Using existing platforms is about leveraging existing web sites, social media platforms and apps to get more customers. You can get your app in the app stores, build browser extensions for Chrome and Mozilla and get people to sign up and share their experiences through the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Once you have your app in the web stores, to get lots of exposure and downloads you will need top rankings in your category or featured listings. That of course is easier said than done. You can use ads to get to a noticeable place in the ranking charts. The higher your ranking the more people see and download it which pushes you up farther, etc. Once people start telling their friends how good it is, things can move up rapidly. To stay up on the rankings you really need to have a compelling app and get rated often. One way to help this is to add new features (that work and add value) on a regular basis.
Browser extensions are helpful tools you download and attach to your browser to provide functionality. I have used tools that filter out spam and of course many of you have used some kind of ad blocking tool. You will need to get good ratings on these tools to maintain momentum. So take care to have both a compelling tool and one that is unbelievably easy to use and as bug free as possible (Go for zero defects! It is achievable! I have done it.)
To sum up, figure out where your potential users hang out and look for gaps. Then try to fill that gap. As a small business consultant, I can tell you that generally it is easier to find gaps on up and coming platforms that on established ones. So consider using existing platforms as part of your marketing strategy and your marketing plan.
Bryan B Mason
Apollo Consulting Group