Is your business focused on mobile? Mobile web browsing has long since surpassed desktop browsing and users are spending, on average, more than three hours per day on their mobile devices, 90% of which is spent in apps. What does this mean for you?
It’s a common mistake to assume that you only need to develop a mobile app, release it to the AppStore, and call it a day. Your mobile strategy may only require a mobile website, or it may rely heavily on a suite of mobile apps, or it may fall somewhere in between. But it needs to be heavily integrated into your overall web and marketing strategies and afforded a high level of investment and commitment similar to your web strategy.
Successfully generating mobile ROI requires a solid plan and a lot of work beyond developing an app. Instead of thinking in terms of an “app,” think in terms of a “mobile experience" that will keep users engaged and coming back for more.
Here are six key considerations you'll want to focus on as you develop a mobile strategy:
Your app isn’t an island. If you want your app to have any staying power, it’s going to need significant infrastructure support. A number of peripheral systems must be built, depending on the needs and scope of your strategy (i.e., a CMS, a digital wallet, or an engagement platform). But regardless of your business needs, you’ll need some combination of support systems in place for your app to succeed. Checking out our Mobile App Best Practices Checklist may be a good place to start.
So you’ve developed a killer app. How do you get it to the users? Organic downloads are highly unpredictable (due in large part to poor discoverability in the AppStore) and therefore not a viable option. You need a more systematic approach to generating adoption. Digital ad platforms can directly drive downloads, while traditional marketing campaigns will build brand recognition and app awareness. Whatever you decide on, commit to getting the word out.
Even after the app is done, it’s never really done. In today’s digital landscape, things get stale fast. To keep users interested, your app needs to constantly evolve as market trends and user tastes change. Additionally, mobile hardware and OS’s are continually updated with new features and paradigms. Staying ahead of the curve means a more-or-less continuous update cycle. This will keep the app fresh, improve functionality, and keep the app in users’ minds.
Tracking your app with analytics is vital for making any future business decisions. Detailed analytics can tell you:
- What features need to be improved
- Where marketing efforts need to be propped up or focused
- Important usage trends that could only be guessed at otherwise
All of this data fuels the lifecycle of the app.
Your mobile experience shouldn’t sit idly and wait for the user. Instead, you should be proactively engaging users to build a dialogue of sorts. Push notifications, social media, iBeacons, marketing tie-ins, and a continuous update cycle are all ways to communicate with users and get them interested in what your app is doing. Not only will this benefit the user experience, it will also boost your marketing efforts.
6. More Apps
Now that your flagship app is out there and doing well, consider deploying secondary apps. They can be specialized for certain tasks, like a coupon scanner, or they can be short-lived promotional apps touting new product lines. Whatever their purpose, they should be integrated into the same infrastructure as the primary app, creating a unified mobile ecosystem.
There are many steps to building your mobile presence, maintaining your user base, and growing your business in the mobile marketplace. The road to success is tricky, fraught with many pitfalls. Celerity can help to make sense of the many considerations by making your mobile app strategy easier to navigate.