We’re living in a digital era of big data, online shopping and mobile madness. Around eighty percent of all web users have got ready access to a smartphone at all times – and when it comes to shopping, over
Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
#1. Engage your audience
If you’ve chosen to develop your first company app, you’ve got to take into consideration that nearly everyone that uses it will be on the go. Perhaps they’re on a train, walking to work or waiting for a takeaway. The point is this: the world is an extraordinarily distracting place, and if you want your app to be effective, you’ve got to hook users immediately.
There are literally millions of apps out there on the market, and researchers estimate that at least one in five apps are used just once before they’re permenantly deleted. The presence of an app doesn’t create any sort of brand loyalty; you have to earn it. How do you do that?
First and foremost, your app has got to bring something to the table that your mobile and desktop websites don’t have – otherwise, there’s no point in creating an app in the first place. Think about what problems or queries your customers constantly face, and how a solution to one of those problems could be developed within your app. For example, the customers of an athletics outfitter might be keen on a pedometer app or calorie counter while they’re out and about.
The most effective apps tend to focus on accomplishing a single task extremely well. If you want to engage your target audience and encourage them to use your app more than once, you’ve got to keep things simple and effective.
#2. Pull, don’t push
Once you’ve hooked users with engaging functionality, the next step is to ensure they keep using your app. That said, you’d do well exercising a bit of caution in how you try to encourage repeated use.
There’s nothing worse than a pushy app. You know the type – no matter what you’re doing, it always finds a way to interrupt to try and push you into reopening it. Community-style games are particularly notorious for taking over your mobile with these sort of spam-inspired push notifications. And whilst they can be effective when used in moderation, it’s worth striking a balance early on.
If you think that app users will genuinely benefit from the push notifications, it’s best to use them shrewdly – and always make them optional. Push notifications tend to render the best results when deployed only to send very specific reminders. Also, think about timing. It might seem like a great idea to programme a push notification to be deployed after 18 hours of inactivity; however, groggy users won’t be impressed if that notification gets them out of bed at 4am. If you truly believe that your app will benefit from time-sensitive notifications, try to schedule them when your target audience is going to be most receptive. There are plenty of plug-ins that can help you to establish the sort of analytics capable of developing such a timeline.
#3. Always be hunting for new users
Unless you’ve enlisted the help of some rockstar developer, chances are your app will never see the front page of iTunes. So, in order to encourage mobile users to download your app, you’re going to have to do a bit of advertising. Think about the other types of apps that your customers are likely to be using, and develop an overall mobile marketing strategy that will incorporate advertising on those platforms. There are a couple dozen fantastic mobile marketing networks on the web that are able to help your company penetrate those platforms at relatively low costs. Yet those services may or may not help depending upon what you want your ad to accomplish.
An advertisement for your app shouldn’t just be targeting new users, but can actually be an effective alternative to spamming your current users with push notifications. Optimise app adverts in order to send users straight to the most relevant page you’ve got in order to hook them immediately, and think about what sort of images or messages your target users will be most likely to click on. There are plenty of exciting ways to heighten engagement, so get creative. As with any advertising campaign, mobile advertising is all about content and location.
#4. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch
There are millions of apps on the market – and the sad truth is, most of them are duds. Yet just because your app is sitting at the bottom of the charts doesn’t mean you should bin it. If your app appears to be underperforming, conduct a bit of market research. Ask the few users you have got to fill out a quick questionnaire outlining what they do and don’t like about the app. Ask your employees to put their feet in the shoes of a customer and do the same.
Analytics might also be able to point you in the right direction. Are there certain pages within your app that are getting heavy traffic – whilst others are virtually untouched? Don’t just sit on your laurels and lament. Go back to the drawing board and do something about it.
If you can clearly demonstrate to customers that you’re listening to their feedback and making a conscious effort to improve your services, engagement will skyrocket. Just remember: there’s no formula to create the perfect app; it’s a game of trial and error. But if you keep it simple, avoid getting pushy and strive to get better, there’s no reason your company app can’t reach the top of the charts.
Images: “colorful application icons with Hand holding the phone and tablet pc, isolated on white background /Shutterstock.com“
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