4 Effective App Promotion Options for Independent Developers
Independent app developers often have special challenges with app promotion, because they typically work on small teams and have limited marketing budgets. With these realities in mind, independent developers need to think strategically about how to get the most effective results from their app promotion efforts.
Here are 4 ways that independent app developers can get the best mileage from their app promotion efforts, no matter how small your marketing budget might be.
Make Your App Social
Every app needs to integrate social sharing mechanisms that make it easier for your app to be shareable by users and potentially go viral among those users’ circles of friends and contacts. One underappreciated insight of app promotion, highlighted by a recent study from Applifier, is that a small percentage of game players are disproportionately likely to share games with others. These 20% of gamers are known as “sharers” and they are more likely to introduce new people to games, share their achievements from games, and are also more willing to pay for in-app purchases and upgrades.
Your app can capitalize on your built-in audience of “sharers” by integrating social media features that make it easy to share the game, tell friends about the user’s latest in-game achievements, and perhaps even reward users (via in-app badges or other virtual goods) for referring friends to the app or sharing it on social media.
Not every app marketplace treats incentives like this equally; so, make sure you check the rules before building in rewards.
Another way to make your app social is to leverage Facebook’s Open Graph feature – this makes it possible for your app to publish Facebook stories on your users’ behalf, thus automating the process of sharing and putting your app in front of more potential users.
Just because you start out offering your app at a certain price doesn’t mean it has to stay that way – apps can go “on sale” too, just like other retail goods. By managing the pricing of your app, you can get spikes in downloads. For example, if you reduce the price of your app on the App Store, this price reduction can help your app get on the radar of all sorts of lists, trackers and bots that promote price-reduced apps, and this can help draw more customers your way. But be careful – price reduction can be a tricky strategy because if you lower your price too much, or too often, prospective users might expect to always get a discount, which can hurt your existing sales.
One of independent developers’ biggest challenges is that it’s often too hard for great apps to get discovered, just because of the sheer volume of apps that are constantly getting added to the app marketplaces. App discovery apps can help with this. Another price-related app promotion technique is to offer your app as “free for a day,” using one of the app discovery apps that help apps get noticed, such as AppGratis, FreeMyApps, and others. With these app discovery apps, users sign up to get a free app delivered to them each day – and app developers have the advantage of introducing their app to a wider audience than they might otherwise achieve by trying to fight through the clutter on the app marketplaces.
Join an App Promotional Network
Just because you’re an independent app developer doesn’t mean you have to “go it alone” when doing app promotion. It’s easier than ever before for independent developers to leverage the power of a network and put your app in front of more users. There are many app promotion networks, such as the Gamehouse Promotion Network. App promotional networks can help you advertise your apps via in-app ads on other apps, via promoted search results, and other channels.
Make a Great App
Even with all the challenges of getting apps discovered and noticed, at the end of the day, app marketing mostly comes down to the quality and usefulness of the app. Some of the best app marketing amounts to developing an excellent app in the first place. Once you’ve built a really unique and exceptional app, you can put these effective app promotion techniques to work.
Join the conversation. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing independent developers when it comes to app marketing? How do you find ways to promote your apps on a limited budget? Have you seen similar results from Facebook app install ads and other techniques? Leave a comment and let us know.