The way that businesses market themselves and their brand is changing all the time, along with customer expectations. 20 years ago, if your business had a website then it was ahead of the times and was certainly in the minority – nowadays it would be unheard of for a business not to have a website.
The same can be said of businesses using social media to develop their brand and interact with customers 10 years ago, but fast forward to the end of 2019 and social media is that important for your brand, that if a business is not on social media then customers wonder what they have to hide – customers now demand the transparency that social media gives them
The newest marketing tool that businesses are now using alongside a website and a social media presence is their own branded app, and it is an excellent tool to boost your brand – if done properly.
It is important to find a good software development company to develop your app – but how will an app help boost effectively as part of your marketing strategy?
What are the benefits of developing an app for your business?
First of all, just by having your app available to download on the App Store you are putting your company brand and logo in front of an audience of 500 million people – now although that means there is obviously increased competition, there is also the credibility that having your brand available alongside huge names like Amazon and Google to download, and it is seen by everyone using the App Store not just by your customers
Once your app has been downloaded by your customer then the increase in visibility of your brand is huge – the app sits on your customers phone, with your logo on their home screen every day (with most users spending up to 3 hours daily exclusively on apps). This then gives a direct channel from their phone to your website – one click and they are instantly on your website
Market Directly to your Customers
Once you have an app, and it is downloaded onto your customers phone, you then have direct access to your customers in a much more personal way than an email or website advert would every have. You can send notifications from the app to the customers phone with special offers, news, discounts or whatever it is you want to say to your customers – and people will almost always open a notification on their phone when it beeps or vibrates, meaning you can get your brands message directly in front of your customer in the most personal way possible – through their phone.
Increase Customer Loyalty
One thing that is very important when building a brand and to the long-term success of any business is building a loyal customer base. There are many ways to do this – the simple ones like the old ‘coffee shop loyalty card’ where you get your 10th coffee free. This can be done with the app for example by, scanning the app each time the customer buys from you to earn money off incentives after a certain level – and whilst this works and will be effective, building your own app means there’s unlimited innovative ways that you can use to build brand loyalty
‘Gamifying’ the app – creating something a customer plays and earns reward points for. And once a certain number is accrued then there is a bonus for them. The bonus does not have to be for free or discounted items, it can simply be part of the game created to keep the customer engaged. You may wonder what a game would have to do wit your business and how it would help to sell your product or service?
Well it not only keeps your customer using your app, and thereby seeing your logo and brand every day, it also now associates your brand with something the customer enjoys and effectively ‘gives’ something to the customer.
So now you know ‘Why’ a business app can boost your brand, the big question is ‘How’ do you create an app that your customers will use?
Creating an App that your Customers want to use
So, this may all sound excellent – the benefits to your brand of a good business app are there for all to see and I am sure everyone reading this will now be finding a software developer to immediately create a fantastic app for their customers – but it is not quite as simple as that.
There are almost 2 million apps available for download currently on the App Store, and research shows us that people use on average 8-10 apps a day – approximately 10% of the total apps downloaded on their phone. It might feel like an impossible task to not only get your customer to download your app, but then to get your customers to use it daily as well – is it worth investing all that money getting it made when there is so much competition?
Solve a problem and add value
You know your customers base better than anyone else – and that means you know what they interested in, and you also know what problems they may face or need solving – and this where your app comes in.
Creating an app which is simply the same information you can get on your website, or serves no more purpose than giving customers information about your products or services is not going to get people interacting with your app on a daily basis and using it day in day out
If your company is a Vegan Restaurant then create a guide to cooking your own vegan food at home, if you own a Fishing lake then an app with information on tying fishing knots and different types bait would probably be of interest to a lot of your customers, and so on. They will then find they use these apps regularly because they add value to their life and your brand can reap the benefits of the continued customer interaction with the app. The benefits of developing a business app to boost your brand are there to be seen, the key to doing it successfully is in the execution – add value and solve a problem, that’s how Facebook started, and they are not doing too badly now!