If you are like many businesses, you have generated a vast amount of content the past few years.
From blog posts to training information, businesses these days are creating content like never before. This has created a perfect opportunity for you to develop a mobile app to leverage this content. Businesses can take advantage of the popularity of mobile applications by creating apps that aggregate their content and provide a branded learning platform. Developing a mobile app that functions as an aggregator showcases all of the content you have already invested in and potentially offers a powerful, curated experience for app users. This should not be just a replica of your web site or blog, leverages content created for other places as well. These types of apps allow businesses to maintain a connection with customers beyond just their web site of social media pages.
Why create a branded experience? The modern consumer prefers immersive experiences offered by well-designed mobile apps. While having interesting and useful content is important to bring consumers back for more, creating an easy-to-use well thought out and compelling mobile app is important for success. Interesting content, appealing design and an engaging user experience all work together to create an experience that can bring users closer than ever to your brand. Selecting and organizing content that is relevant and timely and feeds into your unique brand experience is critical.
Remember to engage your audience as you design your app. Consumers expects more out of apps than brands just offering sales messages and one-way communications. Consumers want to interact and if your business is able to integrate an engaging experience into your mobile app, you can gain an advantage over your competition. As mobile continues to grow in popularity, it will become even more important to businesses to be strong in this. Savvy businesses are transitioning to marketing campaigns that keep up with their consumers’ needs.
Photo: TechStage (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1LMipeM
We can all think of businesses who have succeed with their mobile apps and, unfortunately, we can all think of businesses who struggled with their mobile app.
Looking at mobile apps there are certain things that seem common to poor performing mobile apps, before you start your next mobile app development project make sure that you are not making these same mistakes. One of the most common mistakes with lower performing applications is a poor user experience. Think about how your users will feel when engaged with your application. Will it create delight? Frustration? In fact, a poor user experience can extend beyond a user simply not using an app, with 54% stating that a poor user experience would make them less likely to use other products from that business (Oracle).
Key to creating a great user experience is an effort to align your app with customer needs. It definitely needs to be easy to use and intuitive, but does your app do what customers expect it to do when the download it? Think about what you need in your app to retain your users. What will keep them coming back? Successful apps are tuned into their users’ needs.
It is important that you analyze the mobile journey taken by of your customers, from there you can determine which actions are most frequently performed. Then you can determine how to streamline the user experience to best meet the needs of your customers.
Another issue with apps that fail are they focus too much on selling the customer. Does your app off little or no value to the customer? Do you see it just as a tool to sell customers? Apps like this are bound to fail as customers will have little reason to use them. Once again, this goes back to focusing on the needs of your customer.
When budgeting for your project make sure that you plan a proper amount for user research and user experience design. These items will make or break your mobile app.
Additionally, you will want to make sure you plan on reviewing and updating your app. Improve the execution of processes within your app to improve the user experience. Carefully review the capabilities your app offers and and look for ways to elevate the the performance of those activities.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1PcNxQ4
A vastly underused tool by businesses today is location-based mobile marketing. If you don’t know what this means specifically, it means ads or messages are delivered to your app users based on that person’s location (determined by the GPS in their smartphone).
These days people depend on their mobile devices for information regarding their purchase decisions. So clearly having the ability to display your message in the context of the app user’s location can be a very effective marketing tool. Before you start your next mobile app development project make sure you consider how you can include these powerful tools.
When you set up what is known as a geo-fence based on a specific proximity of your retail store, every time one of your app user’s enters that geo-fence, they can receive a push notification from you with a promotion to a product or service at your store. This is particularly effective if they can see your store (72% of consumers say they will respond to calls-to-action in messages they receive when in sight of the retailer – MDG Advertising).
A rapidly emerging new way to leverage location-based information is through Apple’s iBeacon. The iBeacon relies on Bluetooth low-energy technology to transmit when someone’s iPhone that is has your app installed comes within range. With a retails store, a perfect application of this would be to send a specific promotion directly to the customer’s smart phone with information about the product he or she is by.
So how does it work?
Mobile apps require that the device’s location services be turned on for them to function. Since privacy is always a concern, you should offer your users the option to opt-out of location-based services. To avoid having your users opt-out, you should make the benefits clear to your app users. Additionally, by presenting interesting and relevant promotions you will keep their interest. This can be a win-win strategy for you and your customer if executed properly. Blasting your users with unrelated offers will turn them off quickly.
Location-based marketing is not where near the end of exploring its full potential. Location-based marketing creates a massive opportunity to gain sales and market share over competitors that are not taking advantage of it. Many mobile users happy to opt-in to a mutually beneficial relationship, one where businesses respect their interests and time and deliver relevant content at the right time and place.
Pic: Juin Hoo (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1Rvk88G