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magento & ecommerce

How to Use a Mobile App as a Brand Marketing Channel

Looking for a powerful new way to promote your brand? Without annoying ads or the high expenses of traditional marketing? A well-developed mobile app that keeps users engaged is just what you need.

With a mobile app, you can do a host of things that can have a big impact on your marketing:
    You can establish a deeper connection with customers and prospects, keeping them engaged for longer compared to your site or social media pages.
    You can share with them offers and promotions in a persuasive way and enjoy higher conversion rates.
    You can build a community of fans that spread the word about you even when they're not using your app.

Most people today have their phones close wherever they go. That means you can reach your audience through an app at almost any time. The same can't be said about other digital marketing channels, which are limited by the restricted availability of the devices they rely on -- think of computers, TVs, or radios.

So how exactly can you use an app as a marketing channel for your brand? It's not enough to create an app and get it accepted on the App Store or Google Play. Here's what you have to do.

Develop the Right App

Your app has to reflect the key features your target audience wants. It won’t become a marketing channel if it doesn't bring users features that they constantly need to go back to. With the wealth of apps available today, your app really needs to provide value.

Broadly speaking, there are four types of apps you can develop: engagement apps, productivity apps, commerce apps, and apps that combine two or more of these features.

Do you know your audience? What are the features that they want the most in an app in your category?

These are the features you need to implement. Not only that, but your app must be easy to use. If you don't have an in-house app development team, this calls for a professional app developer.

Personalized Content

A well-developed mobile app that keeps users engaged is just what you need.

Engagement is crucial for turning your app into a marketing platform. If users aren't compelled to keep their app on their device and use it regularly, you won't reach them.

The single most effective way to engage your mobile app users is to bring them fresh personalized content regularly. Take into account hot trends and topics, big news in your market, and seasonal content. User preferences change, and you need to keep up with them.

Regardless of the type of app you have, invest in personalized in-app content. Draw on your customer personas to better understand what type of content works best for your audience.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are like little tugs of the sleeve. They have the power to make people stop and check out what's new in your app.

Push notifications work if your app's content is awesome. If your app can’t generate engagement, you have no excuse to send push notifications.

Make push notifications compelling. Every push notification should offer something valuable, whether it's a piece of content, a promotion, or some other perk. If possible, consider segmenting push notifications based on customer’s data. Also, don't send them too often.

Make It Social

Your app marketing should be closely tied to your social media marketing. Going a step further, you also want to encourage the formation of a community around your app.

Ideally, you want to do this within the app, by implementing user profiles and a messaging / chat system. You can also do it through Facebook groups or user forums on your website.

Provide in-app incentives for users to socialize with other users, such as bonus points or in-app items or rewards. If your app users feel that they are a part of a community, they will use your app more.

They will also be less likely to forget about it.

Track User Behavior

With a mobile app, you can track user behavior with relative ease using power app analytics like Inapptics or AppAnalytics. You can discover personal shopping behaviors, locations, engagement levels, favorite hours, browsing habits, and much more.

How much you can track depends on the type of app you build and the permissions it requires. The wealth of data you get helps not only inform your app development course but your general marketing strategy.

Loyalty Rewards

A well-developed mobile app that keeps users engaged is just what you need.

Rewarding frequent customers still is a winning marketing strategy. It doesn't only make recipients feel good but also increases the chances that they'll share your brand. You can easily implement it into your app using push notifications or in-app news or messages.

Loyalty rewards are more than the rewards themselves. They're about establishing a stronger connection to users. That's why you want to make them memorable. Think of something more creative than simple discounts or special offers.

Get the Pricing Right

Will your app be free, freemium, paid, or paidmium? Freemium means the app is free to download but users have to pay for premium features or subscriptions. If you have confidence in the value of your features, this can be a good pricing model.

Paidmium apps, on the other hand, require users to pay for the download and possibly for other content and features as well. While there are exceptions, paidmium apps aren't the ideal choice for turning your app into a paid marketing channel. You want to get maximum exposure for your app, and making it free to download helps with that.

In the end, don't forget that building a mobile app for iOS or Google Play is only the first step to using it as a marketing channel. You also need to market the app itself.

Use a combination of content marketing, social media marketing, and ads to get your app before as many eyes as possible. Don't forget about authoritative review sites and press releases - both can bring you more exposure.

Need help turning your mobile app into an effective brand marketing channel? You can always count on our team of seasoned app developers and marketers. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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By interactivated • on August 17, 2017

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