Home Affiliate Marketing & Advertising How to Market Your App: 24 Ways to Advertise an App Successfully

How to Market Your App: 24 Ways to Advertise an App Successfully

by Chisom Maduonuorah

A mobile app can hardly succeed without effective advertising. Mobile app advertising has grown exponentially alongside the mobile app market. According to Statista, Global mobile app advertising spending rose from $30 billion in 2014 to $327 billion in 2023.
Spending lots of money is one thing, and spending it effectively is another. This article will explain how to spend mobile advertising budgets effectively. Mobile advertising trends are ever-changing, and you must be a lifelong learner to do it effectively.

Mobile app advertising specifics

Effective advertising strategies differ for different types of mobile apps. What works for games wouldn’t necessarily work for news apps. What works for educational apps wouldn’t always work for fitness apps. You must consider your type of app to set a practical strategy. Your target audience plays a vital role in how you’ll create your ads and the mediums to deploy them on. 

If you’re here to learn how to earn money from your application, skip this guide and read the one about apps or APKs monetization.

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Important things to do before mobile app promotion

Know your target audience

Your target audience is the specific group your app is designed for. It can be a particular age group, country, or people with shared interests. For example, a casual gaming app will ideally target people between 18 and 35. 

You should define your target audience before moving on to app promotion. Understanding your customers is critical to determine how to reach them with ads.

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Promote your app before launching it to drive excitement

You don’t have to wait to launch your app before promoting it. It’s advisable to start advertising it before launching to foster anticipation and excitement for your upcoming product. You can give customers a glimpse of what they’ll expect in your ads. You can also run beta tests with a small user group to gather feedback. This feedback will help you detect and improve your app’s blind spots before launching to a mass audience.

How to market your app effectively

1. Choose an ad network

Think outside the box when choosing an ad network. The most obvious platforms like Google Ads or Facebook are a surefire solution, but they may not suit you if you promote, let’s say, an iGaming app. Moreover, some advertising platforms send millions of ad views from the geos you target at a lower price.

Adsterra is well-known for its abundant quality traffic from 28K+ direct publishers. You can enjoy multiple conversions and clicks outside the mainstream competition channels.

Adsterra specifics:

  1. Vertical-friendly policy
  2. Expertise that embraces even complex verticals like Ecommerce, Sports and iGaming
  3. 20+ targeting settings
  4. Cost optimization tools: Smart CPM, CPA Goal
  5. 3-level security
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2. Create a landing page

A landing page is a standalone web page designed to convert viewers into leads and customers. It’s akin to a virtual elevator pitch. You should create an appealing landing page for your mobile app. This page should have precise information on what features and benefits people should expect from your app. You should provide a detailed explanation of how your app works alongside screenshots and demo videos.

The landing page should end with a call-to-action button that takes visitors to your app’s listing on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The good news is that you can use landing page builders to create yours with little hassles. These builders provide professional templates that you can use to create an appealing landing page.

Example of a creative landing page.
Source: FitnessAI
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3. Partner with influencers

Influencers have become a big part of the internet via social media platforms. They have lots of followers that view and engage with their content, which presents a good idea of how to promote your app. You can connect with influencers on different social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and get them to promote your app for a fee. 

Big-shot influencers with a large audience may be unaffordable for small brands, but they aren’t the only category of influencers you can work with. There are also “micro-influencers” with between 5,000 and 50,000 followers with a loyal fanbase that may be interested in marketing your app for a relatively affordable price.

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4. Pay attention to email marketing

There are over 4 billion active email users, which makes it one of the best channels for mobile app promotion. If you already have an email newsletter, you can tell your subscribers about your app and how it can help them. 

You can use existing email databases to target potential users but be careful not to run afoul of spam laws. On regular emails, you can paste links to your app in the signature field. The idea is to use email to expose your app to as many people as possible.

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5. Create a teaser video

A teaser video is a good idea of how to advertise an app. The video should be short (around 30 seconds) and demonstrate your app’s main features. You can include it in your landing page or social media page and promote it. Videos are interactive and can convey much more information within a short period than text. 

Avoid making the teaser video too salesy or shiny. Go straight to the point and highlight the best features of your app.

Screengrab of a sample app teaser video
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6. Pay attention to SEO 

Search engine optimization is important to determine how to market a mobile app. Ideally, your app should show up on the first page when someone looks up related queries on a search engine. Identify the most relevant keywords related to your app and include them in your landing page to increase the chances of ranking high. Good search engine optimization can get your app a lot of unpaid traffic.

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7. Work On your App Store Optimization (ASO)

App store optimization is similar to search engine optimization but for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It involves using the right keywords and keyword density to ensure that your app ranks high in customer searches. A lot of iPhone and Android users find their apps through search, so your app description is something to focus on to advertise it effectively.

You can use competitor research platforms like Data.ai to search for phrases, see which apps come up, and then mimic their description format for your relevant keywords.

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8. Pay attention to social media channels

Social media helps guide you on how to market an app successfully. Boosting your visibility on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn improves your brand reputation and attracts more users to your mobile app. You can leverage social media to ask for feedback from your users and discuss how to improve the app. Building strong relationships with your users on social media reaps great rewards.

9. Leverage your website (blog)

If you already have a website with high traffic, you can leverage it to promote your app successfully. For example, you can include a banner on your website that tells visitors about your app in a non-intrusive way. You can also write blog posts about your app and add a direct link to it, which helps with search engine optimization.

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 10. Create an eye-catching app icon

There are millions of apps on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, which translates into intense competition. You’ll need to differentiate yourself from the competition if you want to succeed, and one of the best ways to do that is with a unique app icon. Tips to make your icon stand out include:

  • Use a unique shape; 
  • Use a limited number of colors; 
  • Avoid using too much text; 
  • Don’t use a photo because it blends in too much.

Your icon should be as simple as possible to make it easy for users to recognize.

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11. Take great screenshots

Appearance matters a lot in mobile app advertisements. When someone comes across your app on the app store, one of the first things they look at is your screenshots, so you shouldn’t overlook this aspect. 

You shouldn’t just take a bland screenshot of your app and put it on your app store profile. Use captions and visual elements to spice them up. Ensure the screenshots are of high quality to make them more appealing to viewers.

Take Facebook for example:


The screenshots make it clear what the app is about and what you can do after downloading it.

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You should include download links for your app on your website if you have considerable traffic flowing to it. Preferably, you can include download buttons at the footer that redirect your visitors to your app page on the respective app stores. 

Take, for example, the news outlet The Wall Street Journal:


This publication gets hundreds of thousands of page views daily, some of whom proceed to download their app after seeing those buttons.

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 13. Pitch tech blogs

Many technology blogs are willing to entertain pitches for mobile apps that they can promote to their readers. Popular blogs include TechCrunch, The Verge, Mashable, Engadget, etc. You can send a message to the editorial team to convince them to include your app in their reviews. They usually look out for beautiful designs, original content, and functionality when considering which apps to review.

Your pitch should include:

A link to your app; 

A summary of your app and what makes it unique; 

High-quality screenshots;

Promo codes if your app requires payment to access.

One of the best mobile app promotion strategies is getting featured on a popular blog.

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 14. Ask for app reviews

Have you ever received a prompt to drop a review while using an app? The answer is likely yes. Your fellow app developers do this because app stores tend to promote apps with good ratings over those without. Good ratings also matter to prospects when deciding whether to download your app or not. 

You can ask your users to leave honest reviews of your app. These reviews let you measure customer satisfaction and know where to make improvements. Take the time to respond to reviews, including the bad ones. Regardless of what your users say, let them know you’re always working hard to improve their user experience. Customer engagement is an essential part of marketing a mobile app.

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 15. Talk to one user at a time

Awards can go a long way in marketing your app. They give you significant exposure and, in turn, downloads. You can apply to get your app shortlisted for awards from reputable organizations. The more prestigious the award, the better for your app. Some prestigious ones include:

Different awards have different requirements, so ensure you qualify for the ones you’re applying for. This is one of the best app promotion strategies, but it is very competitive.

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16. Apply for awards

The primary goal of mobile app advertisement at the beginning should be user retention instead of user acquisition. If you can get a small yet loyal group of users who’ll provide honest feedback for your app, you’ve conquered the biggest obstacle. Have direct conversations with this group of users and take their feedback seriously.

Listen to your small group of users and offer help when they need it. Happy customers can promote your app via word of mouth and attract more users faster than other types of marketing can.

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17. Use your social network

Social media is an under-utilized marketing channel for many businesses. Regular social media posts can go a long way in getting users for your mobile app. You can even post the same message multiple times over a month or two; doing so means it’ll get to more of your social media audience.

Also, use social media to announce new features and milestones for your app. You never know which one might pique a follower’s interest and make them download your app.

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18. Promote your app in-store

If you have a physical store, you can use it for advertising your mobile app. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can place a sticker at the entrance with a QR code that takes the customer’s phone to the link where they’ll download your mobile app and begin ordering from you. A simple sticker for the Google Play Store or App Store can also suffice, as it lets customers know that you have a mobile app.

You can also put your QR code on your business card so that everyone who gets that card can download your app after a simple scan.

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19. Participate in industry forums and podcasts

If you’re a good speaker, you can participate in events to market your app. The events should be relevant to your mobile app’s category because that’s where you’ll find the most willing set of users. Prepare insightful and interactive presentations to wow the audience and make them want to download your app.

You can also participate in podcasts relevant to your industry to promote your app. The podcast sector is growing rapidly, so it’s a good time to board the speeding train.

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20.  Create search ads

Search engines represent one of the best marketing mediums. You can draw significant traffic to your mobile app by advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. The key is to target keywords that are relevant to your audience. For example, if you operate a puzzle gaming app, you can target keywords like “puzzle games,” “online puzzle,” “puzzle for kids,” “solve puzzles,” etc.

Different keywords have different levels of competition. The higher the demand for a keyword, the more expensive it is to show your ads when people search for it. Targeting niche keywords is better than general ones with excessive demand. This way, you stand a higher chance of showing your mobile app ads when people search for them.

Adsterra lets you create appealing ads and deploy them in several display formats, including Social Bar, Popunders, In-Page Push, and Interstitials.

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21. Pay attention to word of mouth/buzzworthy marketing

Word of mouth can bring a lot of views and downloads to your mobile app for a relatively low advertising spend. Sometimes, you may not need to spend money at all. Your app should have advanced and desirable features that users would enjoy. People who enjoy your app can spread the word about it to their social circles, giving you free advertising.

Apps with user-generated content are more likely to spread via word of mouth. You should allow users to share their content across social media platforms. For instance, if you run a puzzle game, you should allow users to share their scores and compete with each other. Social media integration is critical to word-of-mouth marketing in this information age.

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22. Create app referral programs

Referral programs are a creative way to generate buzz for your mobile app. You can offer users perks for referring other people to your app. For example, you can offer one month of free premium subscription for each new person a user refers to your app. The offer encourages users to spread the word about your app to their close friends and family, giving you new users.

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23. Deploy regular app updates and improvements

Users get easily bored if you’re not adding new content and features to your mobile app. You must provide a steady stream of new content to keep them engaged with your app. Add new app levels, virtual characters, items, contests, etc. The new content keeps users busy for as long as possible and boosts your average engagement time. 

Ensure you update your app if you spot any bugs that need a patch. This way, you signal to users that you care about them.

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24. Create chatbots

Chatbots are an innovative tool to keep users engaged with your app. You can use chatbots for promotional campaigns; they can interact with users and collect data from them. They can also help with customer service, answering simple questions while you focus on the more complex ones.

This year has witnessed a proliferation of chatbots following the release of ChatGPT, a popular artificial intelligence-based chatbot. You can easily connect to ChatGPT’s API or rival tools to build your own chatbot.

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Expert tips on advertising mobile apps with ad networks

You have learned about the best ideas to advertise your app successfully. Now, you should learn how to advertise mobile apps productively with Adsterra.

Adsterra gives you several pricing options to maximize your advertising budget. You can pay per impression, mile, or user acquisition and ensure you get a good return on investment (ROI).

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Preparing to launch a campaign

The first step is to sign up as an advertiser with your email. Fill out the required form and click SIGN UP to proceed. You must verify your email address to unlock access to your Adsterra account. The platform will send a link to your email address that you can simply click to verify ownership of the email.

After signing up, it’s time to launch your first campaign. We recommend you to top up your account first, so to start the campaign after it’s approved. But you can try and tweak all settings without adding funds. Select Campaigns > Create from the hamburger menu. This dashboard is where you’ll provide all the information about your ad campaign.

Your main job here is to figure out which traffic type, connection type, geo, pricing model, and ad format to choose. Let’s discuss some of the most vital components of a successful campaign.

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Conversion flow doesn’t always meet the pricing model

The conversion action for your mobile app campaign can vary. You may want app installs, paid subscriptions, contact information submissions, free trial signups, etc. The more complex your conversions are, the more time it takes for users to follow through.

Adsterra offers three pricing models; cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-mille (CPM), and cost-per-action (CPA). We recommend cost-per-action for simple conversions (e.g., subscriptions) and cost-per-mille for complex conversions (e.g., credit card signups).

Cost-per-click is also a good option, but only if you have a good landing page to convert visitors into mobile app users.

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Ad Format

Ad format refers to the way your ad is displayed to viewers. It plays a vital role in the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Adsterra supports different creative ad formats, including

  • Popunders: A non-intrusive ad that appears on the full screen behind a browser window. The user will only see it after closing their browser window, meaning it doesn’t distract them while they’re engaging with content. You can pay for popunder ads via cost-per-mille or cost-per-acquisition. This format is more affordable than others. 
  • Social Bar: This ad appears like a push notification on a web page. The notification is sticky, remaining in a static position as the viewer scrolls through a web page. You can pay for this ad format per mille, per click, or per acquisition.
  • In-Page Push: These ads are designed like push notifications but they appear as banners within a web page.
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Bidding tactics

Do not overbid for ads when starting your campaign. It’s advisable to start with the minimum bid to judge your campaign’s effectiveness and only increase it if it starts converting users. This way, you’ll avoid wasting money on ineffective ads.

You can always change your bidding tactics to get optimal results. Adsterra has a built-in Estimator to help you forecast how much traffic you can get from your bids.

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Your campaign should target a broad range of customers at the beginning. You can narrow the target audience as the campaign progresses, and you’re sure of getting good results from the niche audience. 

Adsterra gives you many ad targeting options, including device type, location, operating system, language, web browser, and even IP range. If you’re targeting customers from different countries, it’s advisable to create a different campaign for each country and use their language. 

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Creativity matters a lot in your ads. Use high-quality visuals that are easy for viewers to read and understand. Your ads should be as minimal and uncluttered as possible. Use bold icons that customers can easily recognize. For more information, see Adsterra’s guide to creating high-converting ads

You can create multiple versions of your ad and perform A/B tests. For example, you can create ads with a different call to action, or with different background color. You can then stick to the ones performing better and discontinue the rest.

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Mobile app campaign tests and launch

  1. Watch out for conversions immediately after launching your campaign. Observing little conversions is a signal to tweak your ad settings to get better results. Firstly, check if there’s anything wrong with the target URL or if you made any typos. Ensure the target page loads fast because customers aren’t patient enough to wait for slow websites. 
  1. You can change the main triggers on a landing page, or check if your creatives and lander match perfectly if you’re observing massive clicks and poor conversions. You can also change the target audience specifics, e.g., add more browsers or allow all types of traffic.
  1. It’s imperative to have a ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## (which is equal to Click ID) in all CPA campaigns, as it shows when a conversion fires. The ##PLACEMENT_ID## is an absolute must, as well, cause it allows for building black- and whitelists. Please give a read to our special guide to S2S tracking:

Always monitor your campaign at regular intervals and change things if you’re not getting the desired results.

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Mobile app optimization campaign

  1. Blacklisting and whitelisting are crucial ad optimization tactics. They let you control what websites your ads appear on and what ones it doesn’t. That’s why we added the ##PLACEMENT_ID## token at a previous stage.
  1. Keep in touch with your Adsterra manager because they have invaluable experience running ads and seeing what works best. You can ask them questions, and they’re ever-willing to answer.
  1. You need higher bids to get conversions from high-quality traffic sources. Competition for high-quality sources is high, so you need high bids to keep up with other advertisers. You can consult your Adsterra manager about an appropriate ad budget to set. 
  1. Adsterra offers an innovative feature called Custom Bid. You can set lower payouts for websites with little conversions and higher payouts for those with better conversions.
  1. Adsterra allows you to target your campaign with many factors and to set budget limits to avoid unnecessary ad spending.
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FAQs about apps advertising

What is mobile app promotion?

It refers to the process of advertising your app to get downloads and user engagement. You can promote your app via many mediums, including social media, search engines, websites, word of mouth, referrals, display ad networks, etc. The mobile app sector is intensively competitive, so any app that doesn’t advertise will hardly get users. Utilizing multiple channels to reach potential users is the best way to ensure maximum reach and engagement. 

Creating a well-crafted message about the app that resonates with the target audience and offers incentives to download is essential. And finally, incorporating user feedback and reviews into marketing campaigns can help increase credibility and trust in the app.

See our guide for more information if you want to advertise Android APK files.

What is the best type of marketing for a mobile app startup?

There’s no single best way to market a mobile app. It depends on the specific app the startup offers and its target audience. Yet, some of the best mediums to note include ASO, search ads, paid ads in social media, reviews, etc. There’s no shortage of options to advertise an app; you just need to play your cards right.

What are the worst app marketing strategies?

The worst app marketing strategy is not listening to feedback from users. If you ignore feedback and don’t make the required changes requested by users, your advertising budget will be fruitless. 

Poor app store optimization is another bad strategy that’ll hamper your advertising efforts. Ensure your app’s listing is optimized to appear in search results. 

How can I promote my app without money?

The first step is app store optimization. Optimize your app listing’s description, text, and images to make it rank high for relevant keywords. You can also run referral programs to give users in-app rewards when they refer another person. Similarly, you can optimize your app’s landing page to rank high on search engines and get conversions.

How much does it cost to advertise an app?

There’s no fixed cost to advertise an app. It depends on your target audience, type of app, and how much you’re willing to pay to get users. You can launch a campaign from as low as $100 test budget all the way to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good news about ad networks is that you can get good results even with relatively low amounts.

How do you attract users to your app?

Advertising is the most effective way to attract users to your app. You can create ads with appealing visuals to court users. You can create landing pages with precise information about your app and direct visitors to download it. You can advertise via social media, email, search engines, websites, word of mouth, etc.

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Advertising your app can be challenging, especially if you’re new to it. Mobile app advertising involves many considerations and ideas, which we’ve explained in this article. We’ve provided detailed information about advertising your app effectively. Follow our tips, and you’ll likely get good campaign results.

The effectiveness of your advertising starts with the ad network you choose. Luckily, Adsterra is one of the best options that give you access to a network of high-quality publishers worldwide. 

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