Mobile Apps

How to promote mobile app: Prerelease Buzz

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Have you finished your mobile app? Nicely done, but before you submit it to any store, you have to generate prerelease buzz. Having a well-running application it’s just a 1/3 of way to make it succeed. Another 1/3 is promoting. The 1/3 and most important is buzz. If you didn’t build engaged audience before launch and your mobile app is now submitted then well…you blew it! Put your hope in viral marketing and count on a miracle. I’ll show you how to avoid it and make good prerelease campaign.

Create app identity

What would be the application without logo? Or selected colors that are the basis for creation of promotional materials and branding? Moreover, you recently created idea for your app. All the elements are essence of brand with users will identify. Don’t forget about storytelling while creating descriptions. Pople love to listen to great and memorable stories. Angry Birds Rio by Rovio is a good example.

Angry Birds Rio description on iTunes

What you need is to prepare identity and promotional materials. While creating logo and app icon you (or your Graphic Designer) should base on good design practices. I recommend you Logo Design Workbook to get some knowledge before you’ll start design. Icon and logo for you app should be scalable in the vector file with transparent background. This allows you to export it to different types of files in various sizes. As a result, designing multimedia and advertising materials will be much simpler. Mockups and screenshots visualize the appearance of mobile app. You can just use screens or design presentation with features and short tutorial. Take a look how I did it with #Coffee.

#Coffee tutorial

Banners will be useful for Google Play or App Store review and also for all marketing activities. Think about some catchy slogan that describe your app and use it on the banner. Don’t forget that the easiest way to reach users is shortness and simplicity (KISS). There’s nothing more short and simple as video trailer. It’s the best trick to show the advantages of your app and present how to use it „step by step”.

Start with landing page

Ok, we have prepared everything what we need to move on and start buzzing. The next step is to set up landing page, which will be connected with all prereleasing actions. How landing page should looks like? Should guide the user from the essential description, through the mockups, to the application store by using buttons. But for now we have to replace download buttons with counter which measure time until the release. Landing page is also a perfect place to collect email addresses. Having them you can build tension by sending messages about progress and expected release. Remember to Keep it Short and Simple (KISS) and do it like for example Foursquare did.

FourSquare Landing Page for Mobile App

You can buy page theme for your landing or use ready solution for easy desing like Launchrock.

Socialize with future users

You need to have a place to communicate with users of your app. Before you start talking with them about functionality/bugs/opinions you need to engaged an audience. The group of people, will eagerly wait for big release. For this purpose, social media are most suitable. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or another social media channel? It depends on who are your future users and what kind of social media they use the most. If you choose most suitable channels you have plenty of options for building engagement:

  • give them valuable content connected with your app,
  • present them video or image teaser,
  • use infographics with selected data related to the app,
  • ask them what they think and how they imagine the app,
  • ask them how they will use it,
  • run a competition and give a chance to win e.g. app beta testing or amount of free download for fans,
  • encourage them to using unique hashtag to make your app more visible on the web (like Michael Kors did with #InstaKors),
  • start discussions with groups and communities,
  • any other idea which comes to your mind.


Aside from social media, there are many opportunities to connect with future users. One of them is Preapps. It’s a community of people who are looking for new app ideas before launch. They can become your beta testers. By submitting an app you can collect your beta testers email and get valuable feedback. If you fill the information about expected release date then Preapps displays your app in section „Coming Out This Week” when the time comes. Simple and effective.

Ask for review and create content

What can encourage users to use your mobile app? Trust! How to gain their trust? Just get some reviews from websites, social media channels or bloggers. People will be more inclined to download an app, which has been assessed by someone whom they trust. On the other hand, you can launch a blog on your landing page and start to create content. This solution has many advantages. Firstly, valuable content has an impact on SEO and increase site position in search results. Secondly, you have something extra to share with your users in social media and newsletters. Thirdly, users can share your content and help you making buzz. Both solutions can generate high traffic on your landing page.

Integrate buzz marketing

All activities connected with prelease buzz campaign should be integrated. If you create great content and you’re going to send a newsletter with it, let users know about it in social media. If you decided to create unique hashtag for your campaign, use that hashtag at every turn. It can be a mail, post on social media, review on blogger site, promotional banner or infographic etc. Remember that reviews can generate valuable referral and social traffic. Blog post can generate tones of organic, social and referral traffic. Everything is possible thanks to the integration and wise planning.

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