This past Christmas, my parents surprised me with an iPad2. Being the ever-diligent Communications student, I decided to do a little research on the marketing approaches that can be useful when developing a tablet app for your company or product.
According to an article by TechCrunch, there will be an estimated 90 million tablet users in the U.S by the end of 2014. Of those tablet owners, approximately 61 million will be using Apple’s iPad. That offers a sizeable opportunity that cannot be ignored. Logically, marketing strategies are adapting in order to cater to these devices.
So how can your company create a successful app?
Here are a few tips:
1. Your app should be easy to use. The first is fairly obvious, consumers aren’t going to waste their time trying to understand an app that is unnecessarily difficult to navigate. I’m sure everyone has downloaded and later deleted an app because it wasn’t as simple as it claimed to be.
2. Your app should be free of charge. This is an opportunity for your company to build its brand and to gain exposure, not to make money. Treating your app as a revenue channel will only deter potential consumers from downloading the app. When I’m browsing the App Store, I filter my results based on those that are free. I’ve never paid for an app before and don’t plan to start now.
3. Your app should be compatible with multiple tablets. While the iPad continues to be the most popular device, you should make sure anyone who wants to download it has that option. Don’t limit your brand’s exposure by failing to offer it to everyone.
4. Your app should offer an additional benefit that your website does not. For example, I have an app called Nike Training Club, which I use to workout when I’m at home. Nike promotes use of this app by offering to unveil a celebrity workout plan if you use it for a certain amount of time. The incentive of receiving my childhood idol (no judgment please), Hilary Duff’s, workout was enough to convince me to use the app more often.
5. Your app should be creative. While this may seem to be a no-brainer, a mobile-marketer article, found that tablets offer a more interactive canvas, which allows creators to be more imaginative in how they connect with consumers. Therefore users may be more willing to engage with a campaign than they would if it were print advertising or a TV commercial because there’s the added opportunity for interaction.
6. Your app should take full advantage of the tablet’s capabilities. Tablets offer the functionality of a desktop PC with the mobility of a cell phone. Magazine and other reader apps are good examples of how to take full advantage of this. Because the screen is larger than that of a smart phone, consumers are likely drawn to the increased ease of reading. In addition, the lightweight model allows consumers to bring their entire stock of magazines, books, newspapers, etc. with them without monopolizing any further space. Apps can also capitalize on the tablet’s capabilities by encouraging direct responses from users through simple feedback channels built-in to the app.
These are some tips that could help promote your brand or product on a tablet. What are some additional attributes that you look for in an app? What discourages you from downloading an app? Which tablet do you have? Tweet us @451Heat to share your thoughts!
-Katie O’Brien, 451 Marketing Marketing Intern
Katie is a senior at Boston College majoring in Communications