As the CEO of a Marketing Company, Basileia Marketing and Media (www.basileiamarketing.com), I have a vested interest in researching and utilizing the most effective strategies for mobile app promotion – not only do I want to use said strategies for the apps I develop – I also am committed to empowering my clients to be able to make the best use of the best marketing tool they have – their mobile app.
Below are ideas that I have found helpful for marketing mobile apps. Take a look and see what jumps out at you. Don't try to do all of them, but do pick one or two, implement them and then come back and add a few more. If you have any questions, or need any help, let me know - I am here to help!
1. Build a microsite. A microsite is a one or two-page landing page that showcases your app and its features to your web audience. Make sure to include multiple CTA's on the page.
2. While in the development stage, build a teaser website. Do this a month or two before your app launch - it is a great way create interest and to collect email addresses of people who would like to know when the app launches.
3. Start a blog. Attach your blog to your microsite / landing page. Write interesting, value adding content and that will draw people to your website.
4. Utilize the social sharing network. However, don't overextend yourself, start off with the big 4 - Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and Linkedin. Send out mini promotional posts to promote the app several times a week.
5. Create a marketing app related video. It doesn't have to be long, just make sure it is creative, funny, thought-provoking or personal. Tell your story, but in a way the average person can identify with.
6. Get press, tons of it. There are lots of press related sites that you can utilize to help kick start your mobile app startup.
7. Pitch your mobile app to app review websites. Review sites can generate a lot of buzz for your app if they mention it. Here is a list of 100+ app review sites - http://www.appbattleground.com/2013/10/26/best-app-review-sites/
8. Contact like niche bloggers who would be interested in your app. For instance, a trainer's app can be pitched to trainer related bloggers that write for trainers.
9. Apply for awards. Look into awards such as the Kiip Build Fund (http://kiip.me/fund) or The Mobileys (http://themobileys.com/). If you win an award, you also get a ton of press, not to mention the winner's booty.
10. Start an audio podcast. Publish it on iTunes, BlogTalk Radio, or your own website. Draw content from the niche your app caters to most.
11. Always, always, always be collecting emails. Gather potential customer emails through Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or your website. An email list of people who have opted in is a powerful marketing tool.
12. Develop a six-to-ten second how-to series. Make the most of Vine with videos potential customers will find useful. The hashtag #howto is one of the top trending tags on Vine.
13. Promote your blog posts or content having to do with your app's niche on Dubbler -- a 60-second audio social network.
14. Utilize Pinterest. Use blog images, infographics and visual content from your app to create content on your Pinterest board. You can even use happy customer photos or hold contests.
15. Manually recruit customers. It is safe to say that there are people everywhere you go. Talk your app up with people you interact with. Know your audience and then go and find them.
16. I mentioned earlier, run a contest. For example, you could encourage people to tweet and share content on their social networks promoting your app.
17. Create a Facebook group. Form a group for people with common interests related to your app's niche so they can meet and socialize regularly. For example, if your app caters to photographers, create a photographers group.
18. Take advantage of speaking opportunities. Research niche related events that touch on the topic your app addresses and make an appearance. Start small, stay plugged in and work to get recognized as an authority in the space.
19. Take advantage of your voicemail message. Consider including a creative mention of your app in your phone's voicemail recording.
20. Be totally obsessive about resolving negative reviews. Keep this in mind - a happy customer is a brand ambassador for your app.
21. Make good use of the App Store Optimization opportunities in the app stores.
22. Reach out to niche-related Facebook pages / groups. Research pages with 100k+ likes and reach out to their administrators. Remember to make sure these pages / groups are related with the focus of your app. Then give them a compelling reason to mention it.
23. Optimize your email signature. Compose a catchy one or two liner about your app along with the link to download it in your email signature.
24. Make sure to integrate the main social networks within your app. Doing this will make it easy for your app users to share with others. Path app allows users to share photographs on social networks.
25. Make sure your mobile app meets your user's needs. This requires that you research your targeted audience and understand what type of information they’re seeking. Jay Baer refers to this as Youtility, quality information that helps your audience. Remember, like with any endeavor, if your app doesn't add value to the user's experience it will not get used or recommended.
26. Promote your app on your responsive mobile website. This is a no-brainer because if someone has found your mobile website, it is a given that they’re a prime candidate for using your app as well. Make it easy for them.
27. Prominently feature your mobile app on your website. NOTE: This does not mean a "small" link in the footer. Make sure you promote it prominently where appropriate. You might even consider using a special offer, or special report to get customers to download your app to make it worth their time and effort.
28. Leverage the power of your email newsletter. More and more people read their email on their mobile devices, so let them know about your mobile app and make it easy for them to get it.
29. Include a link to download your mobile app in ALL your customer service emails. The great thing about customer service emails is that they tend to go to customers’ main email address and are almost certain to be read.
30. Include a download link for your mobile app in ALL your purchase confirmation emails. Like with customer service inquiries, customers are on the look out for these emails. This is a great opportunity to give a customer an incentive for another related purchase.
31. Earlier I suggested incorporating a link to your mobile app in your email signature file. Why not go one step further and make everyone in your organization use this link as well?
32. Add a download link to your mobile app on your business cards. This is another effective way of expanding your reach.
33. Join forums and reference or discuss your mobile app in your posts. Think Google+ Hangouts, Yahoo and LinkedIn Groups, Twitter chats, etc.
34. How about incorporating a link to your mobile app in all of your social media profiles. Include this as part of your business’s key information. Remember the average person spends at least a fifth of their time on mobile on a social media site!
35. Use social media paid advertising to support your app marketing efforts. These paid ads are highly targeted and therefore can be very effective. They aren't free, but if your app isn’t worth anything to you, you can be sure it won’t mean anything to others!
36. Create a video explaining the utility of your app. Include screenshots and other goodies. This would be useful to add to your YouTube page as well as your blog.
37. If you have a brick and mortar business, promote your mobile app there. Prominently display your app in your signage and flyers to encourage your customers to download it. How about a stand up card with a QR Code so your customers can download it on the spot!
38. Again, if you have a brick and mortar business, have a tablet or computer available to collect email addresses. Sending them an email confirmation that includes a download link to your mobile app is a great way to encourage prospects interested in your products or services. If you don't have an extra device available, you can always fall back on an old fashion hand written list.
39. Leverage other media. For instance, when doing webinars, include a video app that allows your viewers to download your app in real time!
40. Always mention your mobile app in ALL your presentations. Include your mobile app in your presentations. Include a special offer on the last slide and / or on your bio slide.
41. Remember, your goal is to create an app people want, need, can easily find, download and install to get more value added information.
42. SEO the keywords for your app to raise your rank in the app stores.The SEO for app stores is called ASO (app store optimization).
43. Make sure your app has a professional app logo, beautiful screenshots, and write an amazing description and title that are rich with the keywords you are targeting but also very appealing to people.
44. Make sure your app gets good reviews. The reviews are a huge part of your app store listing. So in all your doing, make sure your app satisfies your users. If you don't, everything else will be that much more difficult.
48. Go to iTunes and search for podcasts in your niche. Then email the hosts of those podcasts to see whether they would be interested in having you on as a guest. You will not only leverage the exposure of the podcasts (talking about your business for 30 minutes), but you will usually also get a link to your site which will be good for your SEO.
49. Join HARO. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. When reporters are looking for sources for stories they are working on, they email HARO. And if you answer HARO inquiries, you can get exposure from all kinds of publications. HARO works. Again, think of the SEO value of the links you would get from those sites.
50. Whatever features you include in your app, keep in mind whether people would want to use those features with people they know. Enable those features and you will get some lift in downloads from your users bringing you new users.
51. Optimize your website with big download calls-to-action (or “buttons”). Most mobile app sites are nothing but glorified landing pages designed only: to get you to download the app. While that can be effective, the challenge is that there isn’t a lot of content on those sites to promote anything other than the app itself, which gives you few promotional angles.
52. Find partners that are willing to cross-promote with you. You drive people to them, and in turn they can drive people to your app. These partners can be mobile apps, websites, podcasts or anything else. Remember though, the key is that you would only get as much exposure as you are giving to your partners. The downside to this is whenever you send one of your users outside of your app, and toward your partner’s app, website, etc., you are killing the engagement of your app, which is potentially damaging to your app store optimization (ASO). So seriously think twice about whether you want to do this.
53 Create a YouTube channel specifically for your app. If you think about it, having a YouTube channel may not immediately make sense, but it actually makes amazing sense for a number of reasons. First, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. You could pick up many potential new users and then drive can discover your app there and you can drive many of those potential users from YouTube to your app. Secondly, YouTube videos can be repurposed. You can include all your YouTube channels inside your app. Having videos people can watch inside your app helps increase the time users spent in your app.
54. Embed your mobile app YouTube videos on your website(s), blogs, etc., which exponentially increases the amount of time people spend on your website, which exponentially increases the ranking of the pages that have your YouTube videos. Additionally, as more people visit your site and watch your videos, your video pages will climb in Google search even if your actual website doesn’t. And if all that wasn’t enough, YouTube videos are more likely to be shared because videos is the #1 most preferred way most people desire to consume content contrasted to reading text. Plus, if all else fails, you can make money with YouTube videos by placing AdSense ads on them.
55. And last, but certainly not least, If at all possible, keep your app freemium. You may have noticed that a majority of apps in the app stores are free. The reason for that isn't because developers don’t want to charge you. It is because the app stores themselves have designed their services so it is much easier to promote free apps. And by virtue of that, paid apps almost never rank well in app store searches and therefore most consumers never even see most paid apps.
Remember, if you have any questions, or need help, we are available to help - that's who we are and what we do!