Congratulations! You’ve done the work, hired an app development team, and created a new mobile app for your business. Now your customers have a way to check their accounts, order new products, request services, snag coupons, or do whatever your business does best.
Except… only four customers have downloaded the app so far, and you strongly suspect one of those customers is your mother.
Business owners often assume that once their mobile app is finished, the work is done. However, building the app is really only the first step in the mobile app process. Once the app is complete, the real work begins: you need to market your app, work to improve your website-to-app conversion rate, and ensure that people who download your app actually use it to interact with your business.
Here are a few tips to help you market your app and turn it into an integral component of your customers’ brand experiences:
Never stop promoting your app
Your app doesn’t have a “launch week.” It is now part of the lifetime infrastructure of your business. Too many businesses create apps, send out a few promotional tweets or emails, and then stop promoting the app altogether.
Think of it this way. Your business now has a street address, a website, a phone number, and an app. All of this information should be included in every single communication about your business. You’d never stop reminding people about your website, right? So don’t stop promoting your app — even when it seems like old news.
If you need some tips on how to continue promoting your app after its initial launch, read Entrepreneur’s list of 25 creative ways to integrate app promotion into your business.
Think beyond mobile
Small businesses assume that apps are for smartphones only. You need to think bigger. As the Enterprise Mobile Application Solutions team at Kony Mobile Management Cloud advises: a good customer app will “enable you to engage customers with personalized experiences across any channel, including phones, tablets, and desktops.”
Take the popular chat app Couple, for example, which gives users a private conversation space to share with just one other person. The team at Couple knew that sometimes you want to chat with your significant other on your phone, sometimes you want to tap out messages on your tablet, and sometimes you want to type into your laptop — so it created app versions for all three devices.
Your business needs to do the same. Make sure you have an app solution for every device your customers may be using.
Make your app’s benefits immediately visible
When you invite your customer to download your app, do you explain why? Do you provide clear benefits that are only available via the app? Do you explain how the app will make interacting with your company easier and better?
Every time a customer visits your website or searches your business on a smartphone, invite that customer to switch to your app, and make the benefits of switching clear and obvious.
When people are given the opportunity to switch to an app, and they choose not to, they’re often worried that the app download will be time-consuming and will take them away from their goal of ordering your pizza or buying your shoes. You have one chance to convince them that downloading your app will get them their pizza faster. If you can’t do that, your app will never be successful.
The secret is making your app design attractive and your marketing copy clear. Sum up the benefits of your app in one or two sentences, and assure people that the download will take only seconds. There is a terrific article over at CopyHackers that gets into the details of exactly how to use little known, but effective copy to get your app noticed.
If you implement these steps and people still aren’t downloading your app, it’s time to go back and tweak your copy and marketing strategy. After all, promotion is a process, so keep working until you get the results your new app deserves.
Name: Ivana S. Taylor
About: Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com – an online marketing publication that provides marketing strategies that help entrepreneurs and business owners get and keep profitable customers. She is the DIY Marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum. Her strategic consulting firm, Third Force specializes in helping companies find their best customers and be the one they choose – regardless of price. Ivana is the co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. You can find her on Twitter as @DIYMarketers.