Are you trying to construct a brand that consumers will come to know and trust? If you’re not using mobile software to get there, you should be. According to a report by Asurion last year, Americans check their phones over 80 times a day – even while on vacation.
But tapping into that trend is about more than stepping out from behind the store counter and onto a customer’s home screen. Mobile apps have come a long way toward replacing traditional branding methods and logistical support. From auditing tools to inventory management, there’s a million and one ways that mobile technology can help you get a better handle on branding without a dedicated team of marketers.
Instead of downloading all the million-and-one apps that look promising on the App Store or Google Play, first think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Does your brand lack social media presence? Are you struggling to create interesting content that potential customers would stop to see? Here are 5 ways mobile apps can help you build a new brand:
1. Develop your own mobile app.
According to a survey by B2C researcher AgilOne, more than 70% of consumers expect a personalized experience from brands. Even if your business isn’t perfectly suited for a mobile app, a branded app can easily become a focal point for nurturing customer relationships.
For example, L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, which lets users try on products in real-time, both offers users a useful tool for cosmetics shopping and cultivates brand loyalty. Or take Kraft’s iFood Assistant, which provides easy how-to videos and recipes. Even if you’re the owner-operator of budding brand, creating an app that shows polish and adds value like the one we’ve seen at AppOptics can capture a core audience.
2. Make your audits paperless.
One sticking point both big and small businesses struggle with is how to go about the self-auditing process. Be it routine employee evaluations or supplier quality checks, inspections can take your attention away from seemingly more pressing tasks. Nevertheless, monitoring for weak points is a critical to cultivating brand consistency – and, as your enterprise expands in the future, brand compliance.
A good data collection platform gives you insight and oversight into your budding brand and ultimately replaces the bog-standard template forms you’re likely used to. The right enterprise-level form software will warrant your attention because it integrates well with your existing infrastructure, is inherently customizable, and provides access to business intelligence tools. The ability to monitor worker behavior and audit brand consistency cannot be underestimated.
3. Use push notifications… sparingly.
There are many reasons both business owners and their app users would prefer push notifications over mass texts. For one thing, it’s easier for customers to control notifications from their mobile device settings. Many folks will install your app for its functionality or out of curiosity, not because they want daily updates.
On the other hand, you still want them to be interested in what you have to tell them. Before you send out a push notification, see if your app builder platform allows a feature like geofencing so you can be certain you hit the right market at the right time. Avoid sending out alerts overnight or early in the morning. And, of course, make sure what you’re saying has value for those who read it. If you’re pushy or click-baity, expect many of your users to uninstall– and probably leave you a scathing review.
4. Integrate social media.
You probably already have some social media presence; if not for your business, then for your personal life. Staying social with your market isn’t much different from posting about your daily activities, either. Some businesses might have it easier than others when it comes to generating fun visual content for a format like Instagram, but even if what you sell is intangible and you have few employees, “personifying” your brand can make a strong emotional appeal
Make use of platform to distribute and manage all your social media accounts in one place, such as the ever-popular Hootsuite or the free SocialOomph. Be wary, though – social media has swiftly become the top choice for disgruntled users to voice their grievances. “Non-voice” methods of providing service are becoming the customer’s method of choice when it comes to contacting a brand, according to the 2017 Aspect Customer Experience Index. When comes to entering the Twittersphere, be prepared to both to market to and assuage the frustrations of your clients.
5. Optimize your brand for mobile.
One thing many do-it-yourselfers forget when they build their own site, app, or assets is just how many people will access their content on a mobile device. If you have a mobile version of your site, you should add and verify it in Google Search Console. Test how mobile-friendly your pages are using an auditor like Link Assistant. If you user experience isn’t flexible or movable, your users are going to have a frustrating time chasing down the content they need on their smartphone.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a topic too big to fit in this space, but worth every bit of your attention. To put it simply, PWAs are hybridized programs. While they are indeed web pages, they can also appear as native apps. In 2017, they became popular due to the fact that they combine the lightning latency of mobile-focused pages with the robust features of an app. It’s definitely a development tool worth investing some energy into if you’ve yet to develop an app, want to optimize your site for mobile, or are considering an app overhaul.
The mobile marketplace has indelibly altered the course of small and home business for the better. We can expect even more digital disruptions as time goes by, but when it comes to branding you can’t slack off on the mobile side of things. Your customers are already installing apps, interacting on social media, and browsing mobile sites – it’s time to join them.