A lot of growing small business and emerging enterprise companies make mobile apps just for the sake of having an app. No true direction or strategy are backing up this massive undertaking. The decision needs to be made up front on whether this app is an extension of the existing brand or will it be its own independent product. What absolutely can not happen is; someone says we need an app that does this; so a firm is hired to built it and that’s all there is to it. This logic inevitably leads to major struggles when it comes to marketing and growing usership of said app. A great app has a marketing and growth strategy before one line of code is ever written.

Michael Hardy, Founder of Inspired Blue Solutions puts it simple and plain;  “If the app is an extension of the business, then the marketing is relative to the success or buzz of the actual business. [While] marketing an app as an [independent] business can be a challenge. However, whether positive or negative, you have to be consistent in marketing and always self-evaluating of the app.” Initially, it was more acceptable to just market the app itself using the same traditional marketing techniques. That is no longer true because you aren’t actually trying to sell audiences on the app itself anymore. Instead, you are selling them on the experience your app provides. And, more importantly, how that experience is uniquely different and superior to any other experience they’ve previously had on mobile. This is not a new concept, by any means. Today’s consumers look for the simplest experiences offered by brands in fact, 86% of consumers are more likely to purchase when they are not overwhelmed with confusing information according to a study from the Harvard Business Review. Keep that in mind when you are writing your app’s in-store description. Market how the app will simplify users lives, not every little thing the app can do.

How should your brand best implement a mobile app?

Also remember the key to marketing mobile apps is to advertise where the mobile users already are. In other words, you fight mobile with mobile. The strategy of marketing the experience rather than the app is front and center here. The practice will cause customer experience to become a front-running issue of the business model. Don’t market your app—that’s simply is not enough anymore. You have to focus on the experiences that are only possible with your product. “The positive part is that if your app can serve the right niche market and your unique sales proposition is on point, it is easier to target and market your apps. It’s then more about content, the right ads, frequency, etc. to foster engagement. The ‘challenge’ is fighting the noise of the other apps out there, especially if your product is too similar to other apps. You can definitely get drowned out or lost in the shuffle, even with consistent marketing.” indicates Hardy.

Standing out amongst the clutter will lead to finding your loyal users; these users are more valuable than gold. Loyal users are the ones that are going to turn that download into revenue and a positive ROI and actually use the app and its features. If you aren’t acquiring loyal users, there may be a major problem with the design and functionality of your app. The loyal users you foster, at the end of the day, are going to determine the success and future of your business mobile application.