marketing your mobile app. We’ll give you the low-down on how to get started, and provide links to expert articles with more information.

1

Create an app that’s actually useful

This might sound obvious, but it’s not uncommon for businesses to get carried away with the idea of creating an app. They then design one for the sake of it, rather than because their customers actually need it, or because it brings something new or useful to the table.

Google’s Growth Marketing Manager Bethany Poole found this out when they were developing Primer – “an app that teaches marketing strategies in fewer than five minutes.”

Describing the process, Poole said:

“Sometimes the newest and shiniest things are also the most blinding. We like them because they get a lot of buzz, impress award show judges, and make our brand (and us as marketers) seem trendy and relevant. But there's an inherent danger to all this. While we might be creating a "cool" app, we're not necessarily offering a valuable solution for users. So even if the product is slick and well-designed and gets a lot of downloads at first, it could be old news two weeks later.”

The lesson here is that while we know 90% of mobile internet use takes place via an app, you shouldn’t create an app purely for the sake of joining that trend.

When a consumer uses an app instead of a mobile site, it’s generally because the app offers a better user experience than its mobile browser equivalent, or because that product or service is only available as an app. If you’re unable to offer anything with a mobile app that you can’t offer through a mobile-optimized website, invest your time and resources into ensuring your mobile browser experience is the best it can possibly be, instead.

2

Start early

Don’t wait until your app is ready to launch before devising your strategy and beginning to market it. Aim to have a minimum three-month plan ready for launch day, and start building momentum a month or so ahead of time. You should also ensure that:

  • You have access to the cash needed to cover costs.

  • You have the resources and skills in-house to execute tasks on time and up to standards.

  • You have properly prepped staff as to what’s expected of them and when.

3

Build a microsite

“Microsites are an important asset for marketing any mobile application for the simple fact of it gives you a place to easily direct people to find out more information about your app. It also provides a way for you to share images, screen shots, videos, and text that the app stores may not allow.”

- Accella

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the concept, a microsite is, as the name suggests, a “mini-website.” They usually consist of just a few pages, but could be made up of as little as a single page.

A microsite generally has some relation to another site while usually living on an entirely separate domain. That said, sometimes microsites can live on a subdomain, or even in a subfolder of the main site.

Let’s see an example.

Urwhatyoupost.com is a microsite from Bolthouse Farms designed to raise awareness of how our browsing habits affect what we eat.

It’s simple, attractive, informative, and impactful.

For an example of a quality microsite designed to promote an app, check out Hy, an app designed to help us track how much water we’re drinking.

With a single landing page, the microsite tells users everything they need to know about the app (i.e. what it does, how much it costs, what platforms it’s available on, and how to get it) as well as why a consumer should want it.

4

Add a blog to your microsite

Use it to create relevant, keyword-driven content that captures the attention of your audience and sends targeted traffic to your site.

When performing keyword research for blog posts, you need to look beyond tools that are focused on short-tail buying keywords, like those generally favored in Google’s Keyword Planner.

5

Pitch your app to reporters

“Press can really help you get in front of potential users, and help you stay top of mind if you get sustained coverage.”

- App Entrepreneurs Association

Targeting the press is tough – period. It gets a whole lot easier, however, if you know about this single industry secret:

Reporters will listen to you if, and only if, you offer them something they actually want to talk about.

Has your small business that no one has ever heard of hired a new staff member? Have you moved to new, bigger offices? Are you celebrating your company’s 10th birthday?

That’s not newsworthy.

If you’re launching an app that’s simply an extension of your website, the same is probably true. If, however, you’re launching an app that does something unique and useful that is set to change users’ lives in some way, that is newsworthy. If you have glowing user testimonials and stats that show large numbers of people are using your app, and using it regularly, that’s even more true. Without these things, approaching the press just isn’t worth it.

If you genuinely think you’re in a position to reach out to the media, the process should go something like this:

  • 1Find the right reporters at the right publications to reach out to. Avoid submissions@ email addresses, and definitely don’t just email the first contact you find.

  • 2Send personalized emails that highlight the most interesting snippets of information that are going to capture a reporter’s attention.

  • 3Wrap up with a call to action to contact you if they want to learn more.

  • 4Send a polite follow-up a few days later.

6

Connect with influencers

This is similar to the strategy above, except your focus is on connecting with influencers who either:

  • Create content for your industry.

  • Create content around apps in general.

Chances are you’re going to want to find influencers with a presence in one of two places:

  • On their own blog.

  • On YouTube.

You’ll reach out to them in a similar(ish) manner to how you’d reach out to a journalist. That said, you can afford to be friendlier and more casual with influencers (not that you shouldn’t be friendly to journalists).

There’s a good chance influencers don’t receive as many pitches as journalists and that they’re more open to building long-term relationships with people who share their interests.

Your goal here is to get the influencer to try out your app. If it’s paid, offer them free access for life. Explain why they should try using it and what they stand to gain from it, and let them know what you’re willing to offer if they want to feature it. This might mean:

  • Completing an interview over email.

  • Appearing on a podcast to talk about your app.

  • Appearing in a video interview.

  • Offering them x free downloads of your app to give away as prizes.

Alternatively, you can pay influencers for their time and the exposure they give you. In fact, in some cases, you might not have a choice – for many influencers, this is their full-time job.

Sites like Famebit and revfluence are great if you want to streamline and scale the process of matching up with influencers.

“I believe it’s very hard to scale influencer marketing without using the platforms. They’ve collected tens of thousands of influencers from around the web, and from many different countries, not just the U.S. It’s also much easier for the blogger and for the marketer to manage all partnerships in one place.”

- Sergei Gusev, Scentbird

However, smaller companies with smaller budgets to play with can still cut out the middleman (and some of the expense) by contacting influencers directly.

7

Target app review sites

Another tactic in the same vein as the two above, this one entails targeting sites that specialize in reviewing apps in the hopes of getting them to review your app, too.

You might think that the fact that these sites exist to review apps means getting on there is easy. Sure, you’re going to have an easier time getting noticed there than you will targeting the tier-one media, but there are still a number of best practices that it pays to follow.

In June 2015, the International Business Times reported that the Apple App Store was growing by 1000 apps per day. Even the biggest review sites can’t – and won’t – want to review them all, so you need to stand out.

Most app review sites are looking to try out and feature apps that:

  • Look good.

  • Offer something unique and useful.

  • Are glitch-free (or close enough).

When you contact one of these sites, they will also expect you to provide them with certain pieces of information:

  • A short description of your app and what makes it special.

  • Screenshots and other complementary content like demo videos.

  • A link to your app in the app store.

  • A code that can be used to download the app for free (unless it’s already free).

8

Apply for app awards

Submitting your app to awards is an easy way to gain feedback and exposure – especially if you win!

Just be aware that with many industry awards, some require payment for submissions, while others will ask that if you’re nominated as a finalist, you pay for seats or a table at an awards ceremony.

9

Apply for app awards

Velocity can play a huge part in an app’s success. The more people download your app, the more people start talking about it. As more people start talking about it, more people download it. All being well and good, this is going to start a cycle that continues until you’ve saturated your market.

Don’t leverage one marketing tactic at a time. Combine your efforts to ensure the word about your app is reaching as many people in as many places as possible – especially around launch.

I advise launching on Product Hunt. It’s widely regarded as “the place to launch a tech product” and can supercharge your success if you know how to get to the top of the site.

10

Optimize your app properly for the app store

Like search engine optimization, app store optimization is the process of optimizing your app in order to boost its position in the app store, the visibility it gets, and the number of people that view your listing and ultimately go on to download the app.

While the exact strategy you need to employ differs for each app store, the general process includes:

  • Using keywords in the title of your app.

  • Using keywords in your app description.

  • Writing a compelling description that entices users to click.

  • Designing an eye-catching icon.

  • Including screenshots and videos.

11

Utilize deep links

A deep link is a link that goes to any page of a site other than the homepage, or in this case, a page within an app.

Used correctly, they can help increase conversions by ensuring users get taken to the most relevant section of an app, instead of its homepage.

Pinterest does this. If you’re browsing its mobile site but have the app installed, deep linking means you can be taken directly to the same page on the app that you were looking at on the site.

Users that don’t have the app installed will be asked if they’d like to download it. If they do download it, deep linking ensures that the user enjoys a seamless experience between using the website and downloading and using the app.

This is great both for increasing downloads, and boosting user retention.

12

Leverage app analytics

No self-respecting internet marketer would make key decisions without exploiting some sort of web analytics tool (appsee, Localytics, and Mixpanel are all good choices). Why should app marketing be any different?

“Knowing how many people download your app, how much money you’re making, or what users think of your app is important. But it’s definitely not the only thing you should be tracking. That’s where app analytics tools are vital.”

- Sylvain Gauchet, Apptamin

Chances are, your users aren’t using your app in quite the way you think they are. You might be wrong about:

  • Which sections of the app users favor most.

  • At what times your app is most used.

  • Who’s using your app.

These are all things app analytics can help you understand so you can make more informed decisions about how to market your app and to whom.

13

Promote your app on AdWords

If you have the budget to spare to pay for online advertising, there are lots of ways to promote your app using AdWords.

  • A short description of your app and what makes it special.

  • Screenshots and other complementary content like demo videos.

  • A link to your app in the app store.

  • A code that can be used to download the app for free (unless it’s already free).

To begin, you’ll want to click the red + CAMPAIGN button and select either “Search Network only,” “Display Network only,” or “Universal app campaign.”

That said, it doesn’t actually matter which of these you select because you can change your choice from within the ad setup page.

If you choose “Search Network only,” you will see the button you need to create an app install campaign on the right.

Alternatively, if you choose “Display Network only,” you need to tick the box marked “Install your mobile app.” It’s located in the green “Drive action” box.

14

Use AdMob to promote your app within other apps

AdMob is an app-specific advertising platform that allows you to monetize your app by displaying ads from Google’s advertising network.

Of course, that also means you can leverage it to promote your own app by marketing it to engaged users of other apps.

In addition to this, AdMob gets you access to Firebase, an app analytics solution designed to help you grow your user base and earn more money.

15

Use social advertising platforms to market your app
to consumers with relevant interests

“Social media has established itself as one of the most effective and economical platforms for developers trying to promote their apps to a wide audience.”

- The App Maker Blog

Both Facebook and Twitter now offer ad types designed specifically to promote mobile apps.

On Facebook Ads you’ll need to select the “Get Installs of Your App” ad type.

On Twitter select “App installs or re-engagements.”

You can also use Facebook’s advertising platform to circulate ads on Instagram, even if you don’t have an Instagram account. Just select “Instagram” in the “Ad Preview” section of ad setup.

16

Mention your app in blog comments

This is a technique I’ve utilized myself and wrote about last year. My post didn’t talk about leveraging blog comments to market apps specifically, but there’s no reason this technique couldn’t be used for that purpose.

I used blog comments as part of my marketing strategy for contentmarketer.io. The results were pretty impressive:

“After approximately 20 hours work, my blog commenting resulted in 2,494 visitors and 513 new trials of the tool – in other words, some pretty strong leads.”

As explained in my post, success with this technique is dependent on the use of a number of best practices:

  • Choose relevant, but not competing, content to comment on.

  • Comment on sites with active communities of commenters.

  • Be useful – add something genuinely helpful to the conversation. In other words: don’t spam.

17

Guest blog

This strategy works in a similar fashion to the one above in that it can be used to promote pretty much anything you like.

The process involved in landing a guest post is the same, whether you’re looking to promote your startup, grow your online community, or increase exposure of your app.

  • 1Identify relevant, respectable sites in your niche that you’d be proud to be featured on.

  • 2Check around the site to see if they have specific instructions for guest contributors.

  • 3Find the best person at that site to contact (unless given specific instructions in guest contributor guidelines).

  • 4Send a polite and friendly email that explains what you’d like to do, provide links to examples that show why you’re qualified, and suggest one or two potential topics that you’d like to cover.

In terms of topics, you have one of two choices:

  • Write about the problem your app solves (if you choose this route, avoid turning the post into a sales pitch – it’s unlikely to be accepted by the site in question).

  • Write about a general topic in your area of expertise, leaving any mention of the app to your author byline.

18

Give out swag

This is another marketing technique that can be used to promote pretty much anything. That said, you’re going to have more luck if you’re promoting something “fun” that’s also visually appealing. It’s also important that visual appeal is retained on the swag you choose to hand out.

The HubSpot merchandise pictured below illustrates this well: the bright brand colors lend themselves perfectly to summer swag like flip flops and sunglasses.

Bonus points if the swag you give out is actually useful, and relevant in some way to what you’re trying to promote.

19

Add your app to alternative app stores

While most consumers flock to their device’s official store when they want to download an app, Android and Apple are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to stores to search and download mobile applications from. There are actually a lot of “independent” alternatives, if you know where to look.

Add your app to these and downloads are bound to increase. Sure, there are fewer consumers visiting these stores, but there’s also less competition for their attention.

Here are a few to get you started:

20

Go offline

Just because you’re marketing a mobile application doesn’t mean you have to promote it exclusively online.

If you run a brick-and-mortar store, advertise your app there. Hand out flyers with purchases, stick posters to the walls, and include details on receipts.

You also might want to try incorporating QR codes into your offline marketing. Add them to any marketing materials you use offline to make it as easy as possible for customers to find and download your app.

“If you run a brick and mortar business, the best way to drive ongoing app downloads is to leverage your foot traffic.

By placing a QR code, or even just a sticker for the Google Play Store and App Store in your window, you’re informing your customers that you have a mobile app.”

- Umar Khan, Buildfire

21

Join and contribute to online communities

If you already have a presence in online communities, your task should be to pick out posts that discuss pain points your app can help solve. Next, you’ll want to contribute a genuinely helpful post that includes a link to your app and a line or two that explains why the OP (original poster) might find it useful.

If you don’t already have a presence in one or two relevant industry communities, now’s your time to start. This could include (but isn’t limited to):

  • LinkedIn groups

  • Facebook groups

  • Reddit

  • Forums

Once you’ve joined the community, you need to make a name for yourself by contributing useful content and engaging with other members. Do not go in and promote your app right away. It’s almost always obvious when someone is in the group purely to promote something and it will almost always get you banned.

When you’ve demonstrated that you’re not there just to spam – that you have genuinely useful insights to contribute – then you can follow the instructions just above.

22

Get featured on an “app of the day” site

Sites like app of the day and appgratis give away one paid app for free, per day. This is a great way to boost exposure of your app and get more reviews under your belt without devaluing it by lowering the price or removing the download cost entirely.

More Sites

23

Mine reviews

Review mining is the process of monitoring and assessing reviews for negative customer feedback. Initially this can be carried out simply by reading reviews.

Itunes has made this process especially easy by allowing you to organize reviews by “Most Critical,” as seen below.

As the volume of reviews and the scale at which this technique needs to be executed increases, tools like Appbot can automate sentiment analysis and group reviews together accordingly. This can help you identify which issues are being reported most frequently, and allows you to separate reviews that highlight genuine problems from those that are simply users venting.

You can also mine competitors’ reviews. This is particularly useful during app development – use it to get a leg up on the competition by designing an app that’s free of the issues that afflict the apps you’re going to be up against.

24

Leverage app analytics

If your app doesn’t offer something unique enough to gain coverage based on its existence alone (or even if it does) you can secure mentions in the press by offering yourself as a source of knowledge and expertise.

"I wanna know what you think about other topics we might be interested in. It’s important to be well-rounded.”

- Matt Rosoff, Executive Editor of Business Insider,
speaking to The Guardian

To do this, you can:

  • Subscribe to HARO updates and respond to relevant requests for sources.

  • Follow writers in your industry, get to know what they write about, and approach them personally to ask what stories they have coming up and let them know that if possible, you’d love to help them out.

  • Hard copy magazines plan their stories months in advance. They usually publish this plan in an editorial calendar. You might be able to find this on their website; if not, send an email to the editor and ask if they can send it to you. From there, look for stories you might be able to contribute to and contact the writers responsible for creating them.

25

Run a contest

Contests can be leveraged to promote pretty much anything – mobile apps are no exception.

The simplest way to use contests as a marketing tool is to ask for a social share of whatever it is you want to promote as the route to entry.

You can do this really easily with a tool like rafflecopter.

Of course, the prize is important too.

If your app is premium (i.e. costs money to download), it makes sense to give away free downloads. Unfortunately, that solution is going to limit the number of entries you receive.

For maximum exposure, you’re going to need to up the value of the prize you offer. Ideally, try to choose a prize that’s as closely related to the interests of your target audience as possible. This means you’re getting your app in front of the right people: people who might have a genuine interest in using it.

26

Talk to your app users

This is especially crucial during the initial stages of promotion. Talking to the people who are actually using your app can help you identify and troubleshoot problems with usability or functionality, all while increasing user retention.

“Talking to your users is one of the most valuable things you can do with your time. It sounds crazy, but talking to users happens less than it should. It’s either ignored from the outset, or first on the chopping block when the business focuses on becoming ‘more efficient.’ Live chat, messaging, user feedback. They all get dismissed because responding to real customers ‘isn’t scalable.’”

- Segment

To talk to your app users, you can try:

  • Automating emails that ask for users’ thoughts on the app following their first use.

  • Utilizing push notifications that ask for users to review you, or to engage with you on social media.

  • Actually talk to users that engage with you on social media.

  • Use a tool like LiveDive that lets you audio or video call with users while they use your app.

27

Leverage referrals

Allow users to download your app for free in exchange for referring you to a new, potential user.

If your app’s already free, implement a similar system that allows users to earn in-app points, purchases, or upgrades in exchange for referrals (if anything, this system is even better since you can configure it to allow users to send multiple referrals).

28

Create a community

Utilize Facebook or LinkedIn groups, platforms like Slack, or forums, to create a community of people that share similar interests in your industry. You could even start a Meetup group to connect with like-minded people who could potentially become customers and app users.

That said, your community doesn’t need to have the “formalities” of a Facebook group or a forum. A hashtag that’s tied to your app can serve a similar purpose.

To create a community around their startup, Nomad List utilized Slack. It was so successful that the team couldn’t keep up with the number of sign ups; within 24 hours, they had more than 300 members and in excess of 5000 messages had been sent.

29

Encourage customers to leave reviews

Good reviews don’t only help entice consumers to download your app; having lots of good reviews in app stores plays an important role in app store optimization, and contributes to how prominently you will appear to the store’s users.

To get more reviews for your app, you can try:

  • Utilizing in-app notifications that ask users to review the app while they’re using it. Beware, however, that this is pretty poor for UX; especially if you ask too soon, or too often. Give users time to become acquainted with the app before asking for a review, and if a user clicks “no,” don’t ask them every time they open the app.

  • Automating emails to regular users of your app.

  • Incentivizing reviews by offering in-app rewards.

30

Create a demo video

A demo video can help you show your app in action. Do it well and it can play a significant role in driving downloads.

Tools like Placeit allow you to film your app in action and make it really easy to turn the results into a demo video.

Needless to say you should include these videos on your app microsite (if you have one) but you can now include demo videos in both the Android and Apple app stores, too.

31

Include app download links on your website

I’m assuming for this one that you run a business or other website alongside your app. If not,
you can skip to the next tactic.

Including links on your website to where your app can be downloaded is an easy way to increase exposure of your app, and if your visitors land on your site via a mobile device, an easy way to increase downloads.

Your gameplan here could be as simple as including links within icons like these:

But alone they’re going to be very ineffective at driving conversions.

Instead, these icons should be accompanied by a snippet of information: what’s your app about and why should somebody download it?

Alternatively, do this...

32

Add a text to download form on your website

Link any mentions of your app on your website to this page. That said, an app landing page serves a far more important purpose than simply being a page to link out to app stores from.

Designing a purpose-built landing page for your app gives you a chance to provide visitors with information that’s going to entice them to click those icons pictured above, visit the app store in question, and hopefully, download your app.

You might wonder if you need to have a landing page for your app on your main site if you also have a microsite dedicated to your app. My answer would be yes.

You don’t want to drive visitors away from your site for the sake of finding out more about your app. If they’re interested enough that they’re visiting an app store with a view to downloading it, then fine, but if they just want to find out more? Keep them on your site.

33

Create a landing page on your site for your app

A text to download form helps convert potential customers that find you on an incompatible device – usually a desktop device – into app users.

This is important. Without an easy route to download, converting visitors that are interested in your app but aren’t currently in a position to download it is tough.

Text to download forms help you get around this.

The concept is simple. The customer enters their phone number into the form, and a text is automatically fired off to their mobile device with a link to where the app can be downloaded.

Here’s an example of one of these forms on the microsite for group messaging app GroupMe.

We’ve made it really easy to implement text to download forms on your site at LinkTexting. Head back to the homepage to get started.

34

Include your app in your email signature

It makes sense to include details of your app in all your marketing materials, as well as any other collateral you have control of – business cards and social profiles, for example.

More Info

35

Give existing users reasons to keep coming back

Getting people to download and use your app for the first time is only half the battle. It’s also essentially a waste of time and effort unless you’re also taking steps to retain those users.

In short: ensuring that the people who download your app come back to it – and come back to it regularly – is critical.

“If an app is opened only once in 7 days, there is a 60% chance it will never be opened again.”

- Dan Kosir, Clearbridge

To boost retention rates, you can:

Provide a seamless “onboarding experience.”

Make it as easy as possible to start using the app, and understand how to get the best out of it. Don’t make users jump through hoops to sign up and sign in, or overload new users with information. Ensure they are taught how to use the app as they go along, but try to avoid a situation in which the user thinks they’re not getting the best from the app until they understand it fully.

Utilize push notifications.

These are messages that appear on the user’s device while they are outside of the app, and are designed to entice them to come back (for example, with an offer, or by reminding them of something they need to accomplish within the app). Personalizing these push notifications can boost their effectiveness even further.

Update your app regularly.

Add content that existing users will want to come back to consume.

Ask for, and listen to feedback.

Find out what it is that your users like that makes them return, and more importantly, what’s stopping other users from coming back. Pay attention to what they say, and adjust your app accordingly.

36

Hire an app marketing agency

This isn’t something everyone’s going to want to try – its value and effectiveness will largely depend on your budget, as well as the skills, knowledge, and resources you have in-house.

Still, many businesses will find they get the best results by handing the reins over to a company that specializes in the art of marketing mobile applications.

“Achieving optimal campaign results through a trial and error of media buying can be a tedious process that consumes both time and money. Turning to an agency to do the media buying for you is beneficial for two major reasons – purchasing power and experience.”

- Moburst

Key Takeaways

  • 1Create an app that’s actually useful. Don’t create an app for the sake of it. Design something that’s going to improve your existing users’ experience, or that will change new users’ lives in some way.

  • 2Start early. Ensure you have a three-month marketing strategy ready for launch day, and begin creating excitement around your app a month or so before then.

  • 3Build a microsite that sells the features and benefits of your app, links through to where the app can be downloaded, and is suitably optimized to help it rank in the search results.

  • 4Add a blog to your microsite and update it with relevant, interesting, keyword-driven content that can rank in the SERPs and help increase traffic to the site further.

  • 5Pitch your app to reporters if your app is unique or life-changing enough to be newsworthy.

  • 6Connect with influencers. Encourage them to try out your app and feature it on their site or within other content they create.

  • 7Target app review sites and make sure to provide them with all the information and media they need to write and publish a review, should they choose to.

  • 8Apply for app awards. Even being shortlisted is great exposure.

  • 9Aim to create a viral loop. The more people that download your app, the more people will be talking about it. The more people are talking about it, the more people will download it… Velocity plays a huge part in an app’s success.

  • 10Optimize your app properly for the app store. This means:
    • Using keywords in the title of your app and in your description.

    • Writing a compelling description that entices users to click.

    • Designing an attractive icon.

    • Including screenshots and videos.

  • 11Utilize deep links that take mobile web users directly to the most relevant section of your app.

  • 12Leverage app analytics to understand how people are using your app and make changes in line with what you learn.

  • 13Promote your app on AdWords by choosing ad campaigns designed specifically to drive app installs.

  • 14Use AdMob to promote your app within other apps. Flip this around and advertise your app within other apps.

  • 15Use social advertising platforms to market your app to consumers with relevant interests. Facebook and Twitter now both offer ad types designed specifically to promote apps and drive downloads.

  • 16Mention your app in blog comments. Choose relevant blog posts with active commenting sections and contribute something genuinely useful, alongside a mention of your app.

  • 17Guest blog. Approach quality, relevant sites that you’d be proud to be featured on and pitch them a topic you know you can do justice.

  • 18Give out swag. Just ensure that it looks good. Bonus points for offering genuinely useful swag that’s related to what you’re trying to promote.

  • 20Go offline and utilize flyers, posters, or receipts. Use QR codes to ensure it’s really easy for people to find and download your app.

  • 21Join and contribute to online communities. Just make sure not to promote yourself right away. Prove that you’re a valuable member of the community before you mention anything you have a financial interest in.

  • 22Get featured on an “app of the day” site that will give your app away for free, for one day.

  • 23Mine reviews to understand what problems users are having with your app, and which problems need addressing most urgently.

  • 24Become a source for reporters. Use HARO or reach out to reporters directly to let them know who you are, and how you’re able to help them.

  • 25Run a contest and ask people to share details of your app in exchange for entry into it.

  • 26Talk to your app users and find out what they really think. This is especially important in the early stages of marketing your app and driving downloads.

  • 27Leverage referrals. Offer free downloads or in-app purchases, points, or upgrades in exchange for a referral to a new potential customer.

  • 28Create a community to build relationships with like-minded people in your industry who might also have an interest in downloading your app.

  • 29Encourage customers to leave reviews by utilizing in-app notifications or automating email campaigns.

  • 30Create a demo video that shows your app in action.

  • 31Include app download links on your website that lead to wherever the app can be bought or downloaded.

  • 32Create a landing page on your site for your app that you can link through to whenever you mention your app on your website or blog.

  • 33Add a text to download form on your website using LinkTexting. This allows visitors to receive a link to your app in a text, so they can download it whenever it’s convenient for them.

  • 34Include your app in your email signature alongside information like your web address, phone number, and social profiles.

  • 35Give existing users a reason to come back. Constantly fighting to gain new users is a waste of time if you’re not also implementing tactics to retain existing users.

  • 36Hire an app marketing agency and let them do the hard work for you.

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