It’s always hard to market your app in just the right way especially given that most first time app makers are usually short on marketing budgets. With that in mind, I wanted to put out a quick list on some easy ways to build a brand name for your app. If you have other easy and cost-effective ways in which you’ve gained an audience for your app, please tell us in the comments.

  • Soft launch or beta tests to get trusted user feedback for your app
  • Different and relevant channels to use – website, social media, offline/print
  • Always think about your USP (unique selling proposition) and use that in all your marketing material. Develop 2-3 phrases describing the best use case for your app. Point to note: focus on outcomes of features
  • Build a splash/landing page – include device images (iPhone, Android), branding relevant to the app (summary of app, etc), QR codes, links to short videos & app flyers (if existing)
  • Choose 2-3 social media channels and target your focus on them. Specific to Twitter – create and use specific hashtags when talking about your app so it is easily findable
  • Run local/national offline campaigns using QR codes and catchy phrases (post them on bus stations, libraries, thrift stores, etc.) to gain more eyeballs
  • Quick How-to-use the app video – short snippets and benefits of the app – 1-2m
  • Launch event – choose appropriate event (local, national, community driven)
  • Launch announcement on all social media channels – regular announcements for at least a month following the launch date, be personal
  • Press release following launch (can just be on your website, make sure to mention media features if any)
  • Contact local media outlets, send your press release to them, ask them to test and write about the app
  • If action alerts tab exists, include a welcome action alert to start a training wheel for users on how to take action
  • Use welcome push messages to encourage new user participation – for instance: ‘thanks for downloading, would you like to set up your account now?’ or ‘thanks for downloading, show your support and donate now’
  • Use analytics to see how the app is doing and also use this for promotion – ‘1000 downloads in 10 days’ etc. (try flurry if you haven’t already)
  • Blog extensively about your app
  • Contact relevant bloggers and gurus in your space (who can write about the app to their followers)
  • Contact industry specific blogs to test and write reviews for your app, send them success metrics if any
  • Start guest blogging to build back links to your site – see here for more
  • Share successful use cases (can be generated from the beta test)
  • If budget permits cross application advertising is proven to be good – services like admob, mobclix
  • Depend on word-of-mouth. Make sure your app is truly awesome

These are just a few of the cost-effective ways in which you can promote your app through hard work and focus. If you have experience in this, please share so others can benefit as well. Thanks!