Marketing is a crucial part of any product or service, especially when it's launching. Sitting down and waiting for traffic is slow, boring, and counter-productive. The usual gripe with marketing is that it costs money. But it doesn't have to, when you know how to promote a mobile app for free.
After working hard and spending countless hours developing a mobile app, you upload it to all the popular app stores, and then you sit back and wait for the traffic and the revenue, right?
Even if the app store has your app in their directory, count on progress to be slow. You're not going to see the results you hope for if you don't go the extra mile. It doesn't end at completing the last line of code.
You need to market your app. Ideally, you have to do it before the app launches, during app development, and even after it's already on the app store.
How to Promote a Mobile App for Free
It's no secret that marketing costs money. But the good news is you're not required to dish out cash if you can find more practical and creative ways to promote a mobile app for free.
It will take a certain degree of persistence and skill, but when you reach the threshold, you'll see gates fly open and steady traffic comes pouring in.
So let's take a look at ways to promote a mobile for free and explode your downloads.
#1 App Store Optimization
There are over 2 million mobile apps in the biggest app stores you know. So getting your app discovered is actually one of the biggest and toughest issues that you'll be facing. And 63% of apps are discovered through the app store searches.
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing a mobile app so it ranks higher in an app store's search results. The higher your rank is, the more visible you are to your potential users. Increased visibility equals more traffic and eventually, more downloads.
Main factors that affect your ASO are:
- Title: Keywords need to be in the title, and it should be the one with the heaviest search traffic. So spend time researching which keyword that would be.
- Keywords: To improve the search rankings, you need to know which keywords are relevant and most often used by your target audience. It's also helpful to monitor your competitors to see how you're comparing with them from one week to the next.
Secondary factors that affect ASO:
- Ratings and reviews: This is important but it's difficult to control. However, you can offer incentives to users in exchange for a rating and a review.
- Total number of downloads: You don't have complete control over these either. That's why it's recommended to focus on app titles and keywords. Because as you get more downloads over time, word of your app can easily spread through word-of-mouth.
#2 Social media hashtag promotions
You want to promote a mobile app for free? There's no better channel to turn to than social media platforms, because that's where everyone is nowadays.
Use the name of your app as a hashtag, and start promoting it across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or even LinkedIn. It all depends on what kind of mobile app you've produced. Do it properly and you can wind up getting some traction.
Some popular ways that you can do this, include:
- Involvement in Facebook groups: Yes, Facebook is flooded with advertisements nowadays. But you can use Facebook groups to get the word out about your app for free. Join groups that are related to what your mobile app is offering, participate in discussions, and when you get the familiarity and notoriety, generate discussion about your app. You can ask for constructive feedback as well.
- Twitter promotion: Lots of people are on Twitter. Use it to tweet and generate brand hashtags for your mobile app. Don't forget to use hashtags that cater to what your app is all about too.
- Joining forums: Reddit, in particular, is a great place to find a forum where your mobile app belongs. Of course, it's not okay to spam a forum or just blatantly link to your app. Members of the discussion group will notice and maybe even kick you out. Establish authority first, and implement some sneaky Reddit marketing if you have to.
#3 Distribute a press release
Issuing a press release to news media outlets and journalists can be a great way to generate buzz for your mobile app. But that's not exactly what I mean when I say "issue a press release for your mobile app."
Unless you have an app that makes breakthroughs to how humans live their daily lives, then it's fair to say that most apps won't receive feature in titanic news media outlets, unless you're pitching your press release to a hyper-focused tech-centered outlet, like Vox or TechCrunch or Mashable.
Instead, explore press release distribution sites. Most of them also have a media contact list for press releases. These services take care of distributing your press release for you. Others charge a small fee, and some do it for free.
#4 Blog about your mobile app
One of the easiest ways to generate buzz about your app is to simply write about it and distribute it across your newsletter, if your website has one. Plus, there are also plenty of article directories online that accept unique submissions. All that's required of you is to write a compelling article.
#5 Encourage feedback while building your community
Offer your app users incentives to leave you feedback. And on top of that, interact with your app users often and as permissible. Don't ignore their concerns. If they spot something wrong, take measures to fix the problems quickly.
A very good example of developer-app-user relationships is Bitlife. Their dev team is responsive and communicates frequently with the millions of people who play their mobile app game.
If they can manage it, then you definitely can too. This is what goes into building a community that shares ideas and interacts frequently.