Though apps are useful marketing tools for businesses, they should be equally useable for consumers. Unfortunately, most businesses create apps that mirror their website instead of providing useful services. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve deleted an app in frustration because it provided no new value, was poorly designed, or was flat out useless.
When mobile apps create a bad brand experience, it makes the consumer think that the app was “just another thing to check off the marketing list.” Fortunately, brands with a good branding strategy know how to utilize every platform in the larger picture. There are 7 basic types of smartphone apps:
- Business apps
- Religious apps
- Social apps
- Blogger apps
- Music apps
- Gaming apps
- Entertainment and Lifestyle apps
Elements of a Useful App
Regardless of what kind of app you’ve created, there are certain key elements that will make it useful and successful. First, make the app a launch pad of opportunity. Instead of trying to force app users to your website, make your app launch a specific type of service. Perhaps users can collect and share gift ideas. Maybe it’s a place to shop eCommerce with just one touch. In other words, the application has the ability to lead customers to your website, but that isn’t the point. The app has a capable function and can stand on its own.
Consider implementing mobile exclusivity. Why should someone download your app if they can just visit your website? To ensure that your app adds new value and is useful, add some features and content that are exclusive only for mobile devices. This gives consumers a reason to not only download, but regularly use your app!
Make it mobile friendly. This might seem like common sense, but really exaggerate the mobile-friendly features of your app. Use larger images by following a mobile apps graphics strategy. Eliminate dead space and make text easy to read. Remember, 74 percent of visitors are likely to return to an app if its mobile friendly. Since success should be measured by repeat usage instead of downloads, you want to work to keep the app extremely mobile friendly so that users return.
Budget for promotion. So much thought and effort is put into creating and designing the app that it’s easy to overlook the process of promoting it to the world! However, the most successful apps are introduced strategically. After all, how else is anyone else going to hear about your app? Also remember to encourage users to rate the app in the iTunes or download store so that the app has good ratings that encourages potential customers to download it.
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