Where to promote your app for free?
Without hoping that some journalist will write about it.Published: Oct. 13, 2021 Sponsored See books
Promoting/marketing apps is pretty tough, and if you don't have thousands of followers on Twitter, it may seem impossible without getting lucky with the press. However there are ways you can try to get the word out yourself.
Let's take a look.
HackingWithSwift is one of the most popular websites in the iOS developer community, and there is "App Announcements" section you can use to let others know about your app. It can be TestFlight or App Store version.
What is cool is that you can follow up on your initial message and inform about app updates, deals or similar. I think I have quite successful threads there. One is about my app Scan it and has over 4000 views. And another about my app Chill Zones is close to 3000 views. Not super huge, but I think these views count way more than just impressions on Twitter, because people were at least interested in clicking and reading the thread.
TIP: While the HWS Forums doesn't let you host images, you can host them elsewhere and link them just fine.
This issue with getting the word about one's apps was the driver behind creating the News from Devs section where anyone can post a post (haha) about their apps or app update.
All I ask is a good title, 16:9 banner image with sufficient resolution and at least a couple of paragraphs of texts. There's already enough news for inspiration.
My goal is to keep each post on the homepage for at least a couple of days and tweet it from the official IndieAppsCatalog Twitter account.
Indie Dev Monday - Look at me
Josh Holtz, who runs the great Indie Dev Monday newsletter, has an excellent "Look at me" section in each issue that spotlights either new or updated apps. This is another great way how to get your app in front of other indie developers.
You can fill this form and Josh will very likely include you.
Airport is a great place to launch TestFlight apps. It has amassed a large community and if you make sure to submit a nicely-done listing, there is a high chance your app will be featured and tweeted about by the official Twitter account, which has more than 8k followers.
Submit your app here. You can also submit apps that are not available yet.
I initially did not want to include this, but it is still a place to submit your app without anyone's permission. There is a ranking system, so unless you have a lot of people willing to upvote you, your app can quickly get lost among the day's submissions. But still you can get at least some SEO boost from this.
Although everyone can give you just a single upvote, they have different weights based on the user's activity on the site. So if you get your friends to create an account to upvote you, the weight will be pretty low.
Anecdotally I have heard that even if you manage to get a lot of upvotes there, these don't necessarily translate well into downloads/sales.
My hunch is that since being active on the site gives your upvotes more weight, it means that there is a lot of people who are just chasing this "score" and will praise your app without caring about it. Or maybe I am just too pessimistic 🤨
Here are tips directly from ProductHunt how to launch there.
Twitter - Donny Wals & Steve Troughton-Smith
Donny Wals has "Monday morning tweet" where he asks the iOS dev community to share what everyone is up to. This can be great opportunity to share TestFlight links or even app releases.
Similarly Steve Troughton-Smith asks developers to share what they are working on from time to time.
Daily Sales Email
Your own "channels"
Not sure how much this is obvious or not, but I wanted to include it regardless. If you have a more than one app, you can "cross promo" your other apps. I usually put app icons with titles and short description to About screens. In my more recent apps, I started linking my profile on the IndieAppsCatalog.
If you have a developer blog or a personal site, you should definitely have links to your apps there. As an additional SEO boost you can write a short description or couple of posts about your apps.