Best of the rest and off-beat

Co-promote with your launch sponsor (or get one if you don’t have one)

If you have a sponsor and/or launch sponsor for your app, then get them involved too. After all it’s in both your interest to see this app succeed! Not only will your sponsor be pleased to see you take the initiative and promote the app but, depending on who they are, they may also have a lot more marketing muscle. You both stand to benefit, so choose some of the most appropriate ideas in this guide and discuss them with their marketing manager.

This may also tie-in with…

App promotions

Depending on who your sponsor is, you might be able to set up a promotion where people who have downloaded your app show it in your sponsor’s store, restaurant etc and receive say a 15% discount on producing the app.

The sponsor will get increased footfall (and sees some ‘real world’ benefits of the app sponsorship) while you’re happy because more people downloaded the app. Whether you have an in-app sponsor or not you may have other advertisers or partners interested in teaming up for a similar promotion. Be creative!

Have a launch event

Depending on your budget, a small, or (ridiculously large) launch party may be just what you need to get your app off and running. Particularly if you invite the most influential people, journalists or bloggers in your app’s larget market or industry. In these challenging economic times you might also be surprised with the cool venues you can hire for less than you expect (with a little bit of gentle negotiation!).

Hire an agency

Rather than do it all yourself you could hire a PR agency or other specialist social media agency to do some of his work for you. There are even companies (such as who claim they will get your app in the Top 25 or give you your money back…

Ask your colleagues

If you are producing this app for your employer, why not spread the brainstorm a little further and ask your colleagues for their best promotional idea? To give an extra incentive offer a prize for the best one (their name in lights on the app perhaps?). It will give your brain a rest and, you never know, they might even come up with a suggestion that is better than one of yours (though we won’t tell them that of course).

Mention your app EVERYWHERE

‘So I did your branded wallpaper what more do you want?’

How about mentioning your app on you or your company’s:

  • Voice mail and on hold messaging
  • Receipts
  • Shipping flyer insertions
  • Envelopes
  • Shipping containers
  • Email signatures
  • Email auto-responders

Create a presentation

If you’re creating a slide-by-slide presentation to explain or promote your app, then why not post it on Slideshare too and make it publicly viewable. Not only will search engines index it, but you can easily pass the link on to any interested people, as well as linking to it from your website etc.

Free-standing portable banners

If you have any events coming up then give your app a push there too. You can easily get some big banners made up. The guys at Nomadic, for instance, have a very cool solution for big, portable stands that you can easily collapse, take away and re-use:

Don’t make the app bigger than 20MB (if you can help it)

If you’re making a rival to the Secret of Monkey Island game (354MB), then you’re not likely to get the size of our app below 20 megabyes (MB) in size. If your app is borderline on the 20MB mark though you might want to ask your developer if they can push it just below that size. Why bother?

Well, most iPhones/mobile carriers won’t let a user download an app over 20MB via a 3G connection (a user will have to download it via WiFi or through iTunes on their computer instead). If your app is in this borderline category then (and you can squeeze it below that 20MB mark) you may find you get more downloads, particularly impulse purchases, that might have otherwise been discouraged or prevented by the 20MB ‘limit’.

Note: Previously the limit was 10MB and this was gradually raised in countries around the world. However as mobile networks vary from one country to another, if your target audience is in a particular market you might want to double-check the local limit first.

Branded image projection

Still looking for other ideas? Hire a mobile projection company and project your app’s logo onto a cool building. Just make sure you’re not breaking any laws though…1


If there’s another app out there that really complements yours (and vice-versa) get in touch with its creators and suggest teaming-up. You can work together cross-promoting each other’s apps on your website, blog, Facebook or witter pages and reach a whole new audience. If they’re not in competition with you – and it isn’t something you think is going to ‘jar’ with your target audience – then go for it.

Get a celebrity endorsement

Why not? They’re all on Twitter now anyway. Go to Find your favourite celeb (or any celeb that you think might like it) start following them and then drop them a note about your app (just try to not make it too ‘spammy’). Not only could you get a huge spike in downloads if they do endorse it (P Diddy has over 3,000,000 followers) you can take a screengrab of their plug for posterity and then mention it on your website/Facebook page etc. Just be good at selling your app in 140 characters, and you never know what might happen!

1‘Australia ‘Big Ben’ Ashes stunt ‘illegal’’