What are great ways to promote an iOS app?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    So many people want to build their own app but most don’t. And the reason is simple. They are too afraid of failure. The step that scares most people is the marketing process itself. If you are an aspiring iOS app developer you’re probably asking yourself the following questions:

    How will I grow my app?
    Who do I promote my iOS app?
    How will I find my first customers?

    Lucky for you, we wrote this guide to growing and promoting your iOS app to answer all of your questions.

    Here is our guide on how to promote an iOS app:

    Create your Elevator Pitch

    The first thing you need when you make an app is to be 100% crystal clear on what it does and what benefits it brings to its users. You need to make an elevator pitch where you can explain the app to a stranger in 30 seconds. If the purpose or benefit of your app is clear then it would be easier for your users to share it with their friends and co-workers so it’s a win-win for everyone. Your elevator pitch also needs to be reflected in the description of the app and in some of its features.

    Make it Compelling

    The benefits of using the app should be compelling to your users. It needs to solve something for them in their lives. For example, meditation apps got huge because their creators would explain that meditating regularly makes one more focused, increases productivity, and improves one’s mood. As soon as people saw the benefit of meditation they jumped on board!

    So make that pain point compelling enough and the solution that your app offers clear enough for the users. Otherwise, you will have a huge lag in conversions and our next suggestions won’t do much to move the needle.

    What else can you do to promote your iOS app?

    This one is crucial:

    Build a Launch List

    Make a list of things that you need in order to launch your app and have the marketing funnel in order to convert visitors to leads and then to paying users. There are two ways to go about this. You could use a landing page tool like ConvertFlow and an email tool like Mailchimp and combine the two together. So each time a lead clicks on your landing page and puts in their name and email, you then send them an email through Mailchimp.

    Another way to do this is to use a chatbot on Messenger. You can use a tool like Manychat to create landing pages that then allow you to message the lead directly on Messenger. The data on communication on Messenger is absolutely mindblowing, with open rates around 80% and click-through rates as high as 56%, any marketing that uses a chatbot correctly is bound to succeed.

    Tell Influencers about it

    Influencer marketing has become one of the largest marketing channels in the last few years and for good reason. Why build you own audience slowly when you can get access to an already interested audience that’s built by an influencer?

    There are many ways that you could work with influencers. Here are a few of them:

    1. Get an influencer to make a video for you on Instagram
    2. Get a blogger to review your app and post about it on their blog
    3. Get a LinkedIn influencer to do an interview with you (if your app is B2B)
    4. Get a blogger to email their audience about your app and offer them an affiliate commission

    For example, Skype recently did a campaign with the influencer Jack Baran who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram and 1.4 million YouTube subscribers. They offered him some gifts and he spoke about the product, and the company was able to gain access to Jack’s massive audience of Millenials.

    These are just some ideas but really the ways you could collaborate with influencers and bloggers are endless. So think outside the box and go get some exposure!

    Build a Referral Program

    The first people you should ask to use your app are your friends. And if your app is really good then they will want to refer their friends and continue the viral effect of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s even better to create a referral program where you reward people that refer customers to your app. You can use a really simple app like ReferralCandy and set it all up in 10 minutes.

    Build-in Virality

    Here’s another great idea. Offer a free 1-year license to your app for everyone that refers 3 people. This is the secret behind Dropbox and the reason they grew to 4 million users in 4 months. They offered their users  500 MB of space for free per each friend that they referred.


    Use Ads to Get Your Initial Users

    Dropbox didn’t grow from 0 to 4 million, they were actually already at 100k users when they started their referral program. So it’s important to first get your initial batch of users, work out all the bugs, and prove your concept. The quickest way to do that is through advertising. Look at your competitors and bid on some of the most relevant keywords that you see and get a few hundred people to use your app. Then survey them and ask about their experience with it. This data will be crucial for you if you want to see continued growth.

    Find Your Superfans

    Every business has that special group of customers that are absolutely excited about the product or service they offer. The same idea applies to your app. Find that small group of people that are your superfans. Once you find them, offer them rewards, extra features, and make them feel special. These people will become your loyal ambassadors and will bring you a ton of referrals.

    One really great tool for this is called Ambassador and it actually helps you weed out those top superfans that can help you 2X-5X your business.

    Leverage User Reviews to Promote Your iOS app

    One of the most powerful ways you can promote your app is by getting it reviewed by hundreds of people. The more reviews your app has the more people will trust the product and the higher it will show up on search results. You can do it several ways:

    1. Ask your customers to review your app often
    2. Offer new features to your customers that review your app
    3. Offer the app to bloggers and influencers and ask them to review it.

    Create a Free Version of Your App

    Most people want to try something before they pay for it and with apps you can see much more growth if you have a free version that you offer to the public. One incredible example of this is Mehdi from StrongLifts. Mehdi ran a very successful fitness blog for several years when he launched his app. He offered the app completely for free, with a paid version for some advanced features and since then has gotten more than 3 million downloads and more than 120,000 5-star reviews.

    Advertise on Online Platforms

    Last but not least, a really great way to promote your app is by advertising it on online platforms. One example is the popular app platform called ProductHunt. It’s a platform where any person could post a product that they made and people vote on it. The platform has already led to the discovery of over 100 million products across 50,000 companies as of 2016 so if you have a product, an app, or a software tool, you should definitely post it on ProductHunt.

    You can also advertise your product on ProductHunt by paying for a blurb in one of their emails. It costs a few thousand dollars but will give you exposure to millions of targeted users, so the expense is well worth it.


    There are myriads of ways to promote your iOS app and we have presented just a few of them. Here they are again:

    Create your elevator pitch – make sure that you have a 30-60 seconds pitch about your app and that it makes sense

    Make it compelling – clearly state the problem that you will be solving for your users

    Build a launch list – build a landing page and connect it with an email marketing tool so that you can automate your leads funnel

    Tell influencers about it – use bloggers and influencers to get the awareness going and get you users quickly

    Build a referral program – offer a referral reward to your users

    Use virality – make your referral program viral

    Use ads – spend good dollars advertising your app to get a bulk amount of users quickly

    Find your superfans – find the most dedicated users and build your marketing efforts around them

    Leverage reviews – get video and image reviews from your users to grow your user base

    Create a free version of the app – offer a free version of the app to get more users at once

    Advertise on online platforms – leverage places like ProductHunt to get exposure to large audiences

    Not all of these tips are going to be right for you so pick and choose the ones that fit your particular niche. Also, it’s important to note that all of this is pointless if you don’t build something worth sharing – this should be your primary focus. Create something that is so good – that people just want to share it anyway.

    Scroll to Top