Promoting your app is an ongoing process. If you’re an indy programmer, you might also be responsible for marketing your app, and that might not be something you’re good at, or you can’ afford to hire a PR firm or marketing person. Plus with a new app, you need to get links back to your app store pages or website so that your SEO is driving new potential users to you.
Here are 13 ideas you can do yourself, using the screenshots, keywords and app description you should have already made for the app stores. When you’re making links from different websites back to your app’s website or to the app store links, use a combination of your app’s name, and the keywords you think potential users are most likely to use as they search for a solution to the problem your app solves.
I’ve used our Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives app as an example, and linked to everything we did. You can also get many of the tools and resources by subscribing to our newsletter below.
First, Make Great Screenshots:
Step one, make great screenshots using a tool that lets you annotate them. We recommend AppToolkit.io Screenshot Builder since
its free for a single app,
Is the only horizontal screenshot builder, and
We made it.
You only get 5 screenshots in the app stores, so make sure they are your best screenshots and use them to tell a story. As a prospective user swipes from left to right, each screenshot should lead them to the decision that your app solves the problem they have.
You can use the same basic design and layout for each screenshot, or mix it up, having some screenshots with text above and others below. Make sure you use a fully charged phone (or export the screenshots from Xcode) and that they look good.
First, make a single image of all your screenshots before you do any editing. You can upload them all to AppToolkit.io without any editing or use any image editor. This is my before image for our Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Unofficial Guide. Also whenever you post it anywhere online, make sure you put the name of your app in the file name, the image title and any alt text. This will also help with search results.
Once you’re done making your screenshots on AppToolkit, make a screenshot of all 5 screenshots as a single image. You’ll use this later.
This is our final edited screenshots. We walk our potential buyers through what they can expect from the app, and in a logical order. Main Screen, local listview of diners, drill down by state, contact info for a diner, local near me map showing multiple diners around my location.
Second, make several websites:
First up, add your final screenshots to your website. If you don’t have a website, make one. You can use AppToolkit.io’s website builder (also free) or lots of other options. There are WordPress themes for app landing pages, Bootstrap HTML sites and plenty of hosted options. Find one and add your screenshots to it. Add in your app description, social media links and links to your app in each store where you have your app.
We built a landing page built with Slides from Designmodo at DinersApp.com.
We also have a quick landing page we made with the AppToolkit.io Website Builder here – Diners App on AppToolkit.io
I wrote about how our Diners app just blew up when I started playing with App Store Optimization and changed the name of the app so it was more visible when users searched for the term “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in the iTunes store. It was called Lighting in a Bottle: How we got a top 70 iTunes app without marketing it.
Crosspost your blog post to Medium (if you’re using WordPress you can import it directly). Link back to your website or store listings in a couple of places in the post, and in your author bio at the bottom of the post. Links on Medium posts are nofollow (so no direct SEO benefit from posting on Medium) but having indexed links back for some of your keywords will be helpful for Google search.
We republished ours here, and promoted in on social media.
If your app is something you can write about regularly, make a Medium publication and add your article to it.
Third, add to Social Media and Web 2.0 website:
Post your after image of all five screenshots to Screenshot Showoff on Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/screenshotshowoff/
You can add a comment, and a keyword link back to your website. By default, Reddit links are nofollow, but once you have some upvotes, they become follow links. So share the post with a few friends and let it update. The Diners app post is here – https://www.reddit.com/r/screenshotshowoff/comments/64v7f3/diners_driveins_and_dive_app/
Post individual images to Dribble, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest. Put links back to your website for each image and when allowed, make a description of each one (using the feature text you used when making them). Each image should be a separate post. Don’t forget to name each image something readable for some extra SEO. Too lazy to do it yourself? Hire someone that’ll do it for you for $10 on Konker.io with this gig here.
Fourth, create a slideshow and a pdf:
Go to Google slides and make a simple slideshow for your app
- Publish publicly
- Export as a PDF
- Export as a PowerPoint
You can see ours here – Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives App
Slide Sharing Websites:
You can also embed your slideshow in many places. Google Slides gives you embed code, but there are a number of slide sharing websites as well. Slideshare is probably the most popular, but adding your slideshow to many of the others will help with your SEO and discovery.
Diners Drive-Ins and Dives on Slideshare
PDF sharing is also helpful. Many of the sites will let you have anchor text links on your PDF, others don’t, but you can still describe your app and put links to it in the description of your PDF. Issuu is mostly a publication sharing site, but you can upload any PDF and make it public. There are many public PDF sharing sites, so post your app to as many of them as you can.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives app on Issuu – https://issuu.com/golocalapps/docs/diners__drive-ins_and_dives_app
For a list of the best slide sharing and PDF sharing sites and the Google Slides template I used, sign up for our email newsletter and we’ll send it to you so you can do this yourself.
Fifth, create and share your slideshow as a video:
- Open your slideshow in PowerPoint and save as video
- Upload to YouTube and add music
- Publish with keywords in description and tags
- Post video to other video sites, YouTube accounts and embed in websites (Rather spend $20 and let someone else do it for you? Konker.io again HERE)
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives app YouTube video is here – https://youtu.be/yt5ceTWC0hI
There you go. You’re already making your screenshots and writing your app description. So just do a little more work and you can have dozens, if not hundreds of links pointing back to your app and helping you get more downloads and attention.
- Create before and after sets of your app store screenshots
- Make multiple website landing pages for your app. Have an official one, but use free landing page builders to make more that link to your app in the app stores and your social media.
- Write a blog post about your app and use your screenshots to tell the story about your app
- Cross-post your blog post to Medium, Tumblr, WordPress, Facebook, etc.
- Post individual screenshots to image sharing services like Pinterest, DeviantArt, Dribble, Google+ and more
- Post your edited screenshots to Reddit and Show Hacker News, and other social sharing sites
- Use your screenshots when you submit your app to Product Hunt, even if you don’t get on the main page
- Create a Google Slide deck for your app and publish it. Embed it on as many social media websites you can.
- Export the slide deck as a powerpoint file and as a pdf. Post the slide deck on slideshare.com and other slide sharing websites.
- Post the PDF to Issuu.com and other PDF sharing sites
- Upload the slide deck to Power Point and export it as a mp4 video file.
- Upload your video to YouTube, add music and your app description, website link and other key data and add in relevant tags.
- Download the final app with music and add it to other video sharing sites like Vimeo.
All this too much for you? Well there is a service for that too:
We’ll do everything listed above and more. If you don’t have your own accounts for Slideshare, Issuu, Vimeo and the other sites, we’ll create them for you and give them to you when we’re done. And we’ll give you a free year at AppToolkit – Pro Screenshot Builder and Website Builder, along with our Review Monitor ($347 value).