It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment, to take something that is free and think it less important, to think: “Well it doesn’t matter it’s only free”. The fact of the matter is that mobile apps are becoming an important part of our day to day lives, an effective mobile app can be a huge asset to businesses, but it can also be a dead weight in the water, to no valuable purpose.
Free app builders are just one of the means that allow the majority of us without a corporate-sized wallet to take advantage of this growing consumer market, though simply creating the app is not enough.
You need to know whether there is a genuine need for a mobile app from your consumers, whether they would use it, and what features they would expect.
Just because it might be free, doesn’t mean you want to be wasting the time creating and marketing an app that your customers don’t want, or won’t use.
So with that in mind,
Here are 5 steps you should take before using a free app maker, to ensure your app’s success:
Is there a need? Will customers use it? – The most important step, and should be taken before anything else. Do any of your competitors offer a mobile app? How does it benefit their customers? Consider creating a poll on your Facebook page asking whether customers would use a mobile app, or what features they would most like to see in one.
What are the goals of your app? – Understanding what you want to gain out of your mobile app will help you gear it better towards your goals. Are you looking to create greater customer loyalty, create a new stream of revenue, or simply fend off competitors. Once you understand the goals of your mobile app you can then make better decisions as to the feature sets to use, and how you present/market your app.
Decide what’s important to you – With mobile, less is definitely more. One of the biggest troubles designers often have with mobile is trying to cram everything into those tiny screens. Make it clear on the purpose of the app, if it’s for customers to more easily book appointments, then focus on that. There’s no point distracting your customer too much with less important information that isn’t going to make a sale, or isn’t going to encourage their brand loyalty. Give an incentive for customers to come back to the app, (and keep it on their device!) such as exclusive mobile loyalty discounts or occasional push notifications.
Consider app analysis – As with any marketing, if you do not keep on top of your marketing analysis then you may well spend a long time miss-marketing the wrong product. How are you going to track the responsiveness of your mobile app? How many people do you aim to be using the app and by when?
How will you support the mobile app – Lastly consider what existing platforms you have available to market and support your mobile app, do you have a sufficient social following to market the app to? How are you going to encourage new downloads of the app and let your customers know that it exists?
A mobile app can be a hugely valuable asset, once you have created your app using an app builder, there are no ongoing-costs, unlike traditional advertising methods such as newspapers, once you’ve paid for your ad and it has been shown then it is gone. Whereas a mobile app can continue to gain you repeat custom again and again.
Mobile apps can be very powerful marketing tools, yet many will remain un-used in the app store, those that thrive are the ones that are well thought out and with a lot of effort behind them!