I’d say that’s an affirmative my lovely.
Your brand has gone mobile, whether you’ve taken it there or not. Or at least your clients have. So if you haven’t yet, you should probably get on it.
Your clients are reading your emails, searching for your products, and viewing your website right from their phones. You need to engage on this level, and when you’re not, it only reflects poorly on your brand
Mobile optimization of your website is mandatory, and now apps are just as critical, especially as part of a successful branding campaign. (Note to self… I could probably use some work in this area too.)
Local Search: Are You There?
In this day and age, consumers engage with apps to read reviews, find local services, and let their friends know where they are. Crikey, my iPhone is practically glued to my hand.
I use it for damn near everything.
Now if only it’d cook me dinner and clean my house, we’d be golden. But I digress.
To ensure that your brand gets an adequate amount of attention in local searches, you need to keep your listings detailed and up to date in apps like Foursquare, Yellow Pages, and Allmenus. (And believe me when I say that’s likely only the tip of the iceberg in the handy apps department people are using to find you.)
According to Google Think Insights, 55 percent of conversions happen within an hour after a mobile search.
So, if a customer searches for a product or a store on their phone, more than half of them will visit said store, call it, or make a purchase within an hour. If you can’t be found on a local search, you will miss these interactions.
Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if this percentage is actually higher. I will almost always only visit a local venue I can first Google and find out more about.
If keeping up with each platform individually is too time consuming (I feel ya), services like Single Platform can handle the deets for you. For a fee of $79 per month, the service allows you to update multiple platforms in a single listing. Groovy.
Engagement: Are You Talking?
Whether your peeps are watching TV at home, sitting in their cubicles, or hanging with their kids at the park, many of your customers are likely fiddling with their iPhones or other mobile devices. (See? I’m not alone! Hand, meet glue.)
They are checking their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram apps.
Are you there? And, are you talking?
Your brand needs to be engaged on the platforms where your clients are spending their time. Yes, I know it’s not always easy to keep up with.
I’m the first to admit I’m not always on the ball either. But you should strive to do it anyway, even if you only schedule social time once a week or something.
Figure out an outreach plan that works with your schedule and temperament and then try to stick with it.
Believe it or not, your intriguing posts, useful blog links, entertaining pictures, and yes, your videos (should you be brave enough to do them), are a valuable part of your mobile branding campaign.
When your clients see your brand in these apps, they see what your brand represents, just as they would on advertisements of their favorite shows or on a highway billboard.
Is your brand professional, fun, witty, educational? Pick a lane that represents you best, and run with it.
Remember that your online presence is a conversation
encourage your clients to post positive reviews, and respond with grace to negative ones.
Sponsor contests if that’s your schtick, and make them fun. For example, if you own a restaurant, have a sandwich naming contest. Simple, fun, engaging.
Your Own App
Your brand’s own app can be a tool through which consumers access your services or contact you, or it can be an income generator of its own with pay-per-download features, subscriptions, or ad-supported promos.
Before creating your own app, keep in mind that folks will only keep an app that benefits them. Apps created for spectacle alone will not benefit the consumer or foster your brand.
A great example of a functional app is the State Farm Insurance app, which allows the company’s clients to pay premiums, upload pictures of accidents, contact agents, and more. Now if it could only write claim checks, that’d be pretty fracken cool.
If you own a restaurant, your app could allow your customers to order takeout. If you own a gym, it could allow your clients to book classes.
Regardless of the functions, keep in mind that the app itself is an ambassador of your brand. If it is well designed and useful, people will automagically assign those accolades to your brand as well. So… reconsidering the usefulness of apps yet?
Over to You
Does your biz and brand have it’s own app? If not, are you keeping yourself current on local search apps? Are you engaging with your peeps and cultivating relationships with the folks who buy your shite? Don’t be stingy, do tell, you can share in the comments below.