How can you market to mobile users?
A lot of people know that I’m a big fan of mobile websites. But my guest today almost made me change my opinion.
To discover the things he told me, you can click the ‘Play’ button above and listen to the podcast… or read this article.
You may already know this.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know or weren’t expecting to hear: mobile websites are literally just the peak of the iceberg. There are lots of other ways that you can market to mobile users than just through mobile websites.
Today’s guest for our weekly podcast is Brian Duffy, founder of Webflex – a software development company whose main product is Biz for Mobi Apps.
And today we are talking about mobile applications.
Apps – Highly Underestimated or Highly Misunderstood?
As Brian wittily puts it, a lot of business owners hear about apps and automatically think about Angry Birds. They assume apps are made so people can have fun and play games on their smartphones, but this is not at all the case.
However, you are about to have the same reaction I did when I found out what we, online business owners, can do with an app. Even if we’re not in the bricks and mortar business.
The moment I realized how practical and innovative apps are, my eyebrows started to rise and I could almost hear my inner voice shouting out loud, “Tell me more…! Don’t stop here, I want to know more…!”
But before I let you in on all these secrets…
Who uses smartphones?
Smartphones: 64% of the population has them. And the numbers are increasing each day.
Moreover, if you think your target audience is not keen on using these devices… you may need to reconsider your business approach.
- Youngsters are obviously the number one consumers of mobile internet.
- But a lot of smartphone users are aged 34-40 years old. And – surprise or not – 10% of smartphone users are 54+ years old.
So the elder generation is ON smartphones, and not off them.
What does this mean for your business?
The way we are doing business is starting to shift yet again; more exactly, the way we’re using all this new technology is starting to change the way we perceive desktop PCs.
Desktop PCs are becoming more and more a mere working tool, and not a social tool.
They are being replaced as “leisure activities” by smartphones, which are easier to use, faster to connect to the internet… and have apps, the epitome of fun & information sources.
Thanks to smartphones and apps we are now constantly online.
I already have a mobile website. Why would I need an app?
What we use a mobile website for is completely different from what a mobile app can do. Nonetheless, they both have their well-established place in the world of smartphone internet.
They’re quick, and they work as reminders; instead of being the kind of “out of sight, out of mind” bookmarking, they’re represented by a little icon on your smartphone’s wallpaper which constantly reminds you “Hey, check me out! I’m here!”.
PLUS, since you’re an online business owner, you will L-O-V-E to hear that ads on smartphones get viewed 86%. That is HUGE!
It is a strong viewing rate because the devices are small and the space is narrow. When you compare the size of a smartphone screen with that of a monitor you can see how, on monitors, the ads can easily get lost in space.
About app functionality (or What can you do with it?)
- Perhaps the strongest of its functionalities is the Push Notifications feature. While similar to SMS Marketing, it stands a big advantage over it. SMS texts are short by nature, and therefore the amount of information included in an SMS might not suffice. With Push Notifications you receive an alert similar to a text message and you can click on it. It then takes you to a page where you are given more details, text, images, video, etc.
- GPS Technologies
- Coupons and Coupon Codes – customers can claim them from their smartphones
- Hybrid Apps can take in native web apps. You can now start bringing external mobile websites and mobilize content within your apps (e.g.: book a reservation at a restaurant, book accommodation and a hotel, use Calls to Action such as “Click to Call Us”, “Click to Email”, “Click to SMS”, etc.)
How can you apply all this into a business that’s not bricks and mortar?
Now this is when you can really start to get creative.
You can create a Members’ Login area, where people can access various information. you can group your app users according to their category (e.g.: people from manufacturing, people from retail, etc.).
And here comes the thing which made my brows rise, and rise, and rise…
When these grouped people start using the app you can send them customised push notifications. You can offer them access to pages which contain personalised information.
You can start to TARGET the information that you are giving away.
- You can also integrate social media feeds within the app.
- You can store webinars, podcasts and all sorts of training.
- You can offer booking possibilities for your events.
Basically, what I’m saying is, if it’s mobilized, you can include it in an app.
It probably takes a year to create a coupon…
Not at all. Once you have your app up and running it takes you between 5 to 10 minutes to create a coupon.
You’ll be surprised at how fast the creation system is. Then all you have to do is put it out to your app users and… tadaa!
With these coupon codes the best thing is that you are saving a fortune on marketing material. Think about it: to reach 100,000 people you’d have to print 100,000 coupons. But with the app coupon you can reach 100,000 people and more… without any printing costs.
How do I market my app so people can find & use it?
It’s the same as with any other online marketing strategy: promote your app on your website, through email newsletters, on your social media profiles.
Bigger companies are doing it via radio, TV, newspapers and magazines. You can have a try as well.
Think in multiple channels. An app is just an extra channel that you use to get hold of your target market. I talk a lot about this during my Ultimate Web Blueprint Academy – in fact I have an entire workshop centered around this. And I love how apps tie in perfectly with the idea of having a complete and personalized online marketing channel.
They are interactive and people love them.
All in all…
People who put your app in their device… they’re genuinely interested in what you do. They’re your market. Through the app you give them a service (free, trial or paid) and they come to trust you as a company.
You put a lot of time, money and effort into getting a new customer, so it makes sense to try and make them a repeat client.
So think outside the square for 1 minute: How can you drive this into your business? How can you use apps to drive in repeat sales?