|Marketing Objective||Attracting new customers||Creating loyal customers|
|Mechanism of Use||Open a browser, enter website URL||Tap an icon on smartphone screen|
|User Interaction||Customer visits, completes an activity, exits||Open, two-way and ongoing; push notifications enable on-demand communication|
|Marketing Advantage||More responsive to search queries (in most cases)||Engagement, loyalty and ease of use. App "lives" on user's device.|
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.
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.
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.
Creating Paying Customers
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.