21 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App

Why You Need A Mobile App

Smartphone app 2013 is mobile’s year (finally). As a marketer, it’s critical to understand your audience’s mobile usage to ensure they can find you when, where and how they’re looking for your business on the device of their choice.

Not all mobile entryways are created equal.

1 out of every 3 visitors to the average retail website is mobile only according to comScore. This means that you must provide an optimal mobile experience or you’ve lost a third of your potential audience. To that end, you need to know what device your prospects are using.

  • 78% of smartphone users access a retail site via a mobile app. This makes sense since smartphone users are on-the-go seeking targeted information using less data that a mobile app provides.
  • 56% of tablet users access a retail site via a mobile browser. Known as couch commerce, tablet users are in a shopping mode where they’re researching different options.

ComScore data also shows that 63% of mobile commerce (aka m-commerce) happens on a smartphone, underscoring the need to provide a mobile app as well as a mobile website. (As a point of reference, here’s additional mobile data.) But you  need more. 

When your mobile website is optimized for both smartphones and tablets, your website is findable and the information on it is accessible. This is often referred to as responsive design. It’s the first step to take in getting your information out to mobile users but it doesn’t offer as rich an experience as a mobile app can.

When you offer a mobile app, however, the user must learn about the app, download and install it before they can access your information. So, not only do you have to create the mobile app, but you must actively promote it to your potential users. Mobile App versus Mobile Browser for Smartphone vs tablets

21 ways to promote your mobile app.

There’s no silver bullet to get your audience to download your mobile app. You need to use a variety of tactics to build your audience.

  1. Fill a need. This means know your target audience and what type of information they’re seeking while they’re on-the-go, as Sit or Squat does quite literally. Jay Baer refers to this as Youtility, quality information that helps your audience. If your app is useless, it won’t get used or recommended.
  2. Promote your app on your mobile website. If someone has found your mobile website, they’re a prime candidate for using your app. Make it easy for them.
  3. Feature your mobile app on your website. This doesn’t mean a small link in the footer. You need to promote it prominently where appropriate. Consider using a special offer to get customers to download your app to make it worth their time.
  4. Get your app into the appropriate iOS and Android app stores. This provides more shelf space to get your app seen by potential users. It also facilitates the process of updating app information and functionality later on.
  5. Have your app reviewed on targeted app review sites. Understand that this takes work. Here’s a list of review sites to get you started. (Please note: We do NOT review apps.)
  6. Leverage the power of your email newsletter. Since reading email is a major activity people do on their smartphones, let them know about your mobile app and make it easy for them to get it.
  7. Include a link to your mobile app in your customer service emails. The great part of customer service emails is that they tend to go to customers’ main email address.
  8. Link to your mobile app in your purchase confirmation emails. Like customer service inquiries, customers look for these emails. This is a great place to give a customer an incentive for another related purchase.
  9. Incorporate a link to your mobile app in your email signature file. Go one step further and make everyone in your organization use this link.
  10. Add a link to your mobile app on your business cards. It’s another way of expanding your reach.
  11. Discuss your mobile app in the appropriate forums.  Think Yahoo and LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Hangouts, Twitter chats and other venues.
  12. Incorporate a link to your mobile app in your social media profile. Add this to your business’s key information. Remember people spend at least a fifth of their time on mobile on a social media site!
  13. Promote your mobile app on social media. This means create a special tab on Facebook or a set of regular tweets.
  14. Use social media advertising to support your efforts. These ads are highly targeted and therefore can be effective.
  15. Create a blog post explaining the utility of your app. Include screenshots and other goodies.
  16. Develop a video showing your app in action. This is useful to add to your YouTube page as well as your blog.
  17. Promote your mobile app in your store. Mention your app in your signage and flyers to encourage buyers to download it.
  18. Have a tablet or computer available to collect email addresses. Sending them a link to your mobile app is a great way to encourage prospects interested in your product line. Don’t have an extra device available? Then use an old fashion hand written list.
  19. Post QR codes in your store, on your product and other offline media. Make sure that you include a call-to-action to encourage use.
  20. Leverage other media. Promote your mobile app in other forms of advertising and media. For example, Project Runway encourages viewers to download their app to interact with their broadcast in real time.
  21. Mention your mobile app in your presentations. Include your mobile app in your presentations. Include a special offer on the last slide or on your bio slide.

Remember, your goal is to create an app people want, can easily find, download and install to get more useful information.

What other way of promoting your mobile applications would you recommend?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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51 Responses to 21 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App

  1. Gr3en$n@k3 says:

    It’s so cute when a woman tries to do statistics. I don’t see any citations for those demographics, so until you post them I suggest to all who read this that you ignore it.
    Mrs. Cohen doesn’t seem to know her topic, so lets just ignore her.

  2. www.thechocolatelabapps.com says:

    Honestly – the best way to promote your app is through ASO. I’ve never seen anything much outside of the store – unless you’re getting TONS of paid or organic traffic- be effective. Elaine, http://www.thechocolatelabapps.com

  3. Maxim says:

    You should try http://96apps.com/developers — Starting at only $0.99 per app you’ll get unlimited time advertisement + review. Totally worth it!

  4. v_ignatyev says:

    Great article! I’ve just released my first application to AppStore.
    Once ShotBuf installed clipboard of your desktop will be safely synced via Dropbox across all of your devices each time you copy and paste things using Command-C (Ctrl-C for PC). Links, images, screenshots and text notes are supported! Look here: http://shotbuf.com/

  5. floppyfish says:

    great article. I’m trying to use all items. iOS Game e.g: floppyfish.mobi

  6. Jack123abc says:

    Great ideas hopefully it can help this new app out revive & survive https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/revive-survive-cpr/id828633060?mt=8

  7. Brontok King says:

    Amazing nature HD live wallpapers for free

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dev.justlive

  8. shankar says:

    try this appT20 Live scores is an app focusing on real time delivery of cricket live scores
    .https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.prediction.activity

  9. Pero Farmak says:

    Nice article. We have just released this new Baby Phone application and hopefully this advises here will help us!!!

    http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/baby-phone/a9912904-5ea3-4f24-bc9d-e623d01506d4

  10. Vazgen Drake says:

    Excellent tips. Some of them might work actually. The only thing i see is that unless you have a huge budget your not going to easily get your app noticed. i have tried submitting my app to many websites for review and they all come back with ” pay us and we will ” when before same websites where happy to do it for you for free.

    Here is a link to my new released fun game try it out guys.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jb.development.bear

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOBGSj_B8Pw

  11. Poppy says:

    Are you an App Developer? Did you create great game or app, but have troubles to reach customers?

    I can help! FOR ONLY $5 I will promote your app to 117.000+ fans and bring you lot of new likes and downloads. http://goo.gl/w0TSfE

  12. Ugur Ugur says:

    A multiplayer puzzle game. Be quick, be smart and let the opponent blow.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ucsoft.itisgonnablow

  13. Frederick Tubiermont says:

    Nice article, as far as we are concerned, we live our life outside the appstores, on the open web. Our mobile web app to create mobile web apps http://adsy.me was launched on April 16 and has already registered 10,000 users. Not bad 😉 There is a bright future beyond the appstores.

  14. Alex says:

    A great article on how to promote your Application. I previously was working on my app with Teknovate.co.uk. The application was on office management. It was basically made to be used internally, but now i am thinking of promoting it :) I hope it works well.

  15. cat mario online says:

    Good Post. Well structured and organized article. Blogging is important for any sit, it is fresh content and it is way to connect to to your customer base and build the trust with them.For businesses blogging is a way of providing people with something unique that other sites don’t offer and showing people you care about what you do and not just in it to make money.for
    some reason a lot of people out there do not use this ( although time consuming) important tool and need to be told in nice structured way, why and how they should use it.
    Regards
    cat mario online

  16. You have shared a good
    information about need of mobile app and its different ways to promote mobile
    apps but can you please elaborate more about costing for the promotion of apps because
    according to my little bit knowledge app promotion networks will price their service
    according to cost per download but I am not able to understand it completely so
    it will be great if you can explain on this platform also.

  17. john says:

    I realize this is easiest way to promote mobile app through online. Within last five years you can see lots of mobile user’s rapidly increased. At this time mobile app development is great sourcing for ever mobile developers.
    mobile application development

  18. Well informative article and as my field of mobile app promotion and marketing, the entire article is indeed helpful. The given all ways are necessary for Mobile app promotion and with that your app can be more popular.

  19. cat mario online says:

    Great article! I just wanted to say this post is right on the money.
    Apps are difficult to market, and games specifically have there own
    challenges. Video is definitely one of the best tools to get started
    with, and search engines love video. Most apps need explanation with a
    voice over, but most games dont, so you really need to present the game
    play in an enticing way and keep it short. You can make one yourself
    easily with your developer tool and a decent screen recorder. It takes
    some time but its well worth it. You could also just pay somebody to do
    it. I personally have used blue fortress media to make mine, but I know
    there are other good ones like appvj, wyzowl, and demo fuck. Either way
    good luck to you! And once again great article.thasnks
    catmario online

  20. JannyGarrets says:

    Very interesting information shared on this post that would be very helpful for other marketers. But, As per the best app marketing techniques concern I would like to say that you might want to check out this ebook: http://portfolio.openxcell.com/resources/compilation-best-app-marketing-techniques.html that’s really helpful.

  21. Martin Cazares says:

    This is a good article, and I would like to make a small promotion here about an app that was developed thinking specially on students, If you are an student this application is exactly what you need, Chiron is an application that helps you to get ready for your hardest test, all you have to do is set up an examen with your questions and the tool will help you to keep around the information you need faster and easier by getting notifications with random questions of your test during the day, you can download it from here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.doepiccoding.chiron

  22. Memoriser says:

    Flip the cards to reveal a matching pair. Train your memory with this simple game and have fun! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/memoriser/id900001252?ls=1&mt=8

  23. claudio says:

    Thanks for the suggestions Heidi, I will use it to promote my new APP Memory Trainer https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartweb.memorytrainer

  24. rikimilton says:

    Nice Blog! The information you provided are really beneficial. Thank you for sharing.

    http://www.video4apps.com/

  25. Saar says:

    Thank you for the tips. I’m going to submit my latest App “Galaxy Siege 2″ to the review sites that you mentions ( tip #5).

    I would love to hear what you think about my app (free) and how can I promote it:
    Galaxy Siege 2 on Google.Play

    Galaxy Siege 2 on the AppStore

  26. Clive Bennett says:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stickheroexp.dt
    Need some more length to your stick?
    Stick Hero EXPERT!! NEW GAME!!!
    Multiple Platforms to cross at once

  27. ssvcr says:

    Hi, I recommend this excellent option:

    4 Blog (2 Spanish – 2 English)
    1 Facebook (+8.000 followers)
    1 Google+ (+ 2.000 fllwr)
    1 Forum (+300.000 members).
    1 QR Code with 1 link your app or game.
    Increase your promotion by adding this EXTRA:
    [SOCIAL MEDIA]
    – 1 Facebook (+ 20.000 follower)
    – 1 Twitter (+ 8.000 fllwr)
    – 1 Forum (+ 8.000.000 members).
    https://www.fiverr.com/s/5oubfj

  28. BalintFarago says:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with many of the items in this list. E.g. I don’t think solo developers would create flyers for their app, start blogging or create presentations.

    As a freelance developer I created a list of 5 ways that I use every time I create something great.

    http://promote-your-app.com/blog/5-actionable-ways-to-promote-your-mobile-app/

  29. larmentac says:

    In http://sppate.com can publish your iOS app and write a note about it. if you have an app you should try

  30. Petr says:

    Hi, if you look for free promotion site, check http://www.freeappin.com where you can submit your app or game and pin it every day!

  31. Jay Patel says:

    Hello Heidi,

    Excellent Post! Thanks for sharing the helpful article. I have read the information and all tactics mentioned here are very useful and unique.

  32. JD Soft says:

    I’m working in a new blog exclusively oriented to android indie games. I offer free reviews in Spanish for those who wants to expand their opportunities in other countries.

    You can visit me at http://www.androidindietester.com

    KR

  33. Hypercube Games says:

    There are indeed a lot of ways to promote your mobile app. I just released a funny game Ant Run:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.som3on3.antrun

  34. I like what you wrote here! I found a site that i believe is useful for your readers the site is http://www.top-android-games.net/ is free

  35. Nguyễn Tuấn Anh says:

    oh thank you for your helpful topic 21 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App, i think in the mobile era, building a mobile native app and is a fastest way. in my working time, i used to use an another mobile app builder – simicart for my business, and i suggest it for another good choice and reasonable price. :) be consider and get a suitable app for your target :d

  36. Amelie Fernandez says:

    Hi… Great Article!!!!!!!!!! I read your article its nice and very useful for App Marketing companies those who want an easy way to promote your apps. Thank for sharing this such a useful information.

  37. Amelie Fernandez says:
  38. Vinod says:

    Great Article..!

  39. I think these are the basic things which we have to consider for mobile app marketing. Also, Pre-launch marketing does matter equally to post-launch marketing. One to One mouth marketing (Viral) can be considered as a good thing here

  40. James says:

    Thanks for this kind of useful information. I think you should also write about the Apps Marketing Firm. These days Apps Marketing ads are doing very good in terms of conversion.

  41. Shalini says:

    Nice Article. very informative post for viewers who are looking to promote their app. Now a days mobile advertising campaigns are highly necessary to augment your mobile promotional
    strategy. http://www.ladoooinstalls.com/ has got postive response from Big brands.

  42. Thanks for the info :)
    One more thing I’d like to suggest it. Try focussing on ASO(Appstore optimization) also. This would help increase appstore rankings for specific keywords that you focus as major percentage of app traffic comes through keyword search.

    Btw, I am an indie dev and have launched a free android paint app “Paintastic”.
    It has many unique and versatile features.
    Please checkout https://play.google.com/store/… and don’t forget to rate if you like the app !!

  43. Nikki Singh says:

    It’s a great and helpful article. I am satisfied that you good shared this useful information
    with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.!! recording app

  44. James says:

    Thanks for this kind of useful information. I think you should also write about the Apps Marketing. These days APPS Marketing are doing very good in terms of conversion. Apps Marketing

  45. ethan says:

    This is a good article about mobile app. I think any one who want to have a magento certification will all like this post.
    Thank you!

  46. Luke Flores says:

    Hello Heidi
    All tactics mentioned here are very useful and unique but I think Promote your mobile app on social media and Develop a video showing your app in action are best tactics.

  47. wow, wounder full ideas to promote the mobile apps. We’ll implement these points into our mobile app promoting strategy.