Thinking about launching a Mobile App for your business? If not now, when?
Now is the time to ride this wave of opportunity.
We all know as Entrepreneurs and Business Owners that in order to stay competitive in today's marketplace, you need to position your business to take advantage of emerging trends. Mobile Marketing is NOT in the future, it's NOW!
Did you know that statistics show mobile consumers have their phone or mobile devices within 3 feet of them 23 hours a day? Just think about the opportunity you have before you to have YOUR business on your clients or prospects mobile device 23 hours a day / 365 days out of the year? Now that my friends is what I call OPPORTUNITY! I don't know any other marketing medium that has the same power to instantly get the attention for your target market.
What do you think the average response or open rate is today with email marketing? Unless you have a super responsive and active list, you will only see 4% - 9% open rates within the first 24-48 hours of you pushing the send button. Mobile push or text messages are seen and opened 97% of the time within the first 4 minutes. Now that is impressive! Just think about your own mobile behavior, or heck just look around you.
Consumer expectation is that every "Brand" has an app they can download and access on their mobile device.
We are often asked the question, "Why should I have a mobile app?" Here are just a few reasons why you should have one:
Builds customer loyalty. Everyone likes to feel included in something special, so make customers feel like VIPs by offering discounts, coupons, and promotions just for using and downloading the app.
Creates a viral buzz. Encourage customers to use the mobile app to quickly tell all of their friends about the business using the built-in sharing capabilities of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, SMS, and Email.
Grow customer lists. A mobile app can gather names and email addresses from directly within the app and easily export them into the top email marketing campaign services to be used in additional emails.
Get instant feedback. Mobile apps allow customers to leave feedback on fan walls, share photos, and send comments in a variety of ways.
What is an App? An App is an application that has to be downloaded and installed on a mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as Apple's App Store, and the Android Google Play Market in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. An app provides an interactive engagement with users and works more like a computer program than a website.
The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.
It is expected that by mid-2012 more people will be accessing the internet on their mobile devices than on PC's. With that in mind, it cannot be emphasized enough the importance of having one's business or service seen properly across all the different mobile platforms otherwise you will lose business.
What better way for your business to stay in touch with your customers than with your own customized mobile application!
Do you have clients and customers that you want to communicate and stay in touch with? If so, what is the best way to do that and get responsive results? The clear choice is through Mobile Apps.
I've put together my top ten tips to ensure your app success:
1. Determine your Objective
Are you looking for sales, brand awareness, social media engagement or to stay in constant contact and in front of your clients and prospects?
As Entrepreneurs and Business Owners it's easy for us to get distracted and become overwhelmed with all our responsibilities and otherwise great ideas. Be sure when developing your mobile marketing strategy that it aligns with your core message, and resonates with your viewing audience.
2. Integrate Social Sharing Features
We all know and understand the power of social engagement, and social sharing features of our information. All of your social sites can be integrated into your Mobile App which will insure and increase your brand awareness.
3. Keep Your App and its content up to date
Just as important as updating a blog, your app must be updated with relevant and engaging content. You need to keep the end user engaged, or just as quickly as they downloaded your app, they can remove it.
4. Integrate interactive and events features
Provide up-to-date information about all of your business events and specials by creating an events calendar. Whether you conduct live events or virtual events online, you will want to keep your new users engaged and in-the-know of what you're doing, where you're doing it, and how they can participate. We are social creatures by nature, and want this information available at our fingertips..literally!
5. Create Loyalty / VIP Programs
You will want to incentivize your subscribers, and give them a reason not only to download your app, but to also keep it on their mobile device. It's very simple to create Loyalty or VIP programs, and your clients and prospects will LOVE you for it.
6. Develop an effective Mobile Marketing Strategy
It's not if you build it they will come... You need to prepare your marketing plan prior to the launch of your new App in the App Stores. This will include, but is definitely not limited to:
Be sure to send an email notification to your subscribers with URL links to the Apple and Android (Google Play) Marketplaces. So they can download it. Don't forget to incentivize them in some way for doing so!
Create QR Codes that link directly to your App (QR Codes are 2-dimensional black and white squares that contains a url or specially coded message that your phone's camera along with QR Scanner Software will decode for you.)
Social Network promotions... oh this can be a great tool!!!
Keyword research for your App is just as important as for your website. As you build your App, or have a developer do it for you, determine what your keywords will be as well as the description for your App. These are both extremely important as they are two of the more permanent features of your App and will immediately assist you in generating new clients and leads when done correctly.
7. Create Raving Fans
It's very important to create an opportunity for your App users to feel as though they are part of your community. Remember the Social Sharing feature? Well this is just as important. What if at your next event, you gave your App users the ability to upload their photos from the event, or even write on your App fan wall? We have seen it time and time again on Social Networks how important this is, in fact it's a must!
8. Track your progress with in-App Analytics
You want to be sure you have a way to track the downloads of your App in the App Stores/Markets. Tracking the number of downloads is important as you prepare for future promotions, as well as revenue streams from advertising opportunities. The more downloads you have, the more valuable you are to advertising partners. This is a great way to help monetize your app!
9. YES... The Power IS in the PUSH!!!!
Here's the most important feature of all... PUSH Notifications! This is very similar to sending out an email notification, but is much more effective. Remember you will have a 97% open rate within the first few minutes of sending it. You can send out notices immediately, or schedule them to go out on a particular day, and time you set.
The push notification will show up on a mobile device just like a text message would. These are delivered to everyone who has downloaded your app on their mobile device. They are displayed on smartphones and iPads/Tablets. The message will be displayed on the home screen of the phone or tablet literally the moment you press "Send".
One word of caution though... Do NOT over use the Push Notification feature. This can be interpreted at SPAM, so please don't abuse it. Treat your new App Subscribers just like you would your email list and provide value first, then create the hunger and desire for your products and services and the sales will naturally follow.
10. Promote, Promote, Promote!
Once your App is completed and published in the App Stores, you will need to get busy promoting your new marketing tool! Your app will not download itself to other mobile devices, so you will need to be proactive in the marketing and promotion of your new App. Now is the time to get in front of potential clients and customers.
Enroll the help of marketing partners to promote your new App, and yes even your friends and family, and most importantly don't forget about your existing client base. They are already your RAVING FANS!
In order for your App to be successful and provide you a great new way to market to your audience, you must be willing to follow the steps listed above.
Don't forget the golden rule of marketing: People buy from People, and those they Know, Like and Trust! Having a mobile app for your business will help expand your "Brand!"
Isn't it time to share your expertise and reach your mobile consumers before your competition? It's your responsibility to make it easy for them to connect with you!
The possibilities for your Mobile App are endless.