Apps can be a hugely powerful tool in marketing your business; but only when applied correctly!
Apps are the new ‘craze’ amongst businesses and individuals alike. For an individual, app development can mean a boost in income (for premium or ad infused apps), but for small and medium sized businesses, they can mean a boost in brand awareness and a ‘loyalty’ amongst your customers as a result more sales of your product or service.
Too many small businesses are making the mistake of jumping into apps without fully exploring their options.
The Golden Rule
The question it is necessary to ask myself when conceptually designing an app is:Will the user ever look at my app again once it’s been viewed once?
This question is very important; Mobile Marketing Watch reports a study that shows how a quarter of users never open an app twice! It is my job as a developer that this effects my app as little as possible.
For truly marketing-centric apps, the answer to this important question is most definitely ‘no’, however, if I can design an app that pushes the marketing to the side, in favour of some user-based functionality, then the answer may well become ‘yes’.
You could argue that by pushing the marketing to the side, I’m defeating the purpose of creating an app for Marketing, but I could only disagree. The style of marketing is just different from what many companies would be used to (through the medium of print or web), your not trying to ‘sell’ your product or service. You are trying to achieve a completely different set of goals:
- You want your users to ‘know’ your brand or service. Your not asking them to purchase, just showing them that it’s there.
- You also want your users to connect with you. An app is a perfect starting point in a direct connection between business and customer on an informal basis.
- You want your brand to be spread throughout a wide variety of networks to achieve the highest possible takeup.
It is not appropriate to ‘get users to buy your product or service’ through apps; that will happen organically, instead, focus on getting your name out there and into some important networks.
In the above points, I mentioned that it’s a good idea to connect with your customers informally. This is a practice that was first introduced by Facebook and Twitter and carried through with apps. On Facebook, the ‘company’ could answer users questions and present themselves in an informal capacity – this obviously allowed users to become more ‘friendly’ and ‘comfortable’ with your brand; it’s the same principle. Marketing through your app is about your users ‘getting to know you’
User Based Functionality
As mentioned above, ‘user based functionality’ is very important to having a successful app. You want to avoid the situation where a user looks at your app once and then uninstalls it. So you need to give them a reason to open it again.
The challenge as a developer and a small business is to think up some functionality that is appropriate for your business
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