The 5 Step PR Guide For Your Mobile App

By Fraser Gillies Published: 10 December, 2019 Last updated: February 17th, 2022 at 4:20 pm

man holding phone with youtube on

As the days of using your Walkman for music, and an Atlas Road map for navigation fade into distant memory, the mobile app world grows quicker. 

App Annie reported that 194 billion apps were downloaded by consumers in 2018. That’s a whole lot of gigabytes. 

So, how can your App startup get a piece of this increasingly large pie? 

With a killer App PR strategy, of course.

The real question is how to go about it. If you’re in the App business, forging relations with journalists and sending press releases may feel like foreign concepts. A lot of the time this can make or break how successful your app is.

Therefore, it’s vital you know your appropriate target market and get to grips with how best to market your app.

Never fear, I’ve accumulated these 5 simple steps that’ll help your app business achieve its PR goals.

Step 1 – Know traditional PR is dead and digital PR is the future

This dead horse has been beaten enough times. Leave him be.

Well, let me just give him another nudge to make sure. 

Traditional PR is done

Brand building through newspaper clippings and billboards are dead-in-the-water practices that have little to no bearing on a modern, digital PR campaign. Nowadays, your brand reputation is inherently linked to your digital footprint, and no amount of newspaper ads will change that. 

This is where inbound PR comes in. What’s that you ask?

To be brief – inbound PR provides valuable content for consumers, nurturing their interest in products you sell. By offering information your customers actually want – rather than inbox spamming them with content they never asked for – you can build trust and encourage more people to hit the download button for your app. 

Inbound PR is the foundation of a successful digital PR strategy. If you’re an established app, it’s all well and good using traditional, expensive methods of capturing some great PR exposure, but for the app startups of the world it’s simply not feasible. If your app is in its infancy, digital PR is the only way to go. 

Step 2 – Beta test your app to target early adopters

When an app’s first uploaded into the jungle of Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store, it can feel like a lonely existence. 

To put it simply, there’s thousands of apps competing for a much coveted ‘New’ or ‘Recommended for you’ slot. 

With that in mind, it may be worth finding some enthusiastic users to rave about your app online can really kickstart your digital exposure. Beta testing if can help you find bugs and assess UI UX practicalities, but it can also help identify the demographics of your most popular users. 

A rough profile of user behavior can help you understand which people are most likely to get excited about how it improves their lives. 

If you’re not sure how to go about this yourself, no problem! App development companies such as Arkenea are on hand to rigorously beta test your app to ensure user satisfaction and determine your early adopter profile before app launch sequence has been engaged.

Step 3 – Pitch your app effectively

We can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Many app startups fall at this hurdle because of avoidable errors or careless research. 

But don’t worry. That’s not going to be you. 

Reading this, you may be thinking ‘this is pretty obvious, thanks for nothing’. Trust me, though. More people make the same mistakes here than you’d believe.

When pitching your spanking new app to an industry influencer, make sure first and foremost you’re doing it to the right person. 

For example, your fun and entertaining game app press release might amuse a biotech journalist for a moment. However, your press release would go straight into the trash.. 

Speaking of craft, it’s important how you write your own pitch. Tailoring your press release to each journalist shows you care about how you’re app is going to be received by the industry, and worth spending time reading. Journalists can smell generic pitches for a mile off. If you want to learn more about writing the perfect press release, check out our handy guide.

Last but not least, get your timing on point. Take it from us – if there’s a big mobile app convention on, your big announcement is going to be ignored by busy app bloggers and journalists. Here’s a useful guide on the best times to pitch to journalists:

Infographic Best Times To Pitch To Journalists

Step 4 – Create an online buzz for your app

You’ve targeted those early adopters, written that perfect pitch, and found the right industry influencers to shout about your mobile app. Your app’s digital PR campaign is all set and done, and now it’s party time. 

Steady on. 

There are still things to be done on your end to turn the engagement surrounding your app up to 11. For digestibility, we’ve broken them down into bullet points: 

  • Establish yourself as an industry thought leader by going on podcasts or webinars
  • Run cool online competitions and show off your fun side
  • Build a strong online community through social media PR
  • Write some guest articles to demonstrate market knowledge and credibility, for example: If you’re gaming app exists behind a paywall, you could write a guest article on the pitfalls of freemium based apps for users.

Step 5 – Optimize For App Stores

App Store Optimization (ASO) can be the plump cherry you add onto the top of that delicious looking app cake you’ve made.

As well as improving the rank of your mobile app within app stores, ASO also means positive product reviews, increased app exposure and more audience engagement.

How do I do ASO you ask? Well, it’s attributes are actually pretty similar to that of SEO. The most important things to consider when doing ASO are:

  • App name and URL optimization
  • App indexation in Google SERPS
  • Click-through rate (CTR) optimization
  • Image optimization
  • Consideration of device features such as Apple Spotlight Search when searching app store on a MacBook

The Bottom Line

In this day and age, doing digital PR is becoming more of a necessity rather than a luxury. Digital PR for your app cannot be underestimated, competition is fierce and devoting time to representing your brand and product the right way pays off in the long run. 

Not only will a slick digital PR strategy boost your visibility, it will give your app’s name industry recognition and gain trust with your target customer base.

With these simple steps, get ready to make a big splash in the app market. 


Fraser Gillies

Fraser has been working in the digital communications space for four years. Currently the Head of Revenue at Publicize, he is leading a team of talented content creators to build powerful tech narratives that engage, educate and entertain audiences.