By Justin Delos Reyes, Web Success Team
Mobile device usage is soaring at an incredible rate and so is the popularity of mobile applications. Your business can benefit from selling or offering a mobile app – no matter what industry you are in. But while the need for application development is real from a mobile marketing standpoint, the success rate of mobile apps is relatively small – especially for brands.
It is harder to retain your target audience’s attention on mobile apps than it is through social media or a traditional website; and there are several factors that separate successful apps from unsuccessful ones. But it can be accomplished. If you are considering building an app for your company, use the following guidelines to start your mobile endeavors on the right path.
Create and Implement a Marketing Strategy
Aside from working with a developer to create an app for your business, your marketing team will need to implement a marketing strategy for it. Work with them to define goals for your app and to understand how your customers can benefit from it. An app that looks good, functions properly, and is downloaded by thousands (or even millions) of people, is of little use to your company if the content isn’t driving sales or raising awareness for your brand on the web. Mobile apps, like social media, are an extension of your marketing efforts and knowing how to engage your customers will separate your app from those made by your competitors.
Make It Clean and Easy to Navigate Through
Much like your company website, your mobile app should look clean and be easy to navigate through. People who download your app will quickly delete it from their phones if it’s visually unappealing to them and if they can’t find the information they want. Some of the highest rated apps in both the Android Market and Apple’s App Store use a minimalist design. Consider this approach especially if you are a small to medium sized business. The worse thing you can do is take yourself out of the game before users get to your content.
Perform Maintenance Regularly
Having an app that is available to the public is not enough. Your app needs to be updated and checked for bugs regularly. Users are easily frustrated with apps that crash or freeze when in use. They typically receive 1 star ratings because they crash upon opening. You don’t want to lose customers based on negative reviews and poor ratings. An app that functions properly, even if the content is static for a few weeks, is more useful than an app that has new content every week but only works 50% of the time.
Integrate Social Media
Apps are a great marketing platform to build your social media audience. Make it easy for people to share the content they view on your app on Facebook and Twitter. By doing this, you are extending your reach beyond your target audience and are potentially bringing in new customers whom you don’t have the time and resources to reach out to. Many users are more than happy to show their Facebook and Twitter connections what they’re reading or purchasing – so give your content (whether it’s company news or products) a chance to reach as many people as possible on the web’s largest social networks.
Price It Accordingly
Free apps, while popular because they are free, typically do not have long shelf lives on mobile devices. But do not be afraid to put a price on your app if it is good and functions properly on every device. People will pay for quality apps that meet their needs and are interactive. Justify the price you set by offering items (content or promotions) that users cannot find anywhere else. Exclusivity is vital to the success of paid apps because it gives customers a higher level of confidence in their purchasing decision.
Share Your Thoughts
How will you market your business through mobile apps for web success?
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