The mobile app market is a challenging environment. Year over year it becomes more difficult to stand out among tens of thousands of offerings in the Google Play and Apple stores. One of the most fundamental mistakes an entrepreneur can make after launching a mobile app is not marketing it.

No one will ever know that a single, well-crafted app has been published on an app store if you don’t put any efforts into letting the world know about it. Before even launching a product, you should ensure that there are people out there who will be interested in using it. App marketing, therefore, can be considered a part of the development process – just as important as designing, coding, and testing.

There are a number of app promotion agencies such as DotComInfo, Approstar, and AppPromo. From creating a business plan to analyzing user feedback, these companies can organize and carry out a marketing campaign for any mobile app. But if you aren’t ready for additional expenses or want to have full control over your app’s promotion, then check out our tips to learn more about the best ways to promote an app.

Start your app marketing campaign in advance

Utility and innovation are not enough to spur downloads within the first days of an app’s release. By starting your marketing campaign while the product is still in development you can acquire an initial user base by the time of the release.

You should start planning your campaign when you start planning the product.

Have a business plan and choose a pricing model

Before starting development, get a clear understanding of the app’s purpose, its target audience, monetization model, devices it should run on, market segment, and competition. Start by conducting comprehensive market research on each of these issues. Base the app’s development and your marketing strategy on your findings.

Target audience. You need to know who will be using your app: their demographics, lifestyle, and behavior. You can use a persona concept to define user archetypes, give them names, and design an app for them.

Business model. You can choose from several monetization models: paid app, freemium, in-app advertising, or in-app purchases. Nowadays, free apps are the norm, so it’s better to launch a free product at first and then pick a pricing model based on how you are performing on the market. Take into account that users would rather download a free app with annoying ads than pay for an ad-free product.

Launch a website

Many developers underestimate the value of a website. Websites are great platforms for mobile app promotion. App stores provide substantial information about your product, but it’s better to have more space to tell the full story.

Even a microsite with a catchy landing page and visible App Store and Google Play links, or a registration form for users to leave an email if the app hasn’t been launched yet, can be a positive asset. The landing page must be informative, highlighting the most important features so that visitors get a clear understanding of what exactly the app does.

Storytelling is a great app marketing solution, and a blog is the best place to write the story behind your product – what inspired you to create it, what problems you faced during development and how you dealt with them. This will help you establish an emotional connection with users while keeping them informed about future updates.

Don’t forget to integrate your blog with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social networks and services to promote your mobile apps. If your blog articles are engaging then readers will share them, letting more people know about you and your product. Smart SEO (search engine optimization) for your blog will also help you gain more users.

It’s important to make sure that your website is responsive and works correctly on mobile devices.

Roger Tadz

Check out the blog of Mint, a personal finance service. Its original content triggered user acquisition for Mint, and their blog is now considered one of the best personal finance blogs on the web.