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How to Market Your Mobile App

After doing some research in your industry, you discover that you need more than just a mobile website for your business. You are going to have to really grab the attention of the smartphone generation and get them to use your mobile app. The question is: once you create your app, how do you spread the word about it? Here are some great ways to market your mobile app:

Make It Useful

No matter how well you market your mobile app, if it’s not something people need, they aren’t going to be interested. Your mobile app doesn’t have to be just an extension of your website or another version of your online store that would be of interest to only your current customers. You can get creative and come up with something that will attract the general public and put your brand name in front of them.

One great example of a branded, useful mobile app is the Charmin Sit or Squat app. This app is useful for anyone who travels and is looking for the nearest clean public restroom.

Another example of useful and branded is the Purina Petcentric app that helps you find pet friendly places when you travel. As an added bonus, you also can watch fun pet videos, look at cute pet photos, and read the latest pet news stories.

Big brands are not the only ones that can get into creative mobile development. In this example, Phoenix Children’s Hospital created the Car Seat Helper app to assist parents in finding the right car seat to keep their child safe while traveling.

So, first and foremost, make sure your app is something useful for your target customer base. Then you will see great results from both your marketing and your mobile app.

QR Codes

When you’re targeting the smartphone generation with a mobile app, QR codes are the best way to advertise. You can add them to your website, business card, brochures, mailings (email and snail mail), receipts, or storefront window.

In the above example, Valpak has a page dedicated to their mobile coupons app. This page explains exactly what you get when you download their app and shows you what it will look like. They also include their QR code on the envelope of their regular coupon mailers.

Mobile Advertising

If you’re considering PPC advertising for your mobile app, be sure to put your ads on mobile devices. Google offers mobile ads to target users while they are searching on their mobile devices…

And when they are on websites that display Google advertisements…

If you have never used PPC or Google AdWords, start with this series on KISSmetrics: An Introduction to Pay-Per-Click Search Marketing Part I, Part 2, and Part 3.

Social Advertising

Personally, I’m a fan of social advertising. It allows you to target people specifically by demographics and interests. So, if you know the most likely users of your mobile app, you can make sure they are the only ones who can see and click on your ads. With Facebook ads, you can get pretty specific.

Having a smaller audience with specific interests related to your mobile app will lead to lower advertising costs and higher returns (in the form of downloads for your app).

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a great way to build an audience.

When it comes to marketing your mobile app, you can post on a variety of blogs. You can post on blogs related to the niche your target audience would be most interested in reading. And you also can post on technology blogs about mobile devices. The key is to aim for blogs whose audiences would be most likely to download your app.

While guest posts shouldn’t be promotional, you can gear the topics in a way that, by the end of the post, the readers are ready to check out your mobile app. Plan ahead for those clicks by making your author bio as enticing as possible and by linking to your app’s page on your website, iTunes, or Google Play. Also use call to action wording such as “Download our mobile app today.”

Mobile App Marketing Agencies

Need assistance marketing your mobile app? There are agencies devoted to mobile app marketing, including the following:

  • – specializes in getting your app the most quality users possible. Many of its clients went from a few downloads per day to hundreds.
  • Appency – is the global leader in mobile application marketing. It provides a full range of marketing services, from branding and consultation services to managing your launch and long term success with PR, social marketing, paid media management, and more.
  • Appular – has unrivaled Marketing, PR, Media Buying, Consulting and Social Media services and solutions that are constructed exclusively to give your projects the absolute best chance for long term success.

These are just a few of many. You can Google mobile app marketing agency to find even more.

Additional Tips

Want to know even more about mobile app marketing? Try the following infographic by BlueCaribu and uSpeak.

how to promote a mobile app infographic

Your Mobile App Marketing Experience

What has been your experience with mobile app marketing? Please share additional tips in the comments!

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers.

  1. Very well written article. I just began marketing my first ever mobile app…it has been quite the challenge.

    Thanks for the inspiration. It will be a big help going forward :)

  2. Shelly-Ann Roper Feb 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Interesting that many of the methods we use for internet marketing works for mobiles too. Therefore capitalizing on this is easy or should be.

  3. Vernon Wharff Feb 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is a great article, with some very sound advice. I’m not sure if its okay to share this here, if not, please remove it, but we created a great infographic that compliments your thoughts. it’s called, “The Facebook Mobile App Install Ad Checklist” and features 10 pro tips on how to prep an ad campaign for mobile app install ads

  4. Samse Christian Feb 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    “#1: Have a useful idea.”

    Come on Kissmetrics and Kristi, we can do better than that. I love the Kissmetrics blog and my ears pricked up when I saw a post focusing on app marketing arrive in my inbox.

    What’s more, none of the 3 most cost effective app marketing methodologies are mentioned. (Assuming your app is B2C and not a game – as with the “useful” apps Kristi refers to).

    First up: No mention of Facebook Ads for mobile in the chapter Mobile Advertising? Seriously?

    Second up: No mention of e-mail/affiliate marketing. For real?

    Third up: No mention of ASO?

    @Patrick: Build a test user base using FB Ads for mobile, test, iterate, test again. Before you spend big on paid. To learn more about this, follow @gaganbiyani on Twitter. For driving installs, he recommends pursuing non-paid distribution channels unless you can afford to spend big (ie. $20K/month).

    So, get your ASO in order and experiment with e-mail marketing, and as Kristi says, work on Content Marketing.

    @Kissmetrics: I hate to say it, but can we get a Growth Hacker to write this post next time please?

    • HI Samse. This was meant to be more of a beginner’s guide. I think ASO could really have an article of it’s own. I did put Facebook advertising under social, but definitely should have focused on mobile too. Good points!

      I haven’t seen much on affiliate marketing for apps… do you have a resource you could share on that?

      • Samse Christian Feb 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        Hi Kristi,

        Affiliate Marketing for apps: Tech is Cool right now. If we’re talking B2C, and not games, then tag on to a brand with an established user base, and use as an affiliate to promote. These relationships take time, but find brands where your product strikes a chord and give them an incentive to promote your product to their customer base. (I’m not talking Coca-Cola or Ford, I’m talking brands that have en e-mail list that runs in at least the 10s of thousands). The Internet is massive, it’s about finding a new channel that suits your product.

        With this said, my advice if you’re just starting out is to remember 3 key words: Facebook.Mobile.Ads. (For testing and seeding – unless you’ve a bucket of cash).

        For paid marketing Google is tapped-out, so smaller brands can’t compete effectively. FB Mobile is ALOT cheaper than FB web ads, and importantly drives direct installs.

        Kristi, you’re right about ASO – and I wish there were more resources available. Apple change the algorithms regularly, right? and are both good resources to learn more about keyword optimization and your competitors.


  5. Thanks for an awesome post Kristi. I will surely implement these tips while marketing our mobile app.

    Whereas I also thing you should prepare in advance the description that will appear on your app’s page in the store. In Google Play, only a few lines of text appear above the “more” button – succinctly but clearly explain the function and value of your app before that button (you only get about one sentence.) Make sure it’s compelling enough to entice users to further explore the app’s page.

  6. Thx for publishing How 2 promote an app ;)

  7. Hey,
    Excellent post. I think that Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns are best to market your products and you have given the nice ideas well :)

    • Hi,

      I agree with you because if you wanna do marketing of mobile app then Google Adwords and Facebook campaign are good source.Also some link building will help you in it.


  8. Tahnk you for excellent post. Social media interaction, guest blogging, PPC ads campaigning, email marketing, offline marketing and advertising, article marketing, local search engine optimizationa and enable, video making, eobook making etc help to drive more customers.

  9. Thanks Kristi for sharing our infographic!

  10. Patrick Garde Mar 02, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Nice article Kristi.

    Developers should bookmark this post so that they’ll know how to market their mobile app. They should implement all of the above to ensure success with the sales/downloads of their app.

    Best regards,


  11. Sonali Srivastava Mar 09, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Nice Post..Liked it..But I would like to add into it like Pre & Post launch Marketing Strategy, which I have discussed @ creatiosoft I would love to have your comments and feedback to make my posts more interesting and useful.

  12. Hey Kristi Hines !
    Guest blogging is awesome method. Moreover social media can also help to market our mobile apps. I really liked this post which includes valuable points, specially “Make It Useful”

  13. Prakash Kewal Apr 06, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I am also working on creating my mobile app marketing strategy, after reading loads of articles online, this is what I have summarized:
    1. Check groupon, living social, facebook, twitter etc for leads
    2. Create flyers and pass it among the friends, family & neighbors.
    3. Pass these flyers under retails stores after business hours
    4. join local chamber of commerce
    5. Attend local business/social events
    6. make a list of local businesses by categories and visit them with the flyer & free promotional offers.

    Good Luck!!


  14. Carlos Miguel Dec 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I really like the idea of guest blogging. This really helps a lot of creating a buzz in your target niche. I recently saw one from Canva, guest blog on Jon Morrow’s blog. This is very good to promote and to also give help for the other people.

  15. I like the idea of social marketing as it is cheaper and fast, best part about social marketing is most of the people surf social media on their mobiles so if they find any app related to their need then they can instantly download it.

  16. I liked some of these ideas, but for a startup which are bootstrapping their work, cannot afford to hire a agency to do their work. For me AOS and creating a audience around your brand is the most important marketing strategy .

  17. Jeremy Lawson Feb 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Very interesting article. With the increased penetration of cell phones, the best way to reach out and communicate on a real-time basis is with the help of mobile apps. As these gain popularity among individuals and businesses, it’s easy to perceive a time when smart gadgets completely replace laptops and PCs.

  18. Companies that create apps have plenty of competition – there are more than 140 billion apps in the Apple App Store and countless others available from resources like the Windows and Google Play stores. So, to ensure that an app stands out, proper marketing to get it in front of the people who might be interested in it is essential. According to Apple, nearly ⅔ of app downloads result from searching. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time thinking about how to optimize your app for search. While marketing a mobile app may be new territory for you, setting up goals is very similar to most other marketing campaigns. Your goals should still be specific, measurable, realistic, and so on.

  19. Himashu Patel Feb 20, 2018 at 3:13 am

    I really like this article. It is interesting and useful. Social Advertising is one of the best ways to market our app because it is the fastest way. Thank you for sharing this great information. I would like to add more thing here which is below;

    Make your app free or give a free trial

    Everyone loves the word: Free. You should leverage the power of it. If you have other revenue models, then you should make your Android application free for its users. This will help you to increase downloads and users, especially, while you launch your app for the first time. If your revenue model is based on the premium app, then you should give a free trial of it. Don’t be too shallow by making it 7 days free trial until you are really popular and cross three digits app downloads. The best idea is to give a one-month free trial. This will help you to break the ice and get initial users.


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