Everyone wants a mobile application lately and most of the time I don’t know what it means to create a mobile application. The hardest part is definitely not finding a team of programmers to technically implement your vision. What is most difficult to achieve, in fact, is promoting the application.
During this article, we set out to approach a complete study on the subject. We have divided this article into two categories, depending on the financial investment: free and paid promotion. Obviously, nothing is free and each of them comes with a certain cost, but we made this division based on direct financial investment. Because we want to respond promptly to your requirements, we present the table of contents:
- 1 How to promote a free mobile application
- 2 ASO (Optimizare App Store)
- 2.1 The title of a mobile application
- 2.2 Description from the App Store and Google Play Store
- 2.3 Keywords in the Apple App Store
- 2.4 Logo
- 2.5 Request user reviews
- 2.6 Testing and optimization
- 3 Using a landing page
- 4 Blog articles
- 5 Social Media
- 6 Promote the mobile application using videos
- 7 Promote your app in the comments
- 8 Record a Podcast about the application
- 9 Free trials
- 10 Offer discount
- 11 Post the application on ProductHunt
- 12 Create content that can be distributed
- 13 Apply for bounty contests for mobile apps
- 14 Post the app on review sites
How to promote a free mobile application
Promoting a free mobile application should not be interpreted letter by letter, because there are no costs 0. But what should be interpreted as free is the price, during this material we will present methods that do not involve financial resources, but only time. When you are a beginner, you have time, but you do not have money and it is obvious why, so we will show you below, ways of free promotion for a mobile application.
As you probably noticed from the table of contents, we tried to make a comprehensive list of ideas, through which you can promote the mobile application for free. However, not all of them can be guaranteed success for any type of application.
ASO (Optimizare App Store)
App Store Optimization(ASO) is the process of increasing the visibility of an application or game in an application store, in order to increase organic downloads. Applications are more visible when they rank high on a wide range of search terms (keyword optimization), maintain a high position in the charts, or are featured in the store. In addition, ASO includes activities that aim to increase the conversion of application impressions into downloads (conversion rate optimization).
App Store Optimization (ASO) is built from two components On meta factor Optimization and Off Meta factor optimization.
- On meta factor Optimization represents the changes we can make inside the console in the application store. Examples of factors: title, description, screenshots, or video presentation.
- Off meta factor Optimization represents the external factors related to the user experience in relation to the mobile application. These factors cannot be directly influenced by the application development team.
To find the right title, subtitle, and description for your mobile application, you need to know your audience. For this, I have described a set of steps that will help you discover your target audience.
Discover the target audience
To create the right title, you need to know who the audience is. You can’t create a suitable title if you don’t know your audience. Who are your users? What country do they come from? What problems does your application solve? How do these users find new apps in the App Store?
Search for the right keywords
Once the audience is established, you can search for keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that users enter in searches when they want to discover specific solutions. For example, a user who wants to discover a mobile app that shows them public order laws will type “public order” in the Google Play Store or App Store.
How do you find the right keyword?
When choosing a keyword, you need to consider three factors: relevance, competitiveness, and search volume.
a) Relevance: It is the most important indicator you need to analyze. A keyword like “music” is guaranteed a suitable term that will bring a lot of traffic for an application in this sector. Always search for keywords relevant to the application.
b) Competitiveness: Certainly when you want to use a keyword, you are not the only person targeting that term. Competitiveness indicators follow the difficulty of being indexed as high as possible in the results, for a certain keyword.
c) Search Volume (Traffic): Represents the last selection criterion for a keyword. You need to make sure that a keyword you have chosen can generate a certain number of clicks, otherwise, you should not choose that term.
The title of a mobile application
The title is a key factor. A title that starts with a highly searched keyword in your application niche will dramatically increase the visibility of the application in the store. Make sure your title is unique and easy to understand. The title should communicate the purpose of the application and inspire trust in users.
It is important to know that there are certain character limits, and the name you choose for the application must respect them. In the Apple App Store, the limit is 30 characters, and in the Google Play Store, the limit is 50 characters.
If the app is available in multiple languages, we recommend that you use the appropriate language for the title and description to help users get there as easily as possible. Do not try to use the names of other brands, it can interfere with indexing algorithms and you may not appear correctly in the results. We also recommend that you do not use synonyms in the title, you can do this in the description, try to use the best words that define the application in the title.
Description from the App Store and Google Play Store
By title, it is the second most relevant factor in indexing the app in app stores. Always try to keep the application description as simple as possible, but also to integrate all the keywords relevant to the application domain.
In the Google Play Store, the first 80 characters are the most important area, where you must enter the most relevant words that define the application because these are the words that the user first notices. Both the Google Play Store and the App Store have a maximum limit of 4000 characters, I recommend using the full description as much as possible. Remember that it is important to have a good indexing score, but your main reader remains the user, not the bots.
Keywords in the Apple App Store
Unlike Google Play, the App Store has an additional property in the console, where you can highlight your keywords. These will be taken from this field and not from the text.
The logo of an application can make a difference when it comes to installations. The logo next to the title is the differentiating element in users’ searches. It can capture their attention among the other applications in the Store, through simple, unique, and at the same time defining elements for the application they represent.
Request user reviews
The usefulness and experience offered by your application can be measured very easily with the help of reviews. An application with a positive review rate will have a much higher number of installations compared to other applications with a low number of reviews or a negative rate. Studies show that installs are directly proportional to the rating received by the application. If your application has a 5 star, you will have a large number of installations, if you have 4 stars the number decreases dramatically, and below things are even worse.
Testing and optimization
As I described earlier, it is important to optimize your title and description texts, but you need to consider a few things about these changes. Users frequently change their behavior and may be attracted from time to time by different aspects, so through a continuous improvement of the texts, you can have the expected results.
Your tests should take into account that stores can’t give you instant results. The indexing process can take between 6-8 weeks in the Google Play Store and up to 4 weeks for the Apple App Store. So don’t give up on certain keywords too quickly.
Using a landing page
Using a landing page to promote a mobile app may seem unrelated at first glance. But things are different in reality. In the previous chapter we discussed how to optimize ASO, but the traffic must be generated from outside the application stores.
What is a landing page?
If you’re wondering what a landing page is, I’ll give you a brief description. A “landing page” is a web page, a site, with the role of presenting and selling a product. Unlike the homepage, which often presents you with more information about the theme of the site, a landing page refers to a single topic. Therefore, a landing page is ideal for presenting your product, because the user receives a complete presentation of the product and is not distracted by other products or unrelated topics.
What information do you have on the landing page to promote the application?
The most important thing to keep in mind when developing a landing page is that the information you present is short and clear. The user can quickly lose focus if he does not understand from the first seconds he arrived on the page what it is about, what the product is, and to whom it is addressed. Too much information can confuse him and that can make him leave the page.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating landing page content:
- Be short and direct. Just because you have enough information to create 10 pages of content about your mobile app doesn’t mean it’s necessary. The user has no time to waste with the details, at least not from the first, if your application is complex you can create a guide or tutorials, which you can query later, after the conversion.
- Sincerity is the key. You need to be transparent. People need to know what stage of development your project is in (it’s in development, it’s already launched, etc.)
- Use of graphic resources. You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It is also a valid statement in the case of landing pages. Use as many photos, videos, or graphics as possible to help customers quickly understand the information you want to convey.
- Customize the information transmitted. Try to be authentic and convey to users the information in your own style, adapted to the application you present. You can use humor or direct messages to highlight the uniqueness of your application.
Purchasing users before launch
You are definitely reading this article because you do not believe in the myth “launches and users will come”. It is important that before launch, you have a reliable audience, interested in your application. You can create a landing page before launch, to buy your users. In it, you will display a sign-up form, where the audience can register their email address and why not, other data you need (Note! Be careful at GDPR).
Once your contact details have been collected, you need to make sure you are close to those who are interested. Constantly inform them about the development phase you are in and what the course is, without repeating or annoying the audience.
Call to Action (CTA)
Whatever the purpose of the landing page created, you must have a goal. Either, as we presented in the previous paragraph, to purchase users, or for example to get an installation of the application. This Call to Action can consist of a text message or a button, after which the user can perform the action you requested. You have to be careful, it is important to have only one Call to Action on the landing page, otherwise, you can create confusion and the user will not perform the action you request.
Generates organic traffic
The major advantage of implementing a landing page is that following a quality SEO, your page can generate organic traffic. This means that every time a user is looking for an application like the one you are developing, they will most likely search on Google. It is important to appear in the results because organic traffic can bring you many benefits. Try to use the previous study for the ASO part and use the relevant keywords in the texts on the landing page.
Make blog marketing content
Marketing content is a way to provide information about the mobile application, by creating articles written on the blog, which can become a topic of interest to the public. It is a major form of promotion for new products or services because people learn new things through them. Also, the main advantage that blog articles offer is the indexing of the site/landing page on search engines. Remember the previous discussion in the ASO (App Store Optimization) section where we present the purpose and advantages of the correctly chosen keywords, it is the same principle when it comes to SEO optimization.
A well-written blog article can drive a huge amount of traffic to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Through captivating content, you can highlight important functions of the application and the practical utility it offers, but also keep the reader’s attention and offer value in the first place.
Write guest posts on niche blogs
You need posts on both your blog and niche blogs for the public to discover your application. In addition to the reasons described above, you can expand your audience by writing articles on industry blogs, this process is called guest posts. The advantages are the same as above, but the main difference is that you are addressing a new audience.
Suppose the application you want to promote is dedicated to the crypto domain. You will start making blog posts about topics in your existing niche, but at first, the audience is limited. To reach as many readers as interested in the application you are promoting, you can start a search for sites or blogs that write articles in the crypto niche. You can contact the team that deals with the site and you can suggest to them to make an article for them. Depending on how each site operates, some may have a policy that does not allow guest posts. Most of the time, in exchange for your article, you can ask to put some links to your own site or to the application in the stores. This will help you a lot with the domain rating and implicitly with SEO optimization.
Your article does not have to have a promotional hue, for the application you propose. But you can draw the content of the article in a form that does not aggressively promote the mobile application, and at the end of the article be curious to try the link to the application. Focus on the CTA at the end of the article to guide the audience to try the app.
Social media for promoting mobile applications has proven to be one of the most effective methods. The reason it is so efficient is due to the direct line between the post and the application, the user being one click away from the application. Social media posts are not like a site or a landing page, you don’t need to go through a page that can steal your attention for good minutes.
The above statistics show the power of Social Media in general, but especially for mobile applications. Being such a large field and with a diverse audience, all you have to do is be creative and identify the best method that works for your audience. Among the methods you can use to reach the public are:
- images showing the usefulness of the application;
- presentation videos;
- statistics or graphs that demonstrate the need for an application such as the one you are promoting;
- comments or posts on niche groups, to get in touch with the public;
Promote the mobile application using videos
It has often been shown that videos are a good way to create engagement, as followers receive an introduction to the mobile application. And rightly so, every time you waste time trying applications to solve a certain problem, you can’t waste time endlessly with a new application. Instead, I would definitely prefer to watch an introductory video before installing the application. The main advantage is that a video can be useful on most of the above promotion media:
- integrated into the landing page;
- posting on social media;
- presentation video in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store;
- uploaded to Youtube or other video streaming platforms;
Not only will you make more downloads with a video in the store, but it will give you credibility in front of the public. The audience will be able to see the application in action, before downloading it, they will understand what it is about and how to solve their problems, they will have an idea about the concept and how to use it, before pressing a single button.
Youtube is now the second search engine, and that means people are looking for information directly on the platform. Such as when a search for “public order” receives a mobile application:
Promote your app in the comments
The ability to comment on blog posts, social media posts, or forums can be a tool for promoting mobile applications. The main advantage of placing comments is that the audience is already filtered. If the mobile application aims to edit photos, placing comments on groups or social media posts in the video photo niche, will bring a positive boost. People who follow those posts or groups are interested in the topic.
You can also leave comments on articles on various blogs. Suppose you have an application that you want to promote, and it shows you methods to promote the mobile application. It would be a good decision to leave a comment on our article because more people can reach this page and take a look at the comments.
Another audience you should target is Reddit. The Reddit community is divided into groups, debating topics on almost any topic. You should be very careful though, the Reddit community does not accept unfounded advertising. Discussions should add value, so your comments should not just be promotion, but provide benefits.
As a summary for this whole section, I would like to remind you: quality content, which offers value. Do not leave comments that do not bring value, because you will not receive value in return. Have natural discussions and place products when possible.
Record a Podcast about the application
Lately, podcasts have become more and more popular, because you can listen to them in the car, on the subway, or on the way to work. When it comes to these, depending on the topic you want to address, the audience, and the budget and time available you have several options. You can record your own podcast in which to discuss the problems that the application solves or a much more generic topic, which also includes the niche of the application you are promoting. Creating a podcast, however, may not be available to everyone, so I suggest you participate in other podcasts and show the benefits of the application. Try to bring value to the community, it will not be enough just to talk about the application.
You already know what a trial entails. It is a trial period, in which the user can test the application without paying for it. It is the perfect combination with all the alternative methods presented above because as soon as you discover the advantages of the application, you think it fits, and you want to test.
Implement a conversion plan
Your goal is to make your customers happy, but don’t forget to convert your target audience into active users. The free trial plan does not have to be planned just as a trial period, because the application may be what they are looking for, but it does not take full advantage of the benefits. So try to create a free trial subscription to help users. Your role is to define step by step the free trial plan, so that once the user notices the advantages and the value that the application brings to pay for a full subscription.
Limit the duration of the free trial plan
There is no right limit to the duration of the free trial plan that you apply to any product or service. Each product or service has its own characteristics and is uniquely identified in front of the public. Some mobile applications may have a free trial plan duration of 3-5 days, as users need a few minutes to decide. Other mobile applications need a longer duration of the free trial plan until users discover the benefits.
If I could give you some advice, it would be not to identify with the rest of the competitors, there is no need to have a free trial plan with the same duration as them. The truth is that for most mobile apps you don’t need a month to decide. Users try an application for a few minutes most of the time, then forget about it or uninstall it. In marketing, there is a specialized term “scarcity” (I leave an article to find out more 9 Scarcity Marketing Tactics (Proven Methods Inside)). In short, when a product is presented to us as a unique or limited offer, our brain perceives that product as special and focuses more on the subject. You can take advantage of studies done in this direction to increase your conversion.
Set limits for free trial plans
If we previously presented the limits of the free trial plan in relation to the duration of validity, I would also like to mention the limitation at the level of functionality. The limitation of functionality in the free trial plan cannot be applied to any type of mobile application and differs from case to case, depending on the specifics of the application and the target audience. There are several types of limits you can apply to the free trial plan:
- Limiting a function;
- Limitation of use – you can limit the use of a certain action such as emails sent, number of payments made;
- Capacity limitation – you can limit their storage space for certain functionalities, data traffic;
- Limiting the result – you can limit the result produced by your application (for example for photo applications, you can apply a watermark);
Request payment for a full subscription early and frequently
The biggest mistake I made so far, in terms of free trial plans was to ask users to purchase a full subscription at the end of the free trial period (I applied this mistake in the Customenu project). Remember that the user does not owe you anything and that your goal is to help both him and you. It is perfectly correct to ask them to make the payment as soon as possible.
Connect with the audience
Connect with the public so you can convert the free trial plan into a paid one. If the user uses your product, this is a good sign and it can mean that your application can change his life or maybe just his business. At the same time, there is a chance that soon the free trial plan will be forgotten and it will expire.
In this case, you need to increase your chances of success a little. How?! You need to contact outside the platform or mobile application. You can connect with them via push notifications or email. You can track the activity of users and if, for example, in 3 days they have not performed an operation, you can notify them with a material that shows them how they can complete that operation. You can also contact them manually, no need for automation tools.
If the app you are promoting offers in-app purchases, you can offer discounts at certain times to attract more customers.
Post the application on ProductHunt
ProductHunt is a community of users who distribute new products and services. Once the product or service is posted, users can comment and vote. The most interesting projects promoted by the community will reach the featured section, and ProductHunt will send to more users in the community who can also become users of the mobile application.
Create content that can be distributed
The best promotion is “word of mouth”, and no, you’re not a dentist, you don’t have to look people in the mouth. Any user you have can bring you other users, but for that, you should provide them with a quick way to distribute content. For example, for the Ordine publică: Legi & Amenzi, we have placed a distribute button on the screen of each law. Users will be able to share a link, and if you enter from a mobile phone, your application will open in Google Play or App Store.
Apply for bounty contests for mobile apps
Every year, at different times, there are a lot of contests with prizes for mobile applications. These competitions have different themes such as news, innovation, design, and more. Do some research in your field and apply, because it is not the reward itself that is as important as the fact that people discover you and you can create connections.
Post the app on review sites
Did you know that you can get reviews on your application from users of profile sites ?! There are several sites that allow users to solicit the opinions of others in the community for free or for a fee. I’m attaching this list of review sites, but you can look for others.
Towards the end, I hope you liked the article and especially found it useful. If you nodded at all the above, throw a share, share it on social media, by email, SMS and if you give us a backlink we will thank you personally. Leave us a comment with your opinion about the article or suggestions to complete the list.
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