Your business? There’s an app for that.
Unfortunately for them and fortunately for you, most small business owners don’t realize how much untapped potential lies in this marketing medium. Yes, even for small businesses. And especially for local businesses.
Does an App Make Sense for Your Business?
This is a question that you should ask yourself before we go any further. If the answer is no, you may not need to read on.
The truth is that apps work well for most small businesses, but they aren’t right for every one.
If you can honestly answer yes to the following questions, you should consider creating a mobile app for your small business:
1. Would you benefit from having the ability to reach your customers 24/7?
Easy question, right? Who wouldn’t want to be able to reach customers wherever they are?
2. Can you provide a fun and productive mobile experience around your brand?
This one will be tricky for some small business owners to answer, but don’t be quick to answer with a no. Even if you’re just selling stuff, you can create a mobile app that combines fun and social elements with rewards and discounts. Give this some creative thought before you dismiss the idea of a mobile app. And if you’re unsure, keep reading. Inspiration may strike before you reach the end of this post.
3. Will your business benefit from a mobile app?
This is the simplest question, but possibly the most difficult to answer. It may be tempting to reach customers at all hours, but exactly how will you benefit? You should know before embarking on this journey, so your expectations are not unrealistic. In the above example of an app with rewards and discounts, the business benefits by enticing customers to shop again and again. On the other hand, if you’re a personal trainer, your goal may be to establish yourself as an expert or to build a community around your brand. Your app may be in place simply as support for your business, so tracking ROI may not be as simple, but you should still be able to define what success means for your app.
Benefits of Mobile App Marketing vs. Other Marketing Mediums
On average, people have 26 apps installed on their phones. What does this mean for you? You are competing with 26 other apps for attention. But don’t worry; that’s nothing! Think about how many websites you compete with online. Hint: It’s in the MILLIONS.
Social Media vs. Mobile Marketing
Social media is still a somewhat new medium (relatively speaking) and many small businesses are just starting to test their own Facebook and Twitter accounts. The competition here is steep, though, and it’s not just about your retail competitors. When users are on social media, they usually aren’t looking to make a purchase. They are there to catch up with friends, check on what’s happening in the world or post updates about what is happening in their lives. This puts your profiles in direct competition with numerous things that your audience may find more interesting (sorry).
Email Marketing vs. Mobile Marketing
Email marketing is an old standby that still works today for many businesses. But even if someone subscribes to your list, there’s no guarantee that they’ll see your email. And if they see your email, there’s no guarantee that they’ll read it. With mobile apps, you have something called a “push notification.” These are the updates that you get on your smartphone to let you know something new is going in within one of your apps. With Facebook, you may get a push notification to tell you that someone tagged you in a post or sent you a message. Your calendar may send a push notification to remind you of an event. Your app may send push notifications for any number of reasons that you will specify. But although push notifications occur for various reasons, there’s one thing they all have in common. The get read.
According to Silverpop’s Email Marketing Benchmark study, about 20 percent of emails are opened by the recipient and only about 5.4 percent of people click on a link within that email.
In contrast, push provider Xtify revealed that 30 to 60 percent of users open push notifications and about 40 percent interact with the app immediately following the notification.
3 Things You Stand to Gain from Developing a Mobile App
Time to answer the question, what’s in it for me? There are more than three potential benefits, but these should get you thinking about how to put the right app to work for you.
1. Earn money – Whether it’s with ads or in-app purchases, smart retailers monetize their apps to create another stream of income.
2. Reach a new set of customers – Let’s hope that a good number of your current customers download and use your app, but there’s also the potential to reach a whole new audience who are experiencing your brand for the first time.
3. Showcase products and services – Although your app will have a purpose, a benefit to the end user, it will also act much like a not-so-obvious ad for your business.
It’s Anyone’s Ballgame
Although you may be an early adopter among your peers of mobile marketing, it’s important that you know that there’s nothing holding your competitors back from getting started. All you really need is some creative thinking and smart planning and you can have an app of your own in almost no time flat.
And by using tools like the ones we’ve developed, you can create an app for a small fraction of the time and financial investment it would take to have one built from the ground up.
Isn’t it about time that someone stepped up and caused a little chaos in your industry? Disrupt the norm of Google Ads and walking sandwich boards. Create your very own mobile app and start engaging your audience today. We’ve never met a business owner who has regretted their decision to build a mobile app, and you aren’t likely to be the first.