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25 Creative Ways to Promote Your Mobile App - 5/10/2016 -

25 Creative Waysto Promote Your Mobile App

Yourassociationspent hours upon hours — and in most cases, dollars upon dollars — creating astellarmobile app, but it won’t do you any good unlessyour members actually download it and use it regularly.

By Mario Medina

How do you get people to noticeyour association’s appamong themillionsof others in the app stores?We’re glad you asked.


To maximize the number of eyes on your new mobile application, you’ll need to start at home base.

1. Create a search-engine-optimized webpage or microsite.This one-stop shop will help users, journalists,andcurious onlookersquickly and easily understand the app’s value.A 2015 Google/Ipsossurvey showed that one in four users discover apps through search engines. Building an optimized page for your app will help you get abiggerpiece of that pie.

2. Promote the app on all of yourmarketing collateral.Ask your designer to create a starburst or small calloutthat says,"Download our new app for iTunes or Google Play today!” Then put that callout on everything from your membership materials and receipts to brochures, pamphlets,and flyer insertions.

3. Mention your app in your association office’s voicemail greetingand in employees’ email signatures.Everyone who interacts with yourassociationshouldbe aware of your new app. Update your voicemailand signaturesto include a sentence like, "Stay up-to-date on everything we do atAssociationXYZ by downloading our new mobile app today.”

4. Take advantage of in-house advertising and advertorial.If you have your own magazine or website,puta banneror pop-upad on your site’s homepage orplacehouse ads in premium positions in your print publication for a no- orlow-cost way to promote.

5. Write a blog post or short articleoutlining the benefitsof your new app.Host the articlein your magazine,on your own blog,or on sites such as LinkedIn or Medium.


Usingsocial media to spread the word aboutyour new app is such an obvious step that it’s the only techniquemanypeople try. Remember, social strategies are just one part of your overall promotion plan.

6. Regularly post short bites of information and tipson how to best use your app on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram,and Pinterest.If you’ve got a podcast, YouTube channel,or other online forum, share there too. Just remember: Keep it shortand to the point.

7. Build a Facebook pagefor your mobile app. Not only will it act as a go-to social media hub for your app, it’s also a place where users can provide feedback and report any issues they may be having.

8. Get others to promote your app on social media.Having high-profile Facebook pages with 100,000+Likes mentioning your app is a huge win. Reach out to organizations whose goals align with yours, and give them a compelling reason to mention or link to your app on their page.


They’re not called influencers for nothing. Getting the endorsement or perceived endorsement of a celebrity, high-profile company,or popular publication can send your app sales skyrocketing.

9. Work yourRolodex.Do you have a way to connect to a celebrity or influencer who would endorse your app? It doesn’t have to beKim Kardashian or Justin Bieber —any thought leader or well-known face in your industry will work. Get creative and come up with an approach that benefits both parties.

10. Offer free access to important people and companiesin your industry. If your app is paid or requires a subscription, waive the fees to encourage themto try your app. If they like it, it could lead to word-of-mouth promotion and buzz.

11. Cross-promotewith the largest suppliers in your industry. If, for example, you publish an automotive parts magazine, ask a paint company to promote your app on their websitein exchangefor adiscounted ad on your site or in your magazine.


Being featured on a popular review websitecan do wonders for your app’s visibility.

12. Create a digital press kit.Includea press release withimportant information such as your app’s pricing, OS compatibility,and website, but focus primarily on the app’s benefits and value to users. Include screenshots, your app’s icon,and perhaps even a link to a30- to 90-second demo or promotional video (if you go that route, post the videos on YouTube and Vimeo for easy distribution).

13. Do not spam journalists with press kits.Instead, write a concise introductory email focusing on your app’s benefits and, more importantly, why it makes sense for that publication to cover your app. Show that you have an understanding of what they write about and explain how your app fits within that. This approach takes extra time, but will greatly increase your likelihood ofcoverage.

14. Keep it brief and clear!Editorsreceive countless pitches every day, so you need to grab their attention quickly. Avoid buzzwords and cute, clever subject lines. Get to the point.

15. Enter your app in awards.The EXCEL Awards, the Webby Awards, Tabby Awards,AppsterAwards, Apple Design Awards,andFolio Awards are good starting points. If you win, you canspread the wordon social media and in a press release. And if you don’t?At least you created more awareness.


Free press isfantastic, but it isn’t always enough.

16. Advertise inanother magazine.If yourassociationdoesn’t have its own magazine, consider buying an ad or writing an article for another industry publication.

17. If your budget allows, launch a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.It’s a simple, straightforward way to garner attention for your app. Userelevant keywords and link the ads back to the website you built for your app(see tip #1).

18. Spend a little on prizes, get a lot in return.Running contests is a low-cost way to build excitement and spread the word about your app.Enterpeople into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card or iPod Touch when they download your app or encourage existing users to tweet or share via Facebook with the app,then award a weekly prize to users who build the most buzz.


Overhalf of all app users find out about apps from friends, family,and colleagues(2015 Google/Ipsossurvey), which is why directly reaching out tomembersis so vital.

19. Launch an email marketing campaign.Let yourmembersknow thatyou’re offeringsomething new. Keep the subject linesimple (Open this email to download our new mobile app), andmakethe download linkobvious.

20. Pick up the phone.Making calls requiressignificant bandwidth but can substantially increase new downloads. Run a phone campaign to letmembersknow about the benefits of your new app.

21. Reach the older demographic in their mailboxes.Did you build an easy-to-use app that would be of interest to a less digitally savvy demographic? Create a direct mailcampaign to let them know why — and how — theyshould give your app a try.


Digital marketing is vital, but don’t forget to reach out IRL (in real life) as well.

22. Host a launch party for your app.Events are fun, effective ways to build excitement. Throw a launch party at an annual trade show for your industry or at a local bar or restaurant. Hosting it in conjunction with premier sponsors can help offset some of the costs.

23. Look for speaking opportunities.Use your character and charisma to promote your app at industry events. This could mean anything from working a sentence or two into a presentation on another topic or doing an entire talk specifically about your app.

24. Use posters, stickers,and freebies galoreto promote your app at industry events. Hang signage and marketing collateral at your booth, make floor stickers,or travel around the show handing out goodies such as hand sanitizer or candy with information about your app emblazoned onthem. Make sure everyone at the industry event is hit over the head(metaphorically, of course) with your app.


Lastly, #25: Remember that promoting your app is not a week- or even month-long project. Continue promoting and looking for creative ways to spread the wordat every opportunity, and your app will be found.

Mario Medina is the co-founder of madison/miles media, a content marketing company that helps associations, health care companies, and fast-growth start-ups improve brand positioning and win new customers. A member of the Association Media & Publishing Content Creation Committee, Medina is a communications veteran with expertise in content and brand strategy, product development, and content production and management. He has won more than four-dozen awards for his team’s projects, including EXCEL, Folio, Magnum Opus, Telly, and Pearl awards.


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