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Powerful Ways To Promote Your App For Free

Advertising & Marketing

Isadora Teich wrote this article


Most startups do not start with a ton of extra cash on hand, but still have a lot of important work to do. We all know that advertising is incredibly important to the success of any venture, but how do you get started when you don’t have a lot of extra resources to invest?

Here are some ways that you can help spread the word about your new app in a cost effective or completely free way.

Create A Web Page

While you can spend a lot of money on your site, especially as a newbie, you do not have to.

You can create something simple using WordPress or other platforms that looks great.

You don’t want your app store page to be your app’s only digital footprint. You can use a website to host app-related content, provide resources to consumers, rank more highly in searches, and let people know who you are.

As a new startup, there are a range of people you want to connect with. This includes consumers, fans, potential investors, and a range of other people in your industry. A website is key for this.

Collaborate With Relevant Businesses Online

This can look like many different things. Essentially, the only limits are your creativity and digital social circle. Have you ever seen other companies or online figures doing guest posts on blogs other than their own? They do this because it is a simple and often free way to get your name out there.

When you guest post on someone else’s blog, whether they have a large or small following, you are accessing their audience, which is likely somewhat different from your own. In your post, you can display your expertise and also provide inbound links to your website. This will increase your visibility in Google searches. Also, if you bring someone onto your blog to post a guest blog, you can bring their audience to you.

There are many ways you can collaborate with others for marketing purposes at a range of price points. You can collaborate on social media contests, host events, do advertising campaigns with influencers, and so much more.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

Whether you love or hate social media, it cannot be denied that it can be a powerful tool for bootstrapped marketers seeking growth.

It is one of the most accessible tools out there. Even if you have no marketing budget at all, you can start a Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter for your app – even pre-launch.

There are already large communities of entrepreneurs of all kinds all over social media. Find out where most of the people in your niche hang out online, and join them. This can be a great way to network in your industry, find opportunities, and connect with consumers.

Whatever you do, don’t forget about interacting.

Just creating a profile and letting it sit blank is not enough. A common trap businesses who are seeking to grow on social media fall into is pouring all of their resources into making content, with none of their attention on interacting with people, and then getting stuck in a loop of talking to themselves online by making posts no one interacts with.

Always engage with others!

Do You Have A LinkedIn Account Yet?

LinkedIn has its own section for a reason! One big thing that causes professionals to pan social media is that most platforms are such a mixed bag.

Sure, some of the world’s most famous minds in business are on Twitter and Instagram, but more often than not you hear these platforms talked about as hotbeds of stress, toxicity, and dangerous and illegal behavior.

For example, there are countless people around the world who use Reddit for all kinds of reasons, as we saw recently when an entire Reddit community banded together to shake the stock market up largely for their own entertainment.

However, Reddit has a somewhat seedy reputation. Depending on the community you are checking out it can be either a powerful resource or a complete disaster. Many people simply don’t want to take the time to sift through it all.

If you want to build a professional presence online without getting slammed with Instagram models promoting diet suppressants to kids or the wacky arguments of strangers, LinkedIn is a great place to start.

It is a social network solely for professionals. It has a wide range of interest-based and skill-based groups so you can interact with precisely who you want, without dealing with any of the things that are not relevant to your business.

While many people seem to log into Twitter specifically to unload their grievances, LinkedIn has a more professional code of conduct.

Go Beyond Your Own Platform

Creating social media accounts and a website for your app are absolutely indispensable.

However, you can’t stop there.

There are numerous free ways you can spread the word about your app from the comfort of your living room. If you have blog posts on various topics as a part of your digital marketing strategy share them to forums where people discuss topics related to your app. Share them to places like Business Week’s Business Exchange, Startup Hub or medium.

Join conversations in a respectful way wherever you can.

If your app is in the beta phase, you can submit it to Betalist, for example. This site is dedicated to spreading the word about new apps and products that are still in the beta phase.

This is great because you can start getting the word out about your work before it’s even finished. Once your app is completed, you can also submit it to app review sites.

While there are a large number of app review sites, many have a ton of requests for reviews. So, it might take a few attempts to get their attention.

Don’t give up!

Here’s a list of some great online platforms for you (most free) to check out when it comes to submitting your app to get reviews, build online recognition, and more! Gaining domain strength is the key here, with the more quality backlinks you have, the better your Google ranking in search results.

You’ll also notice that some platforms are geared towards apps and games in general, while others seek to be more of a launch pad to get tech startups noticed. Choose accordingly.

1. Product Hunt – Post-launch online platform with a reddit-esque upvoting system in place to rank app submissions and get startups and new apps noticed.


2. Betalist – Beta phase apps only, 


3. Kiva – A deviation from the other platforms on this list, Kiva is actually a crowdsourced online donation platform for those whom are typically underrepresented in traditional funding.


4. Appedus Post-launch and free, but not guaranteed to receive review upon submission.


5. PreApps (separate services for pre-launch and post-launch; post-launch bundled service starting at $699 for submission to 100’s of app review platforms. Note there are many other aggregate app review platforms out there, so be sure to do your research.


6. AppAdvice According to their site, apps submitted well ahead of launch according to their guidelines are assured to get reviewed. Early submission allows their editorial staff to pre-plan the review and release to readers based around your app’s launch date.


7. Launching Next – Pre-launch, early-stage apps and startups.


8. Springwise – For groundbreaking, innovative apps and services which aim to disrupt in a positive manner.


9 .The Startup Pitch – Post-launch apps or websites deliver their pitch to hopefully generate traffic.


10. Netted – Ran by the team behind the Webby Awards, they review consumer-facing apps only which are design to make people’s lives better.

Clever Comments

This one is quick, completely free, and far more powerful than many people realize. Have you ever read an article on Business Insider, for example, and had something to say but kept it to yourself?

Commenting on the articles of major publications can actually be a great way to bring eyes to your site.

Here is a place where it is easy to fall into the trap of being “spammy.” This is when someone ruins the flow of natural digital conversation by aggressively pushing their product. You don’t want to do this.

For example, if you have a planner app, it would make sense for you to participate in the conversation on articles that have to deal with time management or self improvement. If someone has posted a political thinkpiece, however, selling your planner app in the comments would be incredibly out of place.

However, a well placed, well-thought-out comment on a relevant article with your site linked in it on a site with a lot of traffic can do wonders for anyone. The more you can do this the better.

Reuse What You Have

This is also a delicate balance. Some experts say that it is a good strategy to reuse content almost infinitely. For example, turning a blog post into social media content, podcast content, charts, videos, images, newsletters, and anything else you can think of.

However, if all of your content is exactly the same, why would people want to stick with you?

We all know someone who tells us the exact same story every time we see them. That is not particularly engaging in real life or on social media. While you should definitely repurpose content as a part of your overall strategy, it can’t be all you do.

Be cautious of becoming repetitive and stale.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of ways you can spread the word about your app without breaking the bank!

This can be as simple as replying to someone’s tweet or leaving a comment on an online article. However, don’t do these things just to say you did them. The key is leveraging them strategically. After all, anyone on earth over the age of 13 can make an Instagram account, but very few people have millions of followers.

Remember, creating an account on every platform and commenting on every article and collaborating with every person who will talk to you is not the key. If you only have the time for one good blog post a month, or a few insightful Tweets a week, that is fine.

This will be far more effective than pouring time into endless content that doesn’t stand out. Even with the smallest budget, some creativity and persistence can take your app far.

What are your favorite free promotion hacks? Comment below.

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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