Whenever someone makes an app, it’s obvious that they want it to become popular and attract the target audience, and with modern technologies, one can create almost any kind of app. However, there are many factors that make the road to the desired popularity a lot harder than it already is, and not everyone understands that these factors should be taken into account as early as possible.

Before you start getting any ideas, remember this:

  • In order to reach the desired popularity, you need to invest your time and/or money into promotion, because otherwise nobody will know about your app;
  • There are over two million apps and games launched on the App Store as of June 2016, which makes promotion a lot harder than it already is;
  • Marketing is very affordable in the current situation, but even with that, not everyone is able to afford their services, and that’s why one has to learn how to promote iOS app on their own.

With all these factors taken into account, the course of action should be obvious for your and your team. Learning to how manage a marketing campaign is no easy task, but with enough time and effort you can promote your app well enough to attract a small audience and reduce the expenditures on a marketing agency.

How to promote iOS app on your own

There are many methods and techniques involved in mobile marketing, and all of them require a massive amount of money. Some can be easily pulled off on your own, while a couple of them will require outside help – in any case, you will have no trouble doing some rudimentary promotional tasks if you pay attention to the methods suggested here.

The methods available to you are the following:

  • App Store Optimization (Keyword Optimization)
  • Social Media Promotion
  • Promotion through blogs and YouTube channels
  • Localization

You can also benefit from the following marketing services:

  • App Store Optimization (Asset Optimization)
  • AB Testing
  • Incentive Traffic

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them and see how they work, what you need to know and how you can use them to your advantage.

App Store Optimization

ASO is a relatively new field of mobile app promotion and ios app marketing, however, it’s very efficient when you need a low-cost, subtle promotion of your app or game that may yield good results if you pull that off in a right way. It’s main goal is to lead the traffic to you application or game, and then convince them to give it a try, and there are two main methods used to pull this off – the Keyword Optimization (KWO) and Asset Optimization (AO), which will be covered here.

Keyword Optimization is very similar to SEO practices. It involves the research of the relevant keywords among trending ones and their usage of them in the app tags field and app description. However, the SEO work is usually done after that, but that’s not the case for ASO – in this case you need to update the keywords once in a while to get the best out of your promotional campaign. This also works in case the results aren’t as satisfying as you expect – just remember to give it some time. This works to drive the audience towards your app and bring as many people to it as possible. This will also result in somewhat higher ranking in the search results and you can also probably reach the Top Apps list.

Another good recommendation is to find a keyword to use in the app title, which is proven to provide somewhat increased conversion rates – just remember to avoid changing the title, since it negatively affects the performance of your app.

You can do it on your own, but when it comes to Asset Optimization, you will need help of a marketing agency. Otherwise you will have to trust your taste and understanding of the audience. Asset Optimization is done by selecting the most appealing variation of the app icon, screenshots and video preview. Its goal is to convince the user to download the app by providing attractive assets on the app page.

Social Media Promotion

Today, social media became a big part of our lives, and there are many people out there who are keeping their web interactions almost exclusive to social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks are the goldmines of potential traffic for your app or game. It’s a great opportunity to communicate with your audience.

Consider following these steps:

  • Create and reserve a page for your app and/or studio on every major social network. Set it to private if your app is far from ready;
  • Once you’re ready to show something and you know that the app will be finished, you can set it to public and start posting the news;
  • Provide short information about the app or game, keep It short and simple yet informative to the audience;
  • Post news and updates, but don’t dump all of the information in one post. Keep enough information stashed for new updates to keep the audience updated and interested in what you’re doing;
  • Try to “convert” your friends and followers on social media into the followers of your app or game. To do that, share the posts from the app page on your main page;
  • Consider posting about your app in relevant groups and on relevant public pages – this should provide you a small addition to the current traffic and potentially increase your audience if you’re lucky to attract them;
  • Communicate with the audience, listen to feature requests, comments and criticism, talk to your fans and do your best to show that you are interested in what they’re doing.

Promotion through blogs and YouTube channels

Contact blogs and various YouTube channels and see if they’re willing to tell the audience about your game. While most of them will not likely do it for free, it’s a nice way to attract more people to your app or game, and in most cases the donation will most likely bring more than you’ve invested if the channel or blog is popular.


Another good way to expand the target audience by providing the translations of in-app text in the user’s native language. While you will need translation services to pull this off, it’s a great opportunity to increase the audience. Also, these services are rather affordable today, so don’t hesitate to give it a try. A large chunk of your potential audience will appreciate it – localization usually increases the conversion rate by up to 20%, while in some cases the download numbers increased by 7 or 8 times. Support as many languages as possible to expand your audience even further.

AB Testing

Are you unsure about the shape of the button or some color and can’t decide which variation is better? It means you have a good opportunity to try AB testing that marketing agencies offer today and see how your audience reacts. It’s simple – the variations are displayed to the audience and they can decide which one looks better and thus help you select the elements that will convince the user to download your app.

Incentive Traffic

One of the recommended methods to promote iOS game and apps is incentive traffic. While it requires help of a marketing agency and confidence in your project, its effect on the performance of your product on the market is very positive and subtle at the same time. By ordering it, you can easily improve your position on the market and potentially reach the Top Apps list.

While some people dislike the idea of using incentive traffic, it’s on par with asking a friend to help you out and then thanking them by buying them a nice drink or something similar. Except it’s unlikely that you have hundreds or thousands of friends, and the pay per install is cheaper than a drink, dinner or anything like that. You can use the services of mobile app promotion provided by Applead to make that happen.