What is the most efficient and affordable way to ­market an app that everybody needs, but not many know is ­available?

Mark McCoy


Here's a checklist of how to launch a mobile app:

First, the app needs to be available to download. The two primary places to submit it are the App Store (for Apple iOS apps) and the Play Store (for Google Android apps).

Second, just because a product can be found, doesn't mean it will be found. It's a crowded field, to say the least, with 1.5 million apps available in the App Store and 1.6 million apps available in the Android Store, according to

Given these staggering numbers, how can you make your app easier to find? There are a couple places to start, with no direct costs.

First, design your app experience so social sharing, ­referral incentives and app store reviews are part of the core user experience; this is often called growth hacking.

Consider App Store Optimization (ASO), which involves tuning/refining your app store listing, description, keywords and reviews to help increase your store rank and help more people find your app.

Next, one of the fastest ways to increase exposure is buying mobile app-install ads on Facebook. These ads are paid for on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, of which you can set a maximum CPC that you are willing to stay within your desired cost-per-install (CPI).

According to Running Start Marketing, current mobile CPIs can range from $2-4 for top app categories, like games, and up to $5-10 for productivity and business apps.

If Facebook ads work, other top mobile ad networks to consider include Google AdWords, Chartboost and mobile video ads on networks like Vungle and AdColony.

Regardless of which avenues you choose, the key is to include where your app is sold and how it will be promoted in the overall business plan and budget. When this is done, all four Ps of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) will work together.

About the author

Gino Giovannelli is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of ­Business.