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When you’re promoting your iPhone or iPad app, it may seem like all of your marketing choices are expensive. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big attention. Discover 4 easy and effective app marketing tactics that you can do for free.

When you’re promoting your iPhone or iPad app, it may seem like all of your marketing choices are expensive. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to get big attention. I’ll show you 4 effective app marketing tactics that you can do for free.

Be a social media star

One of your biggest opportunities to tell large audiences about your new mobile app is social media. Every day, millions of people flock to Facebook, Twitter, and more to rant and rave about apps. These people are active iPhone users and always on the hunt for the latest apps. Social media is where many users discover new games and apps to try – and it’s your chance to get in front of them.

Set up your Facebook page and Twitter profile for free and join in the conversation. Post helpful and interesting information about your app and the topic it covers (weather, New York, football, etc.) to invite customers to learn more about you.

Hold a contest

If you have a paid app, generate more interest and buzz for it with a contest. There are several popular app websites that will help you for free, such as AppSafari and AppGiveaway.

You provide promo codes and they publicize your app to their large followings. (Make sure to always follow Apple’s rules about promo codes.) People enter the contest to try and win a free copy of your app.

But you’re the real winner: people who receive a free app and like it will tell their friends (more free advertising for you). People who don’t win have now learned about your app and may buy it.

Lower price means more attention

Apple allows you to change the price of your app at any time, without needing to re-submit it for their review. This gives you the opportunity to attract new customers and more attention at no charge – in fact, by holding a limited-time sale on your app, you may make more money than before.

If you have a paid app, you have two options for making this work: You could hold a special sale and, for a short time, reduce your price (from $2.99 to $0.99, for example). You’ll need to promote your sale to make it work. More people are likely to buy it at the lower price, which brings in new paying customers and can even make up for the discount in terms of total revenue.

Or, you can cut your paid app all the way to free as a limited-time discount. Unless you have another way to make money (such as advertising or in-app purchases), you won’t be making money on it directly but here’s the secret advantage: there are many websites that continually track prices in the App Store. For example, AppShopper and FreeAppAlert. They’ll feature apps that recently went from paid to free, giving your app huge exposure.

People love anything free, getting you new users and lots of buzz. When the sale is over, people will still be telling their friends about your app if you’ve designed it to be buzzworthy.

Get rave reviews

When smartphone users are looking for new apps to try, many turn to review websites where critics share their favorites. These sites often attract large audiences online and in social media, so having your app featured is free publicity that is hard to ignore. Your app will be seen by mobile users who love apps (since they’re browsing the site) and the reviewer will likely link to your app, sending new customers your way.

Since review websites are so popular, they are also highly competitive. Many receive large numbers of requests every day, making it hard to get noticed by writers. To stand out from the crowd, clearly (and briefly) explain why your app is unique and newsworthy. If they ask for a promo code, include one. And, don’t just send a link to your app – also include a link to a short video of your app in action, making it easy for the busy writer to see what you app is about.

Using these 4 tactics, you can promote your app like a pro without needing a big budget. Add these ideas to your marketing toolbox to start getting more exposure, new customers, and many more sales.

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Written by:

Matthew Palmer is the founder of Marketing Your App, a mobile app marketing company with services for iPhone, iPad and Android apps including App Store optimization, social media marketing and mobile advertising. Matthew is a graduate of MIT and an experienced online marketer for the technology industry. For more information, see