Top 8 ways to promote mobile app

So you’ve come up with a killer idea, you’ve built your app and now you’re ready to set the world ablaze? The app looks amazing, it works like a charm, the design is top notch – all you’ve got to do now is sit back and watch the number of downloads skyrocket! Unfortunately, things are never that easy. The one thing standing between you and the users is a million other apps fighting you for the attention and preference of smartphone and tablet owners. Creating the app is just half the work, and with Shoutem, it’s the easy part. What follows is a must-do list for promoting apps:

8. Use HTML5

Make an HTML5 version of your app so your users can go directly to your content via mobile web. Try out a popup feature that will notify your big web users that you have an HTML5 application. Also, use Smart App Banner in HTML5 app so your users can download your “real” app from a store.
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7. Make it visually and textually compelling

Add different kinds of attention-grabbing screenshots to your store. According to Zabisco, 40% of the users react better to visual information; screenshots matter! The app description should be straightforward. Think of it in terms of a newspaper headline – it has to be formulated in a way that’ll make the user want to read it all the way through and eventually download the app. Sometimes that’s the very first time the user is coming into contact with your product, and you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

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6. Start a newsletter or let your existing users know about the app

If you’ve already got an existing community of users subscribed to a newsletter, definitely take advantage of it as another way to let them know about the new app. If not, this is as good a time as any to start one. Just don’t fall into the trap of jabbering endlessly about yourself; instead offer varied and useful contents. According to a survey carried out by iContact, 91% entrepreneurs declared that email marketing has helped them do business, and there’s no reason you can’t become a part of this statistic.

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5. Ask your users for ratings

Have you noticed that every app has a pop-up window that appears from time to time, asking you to rate it? There’s sound reasoning behind that, good ratings always help with the promotion. Ask your colleagues, friends, and later your users too, to give your app a review; and not just once, but through as many social networks, emails, etc. as possible. All feedback is useful, and according to a survey done by Compuware, 84% of the users said that app ratings are crucial to them when deciding whether to download or not.

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4. Be a part of a community

Your app is aimed at an audience; an audience which, by the very fact of using it, is creating a community. In today’s world of social networks and mobile technology, it is extremely important that you, yourself become a part of that community and its everyday communication. Sure, it takes time and skill, but we all know that success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s also a good idea to open communication within the app itself and talk to users there.

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3. Advertise on Facebook

These days you can buy ads for as little as $10. If you have an advertising budget, buy a Facebook ad that will only be shown on mobile phones. Within Facebook campaigns themselves, you can target users that have specific needs, that is, you can modify the campaigns based on their needs. Make sure to try out different ways of advertising and then put more money into the ones that are doing better and cancel the other ones.

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2. Send out a press release

A lot of applications target specific niches – for example, gardeners, beer enthusiasts, or reggae music fans. Find an online magazine or blogs that cover your field and send them a notice that your app is on the market. Don’t forget to include screenshots and a link to download the app. If your budget allows it, it’s always a good idea to send in professionals for this kind of thing.

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1. Keep your website updated, that’s often your main way of promoting things

If you’ve already got an existing website, make the most of it! It’s already got a certain number of users that you can notify that you’ve made an app, and a big download button on the home page should help you with that. And why stop there? Why not go for a blog as a part of your website which will make the users want to come back to it. If you’re yet to design a site for the app, make it simple and well-designed. According to Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% users have said that the website design is the main criteria they use to base their conclusions about the credibility of the company, or in this case, the app.

P.S. Create your mobile app now with Shoutem, no coding skills required – it’s that easy!

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Viktor, ShoutEm CEO