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Mobile app promotion: 9 effective ways to market an app

Mobile App Marketing
September 4, 2020
12 min

Mobile apps skyrocket the digital marketing space. Last year’s CEE eCommerce report showed that 69% of shopping sessions take place on mobile and generate 44% of revenue and 41% of transactions.

Mobile app promotion matters in 2020. In this article, we will give an overview of the most effective channels used to market an app, provide some bright examples of the stores doing it right and explain why successful app promotion includes both traditional and mobile marketing.

Why to market an app

In case you have not decided yet what is more crucial for your website – responsive design or mobile app, the answer is simple – both.

You need to have an adaptive website to impress users when they visit your e-store via a phone the first time or they remember a product they previously noticed in your catalogue, but decide to use a tablet to make their purchase. You should also have a mobile app to keep up the interest of your regular customers as well as many other benefits, such as:

  • Quick loading
  • Offline access to important information, as contact section or favourites list
  • Ability to send eye-catching push-notifications about sale offers or new arrivals
  • Ability to send in-app messages
  • Speeding up the purchase process
  • User-friendly design that provides convenient comparison of prices and products, and so on.

When it comes to the origins of mobile app promotion, we again refer to the Asian market with its large worldwide marketplaces as AliExpress and TaoBao. Along with this, 79% of smartphone users in the U.S. have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.

Benchmarks of open rate through app push notifications are sufficiently high as well:

However, inasmuch as our phone or tablet memory is limited, we like to keep our favourite and most useful applications only. To make customers launch your mobile app among the millions available within the app store, and to avoid removing your app after just one purchase, you should do your very best to provoke real interest in your business and product range.

Mobile app promotion: channels that work best for ecommerce

ASO: an organic approach to market an app

App store optimisation (ASO) is using proven tactics to boost your ranking in the app store and make it easier for consumers to find your app. To achieve high results with your app promotion using ASO, you need to take care of both textual and visual optimisation.

Textual optimisation

To make the textual component of your app refined, the major points to take into account here are.

  • Ideally, your title should consist of 3 to 5 of your most important keywords only. Place the rest in the keyword field for app description. Do not duplicate these.
  • Use individual words instead of complex phrases
  • Optimise your description for quick comprehension and scannability
  • Use keywords from the users’ reviews
  • Take advantage of App Store Analytics’ suggested keywords feature

Visual optimisation

Visual elements include working with the app name, its icon, screenshots and videos. Visual refinement helps to increase the impression-to-install conversion rate. The more installs an app generates, the higher it will rank within the app store. Visual optimisation usually consists of the following elements:

  • analysis of competitors’ visual elements (icons, screenshots & average rating)
  • determining their main advantages (USPs)
  • developing accessible and informative creatives
  • launching A/B tests to select the most successful creative options.

Do not forget to analyse your ratings and reviews. The last is a highly important factor in influencing consumers to download the mobile app inasmuch users trust comments more than screenshots or descriptions.

Using both organic and paid advertising is better to increase the mobile app’s visibility. Because every paid campaign gives you a boost in organic downloads of about 1.5 installs per a paid campaign.

Using social media advertising to promote your app

Another efficient channel – social media platforms. But these also have their specifics. LinkedIn is better for business-oriented apps, while Facebook is good when it comes to retail. Facebook Business lets you promote an app with the help of “App Install ads”. By doing so, your ad with direct links to the App Store or Google Play, will be shown across Facebook, Instagram and Audience network. Moreover, ads can be shown in the newsfeed of your target audience as well as in the Messenger. When using the latter, consider time-zones and try to send messages during the hours your recipients consider appropriate. Frequent messages can annoy your app users, so it would be better to use this type of campaign once.

Facebook for Business. App Install ads

Twitter is another effective tool to make app viral. Twitter install campaigns are targeted primarily at mobile users who are more likely to install the app. When setting up an ad campaign, you can choose a budget, payment method, targeting, and payment model. Twitter allows the advertiser to pay for clicks or installs.


Twitter App Campaigns

Mobile app promotion in Apple Search Ads

Apple Search Ads is an advertising platform that allows you to place ads in the search results of the App Store. Payments are CPT-based (cost per tap). Campaigns are configured according to the keywords, the standard SEO principle. In general, the tool has a fairly good conversion rate, since consumers usually use branded search terms, knowing in advance what they are searching.


In addition, Apple Search Ads provides the opportunity to work both with new and returning users. You can set up remarketing to those customers who deleted the mobile app for some reason or did not complete the expected interaction. Sometimes Apple Search Ads campaigns can show higher conversion rates than Facebook campaigns.

How to promote your app with PPC

Google Ads gives you the ability to boost your app with “search” and “display” ads. In the first case, your ad will be shown for targeted user search terms in search results. And in the second, your ad will appear inside other apps. Both options are effective, but the display network receives more volume because it does not provide for such large competition.

Reasons why PPC advertising is good are as follows:

  • Due to the targeted campaign configuration, you can choose specific demographics, locations, and time when your ad will be shown.
  • While setting up a campaign you can also customise device targeting by operating systems, device model, mobile carrier or Wi-Fi connectivity
  • You can focus your ads on installs
  • Such campaigns cover mass of users

In addition to Google Ads, you can use Bing to promote your app across, and Bing-owned apps.

How to promote an app with pre-roll advertising

The pre-roll ad is a short advertising video that runs before the main video a user has chosen to play. Pre-rolls are divided into skippable and unskippable types. Even though most people skip ads out of habit after 5 seconds on average, skippable pre-roll videos are still relevant. Nevertheless, unskippable videos are still more successful in getting conversations. Users click through such ads 27 times more than with standard banner ads.


Using App Extensions to market your app

You can also use app indexation tags, letting users download the dedicated app straight from the search results. Even if you want your app extensions to appear under your paid ad, you will only pay when the link is clicked.

Affiliate marketing is an effective way to promote your app

Another efficient way to promote the app is involving referrals. These are companies or bloggers who will publish or speak about your ads. When choosing a partner, you should pay attention to their audience, cost, targeting abilities, and attribution structure. Often marketers connect with reputable publishing partners with the TUNE Certified Partner Program to simplify the process.

During the last few years, this has been a very popular way to promote apps via YouTube vloggers. Such a solution appeared when the majority of users started to install adblockers. There are a number of vloggers with thousands or even millions of followers that create content conformed to your store specifics. Let’s say a vlogger with a fashion and beauty channel can advertise the app of an apparel or cosmetics online store, and an owner of a channel with electronics reviews can be perfect to advertising the app of a hardware store, and so on.

How to advertise an app on your eCommerce website

In a departure from games, there is no need to create a landing page for mobile commerce apps. Placing your own ads on your website will be enough.

Things you can do on your website to boost an ASO app:

  1. To place the section title in the footer on your website

2. To add the “Get on App Store/Google Play” stickers

3. Create a pop-up or banner with app ad on your website, and offer your customers bonuses after downloading.


4. Place a promotional bar on your website that will suggest installing your mobile app.

How to advertise an app through email marketing

You can also promote your app through emails from your store. Although it’s rather a supplementary means for mobile app promotion, when done right (informative, includes a clear CTA and catchy visual elements), it also serves as an effective way to advertise an eCommerce mobile app.


Developing a mobile app to be used by your eCommerce store is not just a customer-friendly gesture but an efficient instrument of boosting sales on your eCommerce website. By virtue of quick product pages loading, the purchase process begins to be an easier and improved experience. It improves the overall user experience and increases brand loyalty as well.

The mobile marketing funnel is not so different from the traditional. Mobile app promotion is the first and the crucial stage of the funnel which is called “Discovery”. You need the step to make your consumers see your app’s ad, and make them click on it. This is what we call “to promote an app”. You can promote your app via search engines, social media networks and App Stores, involve bloggers and top it all with email marketing. Your website as an advertising platform! Nevertheless, if you work toward high results, combine both paid and organic approaches to improve awareness and the successfully marketing of your app

A tip from Promodo: the best time to advertise an app is at the release stage. This way, any user’s interaction with the promotion sources (paid advertising, PR materials etc) will eventually result in customers reaching the app page in the store. If you are ready to discuss how to promote your mobile app or have any doubts, contact our team now.

Written by
Nataliia Raskopa

PR & Marketing Manager at Promodo

I am a former journalist and an ardent follower of the "Cut to the chase" principle.

Together with Promodo's marketing team, I tell about the most interesting things in the world of Ukrainian digital. No stories of successful success – only tips, figures, and working case studies from the leading performance marketing agency. By the way, I talk about our failures as well.

September 4, 2020
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