|Five Necessary Elements for Effective Mobile App Development
By: Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan
It’s okay if your company still has no mobile presence. What’s more important is that you are ready to redeem yourself now. It’s better late than never. And as late bloomers are beginning to understand the importance of branding in mobile, especially in 2016, joining the ranks of millions of businesses taking advantage of the mobile economy is probably one of the smartest things you can do.
Snapp, an app development platform for mobile presences, recently highlighted five tips to build a successful app for your small to medium business. We at Digital Pivot elaborated on each item. We found them to be very beneficial to your upcoming mobile presence and wanted to share!
Please keep in mind; engagement and interaction will always be the bottom line when it comes to branding in the digital space — or any space, for that matter. In the mobile marketplace, however, it is especially important, because we are battling apps from various other industries in claiming that precious device space.
If your app isn’t used regularly, it might just find itself uninstalled, defeating its purpose altogether.
Increasing productivity for your end-user and catering to consumer needs and interests while keeping them entertained are probably some of the most important elements to implement into your mobile marketing and branding strategies. Keep their attention while on the go. Keep your app in their smartphone. Influence sharing amongst their circle of trusted friends.
These five tips should have you off to a good start.
Tip #1 | Provide consumers with exclusive offers and incentives for using the app.
Everyone loves to get something for nothing. In a world of rising costs, it not only feels good to be rewarded by the brands we support, but it feels good to hold on to a few bucks now and then. In fact, we are most likely to share our awesome rewards with friends and family.
By providing exclusive offers and incentives to your already-supportive customer base, you are basically showing them that you value them as customers, while showing that your brand isn’t as greedy as many of your competitors. A “this drink’s on me” attitude almost establishes a bond and friendship between your customer and your brand. These are the beginnings of loyalty that often become viral and word-of-mouth topics for the day.
While you may be giving away free product — or even paying vendors to make provisions on your behalf — you are actually saving valuable marketing dollars. Think of how many marketing dollars go down the drain with no return on investment. Now, think of how many people are telling others about your product, simply because you gave them a “free” sample. Think of how many people are returning because you once gave them something — and it was something they liked.
The incentive keeps them coming back for more.
Tip #2 | Share the app every and anywhere.
Create awareness that your app even exists. Sharing your app on social media, and even attaching incentive to the download, will encourage sharing. Not only should your brand provide a reason for download, it should convey a clear message that can be understood. Providing elements that educate, entertain, or provide incentive will lead to social sharing by outside influences. Fans will share your message on the merit of interest alone. Downloading the app itself will be a whole different “ball game.”
Tip # 3 | Make sure to take advantage of push notifications.
Don’t underestimate the power of a push notification. Whether serving as a reminder for your weekly television show, an exclusive offer, or breaking news impacting the end-user, push notifications can keep consumers engaged and regularly returning to your app — for whatever reason — until the process becomes self-initiated!
As manipulative as this sounds, you can create a habit for your consumers through continuous and non-invasive engagement. Keeping your user engaged will keep them antsy as they continually refresh the app for updated information. As with any habit, good or bad, it takes repetition to form naturally. Repetition is key, alongside content and consistency, in making your brand work for you in digital territory.
Tip #4 | Be as personal as you can be.
One reason the mobile jungle is one of the most powerful tools to digitally brand yourself today is personalization. I am sure that you have heard that more people are willing to share their toothbrush than to share their mobile device. Such is true.
People keep their secrets locked on their devices. They have very personal conversations archived. They have each and every moment of their lives scheduled in a calendar. They have thrown out their debit cards and now use their phone for mobile currency. You can take advantage of that!
Create direct-to-customer content. Allow them to select which type of content they see. Find ways to include their name into the mix. While a very basic trick that we have been doing since the days of mIRC and Yahoo! Messenger, allowing a user’s name to appear within the app someplace will make the connection to their brain that “this app is for me.” Egocentric as it is, it works!
Allow them to contact you directly. Invite them to your social media presence; give them one-touch clickability in connecting to your direct line of business. Allow them to chat with customer service — shoot, allow them to chat! Show them that they matter and that they have a voice when it comes to your brand.
Tip #5 | Know your niche; cater to them.
Find your niche. Learn your niche.
If you already know your niche, it might be easy to cater to them already. For those who are stumped on the content that they should be including in their apps, understand your niche and you will have your answer. Remember, content is king. A majority of our marketing is being done through content marketing, native marketing, and so on.
Feed them content that they will share. Feed them content that they will return to your app for. Partner with others within your niche if necessary. Seek sponsors within your niche if necessary.
Repetition and engagement. Repetition and engagement. Content gives you a reason to stay in contact. And it gives them a reason to keep your app!
Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins and an Internet Marketing professional, specializing in Social Branding and Public Relations. She has been a part of multiple International projects in both Entertainment Business and Professional Services industries. She often works with major marketing firms and job search sites under NDA in lending valuable insight to clientele, whether it includes hands-on project development or the crafting of a roadmap for a brand's awareness strategy. Find her online here. @sp_brand_social
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