It’s no secret that smartphones have become a big part of everyday life. 68% of American adults own a smartphone. Because of this popularity, it’s important that you keep this point-of-contact in mind while building your marketing strategy.
Creating a mobile app for your business can be a great way to to take advantage of smartphone usage. However, the app market is very competitive and most users aren’t interested in having dozens of apps on their phone. Consumers can be picky, so it’s important that you read up on app development so that you can build an app that people will want to come back to.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your mobile app. If you’re seriously considering building a mobile app I suggest reading this guide from Digital Authority Partners. It is the most in-depth article ever on the topic of mobile app development.
Otherwise, here are my top 3 tips.
- Keep it On-Brand
Your mobile app content and design should fit well with your website, marketing campaigns, social media, or any other content that you send out to your audience. This will make for an easy transition for people who are already familiar with your business and the content that it puts out.
By focusing on your brand during the app-building stage, you create another avenue to express your company values and build customer loyalty. If your app looks one way, your website looks another way, and your social media accounts are also different, people won’t know who you are. You’ll confuse your audience and you will look disorganized.
Make sure that all of the content that you put out, no matter the medium, all represents your business in the same way.
- Add Value
Nobody wants pages and pages of apps on their phone. If your app is only giving your audience the same information that is on your websites or in your emails, why would they need the app? What would be the point?
Your app needs to give your audience something that they can’t get anywhere else, whether that be a loyalty program, early notifications for sales, or exclusive coupons. It doesn’t need to be something crazy, it just needs to be different.
These programs and incentives can also give you some insight into what products or services your audience is most interested in. You can use these insights to create a data-driven marketing strategy.
21% of smartphone users stop using an app after only one use2. While this number is on an upward trend, it is a slow upward trend. Many apps see a significant dip in engagement after the first time it is opened.
This tells you that your app is not meeting some expectation of your audience. Maybe your users didn’t feel that they benefit from regular usage of your app. Make your value abundantly clear in that first use. Give users a quick guided tour or offer a coupon for signing up. Users need to see the value of your app and they need to be able to see it quickly. Otherwise, you risk losing a fifth of your potential traffic.
Another thing to keep in mind is that smartphone users don’t want too many apps on their phone. Typically, they use just a few apps. Only 16% of people say that they use more than 10 apps on a regular basis.
Your app doesn’t need to just be valuable, it needs to be a higher value than your competitors. If your competitor has an app that your audience uses on a regular basis, you will have to find a way to take their place. Use your mobile app to help you stand out and convince your audience to prioritize you over your competition.
- Don’t Skimp on the Design
Just like your website or marketing emails, a bad design will result in low engagement. Whether it’s an unattractive design or a difficult to use one, it can make all the difference in the success of your app. Even if you have great, meticulously compiled content, it could be completely ignored because of bad design.
As I said before, around 1 in 5 apps are only used once before they are abandoned. But, what does it look like for apps that are used repeatedly? The answer is: not great. Even for apps that are visited more than once, there’s only about a 30% retention rate after 3 months.
Because these numbers are so slim, you have to be meticulous in planning every aspect of your app. If your app is hard to navigate or hard to read, even the people who find value in it will likely stop using it. The odds are not in your favor, so you have to do everything you can to help your app survive.
At the foundation of a good design is easy navigation. Your content doesn’t matter if your audience doesn’t know how to get to it. Use menus that drop down or slide out from the side of the screen so that they are easily accessible without trying to cram too much info onto the screen at once.
Also, use bright, interesting, and clear designs that are pleasing to the eye. This will encourage users to look around more and stay on your app for longer. The longer they look around, the more potential there is that they will find value in your app.
Optimizing of your app is essential to its success. A less-than-amazing app probably won’t survive. If your users don’t find value or they find more value in one of your competitors, your app is just a couple of clicks away from being uninstalled.
If you’re going to take the time to create an app, make it a worthwhile investment. Check out what your competitors are doing and do it better. Stay focused on your brand and the needs of your audience so that you can create an app that will encourage engagement and be an effective tool in building your business. Or work with an agency that can help.