No doubt you’ve spent countless hours conceiving, programming, and designing your new smartphone app. You probably spent quite a bit of money on it, too. Below are 14 ways to kickstart your marketing:

1. App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) requires many of the same factors that go into great SEO tactics. Things like keywords, titles, and descriptions play a role in the app store listings, so leveraging the right tool to understand these variables can align your app for a path to a top-tier ranking.

Optimizing the keyword tags in the iTunes store can really benefit how your app is found. The keyword field allows you to associate your app with certain terms. The focus here is to not repeat or use too many variations of the same word, which could be portrayed as spam. Google Play uses your app description as part of the search fields, so you want to make sure you’ve used the terms you think people will use when searching for your app.

Tools like are helpful in tracking your key words and the keywords your competitors use.

2. Your App Icon

Your icon is one of the first things a potential user sees in the app store and will see daily on their phone. Make sure its professionally done. Online logo builders or low-cost designers on Fiverr aren’t going to give you the most professional look. Hire a designer and pay a little more to make sure your icon is something memorable and attractive. Rebranding can be expensive, so you want to start off with something you’ll use for a while. You can find designers and app developers that will do both, like

3. Screenshot Design

Don’t be lazy in just throwing one or two sample screenshots into the app stores. After your name and icon, screenshots are the next thing that sell your app. Your screenshots need to explain to a potential user why they should download your app. Use a screenshot builder like to create compelling screenshots with backgrounds, explainer text, and set the screenshots into device frames.

4. Social Media Integration

Giving users the ability to invite others, share gameplay, and view leader boards is a popular and useful aspect for increasing virality in a game app. Essentially, it is free marketing for your app. When a user shares their recent high score or fitness goal on their social media pages, they are then promoting your app for free to their friends. This increases the number of views and, in turn, raises awareness of your app – all of which happens without you lifting a finger. Another side effect from this is that it implements a type of competitive atmosphere amongst friends to outdo the other person’s high score or have a longer run tracked.

5. Press Kit

Having a press kit readily available helps expedite your marketing efforts farther down the line. Once you have a landing page for your app, you may get a couple of reviews, but to really market your newly developed app, you need to be able to provide quality material that the press can utilize. Journalists are typically on a deadline, so having a press or media kit for download on your website is important. Make sure it is up-to-date and has all the key info needed to represent yourself and your app. Make sure you include some image files of your icon, logo (if different), and key screenshots or marketing images.

6. Startup Directories and Newsletters

Get your name out there in important directories, newsletters and websites. There are more than a few lists of important places, but you can also use a service like StartupLister to help get your name out there.

7. Forum and Discussion Board Outreach

Identifying where your desired audience or key demographic gathers online is an important marketing aspect. There are many technology and mobile applications blogs filled with individuals who read and keep up with news on mobile applications. This is especially helpful if your app is designed for a specific group. For example, if your app is designed to assist joggers track their daily runs, then posting relevant topics about your application on fitness discussion boards or blogs can be beneficial. Check Reddit for relevant subreddits, major open forums, and Facebook or Google+ groups to post announcements or look for key influencers that can test and promote your app.

8. App Profiles

When it comes to marketing a new app, raising awareness is an important aspect to increase downloads. The creation of app profiles on sites such as Appolicious and others like it is beneficial. With these profiles, you can add a description of your app along with a link to the iTunes or Google Play store that allows the user to download it. This is a simple and easy way to increase the awareness to your desired target audience. There are hundreds of app review sites as well, most of which charge for reviews, but some do free reviews.

9. Influencer Outreach

Along with reaching out to forums and other relevant blogs, contacting industry thought leaders or influencers for reviews is another avenue to market your app. Having reviews of your app is good, having reviews written by a respected thought leader in the industry and posted on a respectable site is even better. Many of the popular influencers in an industry have millions of engaged followers that read their material daily. So, to have a review written about your app by an influencer in the mobile application industry will give you an increased amount of awareness and possibly downloads (as long as you receive a positive review).

10. Social Media

It is no secret that social media is a popular medium and can be utilized as an effective marketing tool. Creating pages specifically designed for your app on all social media channels is something that is strongly recommended to really engage your target audience and see their discussions. You can use a tool like Lock My Brand to get 50 or more social platform profiles without having to do it yourself.

11. Teaser Campaign

Whether it be creating hype over a potential release date or providing an incentive with a promotional campaign, a teaser campaign is a good way to get your audience excited and engaged. This can be done as simple as producing a short teaser trailer paired with a “Coming Soon” animation on your landing page. If you have the resources, you can also run a promotional contest or giveaway. To manage this, you should collect email addresses to keep people informed on updates. The more people you drive to your site and social media accounts the bigger the engagement and, therefore, building a community of followers.

12. Set Up Google Alerts

Setting up Google alerts can be beneficial to track what people are saying about your product. This beats visiting each individual site separately to see if there is a new review of your app. These alerts can can also help you research the app industry or competitors. Instead of doing extensive research across different sites to keep tabs on your competitors, you can simply set up an alert to advise you when any relevant news surfaces about your search query. All this information is easily emailed to you with the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc. ) based on your queries.

13. App Discounts

Lastly, individuals like to get things for free or for a discount. By providing discounts on specific days related to your application is a good way to get your followers engaged and excited. The key is to be creative. For example, if you have a zombie-based mobile game, a good time to provide a promotional offer would be in October – around Halloween time.

14. Product Hunt

While you might be excited to head right to Product Hunt for the thousands of eyeballs you expect to see your new app, don’t start there. In fact, avoid it until you’ve done a lot of the above suggestions. You want to have a dedicated group of fans that hopefully already use Product Hunt before you go live there. And even that takes some work. You need to find someone who can get your app featured on the main page, and have some early upvotes and comments.

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