build brand with appsAccording to Forbes, the clients who consume the most content through a company’s app are the ones most likely to make a purchase. Small business owner Marcus Sheridan demonstrated this point with analytics from his fiberglass pool company: By the time customers bought a pool from the company, many of them had read more than 30—and sometimes more than 100—pages of content. By positioning itself as an industry expert through the content on its app, Sheridan painted his brand as the ultimate resource for anyone seeking a fiberglass pool. Potential customers downloaded the app and engaged with its content, because it didn’t feel like a sales pitch. It felt like a resource. Ultimately, the app became the company’s rainmaker.

Objectives and Value

Before developing an app, determine what you want it to accomplish. Mobile Marketer identifies two key features of a successful app: It provides a service to customers, and it updates automatically. Ask yourself if your objective will create value for your clients. Does it make it easier for them to access services, make purchases, research a product or find you?

For example, the State Farm app lets clients take and upload pictures of damage while submitting a claim, and the Chase Bank app lets customers deposit checks with their smartphone. Neither of these functions is available through the companies’ websites, making their apps even more essential. The apps themselves provide value, and in turn, they foster the positive perception of the brand.

Build Your Own or Outsource?

If you’re not tech-savvy or you don’t know code, services like The App Builder and Codiqa enable you to build your own app using drop-down menus. Use these tools to create a basic app with integrated Google Maps and Vimeo videos.

If you need something beyond the basics, consider hiring an app developer. These professionals advise you on which type of app is right for your company and the best way to implement your data within that app. They will also help you look at the types of apps your competitors are using.

More Than Clutter

If you want customers to engage with your app on a regular basis, don’t put a lot of clutter on the home screen. Frequent promotional offers and regular, useful content encourages use, while updates and push notifications keep the app on the user’s mental front burner.

Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor

If you decide that you don’t want to create an app specifically for your business, don’t forget the immense branding opportunity that your business has on other platforms.

Your customers are checking their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts on their mobile devices. Are they seeing special offers, great pics of new products and other valuable information from you? Potential clients are reading reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Is your brand positively represented in those spheres? Have you encouraged your clients to post reviews on those sites? Have you ensured that your details are up to date? Optimizing your position on these apps is arguably just as important as developing your own app.