Billboards, flyers, signs, and other traditional advertising options are great because they let you target your local customers directly. But what if nobody is around to see them? (If a tree falls in the forest… don’t be that tree).
Considering most American shoppers always have their phones on their person, a mobile app provides easy access to all the info they need about your business at any time. And it doesn’t hurt to have your logo in plain sight either, leading to the next big reason…
2. Branding and Recognition
Marketing and advertising are all about the brand. Consistent, attractive branding can be the “holy grail” when it comes to successfully starting a new business. If customers associate your brand with a specific product or service, they’ll come to you first. With the right branding, you have a better chance of beating out your big-name competitors.
A mobile app is a great avenue to display your sleek logo and unforgettable style to create a memorable brand image for your customers. Once they know about your brand and your amazing product, they'll keep on coming back.
3. Customer Engagement
“Engagement” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in advertising and marketing, but what does it actually mean? In terms of your small business, engagement means getting customers to interact with, talk about, and consider your product or service. High levels of engagement mean that people are excited about your company, your brand, and what you are doing.
Mobile application tools such as push notifications provide your company with the opportunity to send targeted discounts to your customers while incorporating "gamification" into your marketing strategy to increase engagement.
Gamification is taking your product or service and turning it into a challenge, a set of rules and rewards that increase customer loyalty and create raving fans of your business. An example of this is the famous McDonald’s Monopoly game sweepstakes. A chance to win and a “game” associated with a product can really boost your customer engagement and get people talking about your company.
While a mobile app is an awesome tool for finding new customers and keeping current customers engaged, apps can also create new revenue streams that you may not have considered. The easiest way to cash out with a mobile app is to sell ad space to sponsors and other local businesses. Banners and notifications are great ways to help out other businesses (and your bottom line).
If your business provides a niche service like delivery, you can even let customers purchase and pay right from the app. Places like Chipotle and other restaurants have had huge success with their apps that let customers find the nearest location, order for pickup, and learn about exclusive deals and offers.
5. Learn About Your Customers
One of the biggest benefits of adding a mobile app to your advertising tool-belt is that mobile apps give you high-resolution statistics about your users. You can see exactly who is viewing your app, how often they're using it, and what they're doing with it. You can’t exactly tell who is looking at your billboards versus who is driving by unaware, just like you can’t tell who is reading your flyers versus tossing them right into the trash. Apps give you tons of useful demographic and usage information that let you gauge return on investment, learn about your customers, and even entice sponsors and investors.
Realistically, not every small business needs a mobile app. But for those with the right type of product or service and a wide enough potential customer base, a mobile app can put you at a huge advantage over your competition, both big and small. If people have access to your company through an app, you’re more likely to beat out the nationwide chain. In the world of small business, every little edge helps, and a mobile app can be a big one.