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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mobile apps are everywhere, but how do you know if your business needs one. Do you want to engage with your customers directly and in real time? Do you want to build a community of loyal and interested customers?

When entering the app market, consider the uses and benefits:

Creating a mobile app for your business gives you a doorway into their actions, thoughts and behaviors. However, before you create your app and try to persuade mobile users to install your app on their smartphones, consider what it can offer them and what might make it attractive to them. The mobile app scene has been flooded with apps for every imaginable purpose. What will make yours stand out from the rest?

Offer Coupons
Coupons have been consistently shown to be effective marketing tools to directly drive sales for nearly any type of business. With a mobile app, you can offer coupons, discounts and promotions when you want and how you want to your most loyal customers. Even better, you can offer coupons in a much more cost-effective way than using a coupon distributor such as Groupon or Living Social.

Build Brand Loyalty
Mobile apps are incredibly useful in building a community of loyal customers. You can connect all of your social media services to your mobile app in order to create a bridge between your networks. Keep customers informed of the latest news and happenings. You can even send them alerts that will pop up right on their mobile screen.
You can use a mobile app to collect email addresses for newsletters, notices and offers that may be sent via email. Gather comments and answer questions. Conduct fun contests and ask for contributions from mobile app users. People love to offer photos and anecdotes. Highlight them when they do and offer incentives.
Ask users to share the app with their friends. There is nothing cheaper or easier than direct referrals. The potential for exponential growth is huge, significantly better than any other form of marketing.

Provide Useful Information
Be useful. Offer information that your customers need and can readily use. Position your app as the simplest and quickest source of expertise on your industry or product. What type of information that is will vary based on the kind of business, product, service or brand you are delivering. For example, if you market industrial computers, then the information you’ll most likely share will be about computing and technology.
It may be directions, instructions, reviews or even access to forums. If you can tell people how to do something, they will remember you and be likely to use your app again. Plus, they will be more likely to recommend you to other people as well.
There are many benefits to offering a mobile app for your business. The most compelling ones include building a strong customer base, disseminating information quickly and accurately, and effectively marketing new products and services directly to your consumers.
This guest post was written by Stephanie, who enjoys blogging about ways owners of businesses, like those selling industrial computers, can use social media to generate sales.

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