When it comes to apps, creating the app is the easy part. It’s getting it noticed that’s the challenge. With hundreds of thousands of apps being uploaded to marketplaces every year, standing out is hard, and climbing to the top is nearly impossible.
That said, here are a some strategies to consider than can help your app become successful:
Utilize QR codes
QR codes are a natural fit for app promotion. The user has their mobile device in hand, and all they have to do is click “Download.” Unlike a web ad, or ads appearing in other places, QR codes don’t ask the user to remember your app and check it out later – they’re designed for impulse purchasing, and there are no obstacles to getting a user to download them. The fewer obstacles there are to getting a download, the higher your conversion rates will be.
If no one clicked on ads, they wouldn’t exist. Therefore, ads can be effective. Spend some money, advertise your app, and you can grow the way that large developers do.
Leverage the social network
This is Promotion 101. Whoever your contacts are, share your app with them and make it easy for them to spread the word. Better yet, design your app so that people can interact socially within it. When friends need to use an app with their contacts to get the most out of it, you can get a ton of natural, built-in referrals.
Don’t neglect searches
“Bunkr” may be your favorite name for your password safe app, but a competing app called “Free Password Safe” will probably knock you off the map because users will always find it first. If you have a revolutionary app, of course, search optimization probably won’t have much of an effect because users won’t be searching for something to meet a need they don’t know they have. In that case, just make a name that is memorable and easy to spell correctly.
Build on previous work
If you already have a website, or an app, cross promote to help your new app build on your past successes. The products don’t have to be related, but to the extent you already have a platform, use it!
Court the press
You don’t need a writeup in the New York Times, here. Just find relevant writers of varying sizes on the web and reach out with a free download code. You’d be surprised what a personal email to a writer can do. Don’t forget, writers need content to write about, and if your app is relevant, it can easily wind up in a blog post or article. This advice also covers professional reviewers. Highlight what’s new or inventive about your app to pique their interest, because a solid review from a respected outlet can be a huge boost.
Create a contest around your app
Creating a contest removes the need for you to “hard sell” your app. Instead of focusing entirely on the benefits of your app, you can say that even if users don’t like the app, they might win something neat! Contests don’t have to feature monetary prizes. Use creativity. For example, your contest prize can be that a user will be turned into a character in your app or game. The point is to drive a little excitement and to give people a new reason to download your app.
As we said, app promotion in today’s extremely competitive marketplace is like climbing a mountain, but each of the above tips can get you a little higher. Good luck!