Home Affiliate Marketing & Advertising How to Market an App: 15+ Ways to Advertise a Mobile App Successfully

How to Market an App: 15+ Ways to Advertise a Mobile App Successfully

by Adsterra Team

The days of “if you build it, they will come” are gone. According to Statista, over 8.9 million mobile apps are competing for a limited user base. Marketing your app is now as important as building it. Yet, app promotion can be difficult, especially for people doing it for the first time. This article will make it easier by teaching you how to market your mobile app effectively to attract users. 

Mobile app advertising specifics

The main factor affecting your app’s success is your marketing strategy. Each type of app has a unique target audience and selling point to prospects. There are many sorts of mobile apps, including:

  • News apps,
  • Social media,
  • Entertainment, 
  • Games, 
  • Education, 
  • Productivity and collaboration.

You’ll need to consider unique factors of your niche to determine how to market an app and get the best results. 

Important things to do before app promotion

Know your target audience

Understanding your customers is essential to determine how to market your app in the best way. You can start by defining the age groups, demographics, and interests of your ideal set of customers, and these details will help you decide on the best marketing strategy to use.

Also, you should check out what your competitors are doing to get customers and imitate them because they have a similar target audience. This way, you’ll get a good idea of how to attract customers before you begin app promotion. 

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Start promoting your mobile app before its launch

It’s advisable to promote your app before formally launching it. Why? It increases brand awareness and helps you gather feedback. 

You can run a beta test and encourage users to give you feedback. The users will let you know about any errors or which features need improvement. They can also tell you what additional features they’ll like to see in the app, which you can implement to make them happy.

Ideas to market your app successfully

Advertising for apps can be tricky and require a lot of creative ideas to do it right. These ideas include:

1. Using the right ad network

The advertising network you select is one of the most critical aspects of promoting an app. Different networks offer different options for advertising mobile apps. They have a lot of websites registered on their network that can expose your brand to the ideal customer base. 

It would be best to choose an advertising network with high-quality mobile traffic because this is where you’ll find users most likely to download your mobile app. Adsterra is an excellent example of such an ad network; it works with over 28,000 publishers that generate over 1 billion daily impressions.

Adsterra makes it easy to create and deploy advertisements in multiple formats, including Popunders and In-Page Push. You can pay for impressions, clicks, or conversions like app installs and trials.

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2. Creating a landing page

A landing page is a web page intended to compel visitors to take a suggested action. Think of it as a virtual elevator pitch. You can create a landing page for your mobile app to introduce it to potential users in an interactive way. The page should clearly state what your app offers, its features, and its benefits.

Your landing page should also include a detailed explanation of how your app works, with screenshots and demo videos. Also, add a call-to-action button that takes visitors to your app on the app store. It presents a great opportunity for marketing an app.

Visually-appealing app landing page by Cash App
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3. Influencer marketing

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. 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.

Example of an email footer with a call-to-action button to download an app (by Loom)
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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 on 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. SEO matters here

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.

7. 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 App Annie to search for phrases, see which apps come up, and then mimic their description format for your relevant keywords.

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8. Leveraging social media

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. Leveraging 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.

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 WhatsApp, 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. Pitching 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. Asking 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. Talking 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. Applying 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. Using 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. Promoting 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. Participating 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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Expert tips on how to advertise mobile apps with ad networks

Now that you know how to market your mobile app let’s see some tips from our experts on how to succeed when you run a marketing campaign on Adsterra.

Adsterra lets you maximize your ad budget with balanced pricing models. You can pay per click, impression, mille, or user acquisition.

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Pre-launch stage

The first thing to do is to sign up as an advertiser. Fill in the required fields on the form and click Sign Up to proceed. You’ll need to verify your email before accessing your account. You can create your first campaign by selecting Campaigns > Create from the hamburger menu and submit it for verification without payment details. But you’ll need to input payment details and add funds to your account for the campaign to run. 

Let’s see which settings and metrics to look out for if this is your first time advertising with Adsterra.

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Conversion flow and pricing

The conversion flow for your campaign may vary. It could be app installs, paid subscriptions, trials, credit card submissions, etc. The more complex your conversions are, the more time it’ll take users to proceed with target actions. 

You can choose from different pricing models; cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-mille (CPM), and cost-per-action (CPA). We at Adsterra recommend choosing CPA for fast and simple conversions (e.g., app installs) and CPM for complex conversions (e.g., customer deposits).

Cost-per-click is also good, but use it only if you’re sure that your landing page can convert users.

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Ad format

The format of your advertisement plays a big role in its success. Adsterra supports different ad formats:

  • Popunder ads cost less than other formats and only need a little creativity except for creating pre-landers. You can buy traffic using cost-per-mille or cost-per-acquisition with this format.
  • Social Bar is an innovative format that combines In-Page Push notifications and display advertisements. With this format, you can pay per mille, per click, or per acquisition.
  • You can buy Banner ads that are easy for readers on a website to see and interact with (cost-per-mille, cost-per-acquisition, cost-per-click, and cost-per-impression). However, to request Banner advertising, you will need to drop a line in the live chat.

You can create ads yourself or with the help of an Adsterra manager. 

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Bidding tactics

Don’t overbid from the start when advertising an app. Start with a minimum recommended bid and increase it only after the campaign has begun converting users. If it doesn’t yield good results, make some changes and check for improvements. 

The Adsterra Estimator can forecast how much traffic you can get from your campaign based on its CPM/CPC bid and settings. You can find clues on your campaign setup page.

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You should target a broad range of customers for a start and avoid over-optimization. It’s not about the platform, it’s more about traffic. It’s practically useless to add a whitelist to a new ad network, when you don’t know how the traffic will react to your offer. The strategy is to let ads roll for a while, and then, detect the best placements so as to gather them in a separate whitelist.

Adsterra lets you target your ads according to various factors, including device models, location, language, operating system, web browser, and IP addresses. When on the start, split your campaigns into large pieces of traffic. The rule of thumb is one campaign per country.

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Translate your advertising copies to local languages or add multiple versions to your A/B test to see which ones deliver the best results. If you’re using Social Bar ads, use high-contrast icons that are easy for the user to spot. Prelanders (when you run a Pop campaign, for instance) should be uncluttered and engaging. Banner ads should be of high quality with appealing designs. 

You can read Adsterra’s guide for making highly converting ads for more information.

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Mobile app campaign tests and launch

  1. Watch out for your conversions immediately after you launch a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) campaign. With CPA, conversions are the main marker. With poor or zero conversions, you will need to immediately fix the campaign’s settings. Take one step after another, avoid changing the whole set of settings. First off, check the target URL for typos, make sure the page loads fast.  
  1. You can change your wording if you’re seeing low conversions. You can also have a second look at the targeting, e.g., you may have targeted a narrow range.
  1. It’s imperative to have a ##SUB_ID_SHORT## 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.

Remember to refresh your campaigns with new visuals or messages at regular intervals.

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Mobile app optimization campaign

  1. Blacklisting and whitelisting are important optimization tactics. You can control which websites you want your advertisements to appear on or not. That’s why we added the ##PLACEMENT_ID## token at a previous stage.
  1. Ensure you communicate with your Adsterra manager because they’re experienced and offer good insights. They know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. 
  1. You need to place higher bids to get traffic from sources with high-quality conversions. You can inquire with your manager about the appropriate budget for this.
  1. Adsterra allows Custom Bid, that is, you set lower payouts to websites that send you fewer conversions and higher payments to those that send you more conversions.
  1. You can optimize your campaigns according to many factors, such as narrowing targeting (by OS version for instance), or by adding cappings and limits.
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FAQs about apps advertising

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What is mobile app promotion?

Mobile app promotion is the process of increasing awareness, downloads, and usage of a mobile application. It involves a combination of tactics such as advertising, search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing to make an app more visible and desirable to potential 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.

If you want to advertise Android APK files, see our guide for more information.

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

The most effective type of marketing for a mobile app startup will depend on the specific product or service the startup offers, as well as the target audience. However, some of the most effective strategies for mobile app startups include leveraging social media, content marketing, influencer marketing, paid advertising, and PR.

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What are the worst app marketing strategies?

Not listening to your users’ feedback, poor app store optimization, and not using in-app content in your advertising copies are some of the worst ways to advertise your mobile app.

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What are the best low-cost app marketing strategies?

Word of mouth, creating a blog, and app store optimizations are some of the best low-cost ways to advertise your mobile app.

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How do I promote my app on social media?

Post regularly to build a strong following. Encourage user-generated content and engage with your customers to spread the word about your app on social media.

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How do you attract users to your app?

You attract users to your app first by providing useful features and a great user experience and then by advertising the app effectively. You need to make it clear what values your app gives to a user and what problems it solves.

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How much does it cost to advertise your app?

There’s no fixed amount for advertising your app. It depends on your targeting, the competition, and your skills. You can start a CPA campaign with as low as $50 and then go as high as you want if you see good results.      

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It’s one thing to build an app and another to market it. Advertising your app can be difficult, especially for people doing it for the first time. In this article, we broke down the steps to take and ideas to implement to get the best results from your mobile marketing campaigns. Adsterra has always been the best choice for advertising apps globally or within one geographical location.

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