MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT

What could an app do for your organization?



Responsive Website or Mobile App?

A responsive website and mobile app work hand in hand to accomplish your marketing objective.

The great thing is that mobile marketing with websites and apps is not an either/or proposition.

Website

Mobile App

Marketing ObjectiveAttracting new customersCreating loyal customers
Mechanism of UseOpen a browser, enter website URLTap an icon on smartphone screen
User InteractionCustomer visits, completes an activity, exitsOpen, two-way and ongoing; push notifications enable on-demand communication
Marketing AdvantageMore responsive to search queries (in most cases)Engagement, loyalty and ease of use. App "lives" on user's device.

The most successful marketers use their responsive website to attract new customers and convince them to download their app. This generates an opportunity for profitable, ongoing relationships. It creates engagement, builds loyalty, and expands social reach.


You’ve heard the adage that it’s far cheaper to keep the customers you have than to acquire new ones? Your small business app goes a long way toward achieving that goal.


Small Businesses Are Using Mobile Apps


Pretty much everyone with a smartphone has branded apps from major retailers and chains residing on it, but you’d be surprised at how many small businesses are getting into the app market, too. Here are  some recent stats on how small businesses are using apps to achieve their goals.


Popularity

  • About 15% of small businesses had created a native app by late 2015.
  • Of those, one-third were developed in 2014.
  • 18% plan to create or launch an app next year.

Top Reasons

  • Improve customer service (76%)
  • Increase sales (37%)
  • Compete with other businesses (35%)

Common Uses

  • using push notifications to engage nearby customers
  • rewarding loyal clients and customers with perks and points
  • in-app order entry and payments, streamlining commerce and freeing up staff


Planning a Small Business Mobile App


Once you’ve decided an app is the right step for your business, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of planning your app.

 

Make a list of what you want your app to accomplish.
acquisition engagement – conversion

 

Once you’ve defined your objectives, consider the features your app needs to achieve them.

Marketing Your Mobile App on a Small Business Budget


Launching your mobile app is just the first step; getting your customers and potential customers to download and use it takes just as much work. Marketing your app on a small business budget requires a creative approach that maximizes the tools you have.

Your first step is to build a landing page—that may be a page in your existing website or a whole new site—to promote your app. You’ll need this for app discoverability and SEO on mobile search after launch. Be sure your mobile website and social profiles link to your app landing page, and showcase your app’s most unique and useful features with compelling screenshots and video demos. Build it out with user ratings and reviews as your app gets more visibility.

Tap into your existing customer base and offer them an incentive to download your app; a free sample, discount coupon, or handful of loyalty points are all attractive offers. Don’t forget to ask your users to rate your app, too, since this affects ASO (App Store Optimization) and discoverability.

Reach out to social influencers and ask them to review your app. This yields powerful benefits in terms of exposure, traffic, and backlinks that improve your search results. Remember that ASO and SEO work hand-in-glove with mobile app discovery; don’t just rely on app store searches to get your app in front of your customers.



App Store Optimization


Do a keyword analysis


Come up with a sticky title.


Design an eye-catching icon.


Include compelling screenshots.


Write a top-notch description.


Work on getting good rankings




Marketing your app is an ongoing process, but one that pays off over time in return on investment.

No matter how you develop and support your app, you’ll always have an eye toward recouping your costs—and measuring the impact of your investment on your overall marketing strategy. Every business is different, but these are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you’ll definitely want to track to gauge your success in reaching users, retaining users, and creating paying customers.

Reaching Users

  • Number of downloads
  • Number of active users (users who have opened the app in a predetermined time interval)
  • New user growth rate

Retaining Users

  • Number of sessions per user
  • Length of session
  • Session interval
  • Number of permissions granted (access to location, photo library, etc)
  • Churn rate (total number of customers divided by uninstalls for a predetermined time interval)

Creating Paying Customers

  • Average revenue per user
  • Transactions per customer
  • Customer lifetime value

Measuring these KPIs gives you the information you need to financially validate your decision to create an app. It also helps you identify strengths and weaknesses in your overall mobile marketing strategy and pinpoint areas to build on loyalty and engagement to generate even greater returns.

While small businesses have been somewhat hesitant in the past to jump into the mobile app market, today’s highly mobile consumers make competing in the mobile realm a necessity for businesses of every size. Having a mobile website is a great first start, but a mobile app gives you the edge in creating a highly engaged and loyal customer base.


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