12 Creative Ways to Promote Your App for Free

12 Creative Ways to Promote Your App for Free


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Most people think that successful mobile apps get magically downloaded millions of times within days of launching. Think again!

Just like any other business, website, or idea, you need to have a solid marketing plan to promote your awesome new mobile app if you want it to be downloaded. Android phones currently rank first in terms of smartphone operating systems and cover more than half the smartphones numbers around the world. So building apps for the Android phones is a safe bet to make the profit.

Here I’m sharing some of the working tips which you can apply and create a buzz about your latest app developed by you. Always remember, your app should be rock-solid, and best marketing of any product comes with the word to mouth marketing.


1. Create a Demo Video -  Videos are the perfect way to show people how cool your app is. Browsing through the App Store and looking at the 4 screen grabs that all developers tend to provide by default is a pretty tame way to decide if an app is worth downloading.  

Talk your way through the screens and make it clear why your app is worth downloading. Be sure to put it on youtube and any others you can find. You'll also get some SEO by tagging and titling your video with keywords that are related to your app like “iPhone” or "Android", “App”, and “Game”, and putting a link to the App Store within the description.


2. Create a blog -  Write up a press release (catchy headline, what your app does, why it is better – have a good angle, explain their utility, usability and quality) and send it to every news / tech / related website you can find. You can leverage your social network to drive traffic and cite the blog post in your email signature to make sure those you’re in contact with know your have a mobile app. 


3. Use social media - Social media can be useful sometimes. Social media, despite the heavy focus by most businesses, is still a very under utilized channel of promotion. Sending the message once is good, but sending it multiple times over a month or two is even better. Submit your app to social media like Digg,stubble upon, Reddit etc.and if your app deserves some attention, then you might be in for some better downloads. Don’t forget to submit to the Reddit Android section here Android Reddit.


4. Get an eye catching App Icon - Have you ever downloaded an app with no icon or no icon. Well according to the app market, people download apps on large based on their icons. 

To make your app icon stand out, it should:

  • Have a unique shape that stands out
  • Avoid a lot of text, it’s barely readable anyways
  • Have a limited pallet of colors – 2 is enough to create contrast
  • Avoid using a photo – it blends in too much!

Crappy icons blow your app to the bottom and will indicate an unfinished or poorly made app. Optimize and beautify your icons.

5.  Finish and Optimize your App -  Before you submit your Android app to the market, keep in mind that the application has to be fully complete and should have a good interface. Never make a mistake of submitting a partial app. Just like search engine optimization, App Store Optimization (ASO) focuses on keyword relevance, search relevance and the keyword density in your description. 

With almost half of Android users in the US finding apps through search, your app description is one of the most important things you can focus on in your app marketing efforts.

It’s also really easy to get started with competitor research through platforms like App Annie where you can search something like “healthy recipes for women” and see what apps show up and their ranking.


6. Take great screenshots -  Just taking a screenshot of your app and dropping it in the app store, while simple, does a really poor job of getting across what you’re trying to show that potential user.

Adding captions and adding more visual elements to your screenshots is the best way to turn a boring task management app, into a high download winner.

App page is able to put you in a scenario where just by looking at the screenshots, you can fully understand the features offered within that app. It makes it a simple choice to download or not to download.

7. Be Prepared For Press - If you manage to get into one of those PR agency, who sends out the newsletter to Techies and Bloggers about latest Android apps, getting into one such list is going to be very beneficial. 

To make sure you have the best chance of getting your story published, you’ll want to make sure you have everything a journalist will need in your PR kit.

A good mobile app PR kit consists of:

  •  An App Summary Guide
  •  Your Press Release
  • Screenshots (App & Lifestyle)
  •  Design Collateral (Icons, Logos, Banners, etc)
  •  Videos (Walkthroughs, Intro Video, etc)
  •  Founder Bios & Pictures


8. Use Your Social Network - Social media can be useful sometimes. Submit your app to social media like Digg, stumble upon, Reddit, etc. When you launch something like a mobile app, it’s a big achievement for the company and it can mean any number of things for your customers. Make sure they’re getting the message by re-posting the same content but with a different message.

9.  Apply for Awards  - Participating in app awards is the most recommended channel and I would highly suggest you take advantage of it. It can give you tons of press, exposure, reviews and plenty of downloads. Although the chances of winning very much depend on your pitch and app idea, however, if you manage to get things right the first time, you can expect to enjoy a little stardom.

These are some of the most famous app awards sites:

  • Appy Awards
  • Best App Ever Awards
  • AppCircus COmpetetion
  • Appsters Awards
  • Ericsson Application Awards
  • The Webby App Awards
  • OZApp


10.  Consider Alternative App Stores - Do you know there are multiple store to submit your Android app. Google play store is the most popular, but there are many others such as Amazon app store, which is good too. 

According to One Platform Foundation, if an app is submitted on other relatively less popular stores, it will increase the expected downloads 200% more compared to Google Play.

These are some very good app stores that you should consider:

  • GetJar
  • Opera Mobile Store
  • AppsLib
  • SlideMe
  • AppBrain
  • Amazon Appstore

11. Sincerely Respond To All Your Reviews - If your customers take the time to write out a review, no matter how long, you should take the time to answer back to them. So many companies make the mistake of simply leaving an automated message to all their customer. Not only will this turn away customers but your ranking score will also drop significantly with customers who feel their concerns are not being taken care of.  

Regardless of what your customers say, let them know you are trying to resolve the problem by listing out what steps you are taking to solve their issue. Make sure to apologize in your comment if they are not satisfied and offer some way to make the experience better for them. If your customer is satisfied, thank them for their patronage and find some way to repay them for their kindness. After all, they are putting in the effort to help you succeed.

12. Roll Out New Updates Constantly -

Your customers need to know you are always making the app better for them. Apps that are not being cared for will be thrown away. Users will feel betrayed if you are not doing all you can to make the experience better for them. This is especially true of you still have not addressed many of the issues that customers rage about in the review sections. Keep your app content fresh and let your customers know that you are always planning something more for them to enjoy.

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