Ways to promote your custom mobile app startup for free?
Looking for ways to promote your new custom mobile app startup? We’ve got you covered. Here are some ideas to help you promote your app for free. Read on to find out more about the best free app promotion services around.
You’re ready to start promoting your excellent new custom mobile app startup. The only issue? You don’t have much of a budget.
While it’s recommended that young startups earmark about 20% of their budget on marketing, we appreciate that this doesn’t always go to plan. After all, there are a lot of things you need to spend money on!
The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can promote your app for free, and we’re going to take a look at some of them in this article.
Let’s go through our guidelines for advertising your app for low and no cost, and you’ll be well on your way to building a loyal user base in no time!
Looking for more ways to market your newly launched app? Check out our blog: 29 fantastic tactics for marketing a mobile app.
- Ask your customers for reviews;
- Get your app featured on a podcast;
- Feature your app on Product Hunt;
- Create a referral system;
- Use app directories;
- Release a demo video;
- Sign up for awards;
- Participate in forums;
- Team up with influencers;
- Pitch to App Store editors;
- Learn about ASO;
- Promote your app to journalists and bloggers;
- Create a landing page.
1. Ask your customers for reviews
Social proof is a powerful thing and can show prospective customers how popular your custom mobile app is. 93% of customers read online reviews before deciding to buy.
Find out where your prospective customers get feedback about your custom mobile apps, whether that’s Google, the App Store, or Google Play. Then, ask your current customers to provide a review. Most people will be happy to rate your app if you ask them to.
Don’t forget to respond to all reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. Even if you get a bad review, you can reply to it in a way that makes your app users happy.
2. Get your app featured on a podcast
We love podcasts at You Are Launched – they’re easy to access, you can listen to them on the go, and most importantly, they’re a great way to promote your app!
Create a list of podcasts that your target audience might be interested in and see if they accept guest speakers. Then it’s just a case of creating a killer pitch and seeing if the podcast creators want to work with you.
While you might want to try your luck with a podcast that’s listened to by millions of people, you might have a better chance of appearing on a mid-sized or smaller podcast. Even small podcasts can have a very loyal and dedicated listenership.
How to get interviews on top podcasts in your industry
3. Feature your app on Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a website that showcases a wide range of products. It’s very much like Reddit, in that the most popular apps feature most prominently and are most likely to be discovered by new fans. The five most popular even end up in the daily newsletter!
It’s free to launch your custom mobile app on Product Hunt, although bear in mind that you’ll need to do a lot of promotion on other channels to get those all-important upvotes. Be sure to publicize your app on social media and your website too!
Find out how to launch on Product Hunt
4. Create a referral system
A referral system means your custom mobile app users become your best advocates. For every new customer they recommend, you give both of them a reward. Just sit back and let your existing users advertise your app for you!
Did you know that a customer that’s referred to you is 18% more loyal than one that isn’t, and is four times more likely to refer more customers to you?
You might wonder what you can offer as a reward for a successful referral if you’re on a limited budget. A free month’s subscription or free merch works well. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – investment app Robinhood offers free stock when you sign up a friend!
5. Use app directories
Getting your app listed in directories increases the chances of prospective users checking you out. Most of them are free to submit your app to, so be sure to send your details to as many as you can!
Here are a few to get you started:
A good tip is to look at where your competitors are featured. If they’re on certain directories, it means there is a potential key demographic to target!
p.s. We have over 200+ resources to use for your app or website.
6. Release a demo video
A video can be a great way to get attention for your product or service – if you’ve ever read our other articles, you’ll have heard us talk about the Dropbox video that grew its beta waiting list from 5,000 to 75,000 people!
In the past, you would have to drop a lot of money to create a high-quality explainer video for your custom mobile app. Nowadays, there are lots of free platforms you can use to make a show-stopping video. Plus, don’t forget that you have a high-quality camera phone in your back pocket!
So, a short video that explains what your app does and the benefits it offers can be promoted on your website and social media channels. Get some footage using a free screen recorder like Loom, edit it using Windows Video Editor or iMovie, and you’re ready to go! Or even better, use InVideo to prepare ads for your startup.
Plus, don’t forget that YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google! Upload your video, use the right keywords, and it’s a great way to target prospective app users.
YouTube SEO: how to optimize videos for YouTube Search
7. Sign up for awards
There are a lot of different award schemes out there, and even getting nominated or shortlisted can mean lots of free publicity for your app.
Do take care to read the fine print before you apply. You have to pay a nomination fee to enter some awards. While others are free to join, you might have to pay to attend an award ceremony or have your business name included on the website.
If you’re not sure whether it’s worth paying the admin fee, talk to a company that previously won the award. What publicity did they get, and would they say they got a good return on investment?
8. Participate in forums
Forums like Quora and Reddit can be a great way to answer potential customers’ questions and subtly promote your custom mobile app. You can also take the language they use and factor it into your own SEO/ASO strategy.
It’s important to play the long game when it comes to promoting your app for free on these forums. Take the time to build a rapport with users; don’t sign up and start blasting out sales pitches!
Marketing on Quora – a beginner’s guide
How to market on Reddit – a guide for businesses
If Quora and Reddit sound a bit daunting, why not join a group on social media? You can sign up for groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to offer advice and share content. Again though, don’t be too salesy!
9. Team up with influencers
Influencer marketing is when you work with a content creator to promote your custom mobile app. Then, they advertise it on their social media accounts or websites, encouraging their followers to find out more.
Some smaller influencers will be happy to promote your custom mobile app for a free version, or perhaps some branded swag. Work out who you want to target, find some influencers working in that specific niche, and ask them if they’d like to get involved.
Find out more about influencer marketing.
10. Pitch to App Store editors
The App Store has a ‘today’ tab that showcases some of the best apps around. If you can get your app in there, you can expect a lot of positive attention.
Be aware that competition is high, so you’ll need to explain how your app adds value and make sure it’s as easy to use as possible. It’ll take a bit of work to craft a powerful pitch, but it’s well worth the effort!
Submit your app for consideration.
11. Learn about ASO
We all know about search engine optimization (SEO) and how you can use it to boost your presence in search engine rankings. However, did you know that SEO has a little sister called app store optimization, or ASO for short?
ASO is the science of optimizing your app store description and title to appeal to people who might be searching for a specific type of your custom mobile app. Like SEO, it’s all about understanding the keywords people are most likely to use. It’s a great way of promoting your app to new customers for free.
A complete guide to app store optimization
12. Create a landing page
If you already have a website for your startup, one of the easiest ways to promote your custom mobile app for free is to create a landing page.
So, put together some killer copy and high-quality screenshots and provide a link for people to download your app. You can also embed the video you created earlier too!
Not got a website yet? No problem. You can still use social media to drive traffic to your app, or alternatively, you can use a free platform like GetResponse to create a landing page.
13. Promote your app to journalists and bloggers
Based on market tendency, many tech websites carry out regular reviews and roundups of your custom mobile apps. These usually come with a free link to your website or app, helping drive traffic and downloads.
Make a list of potential websites and try and find contact details for writers on LinkedIn. You have more chance of success if you reach out to a specific person rather than a generic inbox. Then, it’s time to write your pitch!
Here’s an additional tip – sign up to Help a Reporter Out! This website is free to use and puts you in touch with journalists who are looking for information or a quote.
The guide on how to pitch to journalists.
In summary: The ways to promote your custom mobile app don’t have to be expensive
We hope this guide has provided you with several useful ways to promote your custom mobile app for free. While there is a lot of hard work to be done, it’s definitely possible to showcase your app to the right people when money is tight.
It’s very important to understand your unique selling point (USP)– what do you do differently from your competitors? This will increase the chances of any pitches you create is successful. If you haven’t done so already, developing a business plan will help you build your USP.
Remember that it’s always better to focus on a handful of promotional strategies than try and spread your efforts too thin. That just leads to frustration and burnout. So, think about which promotional services best benefit your requirements and give them a go.
We wish you the best of luck with promoting your custom mobile app for free!
You are launched: helping promote your custom mobile app startups since 2014
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