So, you’ve had a custom app made, or you’ve built your app by yourself and alongside your development team. You’ve laid out all the plans, identified its key purpose, recognized the needs of a target audience, and taken the steps required to end up with a workable, effective, and efficient final product. Now it’s time to make sure that it makes a splash in all the right places, and gets into the hands and smartphones of your prospective users and customers.
As any app developer knows, promoting an app can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. Marketing isn’t something that comes particularly naturally to a lot of people in the tech world, and faced with the task of advertising and spreading word about your creation is something that all too many people shy away from. While there are plenty of different approaches you can take, and a multitude of paths you could potentially go down, one thing’s for sure: in 99.9% of the cases, it simply isn’t enough to stick your app on the App Store, and hope that the customers will somehow stumble across and download your platform.
Thankfully, in reality, app marketing isn’t particularly difficult. There are countless sites out there dedicated to promoting and discovering new apps which work for users in particular industries, or with particular needs. What’s more, there are thousands upon thousands of places in which you can put across your app’s unique features and usability, where members of the public or people in specific sectors will be looking for their next smartphone solution. In this blog, we’ll be looking at some of the most straightforward and simple ways you can promote your app outside the App Store, and hopefully generate some real buzz that will see it rocket to the top of the charts.
Promote on Your Website
If you run a company or service, then your website is naturally the place where your customers will be heading to find out more about what you do, and inquire about your services. Therefore, if you’re trying to promote your app, your website should – without question – be the first place you go to make your initial marketing efforts.
Make sure that you have made mention of your new app on your website’s homepage, and provide a simple link from your website to your app’s listing on the App Store. It’s also a good idea to dedicate a sub-page of your site solely to your app, where you’ll be able to outline its key benefits and features, and offer a video demo or series of photos showing exactly what it’s capable of.
Blogs, Forums, and Newspapers
The blogosphere is an ever-expanding, continually bustling corner of the internet, where people of all walks of life explore the latest developments in their fields. If you have a blog or newsletter attached to your own website, it would be a very good idea to include news of your app for your customers to read. If not, you should work towards getting a blog dedicated to your app featured on a popular website frequented by your target customers.
Newspapers, too, will allow you the chance to spread the word about your app. Think carefully about the kinds of online and print newspapers which most strongly appeal to your target audience, and get a press release sent out which explains why your app is the must-have new feature for your customers’ smartphones. You’d be surprised at how effective this approach is, as traditional news sources and industry magazines carry with them a trusted and professional clout which some blogs may lack.
Added to this are the many forums and chat sites out there – the Reddits of the internet, and its many imitators. These are the perfect places to offer promotions to those willing to test our your app, or promo codes for free downloads and special features. Get the forums on your side with some juicy offers and enthusiastic postings, and news of your app will spread like wildfire.
App Store Optimization
If you aren’t already familiar with the world of SEO and other types of optimization, then it’s something you need to get onto as soon as possible. The App Store can be a bit of a jungle at times, and unless you’re particularly savvy with the way you market and optimize your postings, it’s perfectly possible for your app to become buried beneath a hundred thousand others, and the several hundred apps which are added to the service each and every day.
Think carefully (or do some solid research with Google tools) about the types of keywords your potential customers will be using when searching for an app, and make sure that those keywords are included with some logical density in your posting. That way, whenever a Google search or App Store search for a particular type of app is typed into the search box, your app will pop up at the very top of the listings. The same goes for picture optimization; you can use images and video to boost the way your app appears on the App Store, and make it more attractive for those seeking a specific solution.
The main ambition of any app developer is for their app to ‘go viral’. This means it starts being talked about and shared on social media with ferocious speed and intensity, and quickly becomes a trending item online that an exponential number of people are searching for and coming across.
Going viral isn’t something you can guarantee – it’s one of those slightly strange internet phenomena which seems to happen quite randomly most of the time – but you can certainly boost your chances of it happening. How? By using the power of user reviews and referrals, and ensuring that influencers and key players in the industry are talking about your app to their followers, who then go on to share the app with their followers, who talk about it within their network… etc etc. By encouraging (or even paying for) reviews of your app, and requesting referrals from people who have extensive networks among your target audience, your chance of going viral massively increases.