Do you think Mobile Applications are just for big name brands like Facebook and Google? Think again! More small and mid-size companies are jumping on the app bandwagon understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than a mobile friendly website.
Take a look and you’ll find mobile apps for your local coffee shop, professional organizations and special events. These groups are ahead of the game when it comes to understanding how to take their marketing to the next level.
AlphaGraphics Kansas City can help you build your mobile app! Here are our top 10 reasons you should consider building one sooner rather than later.
Be Visible to Customers at All Times
Statistics show that the average American spends more than two hours a day (!) on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across — even if it happens unnoticed.
Create a Direct Marketing Channel
Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.
One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.
Provide Value to Your Customers
Talking about on-hand information, how about digitalizing that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers. (Check out PunchMe, a service that lets you create smartphone-based loyalty programs.)
Build Brand and Recognition
A mobile app for your business can greatly contribute to your brand awareness. I’d like to break this topic down into two aspects, the combination of which will make your app a true winner:
Brand. A mobile app is like a blank billboard sign. You can do what you want with it; you can make it stylish, hip, functional, shocking, or informative. But what you really want to do is create an app that has features your customers will love, while at the same time is well branded and beautifully designed.
Recognition. The more often you can get customers involved with your app, the sooner they will be inclined to buy your product and/or service. In advertising this is called the “effective frequency”: as a rule of thumb, hearing and/or seeing your brand approximately 20 times is what will get you truly noticed.
Improve Customer Engagement
No matter whether you are selling flowers or spa services, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a messaging (or help desk) feature within your app can really make a difference in the way you communicate with your customers. Think about it: OpenTable, for example, built its entire business model around this principle. Instead of calling a restaurant for a table, you can book it with less than five clicks on their platform. Now think about it: How many customers would prefer to communicate with you via text than via phone?
Stand Out From the Competition
These days mobile apps at the small business level are still rare, and this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Be the first in your neighborhood to offer a mobile app to your customers. They’ll be astonished by your forward-thinking approach!
Cultivate Customer Loyalty
The most important reason why you should consider building your own mobile app is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service. I am not saying a mobile app is going to save your business, but it can be a way of staying closer to your customers, and being just a “fingertip” away at all times.
Apps as a Promotional Tool
While a Website is a vital tool for you to promote your products and services and acts as a one-stop shop for your users, the number of mobile users is ever-increasing. Most of these mobile users also access the Internet on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Today, everything including commerce, trading and payment is handled on mobile. That being the case, mobile apps have proved to be the very future of computing. Developing a mobile app and promoting it among your users is hence extremely beneficial to further your business.
Earning with Your App
Many small industries try to avoid developing apps for their business, as they fear that the costs of app development would far exceed their budget. While it is true that mobile app development can turn out to be an expensive affair, it does not always need to be the case. Going in for a basic app, avoiding the unnecessary extra frills, will bring down your costs. You can also reduce the costs by planning your app well in advance of the actual process of development; designing your own logo, images and app content. Once the ground work is ready, you can hire a professional app developer to create your app.
Once your app has been developed, you can think of making money on it by using the various app monetizing techniques available to you, such as in-app advertising and so on.
Reach More Customers
Developing an app for your business helps you reach many more customers, than with a traditional Website. Mobile search has become very popular today, especially with the younger audience. While your current customers could spread the word by talking about you to their friends, new users could find you via a generic search. Additionally, integrating major social networks with your app furthers the scope and reach of your business.
Showcasing Your Products and Services
You can use your app as a tool to showcase your products and services. Users visiting your app would then have instant, one-stop access to you. You can keep updating your app, to feature different new products every once in a way. Offering users interesting offers and discounts encourages them to visit you more often and spread the good word as well.
Partnering with Other Services
Getting into partnerships with other similar companies helps you piggyback on their success, thereby bringing more customers for you. You could chalk out a list of other companies locally and team up with them to form a sort of mobile ad exchange program among yourselves. This proves to be beneficial to both companies involved, leading to mutual benefit and increased profits.
Companies that are still not very interested in developing mobile apps should alternatively consider creating mobile-friendly Websites, which would work out well within their budget. A search will reveal several Web design companies, willing to create these Websites for a nominal cost. The whole idea is to engage mobile users and give them a good user experience while visiting your Website or app, thereby encouraging them to become your customers.
With the mobile industry currently booming, it is most advisable for any and every business to develop mobile apps to promote their products and services. Mobile is indeed the way all communication is headed today and so, embracing this technology is guaranteed to produce the right results for your business.