Mobile Marketing

9 Most Effective Free Ways to Promote a Mobile Application

Antonina Alexandrovna ◽ Jun 16, 2023

Why is it important to promote your mobile app?

Every industry today needs proper promotion for its goods or services. Great competition forces even global brands to engage as many advertising channels as possible to generate interest among their target audience and existing customers.

The mobile app industry is no exception. Popular app stores have a huge number of mobile products of various types. According to statistics, there are more than 2.87 million apps in the Google Store, and more than 1.96 million in the App Store. And new ones are being added daily: about 2000 per day in the Google Store and around 1000 per day in the App Store. Most of these applications are not in high demand, and therefore don’t generate income for their owners. To make sure you don’t become one of them, you should come up with a promotional strategy in advance.

There are many ways to promote a mobile application. For some, simply optimizing the app’s page is enough, while others will have to connect many other advertising channels. Determining the effectiveness of a promotional method is usually only possible through trial and error using analytics tools. Tracking systems have been developed specifically for this purpose. They use built-in libraries to combine with traffic sources and track the behavior of users who have downloaded and installed your application.

1. App Page Optimization

App Page Optimization attracts organic traffic. Its purpose is to help users easily find your product among the crowd of others. If your app ranks highly for the main keywords and phrases, then it is guaranteed to be popular.

Around 65% of all installations come from direct searches on Google Play or the App Store. Effective optimization means choosing a suitable name, writing a description, specifying keywords, developing an app icon, and attaching informative screenshots. At this stage, it’s important to conduct A/B testing (comparing one version with another) to assess the effectiveness of certain solutions.

Optimization requires that you know your target audience and all of the keywords that may be used to search for your app. Keywords can and should be included in the title. For example, Faces - videos and GIFs for texting or ChatUP - Text & Emoji to video. The description should be clear and unobtrusively convince the user to choose your product.

The platform on which the app is hosted should also be taken into account when writing the description. On the App Store, the description is only for attracting users, so it should cover the product’s features and benefits. On Google Play, the description text is indexed, so it’s important to strike a balance between readability for the user and keyword placement.

Product design is also a crucial point for users when selecting a product. An app’s icon is the first thing they see. It should be eye-catching and accurately reflect the app’s purpose. Stay up-to-date with design trends and be creative when designing your icon, otherwise you risk losing up to 50% of your traffic.

Screenshots should highlight the app’s advantages and demonstrate its appearance. This will give the user an idea of ​​what the interface looks like and what the app can do. The quality of the screenshots must meet mobile app store requirements.

The last step in optimization is the subscription page, which lays out the benefits of the product and terms of use. Do your best to present this information in a simple and understandable way.

Mobile app pages should be optimized on a regular basis, because store organics are constantly changing. If you skip an update and don’t make the necessary adjustments, then your app may lose its position in the search results.

2. Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth is a free way to promote a brand and natively advertise its mobile app. This tool is capable of reaching a large audience.

Online and offline reviews serve as the word of mouth that allows potential customers to find out about a mobile app. According to BrightLocal, 79% of consumers trust feedback from others online. People study user reviews before they decide to download and install a product.

Motivate users to leave reviews in mobile app stores as well as on third-party resources, tell your own friends, colleagues, customers, and business partners about your app at events to get the word of mouth going. Come up with loyalty programs and be sure to thank users for their feedback. The more effort a company puts into these aspects, the better user retention they have. Tracking the results of this kind of advertising is nearly impossible, but recommendations by other users can significantly increase your audience.

Users who come by recommendation are initially more loyal to the application. If your app is high-quality and useful, then word of mouth is a great way to promote.

3. Advertising on Forums

Forums are gatherings of specific groups of people, which means they are good places to advertise. You are sure to find plenty of suitable sites containing your target audience. Choose the ones with the most activity and members. Advertising on sites with low engagement isn’t going to help your product’s popularity.

Forums allow you to find relevant topics where you can talk about your mobile app and how it resolves users’ problems. You can even start doing this at the development stage. Interact with forum participants and tell them about what makes your product good, and be sure to get their feedback. Not only will this attract new users, but it will also help you better understand your potential customers and so you can guide your project in the right direction.

You can use any number of forums - the more the better. However, be careful when advertising on these sites, because moderators may consider your messages to be spam and delete them.

4. Advertising on Social Media

This is a very popular promotional tool among mobile app developers. Create a community or page for your app and add interesting and useful content. You should also publish advertising posts in other communities where your target audience is concentrated.

According to statistics, a person spends up to 3 hours a day on social media, making this method highly effective. You get wide audience coverage with minimal investment.

However, this method does have its drawbacks:

  • Some communities require a fee to post promotional content
  • Developing and maintaining your own community is time-consuming

5. Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is when you publish your content on third-party websites to promote your product. The blog owner gets valuable content, and you get access to a new audience. The effectiveness of this method of promotion has been proven over many years. For example, Groove HQ (a digital marketing company) was able to reach over 1 million people through guest posting.

This promotional method allows you to market your app, get new people interested, and receive links to your product from reliable sources, which has a positive effect on search engine results. Some bloggers will review your app themselves, you just have to provide access to all of its features (both free and paid).

Maintaining your own blog can also yield good results because it provides a space where you can freely talk about your app, its functionality, advantages, and updates. Do reviews, shoot videos, write informative articles - try different formats and don’t forget to analyze the results.

Creating high-quality, interesting content will take some effort, but doing so increases your chances of acquiring a large number of potential customers.

6. Advertising on Company Websites

Advertising on Company Websites is an effective way to advertise for companies that have been in business for a long time. Tell your current customers that you have created a convenient, new mobile app using the information on the main site and publish news about it.

Include an icon and a call to download along with info about the new app. On the mobile version of the site (if provided), you have to add a pop-up window with an invitation to download the app. Convince your customers that using a mobile app is much easier than using a web-based resource.

If there is no company website, then you can create a website or landing page for your app. It will then start receiving traffic from search engines.

7. Mailing Lists

Whether it’s information about new products, promotions, or an order confirmation, every letter you send to regular or potential customers should include a link to Google Play or the App Store. Let your customer base know that you’ve launched an app and it’s available for download.

There are a few tricks you can use to make your mailing list more effective:

  • Get the buyer interested by using a catchy headline and focusing on the benefits that they will receive by installing the app.
  • Make it a contest: state the task and the hashtags by which you will track its completion. Be sure to offer a reward.
  • Hand out bonuses, discounts, and small gifts for those who subscribe to the newsletter. This will provide a boost of popularity and draw attention to your mobile app.

8. Publish in other mobile app stores

In addition to Google Play and the App Store, there are other platforms for publishing your product. Statistics indicate a 200% increase in downloads compared to Google Play if an app is presented in other, less popular stores.

Here are some other mobile app stores to list your app in:

9. Referral program

This promotional method encourages users to invite their friends to download an app in exchange for a reward. Invite your current users to promote your app through a referral model. Offer bonuses, promo codes, and gifts for inviting a friend. This will motivate your audience to invite new users.

Successful referral models have been implemented in the marketing campaigns of companies like Uber, Airbnb, and others. For example, an Ozon user could send a promo code to a friend and receive 500 points when that friend spends more than $40 on a purchase.

Bloggers and site owners who have their own channels with subscribers can become participants in a referral system. Invite them to share sponsored links in their posts in exchange for some kind of reward.


What is a mobile app promotion strategy?

A mobile app promotion strategy is a combination of several advertising methods to increase its popularity. To develop a successful strategy, you must first understand all of the ways your app can be marketed.

How much does app advertising cost?

The cost to promote an app depends on the method chosen. There are free ways like app page optimization, social media and blog advertising etc. There are also paid ones like contextual advertising, display advertising, integrated advertising, etc.

What is a mobile marketing agency?

A mobile marketing agency is a company that handles the process of promoting mobile applications (partially or entirely). It develops the promotion strategy, launches advertising campaigns, analyzes the results and helps develop and monetize the product.

How do you promote an app with Google Ads?

To promote your app with Google Ads, you need to create a Google Ads account. In your personal account, you need to add a New Campaign (in the "Campaigns" section) by filling in all the required fields. Set an average daily budget and set bid targets. Select the start and end dates for the campaign. Once the Campaign is saved, go to the Ad Objects section and add titles, a description, images, HTML5, and video campaigns. Save your advertising campaign.


There are plenty of free ways to advertise a mobile app. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but virtually all of them require a lot of time and effort. The best results come from implementing several - or even all - promotional methods at the same time.

To know which methods are appropriate for your situation, you first need to put together a promotion strategy, then stick to it, and regularly analyze the results along the way, making changes when necessary.

If marketing really isn’t your forte, you should consult with a marketing agency and leave the promoting to the professionals. Remember, only consistent marketing efforts can guarantee an app’s long-term success.

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