Marketing Your App Without The Safety Net Of The App Store

Matt Loos
Matt Loos
February 20th, 2017
Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 41 seconds

Marketing your newly-created app can be an intimidating process. If you’re not relying on the App stores to generate downloads (while taking a hefty 30% cut of your revenue!), you may be wondering how to get the most out of your marketing. You may even be thinking, “Is this possible?”

The good news is that it’s not only possible, but it can even work to your advantage to take charge of your marketing without the harsh restrictions and limitations of selling in an app store.

Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing Your App

There are millions of apps available for purchase; finding ways to make yours stand out is key. Stepping outside the App Store is a step in the right direction, but there is intense competition between apps, with hundreds released daily.
What should you do to make your app noticeable among the legions of others? Let’s break down some of the do’s and don’ts of marketing your app independently.


Have a Plan. Marketing your app is all about strategy. Before you dive into promoting your app, it’s important to have a plan that you can measure and implement. Find out which of these channels are going to work best for your app, so you spend the right amount of time and resources on each one.

Create an app-specific website. Potential customers don’t want to wade through your business site to get to information about your app. It’s a good idea to create a separate site (that links back to your main business site, of course) to ensure that people can quickly and easily learn everything they need to know before they purchase the app.

Blog about your app. Whether you have a blog on your separate app-specific site, or you’re mentioning it on your business’s blog, dedicating a few posts to the features of the new app is a fantastic way to generate organic interest among potential customers. Your blog is a powerful educational tool that can help website visitors make the decision to become paying customers!
Create Social Ads. More and more developers are starting to see the benefit of investing in ads on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. It’s a very viable way to reach a lot of people, and, better yet, you can target a specific audience that you feel would have a particular interest in your app. Social ads are inexpensive, and they’re effective; making them ideal for promoting your app.

Produce a product video. People love a story, and there’s no better way to share the story of your app than with a video. You can show potential customers precisely how the app is different from all the rest, and give them helpful hints about using the app to its maximum benefit.

Generate traffic from paid search. Organic traffic is often not enough when it comes to promoting a newly released app. That’s when paid search can become an asset to boosting the amount of traffic your site sees and give your app the exposure you’re looking for. To help you create a paid search campaign that converts, check out our resources that can guide you in building a successful campaign.

Focus on your SEO. As well as boosting your app through paid search, a beneficial way to generate higher traffic is through SEO. By improving upon the content you have already, you can boost your search rankings to give your app a better chance of being seen. Learn more about boosting your traffic to create more exposure for your app in our blog post, Everything You Need to Know to Master SEO.


Avoid E-blasts. The old technique of carpeting everyone with emails announcing the release of this amazing new app isn’t as successful as it used to be; instead, create a highly targeted email list and coordinate emails with other aspects of your marketing to create a comprehensive and cohesive campaign.

Avoid pay-for-play review sites. Once again, these might have been effective at one time, but now they’re not a source that customers use to research purchases. However, legitimate review sites are a very important part of promoting your app. Nowadays, consumers rarely buy anything without checking the reviews first, so having reputable reviews on the right sites is essential. Find out which reviews sites are the best ones for your app in our blog post, How to Find the Right Review Site for Your Business.

Don’t Set-it-and-forget-it. Marketing your app is not a one-time ordeal. With how competitive the app market is, you need to plan on continuing your efforts towards promoting your app. Remember that engagement does not happen overnight, it takes time to reach your audience, and that’s where remaining tenacious in your efforts will pay off.

Once you spend all this time to set up your marketing channels, don’t forget to manage them. With how fast the online world moves, your marketing efforts will need updating every so often to remain up-to-date. Ensuring that your marketing channels are as current as possible gives your app the best chance of continuing to succeed as time goes on.

With these do’s and don’ts in your pocket, you’re sure to create a campaign for marketing your app that will ensure that you succeed without the structure of the App Store.

If you’re curious about distributing your app without the App Store, check out our latest post How Developers Can Sell Their Apps Outside the App Store.

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