📱 Zero Budget App Marketing Tips

📱 Zero Budget App Marketing Tips

Hey, this is the Daily Overpass. My name
is Eric and I make apps. Now today, I want to talk about “No Budget
Marketing”. Alright, so today’s topic comes to you from a Abby Dabby, who last week on episode 124 simply said, “Nice video.” Sorry, “Next video, “no budget marketing
tips.” And then when I didn’t do that for the next video, he was very persistent and said, “Hey, Eric! We need more tips on how to market our apps
with little or no budget. We are not billionaires like you.” Billionaires?
Billionaires? You know, I know I shouldn’t showed you that car. I’m
just getting by just like everybody. I know you were just kidding, right? But
yeah, that’s the first time anybody ever call me a
billionaire. And I kind of like it. I feel like I’m gonna fight
some crime, right? The reason why I don’t talk about that much because
I’m not an expert. But what I’ll do is I’ll talk a little bit about about my
opinions on this. Some things that I’ve tried, some things that I haven’t tried,
and all those all that kind of stuff. First, let me say that I do not like to
spend money on advertising. I hate it. It’s a- you know, every month, every
dollar I spent on advertising or marketing, is a dollar I’d rather be
spending on something else. If I buy, let’s say if I buy the new iPhone and the same amount of money and that
iPhone or in the advertisements, I know that the iPhone is gonna show up, where
the ads you never quite know. It’s always kind of iffy. You try new
things, you try to put stuff out in front of people, but so whenever possible I try
not to spend any money on marketing at all. And there’s you know, you know
that we live in the- imagine we’re back in 1980 and in order to market
anything to anybody, you know you either have to send them a letter, put something
on television, or put it on the radio. And now, you’ve got social media all over the
place. You’ve got people saying that they’re interested in your product and
all you have to do is reach out to them. It’s crazy, the way that we
are. So the way that I think about this, is that just like with
developing an app, you’re either gonna have to spend time or gonna have to
spend money. You know, like if you do
an app, say you either gonna have to hire somebody to do it for you, or you’re
gonna have to learn how to do it and just code away and do it yourself .It’s just the way it is. The same with advertisements. You’re either going to pay to use somebody else’s audience, or you’re going to have to put
in the time to build your own. And what I mean by that is, you know, every time you
do an advertisement, you’re basically using somebody else’s audience. Like in
my opinion, I can’t think of any exceptions to this. If you do, let me know.
Alright, so you’re either- like you could do use influencer marketing so
you can find somebody on social media, who’s built a huge following, a huge
audience probably without a marketing budget too and basically, you
might pay them a little bit of money or just try to persuade them to mention
your product and then they’ll talk about it. And then, you if
it’s relevant to their audience, right? And that’s one way of doing it. I’ve
never done that but I know people who have. Or you pay for to put ads in
like AdMob or Facebook or whatever. What you’re doing is, you’re putting
advertisements into applications of other apps that have built an
audience. So you have to try to get some of that into you. So that’s
the shortcut approach. Trying to try to bring those in. Of course, if you
have an advertisement, no matter how much you pay for it if it’s not good enough,
it’s not gonna result in anything. In fact, okay, I’m gonna tell you this
even though it’s personally embarrassing to me. Just this weekend- so last- last few weeks, we’ve been doing something
different. This is a tangent, but kind of related. We’ve been doing t-shirts
so we’ve been doing like the Spreadshirt t-shirts go. So we got our designer Sandee.
She’s been, you know, she’s just churning out material. She’s prolific. She’s
the Prince of art or whatever. So, I don’t mean Prince, like Prince
the artist. She’s prolific. Prince was a prolific artist. So, she’s
constantly putting out material. We’re trying to get new places to put it.
So, there’s a t-shirt shop. We got these really nice-looking t-shirts and
spread shirts. And you know, I’ve never done anything like this before. I thought
we’ll try something new. So, I created these Facebook ads and I spent-
yeah, I put a budget on Facebook and I spent about 50 pounds about- that
was it. 50 pounds on Facebook this weekend. And you’re putting ads out there, you know thousands of impressions. And
you know how many t-shirts we sold? Guess? None. None. You’re just like 50 pounds..
Shooo!! I wish I could take it back. But you don’t know. Anyway, so
it’s the way the way that you learn. You know, I didn’t have to go
that way. But I kind of wanted to take that shortcut route. And that’s
just the way it is. I’ve seen other YouTube people like app people who say,
“You could market your app for as little as five hundred dollars.” And I
think, five hundred dollars? Come on, right?! I don’t want to spend $500 on that. But you know, like if I was certain that I spent five hundred dollars and I
make a thousand back then yeah I’d do it. I’m never that certain and it’s
never actually worked out for me. The other side of things is, you’re
paying- you either pay for advertisements and you’re basically using
somebody on, somebody else’s audience, or you try to build your own audience.
You can do that through various methods on social media. You
could publish anything you want if you could put- if you’ve got all the
different social media channels and you can start learning how to use those.
Other people are making- able to make it work, you can make it work.
It just means learning a whole bunch of new things and even then I’m constantly
still learning that kind of stuff. To give you an example of some of
the things we do, we did a lot of blog content and a lot of, you know, like
articles and stuff like that which would be kind of related to what we’re talking
about. So, well, first of all, in order to build your audience,
you have to know who your audience is. So, you have to, you know, if you don’t have anybody coming into your app, you have to have an idea of who they
are. So for me, the language learning games is really simple. The Japanese learning games, it would be somebody who must learn Japanese or
somebody who’s currently studying Japanese. Or somebody who plans ongoing to Japan. And based on Analytics and Facebook, putting the Facebook SDKs
in there, I could see demographics of who’s actually downloading the app. So
then, as we start to get a bit of traffic, I can start to to fine tune that
more. Now, if you have something that’s not that simple, let’s say you have a
game, let’s say you have a puzzle game, that’s something I’m not quite
sure, but I would imagine that you would look at a similar game that has a larger
audience. And think what kind of audience are they using because those
users may be interested in your application too So like, if I had a game
that was like say Candy Crush or something like that, say it’s a three in a row game, I might say, you know, people who like Candy Crush would
really like this game. That was a big inspiration for me. So you know,
that might be who I want to target. I can do so if that was the case. Unlike
the language learning games, by the way, language learning topics, you
know, top five places to go in China ,you know how to master the four tones, you
know in the language top five- top ten Chinese
cuisines. There’s loads of things you could do there. The
hardest- even personal stories, you know, the hardest things I found
learning Chinese all this kind of stuff. The kind of stuff that’s not necessarily
just go for a hey download my app,that kind of stuff. So if you had something that was similar to Candy Crush, you could say, you know, my fave- my five favorite Candy Crush themes, how I mastered candy crush in one day. Whatever. You could think of different
things you could talk about Candy Crush and people who are interested in Candy
Crush. If they’re really interested in it, they might find that interesting and
they might actually look at it as opposed to, “hey, why you should that
download my app instead of candy crush because that’s never gonna work. And this is- it’s difficult to talk in generalities because you can’t really
tell you know- you kind of just have to massage things to see how they
work. So we have a blog content that goes out and we try to get that
spread a little bit. Another thing we do is that when we do finally start getting
some reviews in on our apps we will take that and turn it into social media posts. So, we’ll, you know, take a really good review, it will put
it into Canva and we’ll create some image quotes, and we share that on
Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook with like lots of tags So, if somebody’s
searching on it, they can find that kind of stuff and everything like that. But
another thing that I do, and this this one, you might think this is a little bit creepy, is going on to Twitter and just looking for who’s searching for, what you’re
looking for. Like I said, if somebody says, “Hey, I want to learn Chinese or I’ve
always want to learn Chinese or I think learning Chinese is really hard, then then I will reach out to them and say, you know, I agree or I
disagree or whatever. and just sort of start a conversation. But I don’t do it
from the Overpass Twitter account. We, I actually have ike 20 different Twitter accounts, you know, and I use TweetDeck to keep them all managed
so I see what they are. Like, if I reach out to somebody about Chinese
Mandarin, you know, we’ll use the learning Chinese Twitter account which is learn CH Mandarin I think. And we have like RSS feeds and everything that’s really-
always have content, your aggregated content that goes out there
too. So that it’s not just the spamming vehicle. So when I reach
out to somebody, I don’t just say, “Hey, download my app.” Because that’s,
first of all, that’s rude and it’s just it’s not very effective. Nobody’s gonna pay you any attention if you’re just that guy. I mean, every woman knows somebody who’s a creep, who just blurts out something creepy and not just have a normal conversation like people
have. There’s a really good book that came out a few years ago. I know you guys,
probably already read it. It was Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
Which is really good. It went through all the social media platforms
at the time, most of them are still relevant I think. And it’s been a couple years as I read it. But the best thing about the book was the title, which
is the whole premise of the book, which is, you don’t just go for the the
right hook all the time. Like a good boxer, they go for the jab, the jab,
the jab and then every so often the right hook. So you can’t just do jabbing
all the time. You never try to make the sell or never try to persuade them to
download, but at the same time you don’t just jump in there like a lot of
marketers do and say, “hey, download my app.” I’ve seen this a lot with social media. It’s just somebody goes on a social media and they just say, you know,
the first thing they say is, “hey, buy my product.” I’ve seen Twitter feeds like
this where they say, “hey, you should tell we have a sale going on now.” “Hey, we got
this new special way..” “We got this..” It’s always just about them then,
right? And even on LinkedIn I get contacted, I get about you know, it
seems like lately, I get about five to 10 requests connection requests on LinkedIn,
which I accept all of them by the way. Connect? Yeah. Yes, if you guys need a
LinkedIn followers connect with me. Because the more people you
connect with on LinkedIn, you know, the higher you get up in the search
rankings and everything with somebody’s looking for something that you have,
they’re looking for app developer, I show up as a secondary degree connection
instead of a third degree connection. So that you know, it works my favor too, to
accept all connections. But as soon as you accept a connection
from a lot of people, you immediately, almost within seconds some people say,
“Hey Eric, we’re a software development company and we blah-blah-blah…” and basically
saying why should hire them rather than starting a conversation like you would
with a normal person on the stream. Anyway, I know this is.. Boy, I know this is
rambling on a little bit. I guess what I want to say is, you’ve
seen other people build audiences, right? You know that it could be done. You just
have to identify who you want to reach out to. It’s different for everybody. The nice thing about social media
and the way that information is spread now, is that you’re in a much more level
playing field than you were before even if you don’t have a marketing budget.
If you don’t have a marketing budget, you’re gonna have to spend a
little bit more time, you know, but it’s also gonna be a lot more stable. The key there is- the key is
just to get your app in front of as many people as possible. Anyway that’s it for
today. I’m going to talk to you guys, tomorrow.


  1. Exactly what I wanted. Most of my apps have around 1k downloads which isn't bad based on organic promotion. I just need some more ASO tips, can you have a youtube live session looking at user submitted apps and helping with titles and SEO?

  2. Second Comment, Is it recommended to implement Facebook audience network to track user installs and get analytics as well as for an ad network??

  3. thanks good episode especially eye opener about having multiple twitter accounts! I worked once for a music label couple of years back and they had 3 or 4 full time employees who would call radio stations, post facebook twitter, send sms buzzing their artists. And that was couple of years ago! Probably this days the same size label have 6 or 8 market people.

  4. Hey Eric, I have a browser app and I'm looking into monetizing searches. Do you know any advertising networks that support this?
    I previously had a look at google custom search engine but I was not fond of it..

  5. If you want to get stats off Twitter, I really recommend you learn 'R' with Twitter API, get really good results from it and many different forms. If you don't pay, I think your limited to seeing 6,000 tweets I think.

  6. I like how u used the word "massage", 8:05 , yes, its more of testing based on the audience you target. Then doing what works for you.

    Once someone who I don't know, liked one of my app, and posted it on his Facebook page that has more than 50,000 fans. That app went from 1500 to 8000 plus downloads in just 2 days. I figured it out later that the download came from that Facebook page. After that, I just send a well written private message to admins of Facebook groups and Facebook Fans pages. In my message, I explain why the app is useful for their followers, sometimes it works. Also, sending to those Youtube Gurus, top 10 apps in January, bla bla …. if your app is good, they will consider it.

    I use admob House ads, that works too, its not really Zero cost, but it works. thanks Eric, always lovely to hear from you.

  7. Hi Eric! Sorry to hear about your t-shirts. I like the artwork and would love to get one 😉 You should try to use merch. I have not tried it myself but I think it is worth a try 🙂 https://merch.amazon.com/

  8. i find out that admob give more if your are from USA or UK etc,any one other? agree with me what about your? Eric

  9. Hi Eric i love to watch your videos ..

    And I have one question for you : Can you recommend some blogs , forums for developers ..

    One more thing I can help you with email marketing…


  10. i am trying different thing but not able to get more than 1000+ downloads i am working for 3 months now please help https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.taffyapps.marksplus

  11. I've been doing zero budget marketing for about 4 months now.
    I have a couple minor apps on Google Play, total installs across the board about 2500. I used long tail keywords to drive organic traffic and chatted to relevant interest groups online for direct traffic. My best app is currently starting to breach top 10 ranking on head keywords for it's niche and is seeing decent pick up in organic traffic.
    My plan is to have a bit of an audience for when I eventually launch a legitimate money maker so that I can advertise within my own apps and drive traffic to the new app.

  12. Not low budget, but Chad Mureta's book "App Empire" teaches app marketing strategies. It's a good read. I know it's available on Google Play. Not sure about the App Store though.

  13. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.expert.india.booksummaries Hey Guys If you Love Reading Books ..So, There is App Who Can Build Your Self Developing,Startup Ideas, Perfect Lifestyle,,(Top 3 Book Summaries)

  14. Just found your Channel but wish I knew it before so far I've only watched a couple of your videos but already I can tell your honest and humble but give out very concise and useful information. Subbed.

  15. Spot on, thanks for taking the time and putting it out. I found this when I was trying to get my app reach 5k installs.

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  19. Then, I will let this here 😀

  20. Hello Sir, Really Superb Tips. This is exactly what i was searching for last 3-4 months. Many many thanks.

  21. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chaitanyaparameshwara9.jogmanagementauthority.newidea
    Why can't you try downloading this crazy app?

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  23. hey can you review on my app?

    Whats so bad about my app that it fetches no organic installs?


  24. Great tips! We advertised our new game on FB (again £50 odd pounds) with our new app which some say is similar to Angry Birds: https://www.gunpowderstudios.co.uk/kastles-the-app/ had tons of impressions! but no conversions yet! We tried writing a few articles posts which resulted in more sales! I wonder if social media is saturated. Will persevere. Thanks for the tips though. Twitter tip is a good one.

  25. Hey, I want to know your opinion about how much money (on average) should I spend per month on ads for my game app?

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  28. sir my app revanue fall down frm 3 day..befr 10k intaller coming but now 1k..n doller also fall down plz tell me any suggestion

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  31. Unfortunately, reaching out to people didn't work for me…
    I've send my game to many youtubers I liked with many messages variation (special message for everyone since I do really appreciate all of them), result : sensed it to 400 peoples, no one replied nor on Twitter nor Instagram nor my email… And I waited for almost 2 months now
    It made me just fall into deep depression, mental breakdown and burnt-out.
    You know, I was expecting that not everyone would be interested in my game, but even a "sorry, I'm not interested" would have be totally be fine for me and way lot better than not just responding, I'm feeling just useless now :/

  32. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fstore%2Fapps%2Fdetails%3Fid%3Dcom.deelko.hasan.businessnfinance%26fbclid%3DIwAR0G7uI2k4iTRcBDhWjenWoQAHkltGPF_t5vnY_TjoAwDHDmJ6dhKlzIW1E&h=AT34GRkdoBWqv2734VxrHUvb_S9cyx9o6IQFjf63xTVdqg7cvHHmdektzH9IyALP1aAkhri6J9TUhTo9fR6hR80Db-dUzBHupuvKANpo2KBKSZxW8H8RB8lVk-6Kaz3h3xVNuQ

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  34. Hey Eric, thanks for the tips, I have a mobile app out and I also have very little budget left. I think the harder challenge for me, is the mobile app is not in the entertainment space (games, music, etc), but in the lifestyle and use categories. Will keep you posted on how well some of the tips worked out for me. Thanks again.

  35. Hello. I’d like to know when – in ur opinion- is the best time to soft launch an app. Is soft launching MVP is a wise choice? What must the MVP contain if that’s a “yes”?

  36. For your little home-made Tic-Tac-Toe game, $500 marketing is a LOT, but for a useful & promising app it's pennies. I think your advice mostly applies to absolute beginners, and it would be nice if you mentioned that at the beginning 😉

  37. Help! My game is not searchable on google play and thus having a low download (i have tried including optimal amount of keywords in my title, and both short and long description) bur it does not work…

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