Five Free Ways to Market Your App

by Moms With Apps on February 27, 2012

Our guest post this week is written by Karen Robertson, creator of the storybook app “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island”. She also blogs at www.digitalkidsauthor.com on topics relevant to interactive digital books and app marketing. In this post she shares tips on generating buzz for your app, on a budget. 

Anyone who has a family friendly app in the App Store will know that marketing the app is as hard, if not harder than making the app. We’ve sold our storybook app, “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island,” every single day for the past 10 months (except one) and have ranked as high as #5 in the US App Store, despite NOT getting any major publicity for our app. We have achieved this through a continued marketing effort.

In this post, I share with you some of our favourite FREE marketing techniques we use. These techniques cost time, but not money. First though, the most important factor to successful app marketing is that the app has to be terrific! Without a quality app, you won’t get the reviews you will need to help your app succeed and you won’t have people talking about your app.

Following are five free ways you can market your app and a few brief thoughts on each.

1. App Store Tools

If you’re working on an app, make sure you use the tools the App Store gives you. If you’re already in the App Store, you might want to re-visit some of these. After researching this topic, I went back and re-wrote our description and we’re redesigning our icon.

App name –If possible, use key words in your title.
App icon – Would your icon pop out if it were on the Top 200 page?
App description –The first lines are critical. Highlight awards, key sound bites from reviewers and what makes your app unique.
Keywords – Use key words you think people would use to find your app.
Screen shots –Showcase what makes your app unique and your quality artwork.
Ratings and Reviews – Continually invite people to rate your app and provide reviews.
Promo codes – Apple gives you 50. Use them! And if you run out, release an update and get 50 more.
Updates – When you release an update, don’t just write “minor bug fixes” in the description. Describe how the how the update enhances the user experience.

2. Price Sales

Consider occasionally dropping your price to drive downloads.  There are sites that track and report when apps go on sale.

3. Review Sites

Request reviews from review sites. These sites get a lot of reviews so follow their submission guidelines and if you have a demo video, let them know. You can submit to children’s app review sites, general app review sites, mommy blog sites, book review sites (if you have a book app), gaming sites. Think outside the box.

4. Social Media

Just about everyone has heard of social media and is involved in some way. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, blogs or forums, social media delivers a new way to connect with your target audience.

The golden rule is that when it comes to using social media, it’s all about building relationships and sharing information or your expertise. Yes you can use social media to promote your app as well, but don’t think of social media only as a promotional tool.

5. Free Public Relations (PR) Options

PR is unpaid publicity about you or your app. What I love about PR is the credibility that comes behind a good story. The downside of PR is that you have no control over whether or not a story is published and little control over when it’s published, where it’s published or what is said.

The most important thing to know about doing PR for an app is that it’s NOT about your app! A  journalist is interested in either what your book can DO for their reader or they are interested in your personal story.

You can pitch your story directly to journalists. You can send a press release out via free press release distribution services (www.free-press-release.com or www.prlog.com are two options). Or, you can contribute to an article. Sign up for Help a Report Out (HARO – http://helpareporter.com) or Sourcebottle (http://www.thesourcebottle.com/subscribe.asp) and get daily listings of stories that journalists are looking for contributors on. Submit where relevant.

Interested in learning more? Check out www.howtomarketabookapp.com for Karen’s app marketing reports and eBooks.

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