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How To Market An App On A Shoestring

Posted by Alec Swanson — 15 Sep 2015

I have said it before and I'll say it again now. Marketing an app begins before you are even finished designing it. Why is that? Because it is a cut throat market out there and if you don't immediately begin, then you are going to be left out in the cold. Marketing has to begin as soon as you start making your dream a reality and putting the app into production.

Now I understand why some people hesitate. Not everyone has a budget that they feel is adequate for marketing an app. However, that can't be a reason for not starting your marketing as soon as possible. That's because some of the most effective marketing strategies don't cost very much and because as I've said, if you don't get a jump on the marketing, then you are not going to get anywhere.

Today, I am going to give you some sound, common sense marketing strategies that will allow you to get an edge on your competition but won't cost you an arm and a leg. Follow the strategies in “How To Market An App On A Shoestring” and you can rest assured that you will be better off than when you began. However, there is one thing that I really need to impress upon you before we begin. While these strategies are inexpensive - some even free - they still require time and perseverance. If you aren't willing to make that investment, then they are not going to work. Now, let's begin.

Design Your Press Kit

One of the first things you need to do is to get your press kit in order. A solid press kit should include information about the problem the app is addressing with a decent amount of detail, but not enough to give the app away for nothing. Some of the major parts of your press kit should be a high-res logo, a press release, a teaser video, a micro-site, an app icon, sample design screens and a fun, informative or heartwarming story of how your app was created. Also be sure that you have a well-tuned first paragraph for your app description. The app description is the sales pitch to your customers, and the app store screen shots are the bait.

Build A Micro-Site With Pop

The next thing you'll want to do is to build a micro-site. This is a two to four page website that gathers all the information about your app. This micro-site will be used to generate traffic for you, so make sure that it looks professional and is uncluttered. While most of your app downloads will come mainly through the app stores themselves, don't discount the value of web traffic. When designing your micro-site, make sure that it hooks your customer's attention immediately.

Create A Teaser Campaign

Another valuable lesson in our guide on how to market an app is to develop a teaser campaign. You can do this right on your micro-site by inviting people to share their email address to stay updated when your app launches. Not only that, but you can also create a video that might hook the customers, without giving away vital details about your app.

Don't Let Your Content Get Stale

One of the worst things you can do while you are marketing your app is letting customers (or search engines for that matter) think that your content is out of date. That is why I suggest creating a blog. You can link this blog to your micro-site and keep customers informed of the progress of your app. This will not only build interest within your customer base, but it will continue to get indexed by Google. You can expand this strategy even further by hooking your micro-site and blog together with your social media accounts for your app.

Start The Hype Machine

Once you have your app designed and are ready to launch, then you are ready to move into the most exciting part of how to market an app. One that requires that you build a little bit of hype around your app. You can do this by getting in touch with various tech blogs and magazines. You can do this by hand - which can be tedious simply because of the sheer number of them that exist out there - or you can use Pitch Pigeon to handle your launch email for you. Either way, just be sure it gets done because this step is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the success of your app.

Just keep one thing in mind. Be sure to personalize your email with links to your press kit and micro-site. Then wait for about a week. If you haven't heard from these outlets, then send them a reminder. If after your launch, these outlets didn't cover your app, then you might want to write to them again and give them information about your app - information such as customer testimonials and download stats.

Gather Customer Feedback

As we move toward the end of our How To Market An App On A Shoestring article, I would like to give you some advice that I have found to be profoundly helpful. As you are marketing your app, make sure that you ask your customers for feedback. That's because the higher your app's ratings are in the app store, the more likely it is to be downloaded. Therefore, you should ask for feedback through your app. This will allow you to solicit positive ratings for your app, and more importantly, handle negative feedback.

By asking for the user's experience, you can help convert unhappy customers into happy ones by resolving their issues, and after you have done so, having them leave a positive rating on the app store website. This will ensure that your app retains a high rating and as a result, enjoys many downloads.

And this is where we conclude out How To Market An App On A Shoestring article. Hopefully, you have enjoyed these techniques. If you follow them, as well as invest the time and effort, then your marketing success could become the next inspirational story we all read about.