If you own and operate a successful small business, chances are you’ve decided to create an app for your business. Now, the trick is getting your loyal customers to add one more icon to the screen of their smartphones. But how do you get them to use it without becoming one of those businesses that push their app on their customers? You know you’ve been there, and it’s an annoying place to be for everyone involved.
Here’s how to successfully promote your business’ smartphone app online while keeping it classy:
Make Your App Desirable
You probably already know this, but you may as well not promote your app in the first place if it isn’t going to be a helpful one.
Just like it’s nearly impossible to keep selling a low-quality product, you won’t be able to keep users downloading your app if it doesn’t help your customers. Think of the app like product before you even conceive it, and design it accordingly.
What features will help your customers most? Obviously you’ll need an app that launches the mobile version of your site, but what else? Would your customers use a reservation or appointment-request feature? Would they benefit from coupons? Think of what your customers need, and put that into the design for your app.
Then just find a company that helps entrepreneurs like you set up small business mobile apps, and work with them to create the app your customers need.
Make Your App Desired
Now let’s talk marketing strategy—you have to make them want it! But how do you make your customers want your app? Well, now you’ve done the work, you can truthfully say that it was designed with them in mind. Emphasize this fact, that it was designed to make their lives easier.
Let your overall strategy outline for your customers exactly how downloading the app will serve them. Any in-store or online ads prompting customers to download it should point out that using the app will keep them informed and help them more easily afford your services.
The larger marketing strategy should demonstrate how the app can be used by your customers for their maximum benefit. But avoid being overly pedantic—make customers feel smart, just the sort of smart people who would like to save themselves a little time and money.
Make it Count
Now to focus on the social media promotion aspect of the marketing campaign—and your campaign to market the app will need to include social media.
You of course would never want to become one of those companies that tweets or posts about the app often enough that it gets annoying. However, you do need to promote the app; promote it not necessarily as much as you can rather than as efficiently as you can.
Make each tweet or post about how the app can currently help those who have downloaded it. Can these customers get a special discount in-store today? Do they know something other people don’t know? With each post, include a teaser (what, you don’t have our app yet? No problem!) and a link to download it. You should of course never fail to communicate to your customers that the app is free.
As always, consider timeliness. Twitter is best used to promote sales or events happening right at the moment the information is tweeted; a sidewalk sale, half-price haircuts ‘til three, or secret code-words for coupons. By contrast, Google+ and Facebook will be better for promoting how your app can help customers for the whole day or week.
Follow these guidelines and be assured you’re promoting your app the classy way!