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6 Mobile App Promotion Tactics to Land More Users

By Nick Epson on April 30, 2021

Your app most likely needs to convince people it’s useful through mobile app promotion, whether as a standout solution in a pool of competition or because it uniquely solves a problem. The goal for most apps is to get the name in front of as many eyes as possible which in itself is a demanding task.

Apps that are used to supplement a service like those for healthcare face, to a lesser extent, a unique set of challenges to get users to adopt the app. For everyone else, it can feel a bit like being a student who’s raising their hand, hoping to be picked from the sea of hands to answer a question. So let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get your app out there.

Why is mobile app promotion necessary?

It’s fairly rare for something to hit the market and go immediately viral, even with marketing. Consider how services like Netflix started as a DVD delivery service that didn’t quite have the mass appeal that it does today or how it took TikTok merging two companies and a viral video to begin taking hold in the market.

A lot of times, it takes people time to warm up to a brand which is something that simply has to run its course – building a bond with customers is much like any other relationship. Other times, your product needs to grow a little before you advertise far and wide. In the meantime, you can move things along by working your name into as many conversations as possible.

6 tricks for mobile app promotion

If you want to get a washed-out band to write a song about your app, be our guest. But for more conventional advice, use some combination of the following.

1. Release a steady stream of content on multiple channels

It’s time-consuming to build up a presence through a website, but it pays off in the long run. A regular supply of meaty, well-written content for your website with the right keywords helps improve your standings on search engines, keeps your readers informed, and has the potential to attract new prospects organically. Finding a solid team for SEO and ASO as well as tackling content on your own provides value to readers and translates to more conversion when executed correctly. As such, this initiative needs to be underway long before your product is released, ideally starting early in your beta phase.

Another good idea is to offer content directly through your app, such as useful evergreen content that keeps users on the app rather than a mobile site. You should also consider working in video content such as through a YouTube channel as you can easily embed these videos just about everywhere as well as share them to social media. Also, contributing content to other platforms with good authority who can link back to your site or app helps boost a site’s domain authority (DA) and downloads, respectively.

2. Sign up for a competition or submit to a product discovery site

Competitions and authorities that issue accolades to software on their radar are one way to get attention to your app. Except for the few apps that are an instant success, most of these institutions won’t automatically take notice so you’ll need to do a little legwork to get your name in the hat. Not to mention, if you win, it’s all the better.

A great example of this is the annual Webby Awards – for the second year in a row, two products we designed and developed are being recognized at the event. The music discovery app, bopdrop, for iOS is named as an honoree in the “Apps and Software” category while digital home fitness solution JAXJOX is nominated for a Webby in the “Connected Products & Wearables” category. If you’re reading this before Thursday, May 6th, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PT) then vote for us!

See what we did there?

You can also call attention to your product using various outlets scattered across the Internet like Product Hunt that’s mission is to call attention to new tech. The simple social news site, Hacker News, provides a good opportunity to get a lot of eyes on your app – despite its minimalist design, the site receives a substantial amount of traffic. Finally, keep on the lookup for certain groups on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook and especially try to find suitable subreddits to work your way into conversations. 

3. Drop your prices

Lowering prices is useful in situations beyond getting people to buy produce that’s about to go bad. Temporarily dropping your price on either the Apple App Store or Google Play ropes your product into a discounted category that each platform promotes. This is useful for those who paid apps as it not only helps boost visibility, it’s a reliable psychological trick that compels consumers to make a purchase simply because it’s not full price.

We used this mobile app promotion trick for our free word game, Word Hack, which would eventually rise to third place in the list of top free word games. Originally, our app was priced at 99 cents but we made it temporarily free which tripped enough flags with a variety of app store tracking sites, ultimately causing downloads to surge. Though this trick has been around for years, it can be just as effective today for the right app.

The caveat here is that it can work against you in select cases such as when you’re on your first iteration, or MVP, of your app. You want to be careful about who your early users are as those who invest in your app too early might be put off until it’s more developed. It’s harder to get some to come back if they harbor negative feelings so this tactic should be reserved for when your app is at a point in its life cycle where it has broad appeal.

4. Use social media and video

Building on point one, each channel you use has the opportunity to display unique content or to echo a message from another channel. Not everyone is active on every social media platform, so publishing valuable content and effective CTAs is necessary to ensure that you’ve covered all bases. Don’t underestimate the power of media-rich platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and especially TikTok – bopdrop was able to gain tremendous publicity prior to launch, thanks to a well-received video.

Because people inherently gravitate toward video, your odds of a viewer taking the next step go up significantly. A good strategy is to start with something like an “explainer video” you can pin to the top of your page. Even viewers who already “get it” will often use such content as a jumping point to begin exploring your other content. More importantly, something catchy and easygoing that you can also share around can help you better study your viewers, thus allowing you to create more engaging content whether it’s for your YouTube channel or TikTok.

5. Collaborate with influencers

The old phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know” has some merit for mobile app promotion. Identifying voices who might be keen to talk about your product in a positive light can generate a ton of interest by saying very little. The catch here is that most influencers require some kind of compensation so it’s almost always a pay-to-play kind of scenario.

Of course, you can’t just go knocking on the doors of celebrities or popular YouTubers but you can get their attention in other ways. You can try various methods but keep in mind that some kind of quid pro quo scenario is usually what it takes. Sending free things is a good way to get a quick mention which can have a huge impact when it means millions will see it. Just make sure that your influencers are influencing real people and not copious bots and trash accounts found everywhere you look on social media. We use a system called HyperAuditor to deeply analyze accounts to understand how well they align with the intended audience of the products we build. 

6. Use paid advertising systems in social media and search engines

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on all have considerable paid advertising systems that you can use to ensure that your content gets attention. Each system is a little different but the idea is the same: you fund your account, configure your campaigns, and keep track of the performance through each platform’s analytics system. Finally, don’t forget that regular search engine marketing through systems like Google Ads can help your website rise to the top for certain search queries – ideally, these campaigns should run alongside campaigns directly in the App Store and/or Google Play to help your app’s placement wherever a potential user may be searching.

Blue Label Labs will help you promote your app to the best possible audience

We seek out challenges in design and outcomes by embracing innovation and confronting the unconventional. As we work with our customers, what we learn about the product helps us to refine messaging to resonate with a product’s audience. To learn more about our design, development, and marketing processes, get in touch with us today.