Finally, the day you have been waiting for has come. The idea for your brand new app, which you have put so much effort into, is built, tested, and ready to take the app stores by storm. You upload it to Google Play or the App Store and are waiting for the people to discover your product and see how great it is.
Yet, nothing happens. An hour later, you start worrying. In a day you will question the very idea of your app. In a month you will give up on it with your head down and your tail between your legs.
This situation is far too common in the app development world. Unfortunately, in such a saturated market as mobile apps, the chances of the “if you build it they will come” approach are rather low. That is, unless you put enough effort into making your product visible.
In this article we have compiled a list of useful app promotion resources and tools that can get you started for free. So, if you are ready to let the world know about your app, dive right in.
50+ resources that can help you promote your app (and get funded) for free
App promotion should start long before the last line of code has been written and tested. In fact, you should start building your user base at the idea validation stage. Thus, you can gain early adopters who will later become loyal brand advocates.
That is why you should start by putting your company and product on the radar for both the potential users and investors to see. In this regard, consider various product directories and startup/app promotion platforms.
First of all, regardless of the product type and industry you are focusing on, you can put your company on the map. That is where startup listings such as AngelList and CrunchBase come in handy.
A proper company description, team member profiles, investors, links to your website and/or social media accounts (with regular updates and activity) will help you create a credible company profile. In the future, it is important to keep all of your profiles up to date in order to build a solid online presence.
Here are some of the resources where you can submit your startup:
- AngelList is currently one of the most reputable startup listings and a huge source of information for startup owners.
- CrunchBase is a tech company directory started by TechCrunch, the leading startup/tech industry resource.
- F6S is a global founder community featuring a startup listing, providing opportunities to connect with investors, find and join startup events, and hire the needed talent.
- GeekWire Startup List – GeekWire is another reputable industry resource that has its own startup directory (there is also a monthly GeekWire 200 startup ranking that you can get into).
- StartupBlink represents an ecosystem of global startups with an interactive map.
- Startup Ranking is a startup directory using a proprietary ranking and analytics system.
- SideProjectors is a platform where you can sell, buy, or discover side projects. There is also an option to find a co-founder or simply promote your project.
- Gust is a startup listing that helps startups connect with local investors and get funded.
Some more startup listings:
- Launching Next
- PublicityX (focused on B2B products)
- Startup Buffer
While the majority of the startups listed on the resources mentioned above are mostly technology-related, there is a great number of web directories focused on mobile/web applications. In addition to publicity, they can help you attract early adopters, drive installs, and get first-hand user feedback.
Aspiring appreneurs will undoubtedly find the following resources useful:
- Product Hunt is probably the most popular and important resource for sharing and discovering new products (for both pre/after launch).
- MAQTOOB lists hand-picked business tools and applications. So if your product qualifies for the platform, you should definitely submit it for review.
- Mevvy helps users discover new apps grouped by interest. For example, there are many apps for accountants, freelancers, writers, salesmen, programmers, and even startups. It can therefore be both a great promotional platform and a useful source of tools for you.
- G2Crowd features independent user reviews on every app. You are able to not only promote your app, but also get valuable feedback from early adopters.
- StartHQ also offers a number of app categories from which you can choose from, including Academia, Analytics, Collaboration, Creative, Finance, Marketing, and Productivity.
Here are some more app listing websites:
Some of the app directories have a specific focus on software recommendation and comparisons (with independent user reviews):
Beta testing and pitch platforms
There is a number of app promotion platforms tailored specifically for product beta testing. Thus, you can attract some initial users and get unbiased feedback from a closed group of testers.
Some of the platforms you can submit your product to include the following:
There are some other resources for early stage startups:
- Startup Pitch is a so-called “D.I.Y. Startup News” website where you can post your startup pitch (for both startups and products currently in beta).
- Prefundia is a website where you can create a dedicated page and accept signups for your product instead of building a landing page.
Publications on TechCrunch, Wired, or The Verge, can be the starting point of your success. However, it takes an outstanding product, impressive marketing, or a certain amount of money to get coverage at such reputable industry resources. That is why many startup owners tend to start small and submit their stories to less popular blogs.
Still, a good idea would be to target the resources that focus primarily on the startups/tech industry. If a website is open to guest posting or accepts publication tips, your chances for success would be much higher.
Here are some resources you can start with:
- Startup Dope has a “hand-picked community of guest contributors” who can share their stories and insights with the website’s community.
- StartUp Beat accepts news and opinion pieces from guest authors.
- Geekopedia is another startup media resource that gladly accepts guest posts.
- The Startup Register is a digital publication focused on startups. The resource also features community boards as well as startup registry.
Local startup communities and listings
Instead of targeting the global market, you can start promoting your startup locally, within your own city or country. There are a lot of specialized resources for appreneurs and startups depending on your country of origin.
- Early Adopters Paris (France)
- 1001 Startups (France)
- StartupDelta (the Netherlands)
- EU startups (the EU)
- TechBoard (Australia)
- Startups List (cities worldwide)
Funding is a very sensitive issue with startup owners. While it is hard to attract any funding before you have any actual product to pitch to investors, you need a certain budget to be able to bring your concept to life. That is why early-stage crowdfunding has become so popular among startups.
Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helped hundreds of projects take off through the publicity they provided, early supporters that believed in the idea, and micro investments that have been made to support the project.
However, there are many more equity crowdfunding platforms you can consider:
- FunderBeam (a blockchain-based marketplace for early-stage investments)
Community and networking
Connecting with like-minded people and building a network of great specialists around your product is always a great idea. Whether you want to hire software developers for your startup, find a tech-savvy co-founder, or simply exchange experiences with fellow startupers, there are many resources that can help you:
- StartUs is a leading resource for the European startup community. However, even if you are not located in Europe, you can still join and find co-founders, mentors, investors, etc., discover relevant organizations, or simply gain access to tons of valuable information available in the Magazine.
- At CoFoundersLab you can also find an adviser/co-founder (or become one), or simply network and join discussions with like-minded individuals.
Other startup tools and resources
Along with community and networking resources, you can benefit from websites that aggregate various tools and instruments for appreneurs and startups founders.
Here you can find everything that a growth hacker or business owner needs to build, launch, promote, and improve their product:
Some of the largest app promotion mistakes most startups make are letting the app go unnoticed, and choosing the wrong and/or insufficient number of marketing channels. Yet, there are tons of resources and creative ways to guarantee your app gets the attention it deserves.
And, in most cases, you don’t even need to spend thousands of dollars on ads and paid promotions. All you need is a consistent marketing strategy and a professional marketing team.
We at Eastern Peak will help you build your startup from the ground up with professional web/mobile development, design, testing, and marketing services. Our team will guide you through every stage of your startup’s development, and will help you get your app to the top lists on every store.
To share your app concept or request a free consultation, contact us now.
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