According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 91 percent of American adults own a mobile phone, and more than half use them to access the Internet. For small businesses, this means that maintaining a mobile presence is highly important, if not essential. People want access to information more quickly and more easily than ever. Mobile applications work in real time, all the time so your small business can be open all day, all night and on weekends! Real time and on-the-go-access opens the door to new, potential customers and keeps loyal customers engaged.
Should you build a custom app for your business?
It’s obvious why all the ‘big brands’ utilize mobile apps, but are they integral marketing and sales tools for small businesses as well? Forbes Magazine writes, “Every business should be thinking about building apps today. It’s not a fad or a passing trend. It’s customer service.”
Whether they deliver a service, sell products in a store, or run a successful restaurant, smart business owners know that having a mobile app is one of the most effective ways to reach their customers, wherever they are. Here are just a few of the ways that small businesses can utilize mobile apps to function like big brands:
Mobile Shopping Carts
Mobile Food Ordering
GPS Tracking / Directions
3rd Party Integrations
4 Ways to Ensure Mobile App Engagement:
- Promote your app on Social Media with marketing, content and ad campaigns
Your social media accounts don’t exist in a vacuum and you need to feed them constantly with external content related to your app. Post media rich content (images, videos) that peak your audience’s interest.
- Push Notifications
Send instant messages, called push notifications, to the mobile devices of your customers whenever you have events, promotions or discounts that you want to inform them of. Research has shown that 97% of push notifications are read, whereas less than 10% of emails get opened.
- Giveaways, Free Trials and Promotions
Customer rewards programs and mobile apps were made for each other. Mobile apps simplify and enhance rewards programs, and rewards programs increase mobile app usage. Together, they fuel each other to increase participation, customer loyalty and demand.
It’s inexpensive and simple to organize coupons, deals and contests that get fans and followers talking about and engaging with your app. Offer event specific promotions to drive even more traffic to your app and generate additional sales for your business.
- Drive Traffic with Facebook Ads
With Facebook ads, businesses that are looking to drive traffic to their app or drive continued engagement with their app are able to target specific consumer segments around specific locations at specific times and with specific messages.
And now, with the upcoming release of the Facebook Audience Network, which allows businesses to utilize the precise targeting methods on Facebook, and apply them to many more channels throughout the mobile web, small businesses can get even more bang for their buck.
Does your business have a custom mobile app? How are you driving traffic with your app? Let us know in the comments below.
Allison Freedenfeld, the author of this post, is the Director of Product Marketing at Zibaba