Getting your business the kind of exposure it deserves is critical, but not rocket science. There are plenty of marketing tools, strategies, and techniques that are being used for the same, but when you employ a balanced blend of tools like Websites, Social Media, & Mobile Apps, you have in front of you a Digital Trinity!
In this post, we talk in detail about the three pillars of marketing in the digital world and the risks of relying or leaning too heavily on just the one medium of reaching out and expanding your business. Treat this post as your bible when you set out on your marketing journey and watch the graphs soar high!
In this world that thrives on the ups and downs of marketing, there are already millions of versions of every conceivable product that you might think of manufacturing or selling in the market. You might have the best product possible in your hands after investing a lot of time, money and other kinds of resources on developing and getting it in the market, but if no one can see or find your product, it is all going to go down the drain!
If no one can see your product, no one would buy it. It is as simple as that! So how do you make sure that the right people can see your product? Quite simple, isn’t it? Market your product or store or service or anything else that you are offering through your business.
Marketing requires a lot of research into every aspect of the business including the competitors, the users, the market, the near future, and the current measures of marketing that seem to work fabulously for everyone else like you. In a market that is overcrowded, a market that is flooded with something new every day, it is not that easy to market your product to prominence. It is imperative that you explore all the marketing tools that are within your reach to take advantage of.
To say that this is the world of digital marketing might be an understatement of sorts. Getting your business online expands your potential and scope of bringing in greater revenue and reaching out to a wider audience. When you have a business that is online, you would want to make sure that it is marketed online as well.
The world today is buzzing with social media and the wonders it has done to make marketing easier and affordable. All you need to do is create a business page or profile on one of the popular social media channels and get started. Everyone is on social media and the content on it is riveting, keeping people hooked for longer. It is therefore only natural that you would want to leverage social media marketing to spread the word about your business.
Having your own website might seem like a thing of the past and might seem like an archaic tool in marketing, but you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Though Social Media Marketing might create a buzz and expose you to a great audience, if you want your customers to take you seriously as a business you need to build a website for your business.
Now that you have established yourself as a serious business and have managed to draw people to your website, you need a medium that would leave an indelible mark in the memories of your existing and prospective clients. As the modern consumer is addicted to their mobile phones and is doing all their business on it, you need to complete the Digital Trinity for your business by building a mobile app.
2. Social Media as A Marketing Tool
This is an age that needs you to toot your own horn, and if you don’t do it the right way, chances are you would get lost in the noise that overpowers the market today. There might be numerous marketing tools, some traditional, others new age, but the one marketing tool that has taken the center stage by storm is social media marketing.
Social media marketing has managed to change the face of the way digital marketing was being carried on and lessened the gap between the consumers and the business owners, helping them understand the requirements and pulse of the market. Meanwhile, consumers get to know about the product, the brand, and the experience of other consumers with the brand or products.
The recent times have seen businesses of every scale right from the startups to the large enterprises include social media marketing as a critical part of their marketing strategy and have garnered the benefits of this wonderful marketing tool. However, the trouble begins when certain small businesses begin relying only on social media for their marketing efforts and forego every other tool available in the market.
2.1. Major social media platforms for business
There are a number of social media channels that give you unique avenues of reaching out to the audience and establishing a connection and a channel of conducting business. Not every channel is perfectly suited to every kind of business and ideology. It is therefore important to understand which platform or platforms would work better for you and give you the brand voice that you were aiming for. Let’s take a look at the most popular social media platforms that entrepreneurs, startups, and large enterprises swear by today.
2.1.1. Facebook Pages
Facebook Pages is great for small to medium businesses as it gives them exposure potentially to millions of the users on Facebook and best part putting your Facebook Page together costs you nothing! However, if you are looking to reach a targeted audience, you can put in some money and go for targeted ads and garner relevant likes. Facebook insights give you a peek into the trends, helping you understand which type of posts are doing well with a particular kind of demography.
2.1.2. Facebook Store
Relatively a new feature from Facebook, Facebook Store can be great for your business, if you already have a thriving Facebook community. When you use a Facebook Store to sell directly you are opting for a measure that is extremely easy to implement, without you having to take any efforts to convert even one community member. All you need to do is add a Facebook Store to your Facebook Page and you’re set! The most lucrative feature of using Facebook Store is that the users do not have to leave browsing the platform and can complete their purchase without having to navigate out of it.
2.1.3. Google My Business
A platform powered by Google, “Google My Business” helps businesses manage their complete online presence. With the distinct advantages of expanding the reach of your business, you also get the benefit of having everything in one platform. Any marketing campaign, irrespective of the platform generates a whole lot of data and there is no point letting it all be buried and go ignored. Google My Business Insights lets you know how the consumers are searching for your business, where are they viewing your business on Google and the actions they are taking. The unique ‘Virtual Tour’ feature that has gained popularity in recent times offers the consumers a 360o of not just the premises of your business but also of the streets adjacent to the premises.
It might come as a surprise to most that more than a third of Instagram users have made a purchase through the platform! The most interesting aspect of using Instagram for business is that the Ad platform on it leverages the most advanced options available for social media advertising targeting and on Instagram Ads, you have the power to track sales and leads so that you have a clear picture of your ROI. The fact that Instagram has the ability to differentiate between personal and business profiles helps the businesses build and maintain strong relationships with followers and prospective consumers!
Pinterest is more than just a place for dowdy and homely women to share some knitting patterns, the potential of this platform which is one of the largest website traffic drivers is insurmountable for small to medium-sized businesses. Pins get you comparatively a lot more inbound links, the engagement is exponentially higher than anybody else and this platform has the ability to integrate all other social media channels within it.
The charm of a well-directed YouTube video is not lost on many and you can use it to promote your business at a budget you choose for yourself. When you are a video maker, you must be placing YouTube at the pedestal and quite naturally so. Not only is the traffic high here, but the chances of you going viral are a whole lot more than on any other platform. The channel can give you a global reach with minimal stress and aptly applied strategies.
Social media has evolved from only being a place to hang out and has turned into a media or marketing tool that brings in great returns for businesses especially the ones that fall in the small and medium businesses category.
No matter who your target user group is, chances are they are an ardent and active user of at least one of the popular social media platforms. Hence, it is only natural that when you thought about marketing your business to the right user group, you automatically resorted to a popular social media channel that best suit you and your business.
Social media has managed to gain a position of great importance for all businesses irrespective of their scale and size, so much so that everyone from startup to the big players have their handles on Instagram & Twitter, business pages on Facebook & Google My Business, and accounts on Pinterest, LinkedIn and more in a bid to reach out to the relevant audience and build up their brand image and open a two way interactive communication channel. These social media channels offer the companies an opportunity to let their fans know of any new development in the brand, let them know of a new product launch or any other special information that they want to put out there.
Marketing on social media is, by itself a highly dynamic and quite a fickle tool. It is one of those mediums that have the fastest changing panorama and there is a chance you would be hard pressed for time and money or other resources simply playing catch-up with its pace.
While you might believe that Social Media Marketing is the wonder drug and the one stop solution for all your marketing needs, it is not without perils of its own. The world of social media can be full of barbs and cause much more damage than you think, and in any case, relying solely on social media may not be as cost effective or smart as you might think.
Let’s first talk about the advantages and disadvantages of marketing your brand and product on social media before analyzing the dependency of a business solely on social media for marketing! Later on, in the post, we will delve deeper into why social media may do you more harm than you realize.
2.2. Advantages of Social Media for Marketing
Social media allows for and makes it possible to hold real-time communication and sharing which brings with it a host of advantages and scopes out the potential for your business you might not even have been aware of, to begin with. Some of these advantages may be listed as under:
- Social media makes it possible for you to conduct real-time customer advertising and feedback
- You or your company can enjoy the benefits of social sharing, exposing promotional or any other kind of media content in real-time
- It can help you gain targeted exposure in the networks that suit you the best
- You can take advantage of some free advertising in the form of word of mouth, both verbally and digitally
- It offers you a chance to explore the potential for your business in communities or user groups that you might have failed to include in your target user groups
- It can prove to be a great medium to add on to your digital presence whether on the web or on the app store
- An avenue for stronger market research & analysis
2.3. Disadvantages of Social Media for Marketing
There would be many forum and posts that scream about the advantages that social media marketing can bring to your business, it is however quite easy to forget to ask about the disadvantages that it can bring for you. It is finally the disadvantages that effectively tip your decision in favor of or against any decision that you are on your way to implement.
- Social media becomes a channel for real-time customer complaints and negative feedback
- The complaints and feedback are available for anyone to see which means that the prospective customers may actually be discouraged to even explore more about your company and product
- Management and control of social media campaign lays additional stress on the business & personal resources as well
- The digital footprint you create might get out of hand leading to a negative online reputation for your company and brand
- Insufficient Return on Investment (ROI) for the amount of risk and efforts you decide to put in.
2.4. Challenges of Relying Only on Social Media
While these social media platforms might seem like the answer to all your marketing woes, but like we said putting all your eggs in the same marketing basket may set you back by a large measure after the initial buzz has worn off.
Let’s discuss here the challenges of relying only on social media and the damage that they might incur on your business.
2.4.1. Limited Audience
We know that everyone is there on social media channels, but is that true? Even if they are, how many of them are looking at Facebook or Instagram as a place of business, and how many of these few are relevant for you? While the figures might be encouraging in isolation, the fact is that after a while you are bound to hit a wall and the audience you have on social media is not going to be enough when you think of expansion.
2.4.2. Less organic Reach
As a small to medium size company, the pressure to increase your revenue is only going to mount higher on you, which means the chances of you relying on organic traffic are going to lower. As you begin pumping in money to buy traffic, your organic traffic will steadily dwindle. This means that your posts would be seen by a smaller audience making it imperative that you spend on bringing in paid audiences, thus creating a vicious cycle for you.
This is not going to be a profitable deal for the small and medium businesses especially as they do not normally have huge chunks of the budget set aside for this. Additionally, this amount spent on garnering paid traffic might not even translate proportionally into income, incurring big losses for them. How long do you think you would be able to take it?
2.4.3. Less Control
Now that you have built a huge following on the social media, your problems are sorted, or are they? The followers you have, are the platform’s clients, not yours! This means that though they may be following you on the social media, it is, in fact, the platform that is in control of the content these followers are exposed to!
The social media platform may decide, for any reason to block or close your account or page. What do you think it would mean for your business and you? This means that one fine day, all the followers that you brought together with so much pain can be all gone.
Their platform, their rules. This means that there would be a ton of guidelines and rules that would be laid out in front of you. You would be required to agree and adhere to these terms and conditions that the platform lays out for you. This is more than a mere annoyance because in case you fail to follow any of them, your account may be blocked out without any notice of any kind!
2.4.5. Data Security
Since you have no control over the platform, you have no control over the data that you or your customers are putting in on the platform. The use or misuse of data is not in your hands and in recent cases, we have witnessed big trouble in the Social Media paradise with the infamous Facebook data breach. If you were solely relying on this one medium for marketing, in these unfortunate circumstances you would not only endanger your own data but of all those trusting consumers who might have used these platforms to do business with you.
2.4.6. Losing Out on Diversity
If you are restricting yourself to just but one strategy you are ignoring the benefits of a diverse marketing strategy. Adopt social media marketing and make good use of it but make it a part of a more diverse marketing strategy with more than one tricks in your bag.
When you just have a social media marketing strategy to fall back on, and the returns from it begin to falter, you would have a whole lot of other things to harness and rely on upon without bringing about undue financial stress.
2.5. Why relying Only on Social Media for Your Business Can be Harmful
Imagine losing your social media profile or page that you set up for your business! Scary! Right? So, imagine that happens, now what? You might have had millions of fans who were hanging on to every post that you made and were reaching out to you from time to time, but honestly, did you have any other way to reach them? If your page or profile is lost on Facebook, you are left with absolutely nothing, meaning you have no way to get them all back, simply because you do not own that information! On the contrary, consider the possibility of having the entire fan list and ownership over it, so if any of the social media pages were to be shut down for whatever reason, you would still have the list to fall back on! This means that you can simply take all your fans up on a different channel, for example, your own website or an app and continue the communication as if nothing happened!
Hence, while a social media strategy that is dependent solely on social media posts might be a great strategy for the larger enterprises who have a big fan base or a brigade of followers for sharing the latest news about their products or upcoming events like sales etc. However, when it comes to increasing brand awareness or expanding audience reach by driving organic traffic to your website, especially if yours is one of the small to medium-sized businesses relying only on social media does not bear much fruit, especially considering the kind of money it requires to be invested to witness any measurable result.
2.6. Expand your audience with other avenues
When you weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of opting for social media marketing, it is obvious that though it brings in a whole lot of benefits along with it, there are some serious downsides to it as well. What do you think you should do in that case?
The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” couldn’t be more appropriate when you are trying to answer that question. The idea here is that you need to supplement all your social media marketing efforts with a few more options and expand the reach of your brand and company.
Penguin Apps Builder having deep experience in the digital arena has managed to come up with some of the most effective ways to fortify your marketing efforts and make it a wholesome strategy for bringing in more business while expanding your clientele.
2.6.1. Leverage Emails
Don’t show haste in disregarding the wonders of the traditional yet effective medium of marketing and reaching out to people – email marketing. Just because it has been around for too long, doesn’t mean that it is outdated. A marketing email that has been worded properly and employs sound marketing strategies in place can do wonder for your business, bringing you leads and customers in great numbers.
The distinct advantage of employing this tool for marketing is that you do not have to invest much in it, while the returns are proportionately a lot higher. There is no need for skilled or specialized professionals when it comes to sending out the emails, hence the investment in terms of personnel resources is low too.
Everyone who is on your email marketing list is sure to receive your mail and you do not even have to pay, in order to reach out to them. The anonymity that is a part of the social media is taken care of here and you can easily offer targeted emails to entice the right kind of users with suitable deals, product launches, or any other information you consider worthy!
Emails might not sound like a ‘cool’ or the ‘latest’ thing in the world of marketing, but they still have the maximum potential. According to one of the recent research studies, for every dollar that you spend on email marketing, there is bound to be a generation of $38 in ROI. It is true that social media brings in a lot of revenue and has its advantages, but when it comes to creating a hierarchical list, email figures above social media marketing.
2.6.2. Website & Web Presence
While we assume that everyone is on the social media, but there might still be quite a bit of an untapped market that doesn’t really convert so easily, at least not solely on the basis of social media. We all know how easy it is to build a social media profile or a social media page for your business, and the prospective users know it too! It is for this reason that doubt about their credibility (especially for startups) might start creeping in.
A website can take on the role of marketing your products and services to the target consumer and even serving as the go-to customer care channel as well. A dedicated website can become a great way to stay connected to the existing customers or answer the queries of new users who might be inclined to convert.
Having a well-designed website adds a factor of credibility to your social media presence and the well-worded marketing emails that you might have been sending out. The website can have all the information about your company, its processes, its ideology, the contact details, the products and services they offer, and the way you can order from them, all in one place. Social media pages or an email from you might not be able to do that. A website that has been designed to engage the customers would prevent them from getting distracted, whereas on the social media there are a hundred thousand things to get distracted by.
Having a website, especially when you are a small business owner can bring in numerous benefits, but we are listing out the more prominent ones here!
- Adds Credibility
In a study conducted by Verisign in the year 2015, it came to light that 84% of the consumers believed that small businesses with a website or web presence were more reliable. Additionally, it also says that about 65% of the consumers find the company branded emails more credible than the generic email accounts. Take a moment to think here, if all your competitors already have a website and you don’t, who do you think your target consumers are going to prefer doing business with?
- Makes You Discoverable
The study by Verisign that we mentioned earlier, also established that 9 out of 10 consumers rely on the internet when they are trying to make a decision about any imminent purchase of goods or services. So, if you want to be discovered by this majority of consumers and be visible to them, it’s time you created a website for yourself!
- Expanding the Reach
When you build your own website you have the distinct advantage of adding on to the existing customer base. While some might argue that the customer base built through social media pages is huge and far-reaching, but to be frank, how many of them really convert, or are relevant even. While many people might ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ you on the social media for the content you generate there is a huge percentage of consumers who would still conduct a web search when they want to buy something or are looking for a particular service.
- Meeting the Competition
The marketing budgets set aside by a small business owner might be a paltry amount when compared to the larger enterprises. Hence, when it comes to social media which is getting pricier by the day, the playfield isn’t as level as it might have been some time ago. However, a professional looking website can work wonders!
2.6.3. Make Your Own App
Mobile apps are the present and the future of doing business in any capacity or scale today. Did you know that 41% of the people who have installed an app open or interact with the app for at least 17 times? Hence if you have been ignoring the need of building an app for your business it is time you understood what you are missing out on! Penguin Apps Builder being a pioneer app builder has compiled a list of benefits that having an app for your business brings in.
- Everyone’s Going Mobile
You might have a great product and a fabulous web presence, you might even have an amazing social media presence, but building an app for yourself can bring in benefits that you can not ignore. Most of the online activity is moving from the desktop or laptop format on to mobile devices including smartphones and tabs or iPads. Furthermore, 90% of the mobile phone usage consists of the myriad apps that the users download on their phones.
- Mobile Phones Are in Your Pockets
No matter where you go, you have mobile phones in your pockets and connectivity to the internet, hence it is imperative that you establish your presence on the mobile phones of your target users. The engagement is higher, and the chances of the user returning to an app are also higher.
- Apps Can Offer More Services
Apps might fit in your pocket, but they pack in a lot more information than a mere social media page. The apps can be designed to specifically fulfill those services or functions that are specific to your product range or services that you offer. The functionality of a website, or a social media business page is limited and is nowhere near the potential functionality of an app.
- Stay Fresh in The Memory
When a user installs your app on their phone, they are looking at your icon every time they look at their screen and that is one of the most effective ways of carving out a space for yourself in their memories.
3. Web Presence & Its Advantages as A Marketing Tool
There was a time when you would look for newspapers, yellow pages, or one of the few other cumbersome measures when you were looking for any kind of information on the local or global businesses. There would be flyers, hoardings, print ads, tv ads. Radio ads, and such media for you to exploit when you wanted to market your small business. This was a continuous investment where the ROI was not always proportional to the returns it might bring. For example, everyone who would be looking at a hoarding might not be your target audience, similarly, if your target audience were looking for your services, it was a cumbersome process to reach you.
Today, the modern consumer is as likely to resort to any of these methods as they are to wear bell bottom pants. Everyone, of all ages and background and abilities, is using the internet and doing so with great comfort and ease. It is a space of endless possibilities for computer savvy people and makes life convenient and easy for digital novices as well. Today, anyone who is looking for any kind of information would look for it, on the internet, simply because of the portability, simplicity, and connectivity that it offers.
The Internet makes it possible for you, as a small business to get introduced to the other end of the spectrum, that is your target consumer group! For small businesses, it is a great way to reach out to the target consumers without spending a fortune, and for the niche businesses, a presence on the web offers them an opportunity expand their reach all across the nation, even the global level and take their business to greater heights.
Having your own website might seem like one of the primitive ways to do any kind of business, but the most important thing to realize her is that it is still one of the most effective ways to do it! When you have a professional website, your credibility is a lot higher than a mere Facebook Page or a Pinterest account. You are perceived as a serious business instead of an amateur trying their hand at something new, and when you enhance your marketing circle by using social media merely to generate leads and truly use them to get them to your website and help them register themselves with you, you have finally gained some credible business opportunity. Not only are you more in control of this tool, but the chances of people bouncing away from your website due to a distracting chat message is also low as well.
Hence, if you are a small business that is on the fence about getting a website, this blog post might give you the much-needed nudge as it lists out all the amazing benefits you are going to get from having a website of your own. Penguin Apps Builder has laid down the groundwork for you and listed down these benefits and you can simply build upon it!
3.1. Business Credibility
The days of relying on a random flyer or a listing in yellow pages are gone. You can’t expect a consumer to have their faith in you, just because you called them or reached out to them and spoke about the wonderful services and products you have built for yourself. When you are approaching a prospective client and talk about your product and end your pitch with a link to your website you add weight to the conversation, and in some cases, you would even see a visible sigh of relief of interest simply because you mentioned a website that you have. A well-designed website that is aesthetically pleasing and offers all the information that you want your consumers to have, and the information that any customer may be looking for, will always increase your credibility as a business, instilling a faith among your consumers in you.
3.2. Business Discoverability
Do you still look at yellow pages for any requirement? Not really! Right? Where do you think your target consumers are looking for their query about your products or the kind of services you are offering? The Web, of course! When you have a website, you have established your presence in the online world and have exponentially raised the chances of you making it to the search efforts of the most relevant audience. In a recent study conducted by Verisign, it has emerged that 9 out of 10 consumers today browse the web when they are trying to locate and assess local products and services, or any other offerings they might be looking for. From finding a dog walker to buying groceries, from finding a cleaning service to buying diapers, everything today is done via the big, and supremely convenient world of web. In light of these findings, it becomes difficult to understand the hesitation that persists among small businesses when it comes to building their own website. When you take a lead and build a website for your business, you make your business discoverable.
Having your own website offers you an ability to relate to the audiences and gives you an opportunity to build relationships. This is one of those game-changing benefits that would help you realize the benefits of creating and maintaining a small business website. Building your own website offers you an opportunity to tell your own story and of your business, a story that’d help you begin your business with a unique relationship. When you develop the ability to relate to your consumers and serve them well, you stand to earn from and retain your customers using your website. The chances of a prospective customer looking up your website is a lot higher than them actually picking the phone up and giving you a call. Supplement your website with the right kind of emails and social media and you would be able to build trust and personalize the experience your customers are going to have.
When you are making use of printed advertising material you are spending a lot more on marketing the new content. This especially pinches your pockets when you have to make modifications in this content. This is an age of content that is fresh, relatable, and offers the customers something new every day. If you plan to make use of print ad campaigns, printed brochures, catalogs, or any other marketing materials, churning out so much fresh content would burn through your budget. In addition to being expensive, the process is also quite cumbersome. The crucial details of the business including the demographic information, services & products offered, the business hours, pricing or any such other information might change at any time, and if you have a website, you can easily edit the whole website easily and there is no cost involved in making these changes. You can opt for easy platforms that can help you make your own small business website without having to engage in any kind of programming or technicalities, so much so that you can even do it from your mobile phone.
3.5. Business Sales Tool
There are many things a small business website can accomplish for you but some of the objectives to keep in mind if you want to develop it as a Business Sales tool are – to inform, to engage, and to convert the visitors. One of the most effective ways to make use of a website for the business end is to offer to the visitors some high-quality content, to learn more about the audience who are visiting your website, what is it that the consumers are looking for, and then use the website to design a sales funnel that would effortlessly take them through the whole sales process. Small business websites can become an efficient tool for the automation of a sales process and for the conversion of sales, emerging as a leader as compared to the other traditional media.
3.6. Web Presence Analytics
When you run an advertising campaign through primitive ways, there is no way to know how each customer ended up making an inquiry or buying something from you. This means you would not be able to figure out whether your marketing campaign is working or not, which type of campaign is working, what time are people accessing the marketing materials and myriad other details that might lead them to you. However, when you are using a website to market your business and for analytics, you gain access to real-time data about the following:
- The information about the visitors who end up on your website
- The way the visitors find your website
- The number of visitors that come to your website on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
- Which pages on your website are visited the most?
- How many pages are visited by people on each of their visit to your website
- What is the average amount of time they spend on each of their pages
- How regularly or frequently are these visitors coming back to your website
If this information is not enough, you can always employ some specific marketing software for a more in-depth analysis.
3.7. Less Expensive
The traditional media of advertising, including various forms of print media, television, radio, and many such others are quite expensive. The price tag attached to them is quite heavy. However, we all know how important it is to make investments in advertising. While we know that advertising is important, it might not be in the reach of all the small businesses out there. However, if you have a website, it accomplishes your job of marketing your business or advertising for your business at a much lower cost. Online advertising is not only convenient, but has a strong targeted reach, and costs much less. In fact, there are a lot of ways to advertise online which are completely free of cost.
3.8. Round the Clock Availability
When you have a business, you would want to be available for all your customers all the time and answer their questions. However, when you have a website, the customers can find you any time that they want to and from anywhere. Even when your business hours are over, your website will still continue to find new customers and direct them to your business. This means that the customers have the option to sit in the comfort of their home and explore your business through your website and satisfy their query without having to face the pressure from a salesperson to make the purchase. If, however, you are offline, the consumers looking for your services would not be able to reach you when they might want to, which means the chances of you losing out to your competitors (who have a web presence) are high.
3.9. Match the Competitors
All your competitors might already have caught on to the benefits of these greatly effective elements of doing business in the current economic environment. Did you know that more than 56% of the small businesses have their own websites and have been relying on them to garner benefits? This means more than half of your competitors are already ahead of you, drawing upon a large section of your targeted customers simply because they have the benefit of an established web presence.
In order to stay ahead of them and stay fresh in the memories of the customers you are planning to reach, it is imperative that you build a website of your own and level the competition among all the other businesses that you are competing with.
3.10. Reach Out to Stakeholders
Whether it is a candidate looking for employment, a vendor or supplier, a prospective business partner, a client, or a customer, a website is a great way for you to reach out to them and for them to reach out to you. The candidates who are looking for employment with you, can look through your website and understand your philosophy, product offerings, and your brand, and judge whether they are aligned with it all or not. The customers have an avenue or medium to not just sate their query about your business, products, or other offerings, but can also reach out for after-sales service. You can even offer them the option to buy online, adding to the possibility of garnering sizeable revenue from customers who do not have the time or motivation to seek out your physical store. The vendors, suppliers, or any other business partners can go through your website to have a clearer understanding of the way you and your business functions, find scope for collaborative measures and profitable situations for both the parties would emerge as well. In this manner, having a website of your own can help you gain a position of respect and credibility among peer, customers, and the competition.
4. Building Your Own Mobile App & Its Benefits as A Marketing Tool
This probably needs a whole post and I am not exaggerating. When you are looking to expand the reach and engagement of your users with your business, a mobile app is probably the best way to go forward. When you have a mobile app, you have made a place in the user’s pockets! Not only do you gain mobility, but a chance to make a space in their memories. The users are going to look at your app every time they pick up their phone and the chances of them interacting with your business increases because of this. Make an app for your business and make sure that your app is optimized enough to feature in the list of top apps on the app stores of your choice.
The one thing that an app can accomplish but none of the others can is to offer a whole lot of features and functionality for the users to enjoy. You can help the users reach your physical address with step by step navigation, add geo-fencing to reach a targeted audience, let your users order what they like in your store, reach them with well-timed push notifications, receive reviews discretely, share visual content, and interact with the app users on a personal level. It is this, primarily that sets you apart as a business from your competitors who do not have a mobile app.
Your circle of marketing tools will only be complete when you finally get an app for your business. So, you have managed to garner a robust fan following on social media, you have gotten them to your website, and now you are all set to do your business. Aren’t you forgetting something though? How many of us still shop or find a service through websites? We are leaning increasingly on the wonder devices in our pockets – mobile and smartphones. When you have a mobile device that you peruse for most of your online explorations, chances are you are looking for things you can accomplish on the fly. In such cases, the most effective medium for a business to reach out to them is through a specialized business app to cater to their consumers. While social media will get you the attention, a website will help you get more business and reach, an app will help you convert more visitors than ever! This is simply because it is convenient to use an app. An app is packed with a lot more functionality than any other medium and has the potential to retain the consumers or prospective consumers a lot more effectively and for a lot longer!
There is a mobile device in everyone’s pockets today and sometimes more than one! The smartphones are not just a device to make and receive calls. There are a host of apps running on all our phones and they go a long way in accomplishing nearly everything that we may want them to.
In this post, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of building mobile apps for small businesses and why your business needs a mobile app.
Gone are the days when advertising and entertainment were limited to television, radio, and print media alone. Billboards too have lost the charm that they had at one point of time. Today the businesses all over the world are offering an unbelievable amount of variety in their offerings and the traditional media of advertisements cannot efficiently represent or contain this wide range, hence the businesses are rapidly moving to the realm of mobile app development.
Everyone today understands the importance of reaching out to the customers where they already are, in place of trying to bring in the customers to where you have your business. It is with this underlying principle that the mobile app revolution gained wind and even though it has been around for a few years, it does not seem to show any signs of slowing down any time soon.
“Did you know that there are more mobile devices in the world today that the total number of computers and televisions put together?”
This fact clearly indicates that to reach out to the maximum number of customers and in many other ways it is absolutely essential for you to build a mobile app for your business. If you are under the misconception that your business doesn’t really need an app, you probably have been still living in the past when it was true. Things have changed drastically today, whether it is technology, social scenario, buying habits, browsing habits, every aspect of business and customers has undergone major transformation. Today as a business owner, if you want to prepare yourself and the business for the future and begin your journey to reaping in big profits, a mobile app is imperative for you.
Though in the past, mobile apps were viewed as fancy tools meant only for the large corporations or businesses of a certain scale, but today even the small businesses are building apps for their businesses and improving their customer service while bringing home considerably larger returns on their investment.
For the small business owners, the cost of building an app had been marked by the fear of the high costs involved in building an app, but DIY app builders like Penguin Apps Builder have managed to allay these fears entirely.
4.1. Advantages of Building A Mobile App for Business
Having a mobile app for your business brings about a huge number of benefits for you and your business. Let’s take a look at the different ways in which you can benefit from a mobile app.
4.1.1. Little to No Waiting Time for The Customers
Using a mobile app is a lot faster than having to use a mobile website and browsing on it. Web browsing whether on the mobile or on the computer entails you opening the web browser, then remembering and entering the URL, and then wait for the site to load before you finally have the content displayed in front of you. The speed of the entire process depends on the kind of network available in the area. However, when the customer launches the app, it merely takes a second as most of the content is stored within the app itself, which is why it is possible to make use of the app even when you are offline.
4.1.2. Apps Consistently Remind the Customers of Your Business
‘What you see is what you covet?’ this phrase might have been coined for an entirely different subject, but a truer sentence has never been uttered. It is only natural to be reminded only of things that are in front of you and hence the inclination of using, buying, interacting with these things is higher. An app on a smartphone definitely has more visibility or value for the customer as it is right there, in comparison to a web bookmark that can only be explored after opening the browser, hence has lower visibility and value. A mobile app is in front of the customer’s eyes all the time on their phones.
4.1.3. Apps Keep the Customers or The Users Hooked
It would only be apt to say that today the smartphones have the users hooked to them. Customers too are asking for more apps that would connect them to the businesses that they want to reach out to with ease and promptness. Apps have a better record and opportunity of engaging the customers in a stronger way. Whether they are on the move, at home, their workplace, in the gym, or out shopping, a mobile app for your business would always be in their pockets and they can engage with it at will, which makes them stay on your app for longer.
4.1.4. Apps Tend to Bring Down the Cost of Marketing
Consider the scenario when you do not have an app, you would probably send out marketing information through SMSes or other traditional media, which are a lot more expensive than reaching out to your customers through inobtrusive yet effective push notifications. Mobile apps simplify your communications while making it possible for you to reach and message your customers in a safe, instant, and cost-effective manner. Also, apps have been known to reduce the workload of information requests and phone calls by supplying all relevant information from within the app.
4.1.5. Apps Offer More Value to The Customers
The premise of your business is barter, right? This is where you offer a product and the customers dig into their pockets to compensate you for it. As a business owner, there would have been plenty of situations where you might have reached sat down with the rest of your team and tried to figure out ways to make these customers dig deeper and more often into their pockets. One thing that you may or may not have come up with is to provide value for your customers that they wouldn’t find anywhere else. This value can come from offering the customers a special loyalty bonus or points, a subscribers-only deal, and some such, which would help you keep bringing the customers back to you for more!
4.1.6. Apps Help Strengthen the Brand
This is probably one of the most important things that a mobile app can do for your business. It not only increases brand awareness among consumers but also helps them communicate or interact with your brand. Once you establish a relationship through this regular interaction you are also fostering trust among them. As the trust they have in you increases, the chances of them listening to you in your future sales pitch are higher and who knows they might even commit to your brand! A mobile app lets you show to your customers the reason why they should trust you, instead of you just telling them they should.
4.1.7. Apps Help You Connect Better with The Customers
Customer service or interactions are of great value for any business. In the past, this was best accomplished by face to face communications and resolving the customer’s concerns through a team of professionals who were trained just for that. However, mobile devices which make your app available to the users with just one tap, have turned out to be the biggest game-changer yet, when it comes to customer service. A solid mobile presence for your business means that you are presenting a consistent face to the customers everywhere. The time differences wouldn’t matter with a mobile app. If a customer or a potential customer wants information or any other kind of interaction with your app at 2 in the morning, they can do it without having to wait until business hours. This, in the long run, would help you raise customer satisfaction all across the board.
4.1.8. Apps Help You Push Your Profits Up
It is no hidden fact that a mobile app can help you raise customer satisfaction. But it has also been proven that when customer satisfaction is raised, it is often followed by an increase in sales too. As more and more customers find the interactions with your app fruitful and pleasant, the demand for your services and products will increase too! You might have an awesome website which has the ability to adapt to the multitude of devices available in the market which might eliminate the need for a secondary mobile website, but nothing beats the experience that an app can provide. It is this experience that brings you the much-needed boost as well in your profits and who doesn’t want that? One of the glowing examples here is that of Domino’s Pizza who witnessed a rise of 28% in half pre-tax profits in the UK alone. It is humbling and encouraging to know that 52% of their online orders are completed through a mobile app.
4.1.9. Apps Help You Set Yourself Apart from The Crowd
With thousands of businesses vying for attention what are you doing that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd? Mobile app for your business can accomplish this with ease. It is still rare to use a mobile app for communication and marketing, and the sooner you get into it, the more you stand to gain from it.
4.1.10. Apps Increase Customer Loyalty
How many times do your customers come back to you after they have made their first purchase? This is an important aspect for the growth of your business and you must pay it due attention. It is easier to cultivate customer loyalty when you constantly remind your customers of your existence and your offerings. Advertising is a crowded space which is constantly bombarding the users with visual imagery consisting of hundreds of thousands of brands and products. A mobile app forges a truthful and honest relationship between your business and your customers. The mere fact that your app is at their fingertips makes the customers feel more connected and loyal to you.
4.1.11. Your App Can Be Turned into A Social Platform
Integrating as many social channels as you can, into your app can bring you unexpected popularity. It has been established through studies that most of the people log on to social media to see what their friends are saying. If people are talking about you or your products and sharing it on social media, then their friends would know about you, be reminded of you, and interact with you. Additionally, incorporating features like in-app messaging, comments, likes, sharing, and logins through popular social media channels like Facebook or Instagram can effectively increase customer engagement and retention while ensuring repeat sales from your app.
4.1.12. Apps Add Value to The Websites
You might be questioning yourself at this time “With the shoestring budget that I have, should I build an app when I already have a functioning website?” Well, yes you do! The fact is that a mobile app would add further value to your website, by creating loyalty among the customers who were probably attracted to your brand by the website. Websites are, in general, great for providing information, an app, however, is extremely effective in offering two-way communication.
4.2. Reasons Why Leading e-Retailers Have Started Favoring Apps Over Websites
It is not news that most of the leading e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart are being partial to their mobile apps as compared to their good old websites. They have been promoting mobile apps and encouraging more and more users to engage with their mobile apps in place of their trusted websites and have been mobile-only deals and discounts to the users. Penguin Apps Builder has been fortunate enough in having worked with a great number of e-commerce businesses all over the regions of Southeast Asia and have helped them make their own mobile apps for their business. Hence, to us too it did seem intriguing at first. To sate our curiosity, we delved deeper into the subject and have come up with the following reasons for you.
4.2.1. Rising Popularity of Mobiles
It might be an understatement to say that the popularity of mobiles is on a steep curve of rising. Everything is done through them today, everyone has them, and they have assumed a variety of roles in the lives of the mobile users from personal assistants to shopping companion and a source oozing with information to be used as per their needs.
This fact is impressed upon even more strongly as 54% of all the mobile transactions in 2016 were in fact generated within the app. What is even more encouraging is that the top one-fourth of the retailers confessed to their 50% of the total sales coming in from mobiles.
According to Shopify, one of the largest eCommerce platforms for small and medium businesses to create and launch their e-commerce websites, 58% of the checkouts on their platform were completed through mobile devices.
Additionally, it has also been brought to light through research that mobile device users spend about 86% of their time in native apps.
The consumers today are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices and have gotten used to instant gratification. The consumers today expect to get what they want exactly as they want it, exactly when they want it. Hence the demands on the brands are mounting up to deliver to their whims.
e-commerce or the online retail is an entirely consumer-centric business, so the entire process of buying and the manner in which the customer wants to make the purchase is the deciding factor, and the retailers cannot do anything about it. There is a huge shift in the way a consumer thinks today, and it is this transition in their mindset that has caused the mobile to attain the status of the single most important channel or medium to which the modern-day retailer needs to pay attention.
It is only after much research and a deep look into the analytics and user behavior study that the brands have realized that though the mobile web has helped in the past and continues to expand the reach of their brand to the audiences, it is the mobile apps that actually help them convert. Let’s move to the next step to understand why and how.
4.2.2. Apps Bring in Higher Conversions
Quite simply put, the conversions through mobile apps is unparalleled. All the leading e-commerce portals are coming to this realization which is why they are inclined today to bet high on mobile apps and receive higher conversions when compared to mobile web and desktop.
As compared to mobile web, mobile apps convert 300% higher and when compared to the desktop they convert 150% higher.
It is these figures that are urging more and more e-commerce brands to lean heavily on their mobile apps. Mobile apps are notorious for closing a higher number of transactions with customers by delivering with more efficiency than any other medium or channel. In fact, the average order value on a mobile app is higher than the desktop and mobile browser put together which means that the mobile apps yield higher shopping cart value than mobile web and desktops.
4.2.3. Apps Help Retain Customers & Build Brand Loyalty
It is comparatively easy to attract new customers with lucrative tactics, but to actually retain a one-time customer is way harder. Most of the businesses fail to get users to keep coming back to their stores. It is, in fact, an established fact that it takes seven times more to gain a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Hence the importance of retaining an existing customer need not be stressed upon.
If you want your e-commerce business to keep growing and reaching new heights, it is imperative that you constantly stay in touch and communicate well with their customers and update them about your products, new launches, special discounts & deals, and any other relevant information.
When you employ the push notification feature within the app it can serve as one of the strongest and most effective tools that a business can employ. A well-designed, and well-timed push notification that communicates value to the customer has the potential to boost up customer retention by up to 200%! It has been established through valuable and dependable analytics and research that the open rates for push notifications are twice that of an email.
The first-time mobile app users are more likely to come back to your app and use it within 30 days of first using it, as compared to the users on mobile websites, when the push notification is enabled. There has been a debate about whether push notifications are intrusive or not, however, it has been recorded that 50% of the users opt-in for the push messages or notifications and find them useful. When you manage higher retention of customers, you have the opportunity of a better chance at creating lifetime value customers. Push notifications are one of the treasured features of a mobile app, as it not only helps you dispel the right information but also helps you build a connect with the consumer leading to a slow buildup of brand loyalty that may stay forever.
A mobile device, by its trait, is mobile, which means that it is always in the hands of the user and they are using it all the time for a variety of functions and uses. The mobile apps, in fact, become the users’ virtual eyes, ears, and arms. The most amazing things here is that even if the people who have installed your app are not using it directly, they are looking at it every time they scroll through their screens, which means they are reminded of your brand, each of these times.
4.2.4. Apps Engage Customers Better
As compared to the regular or mobile websites, mobile apps offer far better opportunities for engagement with the users. A mobile app enables the users to access your content with a simple tap on the icon, instead of having to reach out to their computers opening a specific URL, and all this while be presented with a hundred other distractions.
Getting a customer to install your app on their phone is half the battle won, but only half. Whether it is push notifications or any other means, you need to be in constant touch with the customers, staying on top of each and every requirement or demand from the customers that come your way. Not only does this engage your customers more, but also boosts their loyalty towards you
4.2.5. Convenient Access to Retail Stores
The customers and the retailers, both confess that the mobile applications simplify the way or process to access a particular brand when they are using a smartphone. It takes just a click or rather a tap from the customer to reach all the lucrative deals and discounts that the retailers have in store for them. The advent of ‘big data’ in retail, has made it possible for the mobile apps to show the customers products and offers that are in sync with their buying behavior and preferences.
The mobile applications are known to deliver higher and better performance and more satisfactory user experience as compared to conventional websites. This, in fact, is the main aspect that is at the root of all the hullabaloo about creating an app for e-commerce businesses.
A mobile app has the capability of assuming the role and responsibilities of a relationship manager between the retailer and the customers. In the current industrial environment, a well designed mobile app is an absolute essential in building a loyal user base for any brand, and it is the same for an e-commerce website.
It has been established that more than 73% of mobile shoppers use apps only from their favorite brands.
4.2.6. Built-In Device Features Improve the Experience
App development companies like Penguin Apps Builder who develop mobile e-commerce apps offer a great range of features and offer apps that are optimized to be used across all mobile devices of varying operating systems, screen sizes and resolutions. This means when you have a mobile app for your e-commerce business you are offering to your users’ great performance and easy access to all the inbuilt features of the mobile device that it is going to be installed on, including but not limited to its camera, GPS, microphone, calendar, and more. In some of the apps, the built-in features of the mobile devices have been used ingeniously and have created intriguing, exciting, novel experiences for the users. As an example, you can put to use the calendar feature on the users’ phone and set up an event on their device for the day a sale goes live on their online or offline store, earning them the ability to remind the user of the event. The camera on their mobile device can be used to set up a virtual fitting room or trial room to see how the clothes or accessories fit the user in a simulated environment.
It is this innate ability of a mobile app to integrate seamlessly with the features that are built-in to the smartphone including the camera, microphone, GPS and others. The great thing about smartphones is that they come loaded with a multitude of features that can be harnessed to provide an exemplary and engaging user experience. The camera on the users’ mobile devices let you simulate a virtual fitting room, GPS when enabled on the users’ phones can help you offer special discounts, deals, and delivery options based on their location and the location of the stockiest or vendor. Users have also been using the microphone feature in their smartphones to voice search the products they are looking for, instead of typing it all out.
4.2.7. Sharing on The Social Media Is Easier Through Apps
This is the era of social media. Everyone who is anyone is on social media and everyone who is no one is also there on social media. We look for recommendations on social media, we vent out on the social media, we connect too on social media. It has so creatively woven itself into our lives that we have inadvertently started becoming dependent on it to quite an extent. A mobile e-commerce app lets you and your users connect on the social platform.
Social media integration for your app lets the users share their experiences, and the content they come across on your app on social media where it can be accessed by their friends and family, providing you with an effective, organic, and free medium of marketing.
People create and share an identity or a part of their identity on social media and all the content they share is exposed to an audience which is great for any business. Users have a tendency to ask for advice or recommendations from other friends or contact on social media and when you have an existence on social media and are endorsed by people, it can be a big surge for you. This can give you the advantage of a shop assistant but in a more efficient and effective manner.
4.3. Why Does Your Business Need An App?
41% of the people who have installed an app open the app for at least 17 times or more, and it is up to the developer to create and ensure a user experience that would make them return asking for more! It is the timing, circumstances and your skill as a developer that would decide where your apps lie on this statistical curve. Penguin Apps Builder some great reasons that you need an app!
4.3.1. Online Activity Is Shifting To The Mobile
For small business owners especially, it is not enough to have just a good web presence, as most of the online activity is moving from the computer format on to the mobiles and tabs. The global penetration of smartphones makes it a critical tool for marketing which cannot be ignored anymore. Nearly three-quarters of the population with a smartphone checks their device at least once per hour.
It has further been established through studies that 90% of the mobile phone usage is entirely made up of the myriad apps that the users have downloaded on them. Smartphones seem to have replaced the television in times of the amount of time spent viewing them.
4.3.2. People Are Never Without Their Phones
Apps reside on one of the most commonly carried devices – the smartphone. One of the most convenient places for people to reach or engage with your business is through an app! There are higher chances of someone returning to engage with an app as compared to a website. The ease of use, the access, and the habit of browsing your device for ideas contribute greatly to this.
4.3.3. Apps Pack A Bigger Range Of Services
A mobile app has higher engagement potential because it offers the user a wider range of services within the app. They permit a great variety in the kind of online transactions including but not limited to the dissemination of loyalty benefits or cards, push notifications, and even e-commerce transactions with great ease and safety. Apps have the potential to deliver coupons, send announcements that deepen the relationship with the consumer and help you build some sales. It is easier for the customers to get in touch with the company through an app and it increases customer satisfaction through the way of instant gratification.
4.3.4. Apps Give A Visual Recognition To Your Brand
One of the salient features of designing an app is to create an iconography that builds a visual memory for the customer. A mere icon on the phone that the customer is looking at frequently is a powerful tool to create a strong brand recognition & recollection in the customers’ memory.
4.3.5. It’s Not So Complicated Anymore!
There is a very deeply placed myth that creating an app will be a very heavy investment on the time and money front, especially for a small business owner. There might be reservation and confusion about the need to build the app for different platform customers including iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry. Apart from the indecisiveness about a number of factors including the suitability of a static vs. dynamic app, most small business owners do not have the expertise to build their own app.
This concern is now being looked into and helping the small business owners build their own apps by providing them the correct tools to go for their own DIY app to suit their requirements and the limited budget.
4.3.6. Set Yourself Apart From The Competition
In spite of all the hullabaloo about the app development phenomenon, there is still a lot of hesitation among the small business owners about it. There are very few players in the world of mobile apps when it comes to the small business segment. This might actually be the right time for you to take the leap and gain on the first movers’ advantage and keep yourself ahead of the times. This might be the one move that would set you apart from the rest of the crowd in your segment. A small business owner who boldly puts themselves out there on the market with such a strong move is sure to incite curiosity and confidence.
4.3.7. The Possibility Of Becoming Obsolete
The fickle world of business is much like a bicycle – if you are not moving forward, you are going to fall! It is not a world for people who fail to recognize the tide of times and adapt themselves to it. As the business community is fast adapting to the mobile platform for a variety of reasons, it would be a disaster to not establish your business and services on this platform. The users today hardly browse the web for any service, solution or even shopping, it is all about apps, and not having an app would simply mean that you would be passed over in favor of your competitors who have taken advantage of this dynamic platform.
4.3.8. It Increases Your Sales
An easier and smoother experience for the users means that there are higher chances of people actually using that app and availing your services or buying your product. An organization like Domino’s saw a 28% increase in their sales within six months of creating and launching their mobile app and today more than half of their online orders are done through mobile devices.
4.4. Progressive Web Apps
One of the most talked about aspect of the digital world that has surfaced in recent times is the PWA or the Progressive Web App. This is one of those technology shifts in the digital world that is being discussed with great fervor among the practitioners and players of the IT arena, especially those who are building for the web. The word PWA (or acronym) is one of the recent buzzwords that have taken over the vocabulary of any work being done on the web. Why do you think it is so? PWAs realized the fantasy of being able to install web apps on the phone.
So, let’s first try and define what exactly is PWA?
Progressive Web Apps or PWA is a term that has recently been used to refer to an innovative software development methodology. PWAs differ from the traditional applications as they are a hybrid or combination of websites or web pages and a mobile app. The intent of this model of the application is to bring together the features inherent to the cutting-edge technology that goes into the modern browser of the day with the obvious advantage of mobile experience.
4.5. Why build a Progressive Web App?
A progressive web app when built to meet all the criteria can have some great benefits for the developers and the PWA users.
- The PWAs can be installed on the users’ smartphone home-screens with great ease and speed.
- The PWAs take up surprisingly less space and are quite data friendly as compared to the native mobile apps
- The user experience with PWAs is immersive just like the native apps even as they are much better when it comes to responding to user interaction. They are known for silky smooth simulations and no janky scrolling.
- With PWAs you can work easily and reliably even in the worst of network conditions
- They offer the users a seamless experience irrespective of whether you are using iPhone, tablet, or a smartphone
- The users do not have to depend on any app stores like Google Play or iTunes to install or buy the PWAs
- With PWAs, you as an app owner can still send out push notifications just like the native apps
- One of the greatest features of PWAs is that they are self-updating, which means they need not be updated every time a new app version like the native mobile apps
- Not only are the PWAs have a reputation for increasing user engagement, but they are also known to increase the number of conversions. For example, in the case of AliExpress, the conversion rates of new users across all browsers grew by a whopping 104%
- Another one of the most important and valuable features is that the PWAs run over HTTPS, which automatically extends a safe & secure browsing experience to the users.
4.6. The Dependency on Social Media In The Recent Times
Social media has become the go-to marketing tool for everyone, especially the small to medium businesses and the startups of all scales. This is definitely a great place to begin where your starting investment would be low and easy to handle and manage, which has led to a great dependency on this one tool. It might get you a foot in the door, but it certainly does not mean that it should be the only way for you to reach the audiences. In fact, just to let you understand how wrong you can go with this dependency, Penguin Apps Builder has listed the disadvantages.
4.7. The Disadvantages of This Dependency
4.7.1. Negative Feedback
The possibility of attracting as many negative comments as the positive reviews you might be garnering is quite high. These comments are directly accessible by anyone who visits your page, which means the chances of people getting swayed by the negative comments and rejecting you is high too! This, in fact, is an opportunity that your competitors might leverage quite efficiently, to their advantage. The only thing you can do here is to mitigate the impact by responding to the negative feedback in a prompt and efficient manner and then take up the concerns on a more private medium. The negative impact, however, cannot be nullified entirely.
4.7.2. Potential For Embarrassment
Everyone uses social media, that’s the point! EVERYONE uses social media, which means that your Page or Profile would be visited by all sorts of people and some of them might be negative or even malicious. Your page can be targeted by spammers, trolls, or anyone else who simply wants to create a stir or even sabotage you on behalf of your competitors. This can lead to a lot of embarrassment for you and can harm your online reputation.
4.7.3. Time Intensive
According to some of the latest industry reports about 70% of the digital marketing professionals spend upwards of 7 hours a day on Social Media Marketing while about 41% spend upwards of 11 hours exploring the realms of SMM. This is indicative of the kind of time that a business would need to put in to get any kind of returns from social media. The most worrying part of all this is that if you fail to implement it in the right way all that you invested in terms of time and other resources may simply go to waste.
4.7.4. Delayed ROI
If you are one of those businesses that cannot afford to wait for long when it comes to receiving a return on your investment, then social media marketing can prove to be quite a frustrating experience for you. Marketing on social media is a long-term plan and the results are generally delayed. The results or returns that you might expect from this medium is generally achieved a lot later as compared to the ones you receive from the traditional media. The most basic element here is building relationships, which, as we know takes a comparatively long time. If you are one of those firms who are looking to make instant sales and get immediate revenues, then traditional promotional tools and media are a better fit for you and your business.
4.7.5. Perceived as Intrusive
This might seem like a bit of irony, but it has been voiced by many social media enthusiasts that they find advertising and marketing on social media as quite intrusive when it comes to their privacy. It has become a regular practice to observe user behavior on social media in order to shape their ad experience on the platform and off of it, has been a point of contention and concern for the majority of the members of the social media. This concern and insecurity can, in fact, lead to an offensive or bitter reaction from the consumers.
4.7.6. Geographically Unsuitable Fans
So your page on Facebook has millions of fans and they love your content and the products! Great! Unless you are a local or small to medium business who operates in a geographically specific area. While you may have an ardent fan in Illinois, your services may only be restricted to the Manhattan area. Isn’t that a conundrum now? If you are looking forward to promoting your business locally by targeting ads in the area of your choice, you would have to invest money in paid ads, and you might not even have accounted for this expense while planning your social media budget.
4.7.7. Only Attracts the Current Brand Users
This is another concerning drawback of using only social media to reach a wider audience. While a social media profile or page would attract your loyal customers quickly, it is going to take considerable effort and time to acquire new customers or followers. You can awaken dormant customers and get some repeat sales from them and even use them to influence new or other prospective consumers to try out your offerings. However, the chances and the measure of this actually happening is quite difficult to predict.
4.7.8. Reach Decreases
As a business that aims to get results for their investment in Social media marketing, it is only natural that you would want to get more revenue from it. Under this pressure, you would then invest heavily on paid acquisitions and reach. Once you begin relying on the paid reach the organic reach of your page is bound to dwindle. The more your organic reach dwindles, the more you would have to invest in paid reach, and vice versa. To fall prey to this vicious cycle can be pretty damaging for your business and at this point investing in social media marketing becomes pointless.
4.7.9. Prone to Security Breaches
There have always been questions about the safety and security in the context of social media and it is only natural that the consumers you may be trying to target have these concerns too. The fact that you do not have a control on any of the security aspect here makes you and the prospective consumer equally anxious. Data breaches on these platforms put you, your business, and your loyal consumers at a high risk of falling victim to cybercrimes of varying degrees.
In the light of recent events where social media is under scrutiny in the context of data security and the implications of using even the leading forum, it is only natural that you, as a small or medium business owner, have been concerned about your own data and the data of your customers being at a potential risk.
You might have been one of the lucky ones who did not install the “This is my digital life” app on your Facebook account narrowly escaping the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. However, would you be this lucky the next time over? Data Security as a concept is one of the foremost topics that must be running through your mind. It can prove to be a big problem for you when you have your data stolen, but do you realize how much bigger can it be for you when the data were stolen belongs to your customers and it happens through your social media page? Not only do they suffer the travesty, but they also lose any kind of trust that they might have put in you! When a customer provides you with their information, personal, or otherwise, they are trusting You! They are not putting their faith in the social media channel you have used to connect with them. Hence when there is a breach of privacy, it is you who is failing them, by failing to protect all that they shared with you in good faith!
Wouldn’t it be better then, to be able to assume control of all your user’s data and offer to them, the privacy that might be missing from even the best or leading social media platforms? This can be done quite easily and effectively when you build an app for your business. When you build an app and have a list of users who install it on their phones, subscribing to your notifications and taking advantage of the freedom and exclusive benefits of having an app for their business. However, if you are one of those businesses who have already built a loyal following on your Facebook page, you might be faced with a major conundrum of bringing traffic and users on to your app.
4.8. Way To Drive Traffic From Facebook To Your Page
Penguin Apps Builder offers an ingenious way to convert your Facebook page to an app and has compiled their experience into some easy ways of driving traffic from your Facebook page to your app.
4.8.1. Optimize your Facebook Page for App Installs
The most important and logical thing to know and remember is that if people cannot see the app you have built, they are not going to be able to install it on their phones and use it. So, make sure that you have the download link clearly visible and easily accessible on your Facebook page. If you are wondering which spots are most easily accessible and viable for this intent, then the following list would help you out!
- The “About” tab on your Facebook page profile section
- Any Photo or Video description that you believe is appropriate should flash the link to install your app
- Milestones on your Timeline. For example, if you added a milestone about you opening a new outlet, include a link in your app that offers the directions to your new outlet, or if you were introducing a new range of products/service add the appropriate app link.
- Place an appropriate app page link in each of the posts where you are inviting the people to either call, visit, or shop with you online
- On every event page that you create, make sure to include a link to install your app, or a link that would take the users to a relevant page
Apart from this, you can even add a call to action button on your profile. A call to action button is quite an effective feature from Facebook that is placed at the top of your Facebook Page, right next to the ‘Like’ button. Clicking on this call to action button would take your users or visitors to the page or app install link of your choosing. The link you integrate here can lead the visitors to the install page or prompt them for an email sign up for your app or any other link that makes the most sense for you.
4.8.2. Keep Up with Posting Fresh Content on Your App
While funny posts, witty quips, cute cat videos, links to current events might all be great to keep your Page followers interested & engaged, they might not be creating much traffic on to your app! The idea is not just to entertain your visitors, but also to talk about your app, what you are offering through the app and so much more! However, it might come as a challenge for you to create frequent posts about your app if you do not churn out enough content about it!
As a small business owner who is using an app to expand their business you might be having trouble finding and developing fresh content about your website as frequently as possible, because let’s face it, there’s only so much to say about an app, and talking about same services and products can end up being quite monotonous after a while.
In this context, blogging can come to your rescue! When you have a steady stream of fresh content begin churned out through an active and engaging blog, you would have a continuous and rich stream of content that you can share about your app on the Facebook Page so that your followers are motivated and encouraged to install your app and then keep visiting it.
4.8.3. Optimize All Your Content for Easy Sharing
The power of sharing on social media is paramount, because this is where the content goes viral, this is where most people are looking for recommendations today, and this is where your users would have the option to talk about you and let their peer and friends know about their positive experience with you, letting them know how your app is making a difference in their lives.
This means that it is not enough to simply create fresh content through blogs or any other medium you might choose. It is of great importance that the content is easy to share for everyone. When you include sharing buttons in your content, you are offering to your users an easy one-step method for them to share your content on any social media channel of their choice. As they share the content, they are also linking it to your app, thus attracting more and more visitors to install and explore your app.
4.8.4. Visual Content Rules!
Content is the King today, but it is the visual content that reigns supreme over everything else. It is only natural that most users or people, in general, are more attracted to visuals, especially the ones that are curated appropriately. Any post that is fortified with relevant and attractive photo content, is bound to attract and retain the attention of users or customers to your app. These posts would always invite more ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’, & ‘Shares’ as compared to the posts that only have text in them.
When you make use of high resolution, big size images on your app and blog, you make it possible for Facebook to pull in these rich visuals when you share the links for others to see. This makes your page highly attractive for the users once they’ve clicked through to your app. One good way to make sure that the images look good on your Facebook page is to set the dimensions of the images to 1200×628.
4.8.5. Facebook Ads
Probably one of the easiest ways to offer exposure to your app on Facebook is to use advertising or Facebook Ads. Though it requires you to put in some money, but it offers you numerous options to target your ads accurately, by getting you a higher reach among your existing fans or showing your ad only to those people who suit the demographics of your target consumer and have the same interests, hobbies or requirements that your target user has.
The money you need to spend on this begins with as less as $5 and can go as high up as you want to put in. you can begin with low investment and go through the reports and measures in order to understand the kind of results and returns you are receiving for the money you have put in. this will help you further take a decision regarding the viability of Facebook Ads for the proliferation of your app.
4.8.6. Leverage the Link Share View Feature from Facebook
In past, a lot of pages were sharing their app links by attaching a big visual with it, and quite rightly so, because the visuals or the images tend to work well. However, in recent times, the data collected from Facebook indicates that the chances of people clicking on your app links are higher when you have shared your link using the “Link Share” feature.
This is largely due to the fact that their algorithm has been updated to favor the link share view while deciding the content and the targeted users. This simply means that when you are using Link Share View, you are reaching out to a larger audience and when you reach a larger audience the possibility of you getting a higher number of app clicks is definitely higher!
Earlier when sharing a blog post on Facebook, you were forced to share the image on your blog post as the image of your post, but that has changed now. Now you have the freedom to choose from any of the images that you might have used on the blog, or even upload something on your own!
While sharing or uploading an image of your own, remember to use a large image preferably of dimensions 1200×628 so that the image doesn’t get cut or doesn’t blur out in the post preview.
4.8.7. Develop Relevant & Engaging Content
When you post or share your app link on the social media, the text that accompanies the link could be the defining factor when it comes to the number of clicks or visits your app receives finally. The content must offer some kind of a description that relates to the link. This content that accompanies the link should have value in it and be explanatory while refraining from coming across as too spammy.
- Avoid Click-Baiting Like Plague!
Click-baiting might get the users to install your app and use it at least once, but remember that like you and me, people hate being click-baited. This would definitely cause them to uninstall the app from their mobile devices. This is not just bad for your reach on Facebook, but also for your app ranking on the app store.
- Stay Away from All-Caps
It goes without saying that using all-caps is ill-advised and should only be used when they are an absolute necessity. If you use all-caps on every post or link that you share, you are only going to put off the audience, especially when the subject doesn’t even need it!
- Be Friendly & Break the Barriers
When you post content on your Facebook Page, and it sounds stodgy or snobbish, you are only going to create an unnecessary wall between you and your users or followers. Make sure that your tone is unassuming, friendly, and informal so that you can engage people in a two-way interaction. The best posts are composed in a way that would sound like you were speaking to someone about your latest blog post!
- Draft Gripping Titles for Your Blog Posts
When you are sharing one of your blog links on your Facebook Page and when your users are further sharing it on their walls, the title of your blog is visible on the post and that is the most obviously visible thing the users are going to see when they come across your post. When you have a title that attracts their attention and makes them think, the chances of the users clicking through to your app or installing your app becomes higher.
4.8.8. Make an Awesome Business Profile
Imagine that you are at a social gathering or a professional mixer where you meet hundreds or thousands of people. Who do you think you are going to remember or continue your conversation with. It would probably be someone who introduces themselves the best and keeps you engaged. It is quite similar when it comes to Facebook Pages, except the number here is even greater!
Offer plenty of background information so that people who are reading your business profile become acquainted with your app and may even find something that connects them to it.
4.8.9. Offer Frequent Information & Updates About Your App
Apps need to be updated often and are dynamic in nature as you keep adding features or replacing old ones with new features. Whenever there is any change you make to your app, or you have any news about it, share it immediately with your followers. Being out of sight is going to push you out of their minds for sure!
5. The Magic of The Digital Trinity
Now that we have discussed at length a holistic view of the three pillars of your business’ online presence, we understand the individual benefits of using each of them. Once you know the benefits and shortcomings of all three, all you need to do is leverage the strength of each of these media and compensate for the drawbacks that any of them might have. Put together this digital trinity has more potential than relying on a single one of them. When done right, this has the potential to offer you omnipresence as a business.
6. Wrapping It Up
On a concluding note, we can say that, yes, of course social media marketing is huge, and helps you get results that are fast, measurable, and promising, but it would be a short-sighted person who would make the mistake of putting their entire marketing budget and basing all their strategies only around this one marketing tool. Social Media is a powerful tool for marketing, but to rely solely on it and ignore all other alternatives may prove to be an expensive affair and quite ineffective as well. It is important that you diversify when defining your marketing strategy and includes as many different marketing tools & channels for a successful marketing plan.