Yesterday I talked about the rise of mobile marketing — with 72 Million users in the US; a number increasing by 37% a year as more folks get smartphones and tablets. People use their smartphones for everything from searching for a restaurant and getting directions to playing music and games. Increasingly, folks use mobile apps to fill their dead time on the train or waiting at the dentist’s office. Games like Angry Birds and Words with Friends are downloaded on billions of smartphones, while iTune apps and radio apps allow users to listen to music anywhere.
Why You Need a Mobile App
Creating apps is easier and cheaper all the time, based on my conversation yesterday with podcasting and mobile app guru, Scott Paton of Designer Web Solutions. Here’s what he had to say about mobile apps and podcasts.
The reward from well-crafted mobile apps is much greater than internet-based solutions because there’s much less competition and mobile users don’t really want to jump on the internet to get solutions. Increasing bandwidth gives mobile applications legs — providing more opportunities for podcasts and video.
And your business needs an app to connect with on-the-move customers.
Custom Mobile Apps
Sure, getting listed on Foursquare and Google Places is good, and by putting up coupons and other helpful information you’ll increase traffic from these apps, but interactivity is the secret to optimizing a mobile app and these solutions don’t give you that.
Custom mobile apps help develop a relationship with customers that you don’t have with shopping apps. And, you don’t have to fight competitors every time users open the app, like you do in Foursquare.
Custom apps create leads for your business. Find a problem, then step users through until revealing the solution. For instance, a problem might be “How to Build a Better Relationship with your Spouse” — a problem we’ve all faced at some point. Step 1 might be setting aside a time to be alone together, Step 2 might be to listen when the other talks …. until the solution which might involve buying your book on relationship building or signing up for your couples seminar.
You can integrate audio podcasts into your app so that each week users get a new podcast delivered directly to their mobile device. Scott recommends including video trailers as a teaser for the next podcast.
You’re using your mobile app to distribute content much as you would through your blog — except you may only face 4 competitive apps versus 10,000 competitors online.
Making Money From Your Mobile App
Monetizing your mobile app comes through sales of your products, but you can also sell the app. You might offer the first installment free, then charge $.99 for the app. It’s not a lot, but it adds up quickly if you have lots of downloads.
You can also embed advertising in your mobile app. Let’s say you have your marriage advice app. You might also advertise your “Building a Better Relationship with your Kids” app or include an affiliate ad for a couple’s resort.
Look for more from Scott Paton
Check out his website or connect with him on LinkedIN.
Hausman Marketing Letter will feature monthly posts from Scott as part of our new “Advice from the Experts” posts. We’ll also feature posts from other thought leaders in our efforts to keep you informed about cutting edge marketing and social media tactics, tools, and strategies.
Also, be sure to visit “Ask a Marketing Expert” every Friday in the EVENTS tab of Marketing That Works.TV where we bring in experts to answer your marketing questions.