The more time you invest in app promotion, the less time you spend making apps. The easiest way to promote an app is to find people whose business is app promotion. This way, you can focus on what you love and let them handle the rest.

There are plenty of ways to promote apps: through advertising, software distribution programs, affiliate programs, pay-per-download sites, software directories, niche blogs, and so forth. There is no “best” solution. You should choose a promotion strategy that fits your app, your marketing plan, and your business goals. Advertising is the go-to method that everyone uses at some point or another, and you should definitely be running advertising campaigns regularly.

Networks, Networks, Networks

App promotion, product promotion, and self-promotion all rely on the same thing – networks. In the case of apps, you’ll want to look into the most relevant and reputable ad networks, affiliate networks, software distribution networks, and pay-per-download networks.

You certainly don’t want to spread yourself too thin. In the end, you’ll probably choose a small number of solutions. One good solution usually does a better job of app promotion than ten mediocre solutions.

Advertising is the bread and butter of promotion, both online and off, and any marketing campaign worth its salt will test several ad networks and advertising tactics. But some of the latest, greatest app promotion solutions are aimed specifically toward app developers and software publishers.

Let Distribution Networks Work for You

Software distribution networks can do a lot of app promotion work for you. These are companies that bring together software developers and advertisers, marketers, and others who want to earn revenue by advertising other people’s products.

This is a perfect partnership, since it brings together product creators and promoters. If you’re an app builder, software distribution networks should be high on your list of priorities. Distribution solutions exist for all major operating systems, including mobile devices.

For developers, they work like this: you sign up with a network, list your product, and when other network members promote your product, you pay an advertising fee. One major advantage to this system is that much of the targeting and marketing work is done for you by the marketers. The marketer may be a blogger, another developer, or a full-time affiliate marketer. Regardless of who they are, you can sit back and let them handle the promotion.

Platforms such as InstallFuel, a distribution, advertising, and promotion solution, reaches millions of users around the world through installer advertising. As with other top-tier distribution solutions, InstallFuel offers high payouts, customizable installer branding, fast downloads, and built-in testing and analytics.

Promote, Test, Promote Some More

Turn-key solutions such as software distribution networks take care of a lot of the dirty work for you, but if you want to grow your customer base, increase conversions, and expand your brand presence, ongoing efforts will be required.

After you sign up for a network designed to assist with your app promotion, you’ll want to keep an eye on your users’ behavior. Track how long your downloads and installations take, and watch how your users interact with the installation: do they abandon after a certain amount of time? Which ads are more successful than others? Do they respond better to some advertisements than others?

Advertising and marketing analytics will give you a deeper insight into many things, including your target audience, your installation funnel, and your branding. Small changes, such as color changes, button size and shape, and other seemingly irrelevant details can actually have a huge impact on conversion rates.

It’s for reasons like this that split testing has become so popular among online marketers. When one small change can make a massive change in the conversion rate, it’s definitely a technique worth trying.

But there’s a time and a place for testing and tweaking. And to find that right time, you’ll need to do a cost-benefit analysis. When the benefits of split-testing outweigh the benefits of promotion, then you can rebalance your efforts.

If, for example, it costs $1000 to generate 25 conversions, and a $1000 split-test can improve that rate by 2%, should you start split-testing? No, probably not. Your next $1000 should be spent on promotion, so you can generate another 25 conversions. If you want to improve your conversion rate, wait until the costs of your promotion and split-testing get closer together.

If you’ve done your networking properly, you may be able to let a promotional network handle most of the promotion work for you. And that’s one of the major benefits of software distribution networks – they take care of distribution, promotion, advertising, and analytics. The less time you spend on app promotion, the more time you can spend building new apps.