Building a cool tool or an app is half of the battle. Marketing it is even harder and more overwhelming. Here’s a handy guide for you to use.
Finally, after months of hard work, your app or tool is complete. You have gotten past the initial design, the coding, the testing, the flaw discoveries, the retesting, more flaw discoveries, the pre-beta, and now you are ready. It is time to release your baby out into the world, and hope it becomes the next big tech sensation.
But where do you launch it?
Everyone who has started a venture knows that word of mouth (or the internet equivalent) is crucial. That landing page with its email subscription form can only take you so far – especially when you are competing against a seemingly never ending list of brand new startups trying to jostle their way to the top. It can be frustrating just trying to be seen.
Don’t worry, it isn’t impossible. Plenty of places exist that cater only to those new startups that are wanting attention on launch.
Before you start
App marketing is all about PR and media coverage but before you get into that, make sure you have covered the basics.
Start a website
Your website should be the central point of all your marketing efforts. Here’s a neat checklist on setting one up to keep you from getting overwhelmed and handy guide to everything to check on a website before launch.
Do your keyword research
Serpstat is my go-to tool when it comes to keyword and competitor research. You can run your site and see which keywords are missing, which related terms may be added and which questions are being asked in your micro-niche.
On top of that, you can do your site audit, check your backlinks and monitor your rankings, all within one dashboard.
Set up social media profiles
Social media presence is essential even if you app is a side project for you. I set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page for every, even minor project I am launching. Tools like DrumUp will help manage multiple social media profiles within one account.
10 websites to promote your app
These are 10 sites for promoting your app or tool, so you can get those early adopters you so crave.
1) Facebook Ads
Facebook has put a lot of work into their advertising structure, which is why they remain the most stable of social advertising platforms on the market.
You can narrow down your ads to target certain demographics, and it is a pay by reach system that gives you control over your daily budget.
This is also a great way to A/B test your promotional ads, by looking at patterns of engagement with each campaign.
2) Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a well known promoter of new tools and apps. They give you a featured page with all the information you need about your service.
Then they let you interact directly with interested customers, answering questions and communicating with them one on one. Products then go on a list, where people can find them later on based on categories and tags.
Similar to Product Hunt, BetaList features both apps and startups. All features are free, but they offer a paid ad that gets a lot more attention on the front page for only $129.
They don’t guarantee sign ups, but they do say that startups average 50 – 500 subscribers and a lot of initial traffic. So if you want a good early boost in customers, this is a good place to get them.
The Startup Pitch is a unique place, because it is all about content. It was originally started so new startups could share news about their product, launch, etc., without having to have their site up and running to link to. It evolved from there.
Now you can post pitches about your company, alerting their active user base about what is coming.
A database of startups with an attached blog, Launching Next is a great site that has a loyal fanbase and a great design. They also have a daily newsletter where they connect with people right in their inbox.
You can have your startups featured in that newsletter, taking advantage of the many benefits of email marketing. Plus they have an area for trending startups on their site, so the more attention you get, the more hype will build.
6) Hacker News
Pretty much everyone in the tech world, hacker or otherwise, is on Hacker News. They are an incredibly supportive community, very active, and they like to have their finger on the pulse of all things new on the world wide web.
Looking for early adopters here is alwaysÂ a solid move, especially if you want a vocal group that will provide plenty of feedback. You may notice on the front page that startups are frequently voted up to the top spots.
AppGratis works by offering a paid app every day for free. You can take advantage by offering a 24 hour free period on your own app.
Will you miss out on some profits? Maybe, but it is a way to get out there and find some people who will perhaps be willing to recommend you to others. So if you have a mobile version of your app, make sure to submit to them. They even have a newsletter.
8) App Storm
App Storm is a curation site for content based on different apps for different platforms. They frequently do lists and pieces about different apps, which can been pitched to them through their site.
They have a good user base of regular readers, so one blog post from them can generate a lot of traffic. Since they aren’t a database it isn’t great for conversions, but it will get them to your site to work your magic.
Reddit is a difficult platform to utilize for a lot of reasons. For one thing the community can be a bit hostile. But it can also be extremely supportive if you are in the right subreddits, and r/Startups is one of them.
The people there are wonderfully positive, and willing to give genuine constructive feedback. Plus, they are often happy to share your app, or to make connection that might help you both later on. It is a must-stop-shop for all entrepreneurs.
Springwise is their own service. But they have a Springwatch and newsletter service that tells their customers about other apps they should be keeping an eye on.
You can suggest your own business with a pitch on their site, and often they will publish it if they think your tool has what it takes. You will be facing some competition, but if you explain yourself well you will have a chance.
No one is going to know who you are in the beginning. You have to get your name out there, and get people looking at your product from the first day it launches.
These sites will help you do that, though you have to take special care to stand out from the crowd. With any luck, your app will be enough to do that based on the idea behind it.