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How To Promote Your Mobile App For Free In 2022

woman smiling app

Before we delve into mobile app promotion techniques, here is a wise true story about marketing. Once there lived a man by the name of Louis Le Prince. Few people know he was the first to shoot a moving picture using a lens camera — basically, the first movie ever. People widely associate first motion pictures with Thomas Edison, the “light bulb guy”. Admittedly, Le Prince created his movies 3 years before Edison, but why haven’t we heard of him?

They were both genius inventors, but Edison was also a genius marketer.

You might not be the brightest inventor, or have the most original ideas, but if you know how to get other people interested in them, it’s an endgame for other “Le Princes”.

Now that we’ve come to the conclusion that marketing is pretty damn important, let’s talk business. What digital market is one of the most successful and competitive? Yes, you read the title, it’s the mobile apps market. Today, we will take a look at free app marketing strategies you can use in 2022. 

Why mobile app marketing is crucial 

Competition in the mobile application market is growing every year, which is associated with the versatility of smartphones and the new capabilities of the applications themselves, which perform diverse tasks: health monitoring, ordering food delivery or taking an online course. For the past year, the number of mobile users has grown by 100 million, topping 6.6 billion worldwide. That makes 68% of the population mobile device owners. As close to the natural ceiling of 70-80% mobile users, it really becomes more about the quality of usage than growth:

number smartphone users worldwide 2022

There are many apps on the AppStore that users never download it turns out that the time and money for their development were wasted. 

Many apps on the AppStore stay there “forever alone”, without any downloads. To prevent this from happening, you need to work out a promotion strategy even before announcing the app

It’s more and more difficult for new applications to stand out from the crowd. It is important for marketers to attract new users and, at the same time, maintain the interest of an existing audience through advertising. There are a huge number of ways to promote an application. However, not all of them are universal.

First of all, you’ll need to research the app’s target audience, strategies to keep users from deleting it, and ways to monetizing apps. This directly influences the success of a campaign. 

Without these essentials, a marketing campaign can and will fail

preparation for marketing app

Illustration by Giovanna Giuliano

Analyze the target audience

Promotion methods and channels directly depend on the target audience. 

A perfect target audience analysis will result in a definitive answer: which solution to offer and in what way so that it will be the best for most. Despite common beliefs, you can conduct a basic analysis on your own! Think of: 

❓ Who will download the app? Let’s say it’s a dating application. Users who download these apps are usually in their 20s; they are socially active, have social media accounts, and are not afraid to use technology to better their love life. 

❓ Putting yourself in their shoes and filling their pains. Your users are lonely; they lack excitement and romance; they don’t have enough time to go out to meet someone new. A good chunk of your audience are insecure about their appearances, and fear being rejected.

❓ How can your app dispel the TA’s fears? Think hard, OK?

❓ Where do your users usually dwell? Facebook, Instagram? Which sites do they use? How effective will it be to invest in offline ads? 

Determine ways to monetize

What does monetization mean? It’s about how you will earn money: by displaying ads, paid downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions. The application itself can sometimes act as an advertising tool itself. 

Take the Nike Run Club App, for example. Does Nike care if you are healthy? Yes. The only thing that Nike cares more about is that their app creates this unique community of healthy people who wear the brand’s sneakers. This way, the app becomes an advertisement for something bigger than itself.  Be smart. If you want to open a gym, advertise it not with a gym membership app, but with an application that offers simple workout routines:

workout fitness app concept

HardClub Crossfit Mobile App Concept by Shakuro

Think about how you will retain users

You can invest in advertising and get a lot of downloads. But then  people won’t log into the app, won’t buy anything on it, or delete it too soon.

 Mobile app marketing is long-term work.

Update the app promptly if you want it to keep its initial crisp look. When users experience massive bugs, they “fall off” and go to competitors. It is very difficult to restore trust and gain credibility for the second time. 

Now that you’re familiar with the essentials and can act like a marketing pro, let’s see what app marketing strategies will be the most effective in 2022. 

How much does it cost to market an app? As much as you’re willing to invest! Lots of viable strategies are available for free.

Go social

social promotion mobile app illustration

Illustration by Shakuro

Reach out to the clients you already have. By including your customers in the app creation process, not only are you subtly promoting mobile app, but you are making sure that the app you make fits the people you are catering to. BuildFire advises to “reach out to your customers by first creating a list of every single person you have ever sold to and even those who have only signed up to your newsletter. Send them an email and ask them for 5 or 10 minutes of their time”.’

Your customers are busy people, so try to give them something in return for helping you. 

Offer a special discount or instructional content to your customers to entice them to download an app. Once you’ve gotten their attention, ask them a few questions to figure out what they’re looking for in a digital product.

How To Promote Your Mobile App For Free In 2022

Charlie Brown Cartoon GIF By Peanuts

Get a quill and go write those emails

Emails are a fantastic tool to market an app. According to the latest report by Litmus (provided by UniSender), email marketing has a Return on investment (ROI) of 3600% so you get $36 for every $1 you spend on your email marketing campaign. If you’re wondering whether it’s a good indicator, just keep in mind that Google estimates the ROI of their paid advertising as 200%, in other words, you get $2 for $1. And these are the estimates by Google. With paid advertising being much trickier than email marketing, in practice, the figures are usually lower.

Hey, and you don’t have to pay for email marketing if you’re up to writing some texts yourself.

It may look like email marketing isn’t the sexiest way to promote your business anymore, like it had its run, which often makes entrepreneurs hesitant about using it.

Nail social media

Promotion in social media is tricky. Social networks will help to attract a new audience, as well as keep the old one. They can be used to collect feedback, announcements, overview of workflows, and demonstration of solutions. 

Increase your visibility in social media groups & communities, especially LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, to become better known among entrepreneurs & app developers. Ask for their feedback on your app and give them free promo codes to try it out. Discuss current features, bug fixes, future updates and value their opinion. You can build great relationships with them which might present the opportunity to cross promote each other’s apps without spending a cent.

Create a banner and a QR code

The first thing you can do is hang a banner on the mobile version of the site. This way, users will know about the app and be able to install it. Place a QR code that leads to the application page in the App Store and Google Play on packages or boxes in which you deliver orders, table tents, flyers and cash receipts.

Make sure your app is optimized before deployment

illustration digital product app

Illustration by Shakuro

App Store Optimization is a set of actions to optimize your application to increase its visibility in the App Store and Google Play searches. 

You need to choose relevant keywords for which the application will be indexed in Google Play and the App Store. We insert keywords in text metadata of the application: 

  • title, 
  • subtitle, 
  • short description (Google Play), 
  • description, keyword field (App Store).

The title will be shown in the general list of applications this is one of the first elements that the user will see. Make sure it explains what your product is about, is written in clear language, doesn’t contain weird characters, doesn’t repeat an existing name, and includes popular search terms. The limit in the App Store is 30 characters, in Google Play it is 50.

The word in the title ranks higher than in the keywords or subtitle. Therefore, include in the title the keyword that is included in as many search queries as possible.

How To Promote Your Mobile App For Free

An example of the AppStore preview with text on screenshots, SELECT app by Shakuro

According to Storemaven, it is important to show the user what the application is doing in less than 3 seconds. By looking at the icons, screenshots and videos, the user must understand how the application can solve their problem. No matter the app marketing cost, make sure you fill-out a description right. 

Icons make idols

How To Promote Your Mobile App

Icons screenshot via sketchappsources

Users on the apps market often spontaneously decides whether to go to your product page in the store or scroll further. The account goes on fractions of a second. A beautiful, eye-catching, recognizable icon can bring additional clicks. Its development should be treated with particular care.

Users are more attracted to icons that contain:

⭐ Letters,

⭐ No more than 2 objects,

⭐ No small details (don’t make an icon into a photograph),

⭐ Limited palette of colors: 2 or 3 are enough to create contrast,

⭐ Plain or gradient background, 

⭐ Unique shapes that take up most of an icon (Instagram’s camera, Tinder’s fire, TikTok’s note)

Mobile App Promotion

Creation of the perfect icon for app markets takes time. Here is the creation process of an app’s logo by Shakuro

Apply for app review sites

app advice review

Here are some review sites you might want to check out that help marketing apps:


When you reach out, you will most likely have to provide support material for your app. This is usually done in the form of a document containing the following items:

  • A link to your app in the app store,
  • A summary paragraph describing your app and what makes your app stand out,
  • Screenshots of your app logo, title screen, and in-app content,
  • Links to videos of your app from YouTube or Vimeo,
  • A promo code which are keys giving anyone who has them access to download the app for free. If your app is free, you do not need to worry about this.

Keeping up with influencers

It can be tough to find influencers who will promote your app for free. That said, you should reach out to bloggers in your space and see if you can’t make a trade with them for writing about your product. This is what any app marketing agencies would recommend to do in the first place.

Not so long ago, we developed an app for a bespoke crowd-promotion service, WYSPR. It’s a “vanity fair” for influencers, where you can reach out to a certain content makers you like, and propose them to advertise an app for a modest sum. This is one of the best marketing strategies for mobile apps.

app promotion

WYSPR app by Shakuro

A very-very-very good landing page for mobile app

landing page cars promotion

Landing page with mobile promo by Shakuro

A great landing page is a must have for any business, even if you don’t have a mobile app. Having a great landing page is like always having a great business card, just in case you ever need it, it’s good to have with you. Download a video editing program and try making intro videos to add to the site. 

Why do many brands choose to turn to professionals when developing mobile apps? Professional and thought-out UI/UX design helps: 

  • To stand out from competitors,
  • To meet high consumer expectations.
  • To express values of the brand. 

For each website, we use a different design approach. It depends on the purpose of the brand’s products or services. Design is a powerful tool that conveys the visual language of the brand. Companies that keep track of the expenditure side of business and don’t want to inflate their staff choose to outsource it. 

If the company already has its own website, and the company’s customers actively use it, then you can unobtrusively offer them to install the application through a pop-up window.

No app marketing strategy guarantees success if you haven’t done your homework on the software development life cycle

When developing apps, you need to stand out to win the attention of your possible mobile app users. It is a rather costly thing to create a worthy and well-thought-out business software development life cycle. Developing a successful product is a rather difficult and challenging task due to the vast number of rivals in the app markets. But you can handle it if you have a unique and really useful idea and can put it into practice effectively. Contact us, and we will give you all estimates on developing and designing an app according to your idea.

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Written by Rita Kind-Envy

January 01, 2022

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