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10 Free Ways to Promote Your App

app user graph
Don’t you think it’s time to see a rise in new users?

The Struggle is Real…

You’ve just launched your app. However, besides your friends, family, and that random LinkedIn Android Studio group, your app isn’t exactly a household name. To make matters worse, if your app is like most, you’ve probably already lost almost 80% of your users. Sure, there are quick fixes like large user acquisition buys or paying thousands for trade show booth space, but these methods can be costly. Without “breaking the bank,” you’re basically stuck waiting around for new users to hear about your app. Will they show up? Let’s hope so.

If the above scenario seems familiar, fear not. Adscend has your back.

We’ve spent years researching user behavior in order to help developers from around the globe maximize revenue from their mobile games and apps. We found that it doesn’t take a ton of cash to get people to take note of your app or game, it only takes the little bit of digital “elbow grease” that is listed in the ten strategies below.

10 Free Ways to Promote Your App

Take Your Business Elsewhere: There are more places to promote your app than just the Google Play store or the App Store. Listing your app on alternative app stores (most of them are free!) allows you to reach new audiences in app stores that generally feature less competition. Business of Apps has a great list of alternative app stores to help you get started.

Network with Your Mom/Boss/Friend’s Cat: Whether you prefer Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry (we love crocheting!), or another social site, promoting your app on your fan pages and in relevant groups is the easiest way to spread the word. Check out’s article for some ideas.

Speak Up: Whatever your comfort level is, there’s a free event near you that lets you show people why they can’t live without your app. From attending local developer mixers, to grabbing free expo passes at shows like Apps World or AnDevCon, to even creating a small Meetup with fellow developers, the interwebs are full of free places to connect with people about your app.

Get Noticed: App Store Optimization (ASO) is the practice of creating a search-optimized listing for your app to increase the chances of appearing in app store user searches. Essentially, the more often your app is seen in a search, the more downloads you will get. Though each app store has a different algorithm to determine which search results will appear, there are some common free methods that you can use to improve your ASO across most stores. Check out our interview with Todd Dunham from the ASO Project to learn more about these practices.

Ask for an Email: Collecting email addresses (always get permission first) and emailing news/promotions about your app can be easily done in your spare time. In fact, building an email list is actually easier than it sounds with the help of sources like this HubSpot article.

Become BFF’s with Google: Creating a site structure that is built for search engines, link building, and continually adding useful content is a great way to gain more visits to your app store listing or website. The best part? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) only costs you time. Learn the basics with The Beginners Guide to SEO from Moz.

Get Some Press: An excellent way to promote your app when you’ve just launched (or have new features) is to reach out to app review sites and blogs. Often it only takes a small, free gesture like an email to an editor, a social media message, or the promise of a case of Butter Beer to get your app reviewed. Other times it takes a media kit and extensive documentation. Apptamin has a great article about how to pitch to the app press.

Tighten Things Up: Your app’s website needs to have a logical flow in terms of content and links, proper on-page elements (e.g. header tags, active links, robots.txt file) and tons of great content to show up for relevant key terms. Sounds like we’re speaking Ewokese? No worries. An easy-to-follow guide to on-site SEO is included in Onsite SEO Basics for Small and Medium Businesses.

Drop Some Links: Adding a link to your app’s site or app store URL on relevant forums, blogs, and other sites is a simple (and free) way to gain more traffic. You can get the basics of link building with Word Stream’s guide.

Write About Yourself: Consistently adding quality content can help bring in more search engine traffic to your app’s site, as fresh content shows search engines that you care about your niche and are striving to provide value to it. Some ways that you can add more content to your site include adding a blog, news section, or guides.

And here’s one more…

Let Us Help You: Though we’re extremely biased, we recommend Adscend’s user acquisition solutions. With our solutions, you only pay for quality users delivered. Our ad campaigns allow you to grow your user base at a scale that you’re comfortable with (without having to spend too much cash). Whether you need to bring in tens of thousands of new users in a weekend, or are looking for a steady influx of new users, we can easily help you create a campaign to meet your goals.

Did We Miss Any Free App Promotion Methods?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Tony Cohn

Tony Cohn is a marketing manager with Adscend Media, a leading rewards-based advertising ad platform for mobile apps and games. When not at work, Tony enjoys watching New York Mets baseball, smoking cigars, and running. Originally from the Bay Area, Tony currently resides in Sacramento, CA.


  • hi im Anderson I’d like to know the Status of my application as publisher. Theres no number to reach you and the contact form, Not working. All access is Impossible.

  • Useful information.
    Now there is an underestimation of the importance of the promotion of mobile applications. Many developers believe that they are creating the application will receive a lot of money, but this is impossible without a promotion.