Advertising Your App Yourself – Part 1


So you and your group of friends finally got that dream app developed and you’re sooo excited about finally launching it and having millions of users download your app immediately.  But how quickly the fanciful money bubble is popped by the sharp needle of reality.

After a month of your app on the App Store, you have 10 downloads, and 9 of them were by friends you asked to download it.  Bummer…So what do you do than?  Do you give up, feeling like your app is horrible and there’s nothing you can do?  Do you pay an advertising agency thousands of dollars to advertise for you?  Nope! I’ll show you how to get off the ground fast!  Here’s a list of things to remember:

Meet people personally

In the mobile, digital age today, many people just don’t appreciate the value of personal interaction with potential customers.  If people see a Tweet from your mobile device, there’s a low chance that that will turn into a customer who actually uses your mobile app.  However, when a person gets a chance to see the man behind the mobile app; the tenacity, the drive, the diligence; they’re much more apt to invest in you, rather than just your mobile app.

So get out there and meet people.  Figure out who your potential client is, print out some fliers and business cards with a QR Code to download the app, and start handing them out.  If your targeted audience is college students, than go to the nearest college to you and start there.

  1. Print out business cards and fliers with your app info on it and a QR Code to direct them to the appropriate App Store
  2. Go to high volume areas and pass out your business cards and fliers for your Mobile App
  3. Strike up conversations with people and explain the Mobile App a little bit to them to increase their likelihood of downloading your Mobile App.

Get Beta Testers

The really good thing about Beta Testing, is that it seems cool to be a Beta Tester.  People want to be part of projects, especially mobile apps.  When it comes to advertisement, Beta Testers can be the best.  So offer some cool perks to people to try and motivate them to help you with your project.  Allow them to use different aspects of the app for free.  Let them give feedback and actually incorporate some of their feedback within the app.

Look at the Pyramid Scheme, why is it so successful, because your create millions of advertisers.  So remember, an actual user is the best advertiser you will ever have.  So do the following:

  1. Go to QuickMVP and set up a quick landing page prompting users to become beta testers, it takes maybe 10 minutes.
  2. Offer some cool perks for being a beta tester like allowing them to posts for free forever
  3. Offer incentives to those who invite others to use the app
  4. Keep a good relationship with your beta testers by responding to their concerns and implementing some of their ideas.
  5. Tweet like crazy and include a link to your website to allow people to be Beta Testers

Use Social Media Wisely

Social Media can be a great tool when advertising your Mobile App, but it has to be done correctly.  How do you do this?

  1. Instead of having a ton of followers who have no idea who you are, and you don’t know who they are, try to engage your followers by having interesting tweets, and starting conversations with them.
  2. Try to focus on those whom you know personally first.  If you can get your Mobile App in the hands of 100 friends, that can turn into 10,000 quicker than you think.
  3. One tweet is useless, you will really need about 100 tweets to get any kind of real responses.  So it will literally take 1000’s of tweets to really get your name out there, and even then, you need a ton of followers.
  4. Try to get more people to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Until you have over 1000 followers, you’re really not going to get any kind of substantial network.  But remember, try to engage with these followers.
  5. Start getting followers before you’ve even developed the app.

Spread the Word in Your App

This is the last step we’re going to speak about.  Within the app, you’ve got to create a way for users to really share with their friends.  How can you do this?

  1. Make sure you have a feature allowing people to invite their friends through their favorite form of Social Media
  2. Offer special perks if they invite people.  For example, maybe a certain feature of your app can only be unlocked once you’ve invited your friends.
  3. Offer the user the ability to invite friends at various times in the app using experience.  For example, if they want to do something in the app that cost money, let them know they can do this for free if they invite friends.  Don’t make this annoying though.  If you are always reminding the user to do this it will get frustrating.

This is just the beginning, but I guarantee if you do this, you’ll be happy with the results.  Always remember though, you have to be diligent about this.  If you’re lazy and do this for a week or two, you’re not going to have anything successful, so make sure you stay at this and work as hard as you can with it.  You’ll find that your downloads will slowly begin to climb.

Take a look at these other articles for help too:

Become a Beta Tester for an app I’m building right now