Do you remember back in the early 2000s when websites started to become the “thing” that businesses and entrepreneurs just had to have? There were stacks of companies that began to recognise the opportunity and they started providing website design and development services. Admittedly, many of the early websites were terrible in comparison and incredibly costly compared to the low cost and high visual aesthetics that is more common place today.
You could say in fact, that there was a renaissance – a period in our digital history where people realised that if they had a website, then they had a permanent presence that could be accessed with a only few key strokes. Suddenly personal brands, small and large businesses all over the world began to feel left out if they weren’t part of this new era.
“If I don’t have a website… my potential customers just won’t take me seriously”… I think it’s fair to say that this was the underlying sentiment.
Fast forward to 2021 and there is some unusual happening with personal brands, entrepreneurs, small and large businesses alike… they haven’t yet begun to harness the power of having their own branded mobile app.
We know that our mobile devices are fast becoming an extension of our personalities and everyday living. So why are so many businesses (and just about anyone trying to sell a product or service), missing out on this huge opportunity to be part of someone’s day and live in their pocket?
To me this is fascinating, given the perceived value of a brand by a potential customer, when that business does have their own mobile app available on the app stores. Your potential clients elevate you immediately in their mind when you have your own mobile app. They just search for you or your app name and viola, you are now in their pocket.
So here are 7 Reasons Why You Need a Branded Mobile App for your business.
Reason 1: FREE Advertising
If someone downloads your app for FREE from your social media channels, your stage presentation, your business card, your website or the take-away you give them at the end of your epic stage presentation… they are instantly connected with your brand. You can engage them straight away in what you do and what you stand for, using the content inside your mobile app.
Imagine that you are advertising your products, services, books, mailing list, lead magnet, webinar separately perhaps on Facebook Ads or YouTube… you now have a single window in which to showcase everything.
Reason 2: Distractionless Engagement
When someone is engaging with your content on social media, they are “trying” to focus their attention on your stuff, whilst the social media platform is distracting them with all sorts of other stuff in the surrounding visual field. This means that the time someone spends engaging with your content is diminished and they are not fully present with your message.
This all changes dramatically when someone is reading your blog post, watching your videos, or listening to your audio content directly inside their mobile app.
Reason 3: You’re Easy To Find
The speed at which someone can find you online in order to catch-up or engage with your content determines how often and how long they spend with your stuff. If your mobile app is in on their phone, in their pocket, they know exactly where to find you. They can easily follow where they left off… they don’t have to worry about closing their web browser and losing that blog post which they were half way through reading. They don’t have to trawl through their YouTube watchlist trying to find that video they want to finish watching about your cool new business offering.
They simply open up their phone, your app is probably still running and they and you are connected again (and might I add… rather deeply). They are choosing you.
Reason 4: In-App Sales
A branded mobile app doesn’t need to have a convoluted sales funnel to try and tempt a cold customer to your lead magnet and to all sorts of offerings in order to acquire them. Your products and services are right there inside your branded mobile app. Perhaps you want to sell your courses, your live sessions, your physical products or your face-to-face programs… it’s all their for the person who is using your app. It’s already in front of them.
The likelihood of someone purchasing your product or services inside a mobile app is much higher than traditional methods of selling… thanks to in-app purchases. Their payment methods are on file with the app stores already and with a bit of face id or touch id, they can purchase your products with little thought about typing in their credit number after searching for their wallet that was hiding on top of the kitchen microwave.
Reason 5: Audience Ownership
More and more of the feedback I receive from clients about their current business worries is “losing their presence”. So many businesses are only businesses because they have a successful Facebook Page or Group or perhaps a YouTube channel or similar… the point being that our business is only as successful for as long as the platform that we rely on “likes us”.
You’ve probably heard plenty of stories of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter just closing accounts with no real opportunity of restoring them.
A branded mobile app eliminates this because you are bringing your audience to you. As much as the phrase “audience ownership” might trigger a backlash from those who don’t want to be owned… I think you get the point.
If you own your audience, you can communicate with them and build an ecosystem for them that is distraction free, focused on them and without the risk of them all disappearing overnight.
Reason 6: Communicate Easily
Let’s face it… it’s hard to work to get your content to “jump” out of the digital noise, in front of your audiences eyes. But did you know that you could be sending a push notification to their phone everyday, that when they tap it opens up an offer, a piece of content or whatever it is you would like to them to do or have.
Push notifications are a great way to stay present on your customer’s device and for them to feel like you are part and present in the app that you have provided for them. Plus you haven’t got to pay advertising costs to tell them about your latest stuff.
Reason 7: People Rarely Uninstall Apps
I think people by nature are generally “digitally messy”… no offence… but do you cull your apps on your phone regularly? People are less likely to uninstall your app then you think. I mean it would have to be really bad content for them to do so.
So you always have an opportunity to regain a customer at any time just by the fact they they are quite unlikely to uninstall your app, even if they are not using it that often.
Remember that life happens and people get busy and they often plan “to come back to that content”… so hang in there… they haven’t given up on your brand. Stay present with them and be there for them when they are ready, right inside their pocket.
I hope you found this article useful. Leave a comment. What don’t you agree with? What was a light bulb moment for you?
John-Paul Byrne is an author, technologist, international speaker and founder of Active Course™ (www.activecourse.com)… an e-learning platform that provides branded mobile apps to course creators.