Since the release of the iPhone in 2007, the ubiquity of smartphones has exploded. By 2020, it’s expected that 80 percent of adults will own smartphones. Meanwhile, businesses have flocked to their app store of choice in an attempt to cash in on a platform ideal for connecting with current and potential customers. Considering that 83 percent of smartphone users start their days perusing the apps on their smartphones, businesses can significantly increase brand presence in the consumer’s world with a mobile app.
4 Benefits of Using a Mobile App In Your Marketing Strategy
The first benefit is simple. A mobile app demonstrates a baseline of relevance to people for whom a mobile app is not just a brand’s distinguishing factor, but an expectation. Without one businesses can appear outdated or removed from modern trends. Combining mobile apps with a tailored marketing approach helps businesses present their products or services in a way that maintains engagement with users on what is the platform of choice for consumers.
Secondly, a mobile app is an excellent tool for capturing statistics. These can inform tactics that support more lucrative business initiatives. As data from user journeys is gathered via the mobile app, marketing teams can launch laser-focused campaigns for highly-engaged users or build new functionalities that bring users from hesitant browsers to brand devotees.
The data gathered across your digital ecosystem can inform better use of predictive analytics, too. Such strategies are especially popular in retail environments, where users’ purchase and/or viewing histories inform the nature of the products they see in future interactions with a brand’s digital channels.
Additionally, the data gained through a mobile app can paint a more precise picture of your customer base. Marketing teams can identify their most engaged demographics segments, lucrative regions, and essential customer needs — not to mention the app’s overall performance. The knowledge developed through this data can be used to make product enhancements, identify business opportunities, and test new products or features that meet customer needs more effectively.
What Kind of Mobile App Is Best for Marketers?
If you’re considering developing a new mobile app for your marketing strategy, consider what your goals are and how the app’s functionalities will provide an excellent user experience. This will inform the type of mobile app your choose to build. Each type of mobile app comes with its own unique benefits, so be sure you know what you’re getting and why before launching a mobile app as a marketing tool.
Native Mobile Apps
Developing a native app ensures high functionality and custom features that work smoothly, even without an internet connection. It also ensures integration with device features like Siri or camera.
Native apps also provide companies with an excellent opportunity to engage end users with a uniquely branded mobile experience, providing a fresh experience users may not get in other channels.
Whether they are built for iPhone and/or Android phone, Native apps are generally more expensive. Building them requires more custom code that can’t be reused across operating systems. That’s the price of native functionality.
Hybrid Mobile Apps
Developing a hybrid app allows companies to reach more customers with less code and smaller budgets. Software development and design teams can use tools like Xamarin to cut costs by over half in some cases.
Netflix is an example of a company that provides is services through a hybrid app. Whether users download the app to an iPhone or an Android phone, much of that code is the same. In this way, Netflix controls its costs and some burden from its developers.
Hybrid apps aren’t always conducive to seamless user experiences. A solution that leverages a phone’s GPS capabilities may be better served by a native mobile app, since iPhones and Androids rely on different GPS software. Developing code in a hybrid app to serve both kinds of GPS apps could result in a “clunky” solution and a negative user experience.
Progressive Web Apps
Another option is to launch a Progressive Web App (PWA). PWAs are enhanced websites that function like mobile apps. They can deliver any type of web content, tailoring it to any screen, regardless of the device being used. This dramatically reduces the burden put on software design teams, speeds development, and reduces the overall price of a mobile app.
Furthermore, they maintain high functionality despite their heavy reliance on web technologies. PWAs are fully functional even without a connection to the internet. Specialized tools update content as soon as internet connection is reestablished.
A final benefit is that PWAs are not subject to review by the Apple and Google Play app stores, so this allows businesses to bring their product to users much faster.
App Store Optimization
If you’re offering an app in an app store, consider solidifying a strategy to ensure your app catches the eye of your target users in a very competitive space:
- Do keyword research. Between the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, know which aspects of your title and description count the most.
- Carefully approach icon selection. The cleaner, more unique and impactful the icon is, the more credibility it conveys.
- Choose the right visuals to demonstrate value. Beyond the app icon, screenshots are the next best way provide help users with more insight into the app’s value. The first two screenshots are the most important because they appear in search.
- Manage your reputation. Both of the app stores factor the positivity of reviews into their algorithms. Mitigate negative reviews and nurture highly-engaged users by building review collection into the app’s experience. That way it’s easy for the most highly engaged users to add their input and help boost your scores.
Mobile Marketing from the User’s Perspective
Different companies have unique users and business initiatives. Whatever form your app takes, make sure its features engage your target audience and provide your team with actionable insights that inform better marketing strategies.