6 Ways to Advertise Your Shopify App for Free
After listing your new app on Shopify, the next part of the process is all about marketing. Online advertising through Facebook or Google Ads is often the go-to choice for app promotion. However, these platforms can prove costly. Luckily, there are some smart ways you can advertise your app for free if you only have a small advertising budget to work with.
In this article, check out six activities to extend your marketing reach, grow your following and get more installs and sales for your app.
Get featured on Shopify’s App Store
Providing your app meets Shopify’s success guidelines, your featured banner image is in the right size/format and you offer excellent customer support, you could be in with a chance of being featured on Shopify’s App Store homepage.
The homepage of Shopify’s App Store has a Staff Picks section which receives more than 250K page views per week. That’s great visibility for featured apps. To learn more about getting featured, check out this article.
Free banner exchange platforms
Banner advertising networks are very effective in getting you in front of the right target audience. The problem with some of the most popular banner ad networks, however, is that they’re typically expensive; they can cost you on average between $8 and $12 to result in an install of your app.
Luckily, there are free in-app advertising networks available that allow you to swap adverts with other members while offering a targeted solution. ConnectPlus is a good example of this type of service.
It enables you to advertise your app completely free of charge, by promoting partnering developers’ apps in return. For every advertising slot that you display within your app, you’ll get a free advertising slot within the ConnectPlus network.
Via this platform, you can reach 100K merchants easily, giving you an extensive reach that should lead to more installs and sales for your app. ConnectPlus includes ad tracking, where you can see how your ads are performing, plus the option to carry out A/B split testing, to enable you to make tweaks to your ads to boost conversions over time.
ConnectPlus only displays your ads within apps that attract a similar audience to your own, meaning the views and clicks your ads receive are from the merchants most likely to be interested in what your app has to offer. Here’s an interesting case study, which details some good results current advertisers are getting with ConnectPlus.
Building a subscriber list, which you can then use to contact interested parties about your app, is a must. There are several email marketing platforms that integrate with Shopify, some of which are free to use initially.
For example, Klaviyo allows you to recruit up to 250 subscribers and send up to 500 emails for free. Once you go over this threshold, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. This article covers other email marketing providers you might want to check out too.
Build marketing partnerships
Collaborative marketing has several benefits. It can not only help you expand your marketing reach, but also provide added value to your app users. Look to partner with other Shopify developers who have apps that complement (but don’t compete with) yours. Start by searching for apps in the Shopify App Store, or visit the Shopify Community forums.
When you’ve found and approached developers you’d like to partner with, put together a marketing plan that aims to benefit everyone involved (ask your partner for their input too). Co-marketing activities might include mentioning each other’s apps on your respective social media channels and in newsletters, along with blog content creation for each other’s websites.
Being an active member of the Shopify Community forums can help you and your app get noticed by both merchants and developers alike. Building trust is key when posting in forums. This can be done by providing useful answers to other members’ questions or problems. Only mention your app when it can genuinely offer a solution for others.
The more “Kudos” you receive for your forum comments, the more likely other members will trust what you have to say, which will help when you begin to recommend your app.
Create educational YouTube videos
Setting up your own YouTube video channel for your app can help you significantly grow your following, and educate your existing users too. It’s possible to get going with your smartphone’s video camera, which is ideal if you don’t have much budget to play around with.
What you must do before you start, however, is to create a definitive strategy for your videos to help you meet your marketing objectives. Your videos must add value to your app users. Therefore, you should determine the types of videos that are likely to benefit them, for example, app tutorials or tips on how your app can help their online business.
Once you’ve got your channel up and running, be sure to post new videos consistently, so that your followers know they can return for more useful content from you. Tips on creating an educational YouTube video channel can be found here.
Aside from the above activities, you could also try contacting tech magazines or influencer blogs to see if they’d be interested in reviewing your app. Being active on your social media channels will help too, especially if you can get a conversation going with your app users.
Going forwards, make use of the reviews your app is getting, so that you can continue to make improvements and add new features where needed. Make your app users happy. The more positive reviews you can get for your app, the more chances your app will be a success.