What are some of the best ways to promote your app for free? Continue reading for more!
With app development being a time-consuming and often an extremely expensive task, many businesses fall into the trap of thinking that, once their app gets published on the app store, most of their job is done.
In reality, this is where it just begins! While app stores undoubtedly have powerful search engines and a huge database of potential users that can stumble across the app, the chances are that it will only be collecting dust if you don’t do anything to get it in front of your target audience. Fortunately, this doesn’t require a huge Marketing budget on top of your app development costs – as long as you get creative with the resources that you have available around you.
For this reason, today we will discover some awesome ways to promote your app for free – and increase your brand awareness while doing so.
1. Include a link in your email signature
Employees send hundreds of emails every single day, and many of them to potential customers or people who are not completely familiar with your business – and your app. For this reason, one really quick and easy trick to promote your app for free is to have everyone include a link in their email signature.
You can even make it more visual, hyperlinking your app to an image or a colourful icon that draws the attention. If you have a progressive web app, you can link straight to it since they don’t need to pass through the app stores. If you have a native mobile app, you can send users to the app store so they can download it after clicking on your link or icon.
2. Reach out to influencers
Another awesome way to promote your app for free is to reach out to influencers. When we think about Influencer Marketing, we often think of highly-priced posts that many small businesses simply cannot afford. However, you will be surprised with how many micro influencers (people with 1,000 to 100,000 followers on social media) will be happy to give your app a shout out without making you spent a fortune.
In return, you can offer a free product for the influencer, and a discount for their followers as well. For example, you can give 10% off your products if they come from the influencer’s post (you can measure this data by generating a unique discount code that the influencer can use, or by tracking traffic with a tagged URL).
3. Include your app in your business card
If you are using business cards to present your company to potential customers, you can make an additional use of it by including a short URL or a QR code for your app.
Many companies include their website as a way for people to learn more information about what they do. Apart from that, you can also include a URL for your progressive web app, or a QR code for your native app to take users straight to the app store. Keep in mind that if your app has a really long URL, people might not be tempted to go to their browser and type it down. In this case, a QR will be the better option both for your progressive and native app.
4. Optimize your app for search engines
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to promote your app for free and get high quality traffic is to optimize it for search engines.
Depending on the type of your app, you might go either for SEO or ASO:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to a set of practices that aim to improve the visibility and positioning of your website (or in this case, your app) in search engines like Google. Although this term is used mainly for websites, it is also applicable to progressive web apps since they are indexable by search engines as well (as opposed to native mobile apps).
App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization, also known as ASO, practically has the same goal as SEO – to improve your visibility and search engine positioning, but it is only applicable within the app stores. In other words, it refers to the set of practices that can help you position your native app for relevant keywords, in a way that it shows up for a particular query before competitors’ apps.
Whether we’re talking about SEO or ASO, the goal is exactly the same – and it is definitely one of the most powerful ways to promote your app for free and get in front of the right audience.
5. Run a social media contest
Another awesome way to promote your app for free is to run a social media contest. People love participating in different competitions, especially if the requirements aren’t hard, but there is a prize at the end. If your app has premium content that subscribers have to pay for, you can use this content as a prize for the winner.
If you don’t know where to start from, you can check Hootsuite’s 20+ Creative Social Media Contest Ideas and Examples blog post to get some awesome ideas for your own mobile app.
6. Join groups on social media
Next on our list of ideas to promote your app for free has to do with social media as well, but this time taking advantage of another feature: Groups. Joining relevant groups where you are most likely to find your target audience, and sharing app-related content can definitely draw the attention towards your app – and get you more app downloads.
Just be careful about spam or posting content that is way too commercial – people don’t like companies that are just trying to sell their product. Make sure that you actually provide relevant content and updates that bring value. For example, if you’ve joined a Health & Fitness group, and you want to promote your Fitness app, you can post blog posts with helpful tips, exercises, information on the best gyms in the town, and so on.
At the end of the article, you can add a section about your app – or simply mention it at some point in the article. The key is to provide value – users are quick to discard a company that doesn’t really care about the audience.
7. Offer to write guest blog posts
Another way you can gain more visibility for your business – and app – is to write guess blog posts for other companies. Make a list of relevant websites where you would like to see your content published, and reach out to them. You can again use the formula of providing value and then adding a section about your app in the end of the article.
It might seem like a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it. By getting your content published on other websites, you also get links and referring domains pointing back to your own website or app – which is great for off-page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to all the actions taken outside of your website with the purpose of improving your rankings in search engines.
This practice, along with working on your SEO/ASO as we mentioned previously, will be a great way to get you more visibility in search engines. And of course, more app downloads! Or, if you have a progressive web app, you can significantly boost your traffic in the long run.
8. Create a loyalty program
According to various studies and principles, 80% of a company’s profits come from just 20% of the customers, and retaining existing customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. For this reason, one of the best ways to promote your app for free – in this case, to your existing app users who can later recommend you to your friends and family – is to create a loyalty program.
By keeping your existing users happy, excited and satisfied, you will get free promotion when they start spreading the word about how awesome your app is. That’s why at Beezer, we just added a loyalty card feature to help companies enhance the power of their progressive web app. Some other benefits of having a loyalty card include customer retention, a boost in product and brand awareness, effective cross-selling and getting valuable customer data, among many others.
9. Comment on YouTube
One way to promote your app for free, which may seem a little bit unusual, is to comment on YouTube videos from your company’s YouTube channel. And no, we are not talking about posting spam comments that are simply trying to sell something to users – nobody likes that.
However, you can leave your insightful opinion on trending topics related to your app. For example, if you have an app that teaches people how to play the guitar, you can go to other channels that talk about guitars, and leave comments on what you liked about their videos, or what you found interesting. If you want to provide constructive criticism, always remember to be helpful, polite, and appreciate the content of other people.
Adding a pinch of humour works great as well. Comments that go viral usually get thousands of likes, and many people will visit your company’s profile after that. Which is awesome!
10. Create a referral program
Another creative way to promote your app for free is to create a referral program, encouraging existing users to invite their friends and family. Within the app itself, you can include a Call to Action button such as “Invite a friend” on a key page that gets a lot of visits.
Providing a small reward or a product discount for every referral is a great way to spread the word around.
11. Enter in app competitions
Another way to promote your app for free is to enter mobile competitions such as The Best Mobile App Awards, The Edison Awards, Barcelona Global Mobile Awards, and so on. Submitting your app for awards is not only a great way to gain more brand visibility, but if you win one of them, you can also get reputable references from these competitions.
For example, winning in one of the categories from The Best Mobile App Awards, which is a highly reputable and renown competition, shows potential users that your app can be trusted. Which is definitely a great way to promote your app for free!
12. Add a pop-up button to your website
Companies typically use pop-up buttons to get people to sign up for their blog or newsletter, promote a product and similar Marketing actions, having their app download button hidden at the footer of the website only.
However, an easy and effective way to promote your app for free is to add a pop-up button so you can invite people to download your app instead. If it’s a progressive web app, you can take people straight to your content from your pop-up button. This is definitely a great way to leverage your existing website traffic to boost your app downloads and visits.
13. Promote your app in your physical store
If you have a local shop or a physical store, you can promote your app for free by placing QR codes in places that are easily seen by your shop visitors. For example, you can put a QR code that takes to your app on the glass door or on the window next to the door. This way, even people who are not entering the shop but just passing by can also stop for a second and scan your app.
If you have a restaurant or a coffee shop, you can also place a QR code on the first or last page of the menu, wherever you find it convenient that won’t disturb those reading the menu.
As you can see, you don’t have to have a huge Marketing budget to gain visibility for your app – if you have some time and put in the effort, you can actually promote your app for free and get great results from it. And, if you don’t have an app yet, don’t worry – you can build one with Beezer! Just click here.