The advent of applications (apps) on mobile devices is a development that has progressed at a rapid pace, in an obvious parallel with the development of mobile technology. In addition, the consumer desire for furt
her interactivity with mobile devices both physically in their hands and online within their social networks has also played a significant role in their increase in popularity.
This development has paved the way for an increasing number of brands to create brand-focused apps. Although they can take considerable resource to develop, perhaps requiring the external resource of a digital PRor social media agency, there are numerous benefits to be had from such applications:
1. Apps enable brands to maintain a presence within the pockets of consumers, and through that a degree of engagement that was previously unattainable through traditional computer internet access.
2. Location restrictions no longer apply to engagement within social media; the increase in mobile internet usage is a great opportunity for brands to engage consumers regardless of their location, as more and more users social network whilst on the move.
3. Location can also work in a brand’s favour too; location based social media is becoming increasingly popular and is a great way for brands to tie themselves into their consumers whereabouts. Social networks such a Foursquare, and also Facebook places, offer brands the opportunity to make themselves relevant to consumers within their real environments.
4. The app environment provides brands with opportunities unique to that platform; as well as location based services, apps can help brands to make the most of a whole range of developing functionality, be it multitouch navigation or tie-in with photography using the cameras on mobile devices. The ability to have an app be either social or solitary in nature. Take a mobile game for example; users can either play on their own, or against friends via the internet.
5. Apps can be a great way to complement an overarching marketing campaign if the budget allows it. An app can give a campaign an additional interactive element that can make it that little bit more engaging and potentially push it over the borderline or virality. Giving a campaign a mobile edge can be of huge benefit.
If executed well, a mobile application can have a huge impact, not to mention achieving additional exposure by garnering further coverage from best practice publications across the internet. They can work to extend the reach of marketing campaigns significantly, and a well-made app will often spread virally across the online world as it is adopted, shared and recommended by more and more people.
As apps become more and more prevalent in consumers day-to-day lives, they are sure to become a core part of brands’ marketing campaigns. It’s only a matter of time before they enter the mainstream, if they haven’t done so already.