How to Market an App – 30 Strategies You Need to Use

Knowing how to market an app is essential if you want to attract new users. You might have the best app in the world, but if you don’t promote it properly, you won’t end up with any downloads.

In today’s world, all kinds of businesses in all kinds of industries are developing their own mobile apps. This could apply to international or local businesses, and the app could be incredibly niche or appeal to a massive audience.

Whatever the case, you need to have a clear mobile app marketing strategy in place if you want to attract enough customers. Simply putting it up on the app store isn’t good enough – you’ve got to market your app properly to get the downloads your product deserves.

Follow these 30 strategies for how to market an app below – they are all proven to deliver awesome results.

  1. Focus On App Store Optimization
  2. Create a Killer Landing Page
  3. Do Enough Market Research to Understand Your Customers
  4. Understand the Problem Your App Solves and Mention its Benefits
  5. Ask for App Reviews
  6. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
  7. Promote Your App With Email Marketing
  8. Link to the App in Your Email Signature
  9. Find Relevant Communities Online and Engage With Them
  10. Reach Out to Your Early Users and Build Relationships With Them
  11. Create a Promotional Video
  12. Promote Your App With Paid Ads
  13. Pitch for a Feature in the App Store
  14. Ask Users for Feedback
  15. Offer a Referral Bonus
  16. Reach Out to Influencers
  17. Leverage Your Website
  18. Look into Alternative App Stores
  19. Apply for Awards
  20. Reach Out for Features
  21. Don’t Forget About Social Media Marketing
  22. Get Featured on App Review Sites
  23. Promote Your App In-Store
  24. Join Relevant LinkedIn and Facebook Groups
  25. Run a Giveaway
  26. Respond to all of Your Reviews
  27. Integrate Social Shares into the App
  28. Host a Webinar
  29. Try Guerilla Marketing
  30. Cross-Promote With Another App

1. Focus on App Store Optimization

70% of App Store visitors use search to find their next app, and 65% of new app discoveries come from these searches. If your app is sitting at the top of the right search results, you’ll get loads more downloads.

To achieve this, you’ll need to focus on App Store Optimization (ASO). Just like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), App Store Optimization is the process of getting your App Store page to rank higher in the search results. The higher you rank, the more visibility your app has. The more visibility your app has, the more downloads you get.

When you set your page up for ASO, start with a main keyword. Find the most important keyword that relates to your app, and use this throughout your listing. Focus on a strong title for your listing that relates to the search intent of this keyword.

Include high-quality screenshots of your app interface in the listing, and always feature the benefits that users will get out of the app (and not just its features).

You can also localize your app to different languages and areas to make the app accessible and relevant to people in different areas. Otherwise, you might lose out on a huge audience who don’t speak your language but would still benefit from your app.

SEO vs ASO

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2. Create a Killer Landing Page

You need to have a great landing page to promote your app. Don’t overthink this, just use your landing page to highlight your app in the most simple way possible. Clearly introduce your app in a sentence or two, and offer great visuals of your platform.

Think of your app’s landing page as your business card. You’ll have to include a clear call to action that leads to a download link for the app. Also include clear links to the App Store and Google Play.

Some great things to include on your app landing page would be social proof from your users (like testimonials and positive reviews) and a demo video.

Your landing page can also go live before your app is launched. This is a useful way to start building some excitement around your soon-to-be-released app.

With a landing page builder like Wishpond, creating the perfect landing page for your app is easy. You can choose between various templates, and use the simple drag and drop editor to put together easy modern landing pages.

App landing page

3. Do Enough Market Research to Understand Your Customers

One of the biggest app marketing mistakes is not doing enough market research before the launch. Thorough market research should actually be done before development, and it’s an essential factor in mobile app marketing.

You’ve got to understand who your target customers are, and what pain points they have. Your app needs to be a solution to these pain points, which need to be clear in your app marketing efforts.

When learning how to market an app, it’s important that you create clear user personas. These should include everything about your ideal user’s demographics, interests, habits, challenges, and unique identifiers. With an in-depth understanding of your customers through detailed user personas, you will be able to market your mobile app far more effectively.

Understanding your users will help you realize things like the pain points they identify most with, the online channels they use the most, and what types of content this audience engages with online.

App niche

Above: an example of an app that caters to a very specific niche

4. Understand the Problem Your App Solves and Mention its Benefits

Apps are designed to make our lives easier. When figuring out how to market an app, you’ve got to keep your users’ problems at the front of your mind. Knowing this will allow you to offer your audience value and not just a product.

Whatever platform or channel you’re marketing your app on, don’t just list features. Instead, list benefits. This is far more valuable for your audience, and it will give your visitors much more reason to hit download.

app marketing

5. Ask for App Reviews

One of the most important factors that determine whether a user downloads your app or not is reviews. Gathering as many positive reviews as possible is crucial for successful app marketing. This adds valuable social proof, which will help new users decide whether to use your app or not.

The problem is getting loads of 5-star reviews can be tricky for new apps. When you get started, personally reach out to every user and ask them for an honest review. This will help you get the ball rolling. You can also send out an automated email asking users to please leave a review.

Once you’ve gathered a few positive reviews, make sure to use them. Post them on your mobile app landing page, share them on social media, and look for any areas that you can make these reviews visible.

Once you’ve got a few great reviews, your user base will start to grow.

app reviews

6. Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a great way to build up authority in your niche. The best strategy is to start publishing relevant content around your niche months before you launch your mobile app. This will help you build up an audience, it might allow you to start seeing some SEO results, and it helps you develop a level of expertise and authority.

To do this, start to write blog posts about the app you will be launching, as well as the problems your target audience faces. You could write an article introducing your app, an article introducing its benefits, talk about common problems your audience faces and how to solve them, etc.

The aim of content marketing is to add value to the user. So think about the kind of information that your audience wants to find out about, and write about this. Don’t just try to sell your product, try to educate and inspire.

And when you’ve created this content, you can promote it through your different marketing channels to grow your audience. Content marketing isn’t only about blogging and SEO. You can share this content on social media, make videos, create podcasts – get creative.

app content marketing

7. Promote Your App With Email Marketing

Email should form a major part of any business’s marketing strategy. As a business, you probably send out heaps of emails every week. Well, here’s a great opportunity to include in your app marketing strategy.

Try to feature and promote your new app in your emails. This allows you to send information directly to your audience, so it’s an easy way to reach a big interested audience and generate a lot of buzz for your new mobile app.

Include your app in your regular newsletter, send out updates about its launch, and promote the content you wrote about your app.

With the right email marketing tool, you can also easily send out personalized content to specific customers and leads. This can help you send more relevant details about your app to different people, giving them more reason to download it.

By the time you launch your app, you will have an audience of engaged email subscribers looking forward to your new product.

And then, once you’ve launched the app, you can continue to keep users engaged with regular email communication. You can send out updates, helpful tips for using the app, promote your blog content, or ask them for their feedback.

app email marketing

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8. Link to the App in Your Email Signature

Speaking of email, your email signature offers a great piece of marketing real estate. You can add a link to your app in your email signature to promote it to everyone you come into contact with.

This is a really passive app marketing strategy that requires basically no effort from your side. You can just go about your regular business day, except that now you can subtly market your app to everyone you communicate with via email.

app markting

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9. Find Relevant Communities Online and Engage With Them

The internet has given us many great things – one of them being easy to reach communities. Through platforms like Reddit, Quora, and LinkedIn, you can find communities of your exact target audience and reach them directly.

Search for Subreddits, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Quora threads, and anywhere else people are talking about specific topics. With everything that’s out there, there’s definitely a community where your niche audience is active.

Join these communities and engage with them. Answer people’s questions, post interesting content and make sure that you subtly promote your new app through this. Don’t be too sales-focused though. Rather try to use your app to add value. Speak about the benefits you can offer, ask users about their thoughts on the product, and answer any questions or feedback.

Doing this will help you reach a large community of people interested in your product while creating trust and authority around your new app.

how to market an app

10. Reach Out to Your Early Users and Build Relationships With Them

When you launch your app, the first people who use it are incredibly valuable to you. You need to be grateful for these users, and you can almost think of them as brand ambassadors. One of the best things to do is to create personalized relationships with these users. Reach out to them personally, thank them for using your product, and ask them if they’d be able to offer you some feedback or leave a review.

This will help you generate your first reviews, and it will help you build strong relationships with your core customers. You should also ask your early users for feedback. They will appreciate it, and you will get some valuable information to help you optimize your app.

The power of word-of-mouth marketing should never be underestimated – especially when you’re starting out.

11. Create a Promotional Video

Video remains the most engaging form of content out there, and it’s an important addition to any app marketing strategy. There are all kinds of videos that you could create to help you market an app. You could create a demo video of the app, a fun promotional video highlighting the benefits of the app, a video testimonial from a happy user, and more.

Once you’ve created this video, there are many ways you can use it for mobile app marketing. You could add a demo video to your mobile app landing page, post promotional videos on social media, use videos in ads, or even set up a YouTube channel where you post regular video content about your app.

In today’s world, creating videos is easier than ever before. Whether you’re shooting a video presented by a person, or if you create an animated video, it will make a big impact on the way you promote your app.

12. Promote Your App With Paid Ads

If you want to know how to market an app to a large and relevant audience, using paid advertising is one of the best strategies. Of course, the downside to paid advertising is the ‘paid’ part. You have to pay for each click on your ad, which could require a significant ad budget.

The upside is that you can create highly targeted ads that are shown to your exact target audience. This allows your app to get way more exposure than you can generate organically. And it’s not just widespread exposure, you can target your ads to an audience based on their interests and activity.

There are loads of different platforms that you can run ads on. The platforms you choose should be chosen based on your audience and their online behavior. The most popular options for ads are Google and Facebook, but you can do ads on Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, Bing… Whatever platforms are most relevant to your target audience.

how to market an app

13. Pitch for a Feature in the App Store

Every day, a new app is featured on Apple’s App Store. If your app is featured, you’ll be able to get a lot of new exposure. This can be a powerful app marketing tactic for any new mobile app. A feature in the App Store could give your app just the push it needs to gain serious popularity.

In order to get featured, you will need to send in a convincing pitch to Apple’s App Store curators. They receive thousands of pitches for app features, so make sure that your pitch shows why your app is unique and what major benefits your app offers.

App Store feature

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14. Ask Users for Feedback

When you’ve just released a new app, it’s important to always be looking for new ways to improve the app. This will make a difference to your app marketing strategy, as it will allow you to generate more positive reviews and offer a better product.

Constantly improving your app also shows that you care about the quality of your platform and your users’ experiences, which is essential when learning how to market an app.

A good app marketing tactic is to reach out to all of your early users and ask them for feedback. You could do this through individual outreach, or you could send an automated email to users asking them to provide feedback. Your app users will appreciate your interest in their experience, and you’ll be able to continually improve your product.

App marketing

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15. Offer a Referral Bonus

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful when it comes to software. Customers will trust what their friends and colleagues say more than what they might hear from a company selling its app. If you really want to boost your app marketing strategy, then you should try to get your users to refer your app to their friends. This kind of social proof is incredibly powerful.

Not only are referrals often more convincing, but they can also spread the range of awareness for your app in a big way. If one person refers your app to two friends, and those two friends each refer the app to two friends, your reach will grow exponentially.

To do this, you will need to give your users a reason for referrals. A great way to do this is to run a referral giveaway. You could offer a free version of your app (or another relevant prize) in a giveaway, and award bonus entries to the giveaway for each successful referral.

With a tool like Wishpond, you can easily generate referral campaigns to increase your app’s popularity.

app referral

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16. Reach Out to Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to connect your product with a bigger audience. And if you use the right influencer, you can target the exact users who will be interested in your app.

This is another form of social proof that will help to build customers’ trust. If a user sees an influencer that they respect promoting an app, then there’s a good chance they will be convinced to use it too. This is even more true if the influencer offers something special, like a discount promo code.

You will need to offer the influencer something in return for their promotions. Typically, this will be a fee for each post. For smaller influencers, you could also offer a free product or some other kind of incentive.

Just make sure that you work with influencers who have the right audience for your app. Ask the influencer to share their audience demographics and engagement rates to understand if they will be interested in downloading your app. Having higher engagement rates are often better than just having a lot of followers.

app influencer marketing

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17. Leverage Your Website

If your business already has a website, you should make the most of it to market your mobile app. Beyond just the landing page for your app, you can promote your app across your entire website.

This can be done through popups advertising the app, mentioning your app on your homepage with a CTA, including videos about your app on your website, and so on. The more visibility you give your app on your website, the more traffic you’ll be able to send to the App Store.

how to market an app

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18. Look into Alternative App Stores

We all know about the Apple App Store and Google Play app store. These are the most popular options, but they’re not the only app stores out there. If you can get your app onto more app stores, you’ll be able to generate more exposure for it. Getting listed on smaller app stores could also help you get better app store optimization results, as there is less competition.

Some great app store alternatives include Amazon Appstore, 1Mobile Market, Samsun Galaxy apps, Mobile9, Opera Mobile Store, and Mobango to name a few. Explore what other options are out there – it could help you get a lot more downloads.

alternative app stores

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19. Apply for Awards

If your app wins an award, you’ll be able to build a lot more trust and generate some great exposure. The good news is that winning an award for an app isn’t necessarily that difficult. There are loads of app awards out there that you can freely apply for. If you happen to win, it can give you some really powerful marketing content.

An award-winning app will look way better in highly competitive marketplaces. You can also display the award as a trust badge on your website, which is an effective way toi build trust for your brand.

Just do a Google search for mobile app awards that match your app’s niche. There could be all kinds of awards out there you qualify for. Any award, no matter how prestigious, is a good sign for your customers.

app award

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20. Reach Out for Features

Another great way to spread the word for your mobile app is through features and roundup posts. There are loads of blogs and tech sites out there that run features on certain types of apps. Getting featured in these blog posts is a great way to attract a larger audience, and build some trust around your app.

You could just Google roundup blog posts that match your app, such as “best music streaming apps”. Gather up a list of these posts, and reach out to the author suggesting to add your app. Include the app’s benefits and what makes it unique, and you might end up with a free feature.

Also, look for tech websites that run regular features on new apps and software solutions. Send them an email introducing your app, its advantages, what makes it unique, and why it would be an interesting feature for their audience. The more coverage like this your app gets, the more popular it will become.

market an app

21. Don’t Forget About Social Media Marketing

Of course, you can’t ask how to promote an app without looking at social media. Social media marketing is essential for any online product. Social media isn’t just there for creating posts about your app, you can also use it to create a community around your app.

Post regularly about your app across relevant channels, post about the benefits of your app, and highlight the pain points that it solves. On top of this, you need to engage with your community and build relationships with your followers. Respond to any comments and questions, open up room for feedback and discussion, and ask your audience what kind of improvements they might want from your app.

A great social media marketing strategy should offer a variety of content that always adds value. This means you should post videos, infographics, use cases, share informative blog articles, and anything else that your users can gain value from. If you want to reach a bigger audience, then you can always try paid advertising on your social media channels.

For a more in-depth guide on social media marketing, read this helpful article.

app Instagram

22. Get Featured on App Review Sites

Just like you can get featured in roundup posts about apps, you should also look towards dedicated app review sites. There are plenty of sites out there that are always looking for new apps to review. This could help you get the word out and bring in more exposure.

Just like you did with the features, round up these sites and send them an email about the release of your app. Explain what makes the app unique, what its features are, and offer the reviewer a demo.

Getting 3rd party reviews for your app is always helpful for building trust, and increasing brand awareness.

app reviews

23. Promote Your App In-Store

If you’re a local business with a physical location, then you can use this space to promote your app. Print out some QR codes for your customers to scan and position these around your store. Something as simple as a poster saying “try our new app” with a code to scan can vastly increase your downloads.

You can get creative with any physical space that your business might use. This could include a QR code on receipts inviting users to download your new app or even use dynamic QR codes on your menus or product packaging.

app QR code

24. Join Relevant LinkedIn and Facebook Groups

The right social media groups can be ideal places to connect with your future users. Spend some time looking through LinkedIn and Facebook groups that match your niche. By finding groups based on specific interests, you could find places where your exact target audience is gathered.

Join these groups, and offer helpful content and insights to the members. Of course, you should subtly promote your app through this. Don’t spam the groups or be overly promotional. Instead, add value and help answer their questions. You can answer questions and respond to posts, or create your own posts establishing the audience’s pain points and showing how your app can solve this.

If you’re genuinely helpful and engage well with this audience, then you will be able to build up some trust and authority within your niche. This is important for building up a great brand around your mobile app.

25. Run a Giveaway

A giveaway is an amazing way to reach loads of new people and get your app going viral. By offering an appealing prize and promoting the giveaway properly, you can get hundreds of people to discover your app and download it.

To do this, you will need to come up with a type of giveaway, and what people will need to do to enter. This could include filling out a simple form, uploading valuable user-generated content, referring your app, and more. With a social promotions tool like Wishpond, there are many different types of contests that you can run.

Even though you will have to give away a prize, you’ll be able to attract plenty of interested users in return. If you gather all of their content details, you can reach out to them after the giveaway with marketing content and a promotional code for your app. This is an easy way to boost your downloads.

app giveaway

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26. Respond to all of Your Reviews

When you market your app, you need to make sure that you build up strong connections with your users. These are the people who have control over your app, and their experience can have a dramatic effect on your marketing efforts.

Whenever someone reviews your app, always respond to it. This is a small gesture, but it can make a big difference to the way your audience perceives you.

Simply thank positive reviews, and tell negative reviewers how you value their feedback. You need to show your audience that you care. Remember, most users will look for reviews before they choose your app. And if they see that you’ve taken the time to listen to each review and consider their feedback, then new users will gain some trust in your brand.

app reviews

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27. Integrate Social Shares into the App

You want to find as many ways that you can to get people sharing and talking about your app. Of course, this includes social media. Shares on social media are valuable because people put a lot of trust into what their friends share and value.

An easy way to encourage social shares is to include share buttons somewhere on your app. If your app offers results (such as a game) then you could include an option for users to share their results to social media. This is just one example of how you can utilize social sharing in your app.

Once those buttons are there, it won’t require any effort from your side. And the results could be plenty of valuable social shares, which result in valuable downloads and exposure.

28. Host a Webinar

Another great way to show off the value of your app is through a webinar. Live webinars are incredibly engaging, and they can go a long way in building up trust amongst your audience. A good strategy is to host regular live webinars on topics that relate to your app and using these events to show the value of your app.

Just make sure that your webinars aren’t too focused on selling and promoting your app. Their main goal should be to offer valuable content and insights to your audience. Use the webinar to talk about topics within your niche and show how your app can solve these problems.

Try to include special guests in your webinars too. This is also a great place to put a human face behind your app and answer your audience’s questions.

And not only will a webinar help you promote your app, but it will also help you generate new leads that you can market towards. You can gather the email address and name of each registrant, and add this to your mailing list. These people are already interested in your app because they signed up for your webinar, so now you can send them relevant marketing content or even discount codes.

app webinar

29. Try Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is all about making a big impact without necessarily spending a lot of money. This can be a form of disruptive marketing, and when done properly, it can make a lot of noise for the benefit of your app.

There is no set formula for guerilla marketing, instead, it requires you to think outside of the box. You could take to the streets with a piece of chalk, put up well-positioned stickers with your QR code, or set up some kind of clever marketing installment. This is all about creativity and reaching new users in an unexpected manner.

Spotify billboard

30. Cross-Promote With Another App

Apps can also team up with each other to create a bigger marketing impact. Another good strategy when learning how to market an app is to find another app that compliments yours but isn’t a direct competitor, and run a promotion together.

Doing this allows each app to access each other’s audiences. This means you get to reach a whole new audience of potential users without having to spend any marketing budget.

You could run a giveaway for both apps, or just mention each other on social media. The aim is to create a win-win situation where both apps benefit from each other’s exposure.

Conclusion

If you’ve got a great new app, then you need to make sure you market it properly to get the results you’re after. If you don’t know how to market an app properly, then it might never reach its full potential. Having a great product is only the first step, getting the app out into the world is the other essential part.

By following the 30 strategies listed above, you’ll be able to achieve far more popularity for your app. Whether you focus on one or all of these strategies, they should offer good results.

And when it comes to marketing an app, it’s all about trying out new things, measuring their results, and then trying something different. With enough practice, you’ll soon find the marketing strategy that works best for your platform.

Have a cool app you think we should know about? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

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