Completed Your First App? Here’s How to Market It

You’ve spent months developing your first app, fixing bugs, tweaking features, and optimising performance. Now, your app is ready for release, and you want to get the word out. But app marketing can be expensive. How do you promote your app on a budget? Fear not. If you have the time, marketing your app on a shoestring budget isn’t hard. Follow these frugal marketing tactics to launch your app successfully without breaking the bank:

Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and X are essential for app marketing. And best of all – they’re free!

Create social media profiles for your app and start building an audience. Share app updates, run giveaways and contests, and post teasers leading up to your launch. Engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages.

Once your app goes live, continue promoting it through social posts. Share user reviews, case studies and app tutorials to generate buzz. Hashtag relevant terms so people can easily find your content.

Broadcast on Forums

Forums and online communities related to your app niche are great for connecting with engaged users. Sign up and introduce yourself and your app. Be an active member by commenting on discussions and providing value to others.

When you launch, share the news in a dedicated post. Make sure to include a link so members can easily check out your app. Continue to participate in the community moving forward and make sure to respond to any feedback you receive.

Email Your Network

Don’t forget to reach out to your personal network! Let friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances know about your app through email.

Create a template that covers what your app does, key features and where to download it. Make it personal by adding a note explaining your involvement. Send individually or as a mass email.

To follow up post-launch, ask contacts to review your app online or share feedback directly with you. Leverage your network to help spread the word.

Pitch to Influencers and Bloggers

Influencers and bloggers with an audience related to your app can be powerful marketing allies. Research ones who are a good fit in terms of audience and content focus.

Draft personalised emails explaining your app and its value prop. Offer to send them a media kit with more info, plus a promo code they can share with followers. If they try out and like your app, they may feature or review it simply in exchange for free access.

For example, you can create a media kit PDF with app screenshots, feature lists, bios of creators etc. To get a smaller PDF file size for easy emailing, use an online PDF compress tool before attaching it to your outreach emails.

Optimise Your App Store Presence

Your app’s marketplace listing is often the first impression potential users will get. Ensure yours looks professional and appealing. Include high-quality screenshots and videos demonstrating your app’s functionality.

Craft compelling copy that establishes credibility and gets users excited about downloading. Focus on explaining the value your app offers. Add relevant keywords so your listing appears in searches.

Request reviews from early users. Star ratings and positive feedback on your app’s page build trust and social proof.

Run Contests and Giveaways

Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes create buzz leading up to your launch while attracting engaged users. Require participants to follow you on social media, subscribe to emails or leave a review in exchange for a chance to win prizes or free access.

Tools like Rafflecopter, Vyper and Woobox help you manage contests on social media. Or you can use a platform like ViralSweep that lets users complete various actions to gain more entries. Promote your contests widely for maximum impact.

Guest Blog for Niche Sites

Reach targeted audiences by guest posting on blogs in your app’s niche. Stick to reputable, established sites with an existing reader base.

Pitch posts that provide value and align with the blog’s content focus. For example, share tips relevant to the niche or do a roundup of the best apps in the space. Be sure to highlight your app and include a bio with links.

Guest blogging expands your audience while providing backlinks that can help with SEO. Win-win!

Attend Related Events and Conferences

Look for upcoming events, such as conferences and meetups, relevant to your app and its target users. Attending in person is a chance to demo your app, collect feedback, and network.

If your budget is tight, see if you can get a discounted startup rate. Or consider volunteering at the event in exchange for free admission.

You can also organise a launch party or meetup in your own city. Invite journalists, influencers and industry connections to try out your app and celebrate the release.

Team Up for Cross-Promotion

Partner with companies that have an audience who may be interested in your app. Collaborate on co-marketing initiatives that benefit both sides.

For example, you could create a co-branded social media contest or giveaway, write guest posts on each other’s blogs, and cross-promote apps through in-app notifications and email lists.

Joint marketing expands your reach while splitting costs between partners. Explore creative ways to collaborate with relevant brands.

Run App Install Ads

App install ads through platforms like Facebook and Google are a popular user acquisition strategy. They allow you to promote your app to targeted audiences with relevant interests.

The downside is they can get expensive, especially for new apps with limited data. Start with small daily budgets and focus on dialling in your targeting. Monitor conversion rates closely. Only scale your spend if you see positive ROI.

Consider collaborating with other developers to create a “cross-promote apps” group. Take turns featuring each other’s install ads to decrease individual costs.

Pitch for Reviews

Getting reviews is critical for app store visibility and social proof. But reviewers won’t come on their own – you need to ask!

First, determine ideal reviewers like engaged beta users, influencers you’ve worked with, or brand advocates. Craft personalised emails pitching your app and politely asking them to leave an honest review.

You can also incorporate review requests into your app’s user flow. For example, prompt satisfied users to review you after a set number of sessions or when completing an action like making a purchase.

Just be sure to focus on value, not sales. The goal is unbiased feedback that helps future users – not simply 5-star ratings. Patience and persistence pay off.

Final Takeaways

Launching an app takes creativity and persistence. But targeted outreach, social media engagement and community interaction can go a long way in getting the word out. Focus on providing value to build connections and trust with your audience. Be helpful, not salesy. Transparency and authenticity will take you far. By combining both free marketing tactics and affordable paid channels, you can promote your app successfully, even with a limited budget. Stay nimble and keep experimenting to determine what resonates most with your users.

And remember: the marketing process doesn’t end once your app goes live. Ongoing promotion and outreach are crucial for keeping users engaged long-term. Apply these frugal tactics throughout your app’s lifecycle to maximise growth.

Categorized as Resources

By Bogdan Sandu

Bogdan is a seasoned web designer and tech strategist, with a keen eye on emerging industry trends. With over a decade in the tech field, Bogdan blends technical expertise with insights on business innovation in technology. A regular contributor to TMS Outsource's blog, where you'll find sharp analyses on software development, tech business strategies, and global tech dynamics.

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