A poorly designed app doesn’t just affect the public’s perception of that app; it reflects badly on the entire brand you’re trying to build. Likewise, a well-designed, useful app can take an unknown or misunderstood brand and catapult it to fame and greatness! Well, perhaps it’s not quite that easy, but you get the point. Since most users nowadays are mobile, the usefulness, helpfulness, and ease of use your mobile app offers does reflect squarely back onto your company. Here’s how to develop a smart content strategy for your mobile apps.
Content Has to Be Targeted and Relevant
When you develop an app, don’t think in terms of hard sales. Think in terms of providing value to your users in terms of information, a service, or entertainment.
What does a user have in mind when they download your app? What are they trying to accomplish? More pointedly, who are they, and what do they need? Mobile apps need to be designed and tailored specifically for your target demographic. Are they shopping for office supplies? Looking for great places to eat at the last minute? Need to find out what the final score was in the Reds versus Rays game?
You have to make it super easy for them to meet their particular needs as soon as possible after opening your app. There are three basic reasons why people download and install apps:
• To obtain information
• To obtain a product or service
• To entertain themselves
Identify the core needs of your users, and develop an app that directly, immediately, thoroughly meets that need.
Content Has to Remain Relevant Over Time
Don’t develop an app just to meet users’ one-time needs. Create an app that delivers value continually as time goes on.
Some apps serve a short-term purpose, but fail to meet users needs and engage them over time. It only takes about 3-4 strokes to delete an app. This is way too easy for them, so make it worth the memory and processing power you’re consuming by remaining relevant even after the initial need is met, the need that drove them to click “download”.
There are several ways to do this, and many app developers use two or more of these methods to stay relevant and claim a rightful place on their users’ mobile devices.
• Use push notifications or alerts to deliver useful, timely information to your users. Just don’t go overboard — if you bug them, they will disappear.
• Use geofencing to give them content relevant to their location, such as announcing a nearby event, providing coupons for a local store, or alerting them of a sale going on at a specific location.
• Deliver adaptive content that is specific to that user, such as deals on products they’ve expressed an interest in or news relevant to what they typically search for.
• Give them fresh content they can’t get anywhere else.
Content Has to Engage Users in Different Ways
This requires some out-of-the-box thinking. You’ve got to step away from the hard sell and offer them different uses and purposes for your app. Let’s use a couple of examples that are common and easy to picture.
Most people have at least one weather app on their phone. But what happens when there is a long stretch of beautiful, clear skies, meaning there is positively no reason for users to pull up your exceptionally beautiful weather app? Some weather apps have solved this dilemma by providing up-to-the-minute temperature readings on their users’ devices, or offering unique content like wild weather videos.
Sports apps have much the same problem: football fans use their app continually from fall through January, and then basically forget about it until September. An easy way around this is to cover off-season events, even those beyond big news stories like the NFL draft and spring practice. These developers can offer them discounted or free tours of stadiums near their device’s location, or perhaps cover softer news features like the birth of players’ children or their attendance at charity events.
You can adapt these techniques to your products and industry. The important takeaways here are finding ways to keep your mobile users engaged with your app, and therefore with your brand. Think of your app as the long arm of your organisation, one your users can and will take everywhere — so long as you continue to make it worth their while.