Posts Tagged ‘apps’
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
It seems like so many businesses have mobile apps, but should you use one as part of your Internet marketing strategy? A mobile app can help you reach your market in a new way, provide value to your customers and help you promote your products and services.
Before you start creating an app just to have one, ask yourself these questions to discover whether an app will benefit your business.
Is Your Market Mobile?
First, if your market doesn’t use smartphones or tablets, creating an app may not be very beneficial for your business. Think about your market, and do research where necessary, and decide whether you can reach your customers, potential customers and audience through their mobile devices.
If your market is mobile, an app can put your business in the palm of peoples’ hand. It will allow you to show off your products and services, send marketing messages, provide value, interact with your market and connect directly with your market.
Do You Have Something to Offer?
People will only use your app if it has something of value to offer. This can be anything from entertainment to access to special deals to free services. Every business has something different to offer through a mobile app, and the value you add to your app will depend on your business and goals. But, all apps need to have a clear purpose and provide something to users.
Some common things businesses offer through apps include:
- Access to Customer Accounts
- Directories of Business Locations
- Free Resources
- Shopping Opportunities
- Customer Service
Of course, this list is just a small sample of things you can offer through an app. Your app should attract your market and offer something attractive and useful to the people you want to target.
Will an App Benefit Your Overall Marketing Plan?
If you do create a mobile app, it needs to fit in with your overall digital marketing plan. Mobile apps can help you reach all kinds of goals, like making more sales, increasing customer engagement and raising brand awareness.
Consider your marketing and business goals and then ask yourself if a mobile app can help you meet them. An example of an app that benefits a marketing strategy would be an app that provides customers with coupons and discounts, which helps a business meet its sales goals.
Can You Provide Technical Support?
Finally, if you are going to create a mobile app, do it well. If you aren’t able to provide a solid app that works well, is user friendly and that benefits your market, your app could actually harm your business and reputation. A dysfunctional app will frustrate your customers and draw negative attention to your business.
On the other hand, if you are able to provide an app with a great user interface, that works well and that your market will download and use frequently, an app can benefit your business.
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you should consider using a mobile app as part of your digital marketing strategy. There’s no question that people, businesses and the world are going mobile, and your business’ ability to meet its market there and leverage mobile tools to meet its goals is becoming increasingly important.
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Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Image courtesy of emptyglass/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There’s no question that businesses today need to take their marketing to a mobile level. With mobile Internet use expected to be higher than desktop Internet use by 2014 (according to Microsoft Tag), your business has a lot to lose if it doesn’t take full advantage of mobile marketing.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Consumers expect business websites to work smoothly and quickly on their smartphones, so if your business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website it’s time to act. In fact, according to Gomez, 46 percent of consumers probably won’t come back to a mobile website if it didn’t work correctly the last time they accessed it. That is a large percentage of traffic you can’t afford to give up.
Make your site mobile friendly so your market can find the information they need and have a positive experience while using your site from their mobile devices.
Do You Leverage the Mobile Aspect of Social Media?
Social media is a very mobile tool. People access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and all kinds of other social media networks from their smartphones. This gives your brand an opportunity to create mobile-centric marketing tactics. Just a few examples of mobile and social media tactics include:
- Twitter Chats
- Social Media Event Coverage
- QR Codes
- Photo Contests
With the right strategies, you can use social media to help you get in touch with and interact with your mobile market.
Do You Use SMS Marketing?
Smartphones are capable of so much more than just sending text messages, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon this feature. You can take full advantage of mobile marketing by allowing your customers to sign up for text message alerts so you can send them deals, announcements and perks. One approach is to make this an “exclusive club,” branding it as a way to get insider information that no one else gets. This strategy will entice people to join your SMS list and can help you grow your audience.
Do You have an App?
Having a mobile app can be very beneficial to your business. A personalised app that allows your market to access branded content or interact with your business can open new doors to mobile marketing opportunities. Businesses create apps for all kinds of purposes ranging from providing entertainment to offering information and from delivering special rewards to selling products.
If you do decide to create an app, make sure you plan well. Don’t just create an app to have an app. Instead, think strategically and do research on how your market uses smartphones and mobile gadgets. Identify business goals that could be reached with the help of a mobile app, and then create an app that helps you reach those goals and market your business.
Mobile marketing is becoming bigger and more important. With an increasing number of people accessing the Internet, social media, and email from their smartphones and relying on mobile apps every day, your business has a lot of opportunity. Find ways you can incorporate mobile marketing into your campaigns and goals and then plan strategically so you will see the best results.
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Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
The Guardian has reported that mobile spending in the UK tripled between 2011 and 2012, going from £203m to £526m. This is an incredible increase of 148 percent in just one year. Marketers are recognizing the opportunity mobile devices bring and have found that mobile advertising is an effective way to reach a large portion of the population.
Interestingly, in 2009 only 1 percent of the total amount spent on advertising in the UK was spent on mobile ads. That number went up to 10 percent in 2012. Social media advertising has increased by 24 percent in the past three years, and In general, Internet advertising is also steadily increasing.
What’s all the Fuss About?
So why are marketers increasing their mobile advertising budgets so quickly and by so much? Because a growing portion of the population is spending more time on mobile devices. According to the Westminster eForum in 2012, there are now more mobile phones in the UK than there are people.
Since Internet-ready mobile gadgets are more affordable and common than ever before, people are spending more time browsing the Internet, using apps, reading blogs and connecting through social media while on the go.
A few statistics, all from the Westminster eForum, illustrate the growing trend of mobile Internet use:
- 28 percent of UK citizens have bought something with their smartphone.
- 12 percent of the population has a tablet, and tablet sales are growing by about 378 percent each year.
- 38 percent of people who have tablets spend more time using it than watching television.
- 53 percent of people in the UK use two screens at once (both a smartphone and the television, for example).
There is no doubt that mobile Internet use is on the rise, and advertisers are wise to begin using this channel to reach their markets.
How Your Business Can Use Mobile Advertising
If you’re interested in taking your advertising to the next level by implementing mobile advertising, there are several ways you can do it. First, making your website mobile friendly and using mobile ads on your site is an excellent way to reach your smartphone-using market. You can also use advertising on apps or even release your own company app.
Social media advertising is extremely popular and can be very effective. Social media users are turning to mobile devices more and more as they connect with their friends and follow brands. You can leverage your current social media campaign so it will target mobile users.
As markets become more reliant on mobile Internet use, brands need to follow with mobile advertising campaigns. If you analyze your market and find that it is likely to consist of smartphone users, your brand would be wise to begin advertising through mobile websites, apps and social media.
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Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Flipboard has undergone some major changes, making it a more social oriented app with much more marketing potential for businesses. These changes take Flipboard from a simple news service to a community-oriented tool that lets users add more content and communicate with others.
One of the biggest changes is the addition of user-created magazines. Before the update, users could flip through magazines that were made up of content about several different pre-set categories. Now, users can pull articles from anywhere on Flipboard or the Internet and create their own magazines to reference later or to share with friends. Flipboard has explained that user-created magazines can be private or shared with other Flipboard users.
The Marketing Opportunity
The new capability to curate and share content with other users is a huge opportunity for businesses. Flipboard has become a much more viable content marketing channel that your business can use to share your own, and related industry content, with your target market.
You could proactively make user-created magazines a part of your strategy by creating your own brand or industry magazines and sharing them with your publics, or passively by encouraging your audience to add your content to their own magazines.
Flip It Bookmarklet
Flipboard has also created a new Flip It bookmarklet that users can add to their browser’s bookmark bar, enabling them to add content to their Flipboard account from anywhere on the Internet. The bookmarklet can also be added to browsers on the iPad and iPhone. This added feature will enhance the magazine creating experience.
The Marketing Opportunity
The Flip It bookmarklet gives your readers one more option for sharing your content. Just like you encourage your audience to share your blog posts and other content through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon or any other social media site, your brand will want to add Flip It to its list of places your content can be spread. Keep in mind that when users use the bookmarklet in conjunction with your content, they may be adding it to a private magazine or they may be sharing it with other Flipboard users.
Social media and content-sharing sites are important parts of any content marketing campaign. These sites make it possible for your content to spread across the Internet, possibly bringing more traffic to your site and raising brand awareness. But, there’s another reason these sites are so important. It’s a known fact that people trust their friends and family members, often times more than businesses. If your target market is exposed to your brand’s content through their friends’ social media accounts they may be more likely to become customers.
The recent updates to Flipboard make it a much better marketing tool, as users will be able to create personalized lists of content, collect content from across the Internet and share their findings with friends.
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Friday, January 4th, 2013
According to Business Insider, more than half of the time a person spends on his or her cell phone is spent using mobile apps. This statistic is just one reason mobile marketing is so successful. Many businesses are finding their target markets are spending more and more time on their cell phones, making mobile advertising and marketing more important than ever before.
If your market is one that spends a lot of time using their phone to use apps or browse the Internet, you’ll want to consider adding a mobile marketing element to your strategy.
Define Your Market
Before you start coming up with creative ways to use mobile channels, decide which of your markets you plan to target with your tactics. Keep in mind that the market you target through mobile strategies could be a portion of one of your regular markets.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Audience
Adding ads to a user’s experience isn’t always the best way to market yourself. Before you plaster ads on your mobile site or your company’s app, think about what kind of effect it will have on your user base. Will it cause people to uninstall your app or stop visiting your site?
Fill a Need and Have Purpose
To stay relevant in mobile marketing, you need to give your users a reason to connect with you on their phone. Create an app that offers some value, or make an outstanding mobile version of your site. Then, creatively send your message by combining your mobile tactics with your other marketing tactics.
Diesel, the popular clothing brand, excelled at this strategy when it added QR code signs to product shelves in its store. If customers scanned the code, which allowed them to “like” the product on Facebook, they were given a discount.
Take Advantage of the Medium
Remember that smartphone features can add a lot to your marketing efforts. Think creatively and find ways to use location-based services, cell phone cameras, social media and other on-the-go features. These aspects can make your tactics more interactive, which can have a big impact on your brand.
Mobile marketing is here to stay, and the way it can be used to advertise brands and services is always changing. As smartphones and apps become capable of doing so much more, your strategy can grow and become more interactive over time.
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Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
One way to keep up with social media posting is to use auto-scheduling software. There are many kinds of web-based programs, some free and some that charge a subscription fee, that allow businesses to write posts and attach images or links to be shared on social media sites at a later date.
The Pros of Auto Scheduling
Scheduling your posts allows you to save time. Instead of logging in to your accounts every day, doing some research and then posting, you can do this all at once. With a social media scheduling platform, you can set aside a certain amount of time each week to plan, write and schedule your posts for the rest of the week.
Stay on Message
When you sit down and plan an entire week’s worth of social media posts, it can be much easier to stay on message. You can objectively look at each post to make sure you are fulfilling your campaign goals. Sometimes, when you post to social media sites on the fly, you lose site of what you want to be telling your audience.
Cross Time Zones
If your brand has markets that are in different time zones, auto scheduling can be a great solution. If you post to Facebook in the afternoon at your office, but a large portion of your market has gone to sleep for the night, you aren’t posting at the optimal time. Auto scheduling platforms let you choose the day and time for your post to go live, so you can target any market at any time.
Scheduling your posts means that your accounts will stay active, and won’t fall into that stage of inactivity where they lose momentum. On days when you can’t get to social media or if you are traveling without an Internet connection, your accounts will be alive and active.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management and scheduling platform.
The Cons of Auto Scheduling
Miss Windows of Opportunity
Many social media conversations are real time. Facebook, and especially Twitter, sometimes thrive off of real-time posts, comments and opinions. If you only schedule your posts at the beginning of the week and never log in for the rest of the week, you run the risk of missing out on live action. You can remedy this by logging in once a day to check up on a few things and interact with users. Save time by limiting yourself to half an hour of logged-in time each day.
Labeled As Spam
Even if your followers don’t actually report your account as spam, they may feel like they are being spammed with robotic content and decide to stop following you. Scheduled posts can sound spammy, so try to write natural posts even if they are being scheduled for later.
If you schedule your social media posts too far in advance, you could lose touch with what is happening on your account pages. You may not be aware of follower feedback and you may even forget what exactly you are posting to your accounts. You can prevent this by only scheduling a few days, or a week in advance. You could also decide that you’ll only use scheduling platforms for times when you know you won’t be able to post to your accounts, like during holidays or while you will be out of the office on business.
Overwhelm Your Followers
When scheduling your social media posts, it can be tempting and easy to schedule way too many posts. Remember to still post in moderation, but to post often enough to grab your audience’s attention and to stay relevant online. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your followers with constant, low-quality or non-relevant posts.
In the end, a combination of both real-time and scheduled social media posts may be the ideal solution for managing your social media campaigns. With auto-scheduling, you can save time, reach your audience at an optimal time and plan for your busy schedule. You can also remedy some of the cons of using a scheduling platform my mixing in some live interaction and only using scheduled posts sparingly.
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Friday, December 7th, 2012
The United Kingdom has hit an amazing benchmark: it has become the most mobile country in the world. Surpassing Japan, which used to hold the number one spot, the U.K. uses 424 megabytes of data each month, which is an astounding 60 percent increase from last year. Japan uses 392 megabytes per month.
More people in the U.K. use the Internet from a phone or other mobile device than any other country. Only a few years ago the vast majority of Internet usage came from desktops and laptops, but the gap has slowly been closing as mobile technology becomes more common and more affordable.
Not only are more and more people getting online from their cell phones, tablets and other mobile gadgets, but people are also spending a considerable amount of time online. According to Ofcom, people in the U.K. spend an average of just over 12 hours online each week. This may be due to the fact that 58 percent of the country’s citizens own a smartphone.
We’ve written before about how the world is going mobile, and how it’s absolutely vital that companies follow this trend. With the introduction of high Internet speeds and mobile apps that can connect people to social media, news, shopping and almost any other type of website, combined with affordable and popular technology, it’s no wonder the U.K. has reached this milestone.
Making Your Business More Mobile
Taking your business to the mobile market takes some thought and creativity. Knowing that a huge portion of the population is using the Internet on their mobile devices, you may find this is one of the best ways you can reach your target market. There are literally dozens of mobile digital marketing tactics you can use, but here are a few ideas to consider.
Your Own Mobile App
Depending on what kind of business you have, creating your own mobile app may be one of the best ways to reach your mobile market. Retail, travel and technology businesses are just a few of the types of organizations that boast their own app.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Making sure your site is easy to navigate and view for your target market from a mobile device will most likely decrease your mobile bounce rate, so your traffic will stay on your site longer and respond to your call to action.
Use Social Media
If you already use social media, your audience is probably already connecting with you from their smartphones and tablets. Keep your social presence strong and consider using it to host a mobile-centered contest or event (think a scavenger hunt, live tweets from an event or a photo contest). Social media ads and sponsored posts are also effective tactics.
Bringing your business’ digital marketing strategy to the mobile world is a smart way to target your audience. When it comes to mobile digital marketing, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Assess your business’ goals, publics and needs before you implement any mobile marketing strategy.
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Sunday, September 30th, 2012
As technology makes it possible for us to bring the Internet with us wherever we go, the world, including digital marketing, is going mobile. Nearly everyone has a smartphone that allows them to browse the Internet and use social media, news, shopping and any number of apps. Tablets are also becoming more popular, adding to the list of ways people are taking technology with them wherever they go.
In 2011, the number of smartphones sold in the UK surpassed the number of computers sold, and 28 percent of Internet use is mobile, according to Westminster eForum. This trend may mean that as more and more people purchase mobile gadgets, more people will use them to connect to the Internet, and potentially interact with your brand.
Why People are Taking the Internet With Them
With new, and more affordable, gadgets being rolled out every few months, more people are able to get online from a mobile device. Gone are the days when you needed a desktop computer with a dial-up connection to get online. Now, getting online is easy. So easy, that it can be done from almost anywhere.
In fact, research done by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers tells us that in 2011, 33 percent of Facebook’s traffic came from mobile devices, a huge increase from the 1 percent of mobile traffic it attracted in 2008. Needless to say, mobile Internet use is growing incredibly fast.
Our culture is saturated with social media. We are always scrolling through Facbeook, posting pictures to Instagram and checking in on Foursquare. Some of the most common ways we interact with social media are through mobile means. We post pictures on social networks as we take them and we use restaurant guide apps to find the closest and best restaurants while we are traveling.
In short, people are using mobile Internet because it’s easier now than it has ever been before and because so many Internet experiences are enhanced when we do them on the go.
Why Your Brand Needs to Go Mobile
Mobile ads already exist and they are only going to become more targeted and more effective. Many apps include ads in their free versions, and many mobile sites have ads that are targeted for a mobile market. Depending on who your customers and potential customers are, the best place to reach them may be through their mobile devices.
However, it’s not all about ads. Worldwide mobile traffic accounts for about 13 percent of all Internet traffic (according to StatCounter Global stats), meaning your audience may be accessing your company’s website from a smartphone or tablet. Making sure your site is mobile friendly will enhance the experience readers have, making them more likely to become customers or advocates of your brand.
Many big brand names are carving out their own mobile space by creating their own apps. Stores, travel agencies, game companies, software producers and entertainment companies are just a few of the types of organizations reaching their customers through mobile apps. Specialized apps can help raise awareness of your brand and get your services directly into the hands of potential customers.
As with any other new piece of technology or industry development, it is vital that your company’s digital marketing plan includes a mobile strategy. Whether that is through social media, a mobile site, more targeted ads or your own apps, the objective remains the same. Your company needs to follow its target market wherever it goes, and if that means going mobile, your strategy should reflect that.
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Sunday, September 16th, 2012
After their first year on Facebook, Yoplait yogurt had amassed over 200,000 ‘Likes’, not satisfied with this colossal amount of admirers, they went on to grow this following by over 800,000 fans – putting them securely in the Facebook millions club. What’s interesting about this growth is that they weren’t hit by ‘Operation Unlike’, meaning their following is mostly genuine. To get to this size and not be hit by spam Likes is truly an impressive feat.
So how did they get this far? And what can you learn from their success?
Talking about this now: 5823
Most Popular Age Group: 18-24
Most Popular City: Chicago, IL
Post Frequency: Daily
Post Type: Image, with accompanying text
The primary improvement they made to their community was hiring a full-time community manager to lend her face and voice to the project. Nicknamed “Yoplait Sara”, Sara Fryar brings an element of genuine human interaction to the marketing mix. She shares recipes, and snippets of her life that make it clear users are interacting with a person.
To do this with your own social media marketing, consider hiring a community manager to take the role of SMM one step further. Community managers play less of a role in the strategy and analytics, and focus more on fostering great ties with your fans. If hiring another person isn’t on the cards, share the responsibility out with your team, and create a “meet the team” tab on your Facebook page to break down digital barriers.
Since Yoplait is a healthy food item, recipes and healthy living tips make a frequent appearance on the Facebook page. To give these items a place to live, Yoplait makes use of apps to compile and collect all of the useful information they share. They also use apps to make attractive landing pages, to share money off coupons, and for mom-spiration tips. The only problem with their apps don’t support secure browsing, which is a problem for some users.
After a quick look at their last 2 weeks of posts, I would guess that each post receives anywhere between 20 and 200 shares, 50 to 5000 likes, and 10 to 100 comments. How does that compare to your posts?
The trick to their success, and the easiest way to gain similar results, is to build up expectations in your audience. Make sure they know what’s coming every day. Yoplait post a single post every day, and it’s always an image, with a few short lines of text. Sometimes they link to recipes or tips. Their posts are linked to popular culture events that their audience will also be interested in.
Their posts are also cross-platform, and will mention their other social media profiles. This post was particularly successful, and called for audience interaction.
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We’re forever warned about the dangers of posting too much information online; from the horror stories we hear about houses getting robbed after the owners share too much about their location and weekend plans, to terrible tales of prospective employers asking interviewees about the photos they posted from the weekend.
Even though the privacy settings have been simplified, and we’ve all been warned, many are still oblivious to the potential pitfalls of leaking too much personal information online. So maybe the launch of this new app will convince people to think twice about what they release into the social-media-sphere.
Lookup is a social media profile search app that is currently available for free in the Apple app store It’s essentially a people search engine, with social media profiles in the cross hairs. It was developed by the talent search engine TalentBin, which aims to find candidates for jobs by searching social media profiles. The premise is that it’s better to catch people doing what they do best in a candid setting, rather than on recruitment sites where everyone is one the best and most uniform behaviour.
In a press release, Pete Kazanjy, co-founder of TalentBin said the app aims to show you a persons personality, by piecing together their social media profiles and presenting a whole picture.
“Lookup brings all the layers together, providing a more genuine and comprehensive profile – spanning both business and personal interests.”
He cites uses such as: finding out more about the personalities of your co-workers; using it to find talking points before a business meeting; or to screen candidates before or after interviews.
How can you use this?
It’s a great way to keep an eye on your personal online reputation. Obviously, the first thing anyone will do when they download an app like this is search for their own name. I was pleased to see my profile at the top of my name search, but the information collected about me was woefully inaccurate and out of date. In terms of functionality, the app is great, but I have my doubts about its ability to present an accurate profile.
This may lead you to think further afield about your personal online reputation; and whether you want to boost or conceal it. There are so many great things you can do to keep an eye on your online presence, and if you’re regularly publishing content, you might want to check it’s being correctly attributed to you.
There are 2 steps you should take to monitor you online reputation:
Set up Google alerts for your name, your company, and any other uniquely identifying information. This will push notifications to you when your key word shows up on the search engines’s radar.
Use a reputation management service like Brand Yourself to keep track of what does and doesn’t show up. This site helps by making links between your online profiles, and by helping you to boost your personal keywords.
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