Mobile marketing is different from marketing to PC users in one crucial way – it’s all about engagement. People don’t just use their mobiles to read and digest content. They use them to do things. Your mobile marketing campaign needs to be as interactive as possible so that your customers are fully engaged, and the way to do this is through apps.
An app is an interactive software program. It offers the user something to do. A few examples include:
- A game or activity
- An interactive map
- Up-to-date weather information
- A photo editing or sharing program
- An ordering system where they can order goods directly from you on their phone
- An inspirational saying of the day or an online journal
It can be anything that your customers can interact with that’s also related to your brand.
Native vs. Web-Based Apps
There are two types of apps – native and web-based. Native apps are downloaded and run directly on the mobile device. They’re just like other downloadable software programs that save files on your computer. You use a web-based app through a website. Facebook apps, for example, are web-based. You don’t download them but use them on Facebook.
Presently, native apps offer better engagement for users because they’re more personalized. They tend to out-perform web-based apps.
Ideas for Apps
When it comes to developing apps, the best practice is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of something they could use. What would make your life easier? For first time app developers, it’s tough to do that, so here are three typical ideas for apps.
Advertising Apps - These apps give them something to do while also delivering your advertising messages. It could be a game they play sponsored by your website. If they love it and use it every day, this means daily contact with your brand. Ideally, the game’s theme is related to your business. If you sell sporting gear, it might be a snowboarding game. However, it doesn’t have to be related.
Scanning Apps - A wide range of apps are based on scanning technology. They scan a code with their phone and it automatically gives them the deal, the map, the coupon, the information, or whatever else you’re offering. Scanning apps are nice for users because it’s hard to enter text into a mobile.
Ordering Apps - Ordering apps make the process of ordering goods or services from you easier for them. A number of restaurants use ordering apps so that customers can make their order before they arrive. An example would be an app where you build your own sandwich and order, and then it’s waiting for you when you get there.
Creating your own app is a powerful way to market your business. Your customers will be in touch daily with your company and when they need your products or services, you’re the one they’ll call. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine something that would make their lives much easier. Then, once you’re offering the app, seek customer feedback and make improvements. A good app will get excellent results for your business.
You might be thinking, “There’s no way my kind of business needs an app.” But apps can be used for more than just entertainment. How about the ability to send your customers messages with the push of a button? Wouldn’t it be great to let them know that you’re having a one day sale or that you’re extending Happy Hour for one night only? Well, there’s a way to send them valuable and time sensitive information through what is known as “push notifications.”