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How To Promote Your Mobile App For Free in 2023

Mobile app development is booming. More users are choosing to go online via smartphone versus to a PC every day, and, according to Statista, in 2022 there were roughly 255 billion global mobile app downloads. 

But, how can one compete for users’ attention when there are millions of apps already available in Apple’s AppStore and Google Play? Turns out, there are many ways to promote yourself and do it for free. Yes, even in 2023. 

Why is it important to promote your mobile apps? 

Some startups think that because their app is innovative, pretty, or very functional, it will become an overnight hit without a lot of marketing effort on its end. Sadly, that’s not how it works anymore. 

Unless you have an established name and following, active promotion is the only way to find users. Not to discourage you, but there are endless alternatives to every mobile app already in existence, and many which are about to be. So, the chances of your mobile app being randomly discovered are slim. 

Mobile app developers have to promote their apps in order to get those first users who will give them ratings and talk about the app with their friends. They will also generate your first profit if you offer in-app purchases, helping the business stay afloat and grow. 

Another big reason to dedicate time to promotion is that it attracts additional investments. Building powerful mobile apps is neither easy nor cheap. To grow and scale fast, mobile apps usually require significant funds that investors will only provide if they see something tangible, such as a working app with its first users. 

How to promote your mobile app for free? 

Moving to the top of the app store ratings is affected by many factors, such as title relevance to the search query, trends, or screenshot quality. However, the key contributing reason for an app to move up the ladder is the number of installations. 

There are effective methods to increase the number of installations and advertise your app even with zero budget. 

#1 ASO optimisation

ASO or application optimisation is like SEO for mobile apps. App stores are similar to search engines and you can influence how easy it is to find you there. 

  • Make your app name readable and all-encompassing of what it offers. 
  • Identify relevant keywords and include them in descriptions but don’t overdo it. Keep the text readable. 
  • Pull the metrics on existing users and analyse the data to improve your positioning. 
  • Add visuals, such as images and videos, and screenshots. They are easier to understand and users take less time to figure out what the app is about. 
  • Work with reviews – respond to feedback and implement good advice. Encourage users to write reviews to demonstrate to everyone your mobile application is popular. 

#2 Provide a free version

If your mobile app has to be purchased before users can do anything with it, the chances of it blowing up are minimal. Create a limited free edition of the app that will lure people in and incentivise them to pay for the full version. Don’t give away too much with the freebie because you’ll risk having no sales at all, but also don’t forget to include some value. Otherwise, there will be no urge to pay for more. 

#3 Seek professional reviews 

A difficult but effective way to access a wide audience is by having your app rated by a professional. This could be tech bloggers or articles in online magazines. Some outlets will publish reviews on your app for a fee, but you can definitely have someone write about yours for free too. You’ll need to come up with a powerful pitch and invest your time in finding the right contacts and emailing them about your new mobile app. If you have a friend with experience in PR, ask them for a few tips before you start. 

#4 Social media 

Create pages for your apps where you can talk about key benefits and value, share updates, and post screenshots. Growing a following is a slow but powerful way to make your mobile app popular. 

Final pro tip 

Before you start building your promotion strategy, make sure your mobile app is as perfect as it can be. The design must be flawless and intuitive, and each feature has to perform excellently. More importantly, the app has to solve users’ issues and do it better or differently than everyone else. 

There are no second chances these days, so if someone downloads the app and it’s buggy or doesn’t help them in a meaningful way – you’ll have a hard time winning back their trust. If you’re not sure your mobile app is as good as it could be, reach out to the Emphasoft team – we build powerful apps from scratch and help enhance existing solutions too. We’d be happy to consult you and help make your application better.

Read next:

A complete checklist for App Store submission in 2023
Emerging Mobile App Development Trends
Super Apps: what they are, why they’re great, and the latest trends


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