Look around. Who isn’t in love with their little magical glowing rectangles these days?

A sample of mobile app icons
Be creative and keep an eye on your users. They’ll help drive your app. Via 99designs

The mobile app market has become a significant part of our lives, and the driving force behind many major businesses now comes through mobile app technology. Up against an ocean of competition, it’s imperative that you find creative ways of mobile app promotion to make your app stand out.

Sure, you may not have an unlimited bank account to work with. And it’s challenging for young startups to get ahead of well-established companies in the app world. But there are still ways you can get ahead with your new mobile app.

Get started with mobile app promotion

 1. Write a clear and creative description

The headline and description of your app will be the first things many consumers see. Make it catchy and informative. What is the clearest message you can send to potential users that describes your app?

Yelp’s app store description is concise and clearly displays its purpose. Via Apple App Store

Take a look at these great examples of headlines. They’re accurate and include keywords that emphasize the high quality service the app is able to provide.

  • Uber: “Get a reliable ride in minutes with the Uber app—no reservations or waiting in taxi lines”
  • Yelp: “Whether you’re looking for a pizzeria that just opened or a coffee shop nearby, Yelp is your local guide to finding the perfect place to eat, shop, drink, relax and play”
  • Instagram: “Instagram is a simple way to capture and share the world’s moments. Follow your friends and family to see what they’re up to, and discover accounts from all over the world that are sharing things you love”
  • DoorDash: “Food delivery to your door from the widest selection of restaurants near you”

However you want to word your headline and description, take note from these successful apps. Make sure you clearly show the aim of your app and stay relevant to your target audience.

2. Launch a beta

A beta version of your app will allow your followers to experiment with your new app and provide valuable feedback. Via Google.

We all like to try on clothes before we buy them, right? Creating a beta allows your followers to sample your new app before it becomes fully available.

Before you launch, make your Instagram and Facebook pages attract the audience you’re looking for so your beta is geared towards the right people.

Betas allow actual users to experiment with your app, which will greatly increase your exposure. Google previously released a beta version of its Chrome browser, allowing them to understand the general vibe towards its updates and provided them with priceless feedback. Creating your own beta will allow you to do the same.

3. Get reviewed

People are constantly looking for new ideas and tips (that’s why you’re reading!). Get your app on popular blogs or app review sites like 148apps and AppAdvice.

A view of the AppAdvice website
AppAdvice is great for getting your app out there and grabbing some reviews. Via AppAdvice

Getting your app on these sites will increase your exposure and give you invaluable feedback about what people love (or don’t) about your app. Don’t forget: many people are willing to respond to your app through reviews.

4. Look for app awards and prizes

The Webby Awards have many different award categories for mobile apps. Via Webby Awards

Good news! There are organizations out there that award apps for their ingenuity, functionality and design. Do some research, and you can apply for the ones that fit your app. A couple of good examples are The Stevie Awards or The Webby Awards.

Trust us: your app will turn a lot more heads if it has a stream of awards behind it!

Many mobile apps have taken off thanks to winning such awards. Dashlane, a relatively new app, recently won a Webby Award for “Best Services and Utilities App.” Apps nominated for a Webby Award in 2017 include Airbnb, Spotify, HBO Now and Pokemon Go.

If you have an awesome idea, enter and see how many other people think it’s awesome, too!

5. Create giveaway opportunities

Who doesn’t love free stuff?

People love giveaways and earning points towards things they like. A points system is a great method of mobile app promotion because your app generates and maintains interest as it continues to grow.

An advertisement for the Expedia app
A points system is a great way to give your customers that winning feeling. Via Expedia.

Think Expedia for example. They offer customers points based on their purchases, which can then be used for future purchases. That’s a great way to keep your consumers, well, consuming!

Other great online sites such as Rafflecopter, Gleam, and Promosimple offer easy avenues for creating giveaway opportunities for your followers. Intelligently created giveaways will offer your users great incentives to spark their interest, and keep them coming back for more.

6. Keep an eye on your stats

This one seems fairly obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook certain statistics regarding your app.

Adjust website
Adjust is a great way to keep you in the know on how you are doing, and to help identify the areas you need to focus on promoting and improving.

How many downloads are you getting versus how many active users you have? What are the most popular features of your app?

These are questions that help you understand where you are succeeding, and what still needs polishing.

Programs like AppAnnie and Adjust allow you to track specific statistics like which ads brought users to your app or which users spend the most and why. Keeping track of these statistics can be the difference between mediocrity and success.

7. Become a LinkedIn guru

LinkedIn is perhaps the best networking tool available to a young business, and it’s a great way to get your new content out there. Many top corporations regularly share interesting content and create opportunities for discussion with like-minded businesses and followers.

Networking effectively using LinkedIn will allow you to share content and create discussions with followers and like minded people. Via LinkedIn.

Great mobile app promotion starts with active discussions that are relevant to your field. Leave comments and tags on interesting stories and features, sharing your own content when relevant. But be resourceful and remember not to drown the service with marketing for your app.

8. Create app cards

Snapseed
Be like Starbucks. Include app cards with free downloads in local coffee shops. Via Starbucks.

You may have noticed small business cards in coffee shops and bars featuring “Song of the Week” or “Download of the Month.” These are app cards, and they’re a great way for you to get your new app on display to the masses.

Negotiate with local businesses so you can leave your app cards in their establishments. This easy mobile app promotion makes you readily accessible to a wider audience.

You can also include free trials or bonuses exclusive to a card picked up in a particular establishment. In past years, Starbucks collaborated with Apple to include app cards with free downloads in their coffee shops.

Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee in the morning? Get your cards into local businesses and watch the downloads increase.

9. Become a social media hustler

Pinterest is a great tool for sharing interesting content. Make sure to display your apps logo and description when you share! Via Pinterest

Don’t underestimate the power of social media! Here are some pretty awesome ways you can use social media to get your head above the competition:

  • Facebook and Instagram ads: Those ads that come up all the time on our Facebook and Instagram feeds? Those are deliberately placed ad campaigns. You can use these to catch people’s eye as they feed their social media addictions.
  • Facebook Live: One of the newest and most engaging features of Facebook is going Live. Going live with your followers will allow you to be present with them and personally answer any questions they have.
  • Pinterest: Share interesting content, and be sure to include your logo, headline, and images with your pins.

Companies that are active on social media are like people in a crowd with a loud voice! Following the steps above will help you to stand out over your less involved competitors.

10. Take care of your critics

This is arguably the most important tip for promoting your mobile app, and one of the simplest.

Ask more questions
Encouraging your critics to question your app, and responding appropriately will build a strong rapport with followers. Via Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

Many businesses fail to respond appropriately to negative criticism. None of us enjoy receiving negative comments about ourselves or our business, but empathizing and relating to your critics will allow you to better understand where you’re going wrong.

We have already mentioned review services such as 148Apps and AppAdvice. Keep an eye on your less satisfied reviews and attempt to respond to each piece of criticism to ensure doubters that you’ll correct any issues. You’ll create a personable experience and build a stronger rapport with your users, while always providing you with instructions on how to do better.

Be a little different. We dare you.

You can’t eliminate the competition from a crowded world of mobile apps, but differentiating yourself from the competition can = success. Remember, the customer is everything. Gathering a strong following with the above tips will be key to the growth of your new mobile app.

Be passionate, be creative, and begin your journey towards promoting the most awesome new mobile app the world has ever seen.

One more method of mobile app promotion? Have an awesome app icon design. Our designers can create a great one for you!

This article was written by Chris Paish.

Chris is an Assistant Head Tennis Professional at Woodbridge Tennis Club in Irvine, CA. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and golf, and loves hiking and camping with his wife and two dogs.