Until recently, a well-designed website and a presence on social media was enough to satisfy most customer’s expectations. With an impressive number of Twitter mentions and Instagram followers, you could excel in your industry. However, things are changing. In the last 3-4 years, an increasing number of businesses are choosing to create apps that present their brand and services in a slightly different way.
While an app might have some appeal from a novelty point of view – novelty doesn’t return on investment. If you’re considering having a specialist company create an app for your brand, you might want to dig a little deeper into the benefits you can expect to see, and decide if they’re worth the outlay.
Increasing Your Brand’s Visibility
The mere fact that you have an app exposes your brand in a couple of significant ways. Firstly, you’ll feature in some of the busiest marketplaces anywhere in the world: app stores. While you might not be at the top of every search, it’s fair to say that with 500 million people using the service, they’re not all there just to download Facebook. What’s more, both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store run on sophisticated algorithms. These algorithms identify user download habits. The more your app is downloaded, the more these platforms will recommend your app to other users. Thus, brands use app stores to increase their visibility.
Building Recognition And Trust
As people download your program from app stores, the more they recognize and trust your brand. It all to do with exposure, especially when we’re so heavily influenced by people around us. Let’s say you see an advert by a business that’s offering a product you’re interested in. You might see adverts on social media, print adverts, website banners, etc.
Consumer psychology works very much on the basis that ‘no news is good news’ – so, as long as people don’t see a trail of negative comments wherever the brand appears, then you’re marking their unconscious as being positive. Therefore, the more impressions created, the more trustworthy your brand is deemed to be.
As if impressions across your chosen advertising platforms weren’t enough, the trust continues to grow when someone downloads your app. Studies show that people trust a company more if they have their app on their device – even if they’re not accessing or using that app. Quite simply, the more people see your app, the more they trust your business.
Creating New, Unique Features
The very best apps offer users a feature that, in many cases, dresses up the real function of the app. As a result, you get people using your app on the grounds that it offers them an innovative function. Plus, you get the payoff of the increased trust and awareness that their use gives your brand (along with any other functions that can help you drive your business).
Facebook is an excellent example of how this idea works. On the surface, Facebook is a social media platform used to share information with your friends. In truth, if you look at the service from a business point of view, it’s actually a business advertising platform.
Now, a ‘business advertising platform’ isn’t going to make your app the most successful in the world. To encourage engagement, the primary function that’s marketed is around ‘sharing updates and photos with your friends and family’ – with the money-making part of the business working in the background.
Don’t worry – no one’s expecting you to create the next Facebook. However, if you can find a need that a lot of your customers have, then fulfill that need – you’re going to win a potentially big audience that you can interact with as much as you wish.
Encouraging Brand Loyalty
Leveraging the idea of loyalty in your customer base is a really interesting way of keeping your brand in their awareness. The best Android developers and Apple app developers use this method to build companies great apps. It can be done extremely well through an app. For a long time, businesses have realized that people will come back again and again if they are given even a very small incentive – a free coffee after buying 9 full price ones at a coffee shop is a classic example. You’re pushing people toward using your product or service out of habit.
The thing is, with an app, you don’t even have to incentivize an action that involves spending money. For instance, you could incentivize daily log ins, the use of a particular feature, spending a certain amount of time on the app – and so forth.
What many businesses fail to realize is that awareness and engagement are at the top of the funnel that eventually drips down and generates a sale. So, you might be offering people who log in every day for a week a 10% off voucher. However, you’re also building trust along the way. You are also potentially earning 90% of something that you would have earned 0% of without the incentive.
The effects of each of these benefits is compounding too. If someone’s opening your app and using it, you can guarantee that their awareness and trust in your brand is growing at the same time. This is true even if there’s no real reason to trust you any more than they did when they first downloaded your app.
Communicating With App Users
Although it’s rarely the feature that people will download your app to access, you get the chance to directly communicate with everyone who has your application on their device – through push notifications. A feature like this represents a unique way of communicating with your users. As long as you use it sparingly and appropriately, it can be a powerful tool in building awareness.
Virtually all digital communication methods have a poor engagement rate associated with them. An email campaign will generally see less than a 20% open rate. An SMS campaign will see less than a 2% conversion rate. When you put your branded message straight into the hands of your users, you’re side-stepping all the additional platforms. More so, you’re likely to see an almost 100% click-through rate.