Here are Best 8 Ways for Marketing Your Mobile App or Game To Get Free Installs and Downloads
Given the number of apps and games currently on Google Play, being creative in promoting yours is definitely vital.
After all, no matter how impressive your creation is, it would still be a failure if barely anyone uses it. Well, it’s a good thing that there are several simple yet effective ways of marketing an app or game.
1. Make an Impressive Icon
It might seem unimportant, but the icon establishes credibility.
How many times have you decided to install something that doesn’t have a well-designed icon?
Just a few, right?
And they’re probably those recommended to you firsthand—meaning someone else already checked whether they’re actually safe.
A well-designed icon gives the impression that you spent time and effort (or even money) to polish every aspect of your offering.
Aside from that though, the icon creates intrigue. Seeing it on another person’s phone for example, makes you wonder what it’s about.
Of course, you end up asking ask about the app, leading to a free marketing opportunity for its developers.
If you’re not that confident about designing your own icon, there are several choices available to you.
You could hire a graphic design specialist or post a paid contest in graphic design boards.
The former is a better choice in terms of reliability and quality, but the latter can potentially provide more options despite the smaller fee.
2. Post about it on Reddit
If you’re just starting to explore the world of mobile app or game development, you should consider posting about your work on Reddit—specifically on subreddits that focus on Android stuff.
Keep in mind, however, that subreddits tend to have their own rules. So before posting, check whether straight up marketing attempts are indeed allowed.
There’s always the option of not being direct about it though.
For example, you could occasionally post about your latest project and, in the process, provide a preview.
This lets you generate interest, which may continuously grow before the app or game finally gets published on Google Play. Also, this allows you to gauge whether people would actually be interested in it.
If your posts and previews are starting to attract more and more people, consider getting their opinion and releasing a beta or in-development version of your app or game.
This can now be done through Google Play, but there’s always the option of providing an early copy of the APK to a select few of your regulars on Reddit.
3. Tapping into Facebook
In addition to posting on Reddit, you should consider talking about your creation on Facebook.
You could create a page and then ask your friends and family to share it with those they know. It would certainly help if you can reward those who’d be willing to try your app.
Likewise, make it clear that you’re willing to take both praise and criticism.
It isn’t just about posts and shares, however, since Facebook also has its own advertising platform.
If you’re thinking that you can simply place ads on random websites for much less money, well, consider that the social media giant has all sorts of demographic data.
Simply put, there’s no need to determine which websites attract your specific target market.
On Facebook, it’s all a matter of choice.
You have the option to target people who reside in specific locations, as well as specify age, profession, and even relationship status.
In addition, it’s possible to pick your audience based on interests and behavior as consumers. There’s even a Lookalike Audiences feature that automatically finds groups similar to your existing followers.
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4. Submit to Other Stores
Although Google Play is clearly the biggest app market for Android devices, it isn’t your only option. Amazon, for example, is another good venue for aspiring developers.
Many actually own Amazon devices and even more regularly shop through the electronic commerce company’s website. Interestingly, as an app store, Amazon is better than Google in a few ways.
For one, Amazon doesn’t have as much clutter and finding things (for consumers) is a lot easier.
The competition is much more manageable, especially for those new to mobile software development. Aside from that, on Amazon, app or game recommendations are regularly given based on previous purchases.
And no, these are not limited to software.
The process of publishing your app or game is quite straightforward, mainly requiring the completion of a pre-submission checklist.
This includes viewing the content policy requirements and preparing the images that’ll be used on the software’s own page. There’s also app testing involved (which you’ll be doing firsthand), as well as choosing the right security profile.
5. Benefit from Discounts
Putting a discount on your very own creation isn’t the easiest thing to do. Sometimes though, this is necessary to get things rolling.
Even well-known developers and publishers occasionally opt to slash the prices of their newest offerings.
They hope to generate a massive number of purchases and place in the top ranks, which in turn further boosts interest and sales.
Creating a discount offer on Google Play is as easy as setting a sale price together with a start and end date.
There’s no need to worry about region-specific pricing and differences in currency value, since Google computes the correct amount automatically.
Still, if you wish, it is possible to offer discounts only to those in a particular part of the world.
What you need to remember is that zero-dollar sales work a bit differently. If you choose to temporarily offer your paid app or game free of charge, you will definitely get more downloads.
However, this isn’t a surefire way of reaching any of the top charts (trending, grossing, etc.). In fact, any software with a running zero-day sale is disqualified from such rankings.
6. Go the Freemium Route
As you’ve probably noticed, most developers choose to go fully freemium with their apps and games.
Well, even if you’ve already published yours as a premium offering, you can still come up with a freemium version.
This should increase your profit (through IAPs) as well as create more buzz for your creation. It’ll get more views and downloads, after all.
In making a freemium version, however, don’t just aim for a glorified demo. It’s a must to still produce a quality product—something that would satisfy people even without paying for features or going premium.
Besides, failing to achieve the right balance could lead to an increase in negative reviews, and in turn affect your other marketing attempts.
The trick here is not to hide essential features behind a paywall, but to make additional functions and perks a worthwhile investment.
If you’ve made a game, for example, your premium version could have much shorter cooldown times or faster XP gain. If you have an app, you could offer additional storage or cloud functions to those willing to spend.
7. Get a Boost from Vloggers
Most people these days don’t simply download something they’ve seen on Google Play. Aside from possible security risks, they’re worried about wasting their time on yet another lackluster offering.
And what do they do?
They head on to YouTube and search for video reviews, specifically those that have actually footage of the game or app.
If your offering has garnered enough attention from Android users, there’s a chance that it’ll get reviewed by popular vloggers.
However, should you really wait until that happens?
You could always ask these people to review your creation. Remember though, that it’s expected for you to provide them with a free copy.
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to “buy” positive reviews though. Many vloggers are against this and could tell their viewers about your attempt, ruining your reputation.
Even if you do manage to land a few guaranteed positives, the ruse will still be revealed—assuming that your app or game doesn’t have the quality to justify the review.
8. Come Up with New Ways
There’s no marketing strategy that works for everyone and for every scenario. So, although you’ve just learned about some of the most reliable means of promoting an Android app or game, you shouldn’t just rely on them entirely.
Once you’ve tried a few, feel free to come up with your own—and maybe you’ll find the technique that’ll bring your sales to the next level.