You’ve spent months creating an app, now you’ll need to spend some time getting people to use it. While you could just “put it out there” and hope that people find it, your app will literally be one in a million, and someone coming across it will be almost solely by accident. That’s not what you want.
I acknowledge that promotion can be expensive in the traditional sense. However, using all of the tools available to you, you could get a lot of movement and foundational success for little to no money. Here’s how:
- Brand It
While the app has been designed, either by yourself or a graphic specialist with whom you’ve worked, it is not the brand entirely. For promotional purposes, you will need to decide the best way to communicate what the app is and whom you’re trying to reach, using minimal imagery that’s easily transferable across various forms of media. That includes: a logo, color scheme, a possible tagline and proper messaging to accompany said content. This part of the process can be costly if you’re outsourcing the work; however, you would do best to work directly with the designer of your app to include brand deliverables in the overall package at the start of the project.
- Talk To Me
Without giving too much away, share your progress and anticipated release details with friends and fans. In fact, you should be speaking with everyone you meet and have a conversation with about this “thing” they can expect soon. Reality is, you never know with whom you’ll come in contact, and networking opportunities are all around. Take advantage of the benefit of word of mouth–the most successful form of promotion, even in the age of technology.
While many forego this step because they’d rather surprise everyone, or perhaps, for fear that someone will capitalize off the idea, neither is really a problem. One, you will need to set expectations of your fans so they’ll be able to associate the product with your name once it’s released and get others to anticipate. Regarding someone coming up with a similar idea as your own, aside from a possible patent or copyright, there’s nothing preventing them from doing the same even after you’ve introduced your app. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The odds are more in your favor.
- Get Social
Just because word of mouth is effective, doesn’t mean you should neglect the wonderful world of tech we have available. You will need a website with your brand materials and some information about the app, such as: release date, capabilities, and platform availability. Additionally, you’ll need a social media presence. Create a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and build an audience through those channels to receive news and information about your product. Using hashtags and following like-minded individuals can attract the right audience to your pages and drum up interest in the best way possible.
- Show And Tell
Even with information on your website and things said in conversation, some messages can get lost in translation. The best way to counter that is to show people how they can use the app, and all of its functionality, with a tutorial like this one. Keep in mind that some people learn visually, and that video platforms further expand the reach of your audience with people you may not have reached otherwise. Make sure the app is already available so that there can be a call to action like, “download now,” immediately following the video. Make sure it’s comprehensive, easily understandable, and good quality.
- Meet The Press
Now, one of the most important things you should be doing once you’ve exhausted yourself and your friends getting the word out there, is to get other people to talk about what you’ve done. Pitching stories to publications which have access to people who use a product you’re hoping to sell is a no-brainer. Spend some time learning about press releases and various channels, and be sure to submit something that is worth publishing. You may have to tweak the stories to fit a tone or news of certain publication–some may be more technical, others may be more interested in graphics. Know what you’re getting into and focus on the ones that are most sensible for your product.