10 min read
Promoting Your Business With a Mobile App
Building an app, especially from scratch, is a big investment in both time and money, but remember, it’s an investment.
Having a mobile app for your business opens up a new channel through which you can communicate with your current customers and it gives a wider reach for bringing in new customers.
Having a mobile app can bring incredible value (and monetary return) for your business if implemented correctly.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the benefits of creating a mobile app and how it works to promote your business, then we’ll dive into how you can get started.
How Your Business Can Benefit
While it may not have been the case in the past, in today’s digital world, every business stands to benefit from offering their customers a mobile app.
So if you’re in the service business, and one of your clients asks ” a client wants to promote her new business… ” show her this article.
Here are just a few of the ways a mobile app can bolster your business:
#1 Create a Stronger Brand
Not only does a mobile app open up a new channel of communication for new and existing customers, but it also builds brand awareness.
Interacting with your customers is a way for your company to build trust, which is invaluable.
If you have customers who trust your brand, they’re more likely to purchase your products and stay loyal.
Similar to brand swag items, like t-shirts and mugs with your company’s logo on it, mobile apps work in a similar way to strengthen and reinform your brand.
A few ways you can increase brand awareness through a mobile app include:
- Implementing a push notification strategy
- Adding more product and company information
- Offer announcements about events and activities
- Offer updates on new products or features
- Offer sales and discounts
#2 Increased revenue
Boosting revenue and increasing sales is every business’s top goal. According to mobile ecommerce statistics from 2018, 79% of customers submit orders on mobile.
Online shopping, including through mobile apps, is an upwards trend that’s here to stay.
Customers are becoming more comfortable purchasing products and finding what they need online rather than visiting traditional brick and mortar shops.
It saves time and money and requires minimal effort. Offering a mobile app usually involves fewer ordering steps, simple but secure payment solutions, and is an overall easy and convenient shopping experience.
#3 Opens up communication
There is nothing more effective than offering a direct communication channel to current and potential customers.
It’s a quick and easy solution when responding to customer questions or issues.
Offering your customers a mobile app experience has the potential to provide your business with communication solutions through the following:
- Customer support (live chat, in-app messaging, etc)
#4 Increased Engagement
Mobile apps are so much more than a mobile version of a business’s website.
They offer content and features that can be personalized to a target audience. Everything can be customized based on user metrics, like location, to improve the customer experience and boost engagement.
A few features your app can include to boost engagement are:
- More customer service channels, like in-app messaging
- Quick and easier ordering
- Logging in using social media accounts
- Likes and favoriting products
- Reviews and comments
#5 A marketing platform
Mobile apps are another platform your business can leverage for marketing and should be implemented into your marketing campaign strategy.
Websites are a great way for companies to attract and bring in new customers when they’re searching for what they need.
However, a mobile app is where customers prefer completing the transactions, which can strengthen brand loyalty. It offers users an easy method for shopping.
When you’re promoting items or offering discounts through your business’s other touchpoints, be sure to also send push notifications through your mobile app.
It’s important to keep in mind that while your mobile app strategy is an extension of your other marketing platforms, like your website and company social media accounts, it should have it’s own strategy since it’s a completely different touchpoint.
#6 Gather user metrics
Through mobile apps, you can easily track and analyze user behavior. This data is incredibly valuable and closely analyzing it will help you improve your mobile app experience, which in turn will drive engagement and boost sales.
Some of the activity you can track in today’s mobile apps includes:
- How often users are using the app
- Demographics of users, like age, location, gender, etc)
- Completed conversions, like in-app purchases and downloads
- Channels that brought users to your app
- Revenue generated from your app
Having this user data is also important when it comes to personalizing your content. For example, based on a user’s location, you can send them push notifications if there are any deals in that area.
And based on a user’s gender and age, you can send them more relevant content.
Your Business Mobile App: Where to Start
Building out a custom mobile app for your business is guaranteed to expand your target audience reach and drive conversions, but you need a game plan.
Let’s take a look at how you can begin strategizing on using a mobile app to promote your business so your time and money don’t go to waste.
Before getting started on building your mobile app, it’s crucial to first understand who your customers are and how they can benefit from using your mobile app.
Competition is fierce in most industries and users have a huge variety of options to choose from, so you need to build an app that’s carefully designed for your users.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help get you and your team thinking:
- First of all, why are you building this app? Sure, you want to promote your business, but in what way? Does this mean that you want an increase in brand loyalty, or are you trying to focus on bringing more traffic to your site? Think about the primary goal.
- Who is your audience? Customers come in all varieties, so you need to be very specific when thinking about who your customer is, exactly. When asking yourself this question, think about things like demographics. What’s the age group of your target audience, what’s the gender or income level? Once you figure out who your audience is, you can start looking at your competitors to see how their app is performing.
- How are users currently perceiving your brand? What is your brand identity, anyway? Is it associated with luxury or is it budget? Is it edgy or more conservative? You have to think about what your brand is trying to portray and how it’s actually coming across to users if you want your mobile app strategy to be successful. When brainstorming about your brand, it helps to write out adjectives that describe it.
- What is the value of your mobile app? While it doesn’t need to be innovative or revolutionary, it does need to offer something valuable to your users. For example, a fitness center might use a mobile app to offer fitness-related features to their customers, like a fitness tracker, a calorie calculator tool, or a class schedule.
Building an app from scratch is a costly endeavor and every feature you add will raise the price.
This is why it’s important to bring only the most valuable features to your users rather than adding every feature you can think of.
Once you’ve brainstormed, researched the competition, and come up with a core set of features, it’s time to wireframe your app.
A wireframe provides that rough sketch and visual layout you need before coding an app. It’s about navigation, placement, and looking at what the user journey is in the early mobile app development stage.
Tools like Sketch are a great way to bring your app ideas to life through prototyping and collaborating.
Think of a wireframe as a blueprint for your app. It shows your app screen by screen so you can visually see the features and user flow without having to code anything yet.
Once you start coding, you don’t want to have to go back to the drawing board. It gets expensive.
There are also more advanced prototyping tools like Proto.io that will enable you to build a working mobile app prototype.
You can perform user actions like navigate your app, press buttons, and so on to get a good feel of your app’s flow. This will really help you test-drive your app and refine it until it’s perfect before moving on to development.
Choose the Right Team
If you already have a talented team who’s worked on other touchpoints for your company, like a website, make sure they have the skills needed to build a mobile app.
If not, bring in new hires. Building a mobile app often requires a unique skill set, and since it’s a costly investment, you want to make sure you have the best mobile app development team that’s going to be working on it.
Here are a few benefits to hiring a team that specializes in mobile app development:
- Your app will run quickly and smoothly
- Fewer bugs or coding issues
- Your app will be intuitive and easy to use
- They’ll know what’s the best technology stack for your specific app
It’s also a good idea to have a separate, dedicated mobile app team for not only the production of your mobile app, but also for future updates and app releases.
Having a mobile app requires ongoing work in order to keep users engaged.
Test your app
We can’t stress enough the importance of mobile app testing. It doesn’t matter how great your dev team is.
You need to ensure you factor testing in your time and budget to reduce the chance of bugs or other issues negatively impacting your user experience.
Also keep in mind that testing should be iterative, meaning you run tests on your app through every phase of development, not just at the end.
As you build your app, different functionalities you implement can impact the code somewhere else in your project, which is why you want to constantly be testing your app.
Here are a few things you should be testing:
- Starting and stopping the app
- Installing and uninstalling the app
- No disruptions to your app, like a text message or incoming call
- It adapts to all devices
- Network, app, device, and platform specific
- App user interface
- Keypress and gestures
There are mobile simulators you can use to test your mobile app. This is a software application that is designed to work in the same way as the actual device. They’re easy to implement and they’re a budget-friendly testing option.
You should also be testing your mobile app on multiple devices, not just one or two.
Promote your App
So how do you bring attention to your app and get people to actually use it?
Promoting your app will require a solid mobile app marketing strategy that starts with bringing awareness and building hype before your app is released. This involves things like sending out
press releases to relevant industry outlets, demoing your app’s features for tech bloggers and journalists, and reaching out to social media groups or influencers.
Your approach will depend on what industry you’re in and who your audience is.
For example, if you’re a medication delivery company geared towards the geriatric crowd, having young and trendy influencers on Instagram promoting your app probably isn’t the way to go to reach your targeted demographic.
Instead, you might want to try direct mailers, commercials on cable TV, and other more traditional avenues.
If your business offers a newsletter, you can use that communication channel to inform your audience about your app’s features and upcoming release. Just be sure to focus your messaging on the user.
Think of the app itself as a product, so your users need to understand the value it can bring them.
Using a mobile app is a great way to promote a business, whether it’s an easy mobile shopping experience, more information about your company and products, or helpful tools that can complement those products (like a gym using a fitness tracker feature in their mobile app).
The key is to bring something valuable to your users to keep them coming back.
If you’re not sure where to start, that’s ok.
Our Simple Starter package can set you on the right track for app development with a full technical writeup of your app, wireframe sketches, and thorough research on your target audience.
Once you launch your app, continue improving upon it. Collect data, gather user feedback, read user reviews, and keep innovating.
Your inbox wants some love.
So, what's the next step?
Talk with a real app developer