You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Ideas From SXSW: How to Get People to Download Your App A little creativity helped companies get on users' phones at SXSW.

By Linda Lacina

entrepreneur daily

Looking to get users to download your app? Sometimes it just takes a little nudging. Here's how app companies schemed to get on people's phones at SXSW.

Offer something for free: UberX

Technically, some ride-sharing services don't jive with a charter in Austin, Texas, that requires things like operating permits, a chauffer's license and commercial insurance. But to gain more of a foothold, the Uber debuted UberX rides free during SXSW's kickoff event, a bar crawl of Austin startups. (After the event, as a thank you for downloading the app, I received an offer for a free ride, up to $30, good for any Uber city in the U.S.).

Trade a download for a service: GoToMeeting

Collaboration tool GoToMeeting gave out free lunch. The catch, of course, was downloading their mobile tool.

Create a special feature: Runtastic

This interactive mobile running tool released special running routes based around five of the city's most popular hotels. If I had any time to run while at the festival, I definitely would have downloaded Runtastic (and used it instead of its rival that I've used for more than a year).

Know what's fun: JetPac

This app creates a travel guide powered by big data. JetPac processes millions of Instagram photos to assemble Top 10 lists of bars, restaurants and other attractions for out-of-towners. For SXSW, the app generated a list of Austin's top 10 bars based on photos taken last year at the festival between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Tap into what (some) people really want: Avoid Humans

Those looking to avoid the hordes of attendees might have downloaded Avoid Humans, which was created by advertising agency GSD&M. It uses Foursquare data to find the least checked-in places in town. Color coding tells users what they need to know, with green representing the "Number of vegans at Franklin Barbecue," and red standing for "more crowded than a UT football game when the UT football team was good." The app was likely the most popular with locals seeking a little peace and quiet.

Linda Lacina

Entrepreneur Staff

Linda Lacina is the former managing editor at Entrepreneur.com. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Family Circle. Email her at llacina@entrepreneur.com. Follow her at @lindalacina on Twitter. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Productivity

6 Habits That Help Successful People Maximize Their Time

There aren't enough hours in the day, but these tips will make them feel slightly more productive.

Growing a Business

Looking to Achieve Your Goals But Don't Know Where to Start? Try These Proven Goal-Setting Strategies.

Find a more effective way of creating – and achieving – your goals. Get clear on your vision, make your plan, take action, reassess and then revise.