5 Ways to promote your app with no budget

MAKERS

Did you know that Apple’s App Store is growing by over 1,000 new apps per day while currently more than 1,500,000 apps are available for iOS devices? With 1,600,000 apps, the Google Play Store is even bigger. It has never been easier to develop and launch an own app, the web is flooded with great services to learn how to create your own app.
But there’s bad news, too: It has never been more challenging to make your app grow.

Of course, companies with big marketing budgets and an even higher brand-awareness have a significant advantage over us, the smaller players. But even if you only have a tight budget — apart from staying up to date, there are some tricks to stand out of the mass.

1. Use your existing contacts and reach out for new ones

The market-entry of most apps fails because companies start their marketing campaigns way too late. They rely solely on their development company during the building phase and forget to ask their stakeholders for input.

At MAKERS, we’ve gained the experience that it definitely pays off to identify honest influencers and loyal customers as soon as possible. Let them know about your idea, show them your current status and ask for feedback. If they honestly tell you what they like and what they hate, they maybe just prevented a failed launch. Iterate your product and adapt while being honest to yourself. It happens that you have to say goodbye to your favorite feature.

2. Use your owned media channels

Provided that your company has already been active for a while, you have probably built up owned media — a (responsive) website, a corporate blog, a newsletter and social media profiles for instance. Use these channels to market your app once it’s live.

Write a compelling blog article about your app that includes screenshots and a link to the app store to help your stakeholders get a good understanding of what you do. Promote this blog article on your website, via your social media channels and your newsletter. Also, sharing the article with some influencers helps. Don’t think one post is enough. A ongoing content strategy, preferably cross-platform, is what you need to maintain brand-awareness with your customers.

Always remember:

You need to sell your app with a story, preferably to people you have built up a relationship with previously to get noticed.

3. Contribute to publishing platforms

Most of the successful people and companies have made their way because they look beyond one’s own noses, think out of the box and have strong interpersonal skills. Instead of waiting for someone stumbling upon your app, you should introduce it to existing and product-related communities.

Out there are many publishing platforms like Product Hunt (launch-phase only), Medium or social media groups that allow anyone to publish their own pieces of information. Use Product Hunt in early stage to submit your app and ask people for their feedback. Use Medium.com to write an article about the problem you’ve discovered and the way how your app helps to solve this problem. Use topic-related groups on Facebook or LinkedIn to introduce your product to developers and entrepreneurs — ideally by providing them with free promo-codes to try it out.

Publish your own articles on platforms like Medium.com to promote your app.

4. Think about alternative app stores

As you know, there’s tons of apps in the App stores. That’s quite a tough competition.

Luckily, there are various other platforms on the online market where you can upload your app. These are some of them:

Obviously, your chances to get millions of downloads are low on those alternative markets. Combine different stores to maximize them.

5. Let journalists know about your app

Newspapers, magazines and tech blogs are for sure the most traditional way to reach out to the public. Readers trust in their judgement and consume them regularly to stay up to date. If you don’t fear the public conversation, you should reach out to topic-related journalists and let them know about your app and the problem it solves. Out there are a lot of great guides that explain how to pitch journalists effectively.


MAKERS’ community of entrepreneurs, investors and experts helps digital innovators turn their vision into reality. The Berlin-based company was founded by Friedrich A. Neuman and Marius Schulze in 2013. MAKERS helped building 7 companies with a combined revenue of more than €60M to date. Across the platform, MAKERS companies employ more than 120 people from 25 countries.
For more information, please visit: www.makers.do

MAKERS

Written by

MAKERS

Turning Visions Into Reality. www.makers.do

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