Entrepreneurs and small business owners foraying into the digital space by developing a mobile app, either as a product or as an extended component of their existing web or cloud app, can often be timid in this new place. However, this is no longer a market dominated by big companies. You can develop a successful mobile app without having a corporate marketing budget – as long as your marketing strategy is stellar. From the time shortly before the launch, there are several things you can do as a mini marketing army.

Create a press kit that is clear enough that people know what problem you’re solving while still leaving some mystery. It should include a high-res logo, images of your app on phone displays, a press release, and a high-quality teaser video. The goal is to connect to the customer and inspire excitement. Run a giveaway campaign and create a teaser video to promote sharing your site and build your social network.

The first paragraph of the app description should be customized for each target market. While thinking about this market, consider where they go to look for solutions. A highly effective strategy is marketing in an app store because people browse apps using keywords and purchase in the same place.

You can drive customers to your site and app by creating a blog. Google indexes blogs so generating new content and keeping blog posts fresh will drive inbound traffic to your site. Engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms will also boost the blog’s performance, meaning increased exposure for the app. Just be sure to create value for the reader or you’ll be wasting their time, which is not the impression that you want to leave.

In this process, you are your own hype-person. When the app is ready to hit the app store, publicize the release date and create a buzz. Reach out to tech blogs and publications that would be interested in talking about your app. Writers and editors are always looking for a story. If they don’t take the bait initially, send a reminder and then reach out again after its launch with new statistics.

Recommendations from knowledgeable people are important to consumers, as well as input from others like them. Review sites like Yelp are so popular because word-of-mouth is an important factor to consumers, and the same goes for app store reviews. You should pay attention to these reviews to know how to improve your app. It is also a good idea to include a “Leave Feedback” option in the app so your customer can communicate with you directly.

Stay persistent and creative through this process. You don’t need a big marketing budget if you strategize and plan accordingly. After all, a thoughtful marketing campaign leading up to a launch will make all the difference in the app’s success.

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