Business owners are always looking for something to use to keep their brand current and up to date. It’s important for any business to always look fresh and to reach out to their existing and potential customers in ways that are both convenient and ‘trend’. That’s why a lot of small businesses have fallen into the trap brought upon by the misconception that mobile apps are the only mobile solution for local businesses who want to reach out to mobile consumers.
It’s true that having a mobile app for your business will give an air of modernity and trendiness to your establishment’s name but it won’t produce the marketing results that you need – especially for local businesses who don’t have a lot of marketing budget to burn.
Cost and Maintenance
App development requires a lot of skill and thus it will cost you a lot. A simple app without user expected features can easily cost $3,000. Adding features like a tap-to-call button will require a lot more spend. Since most developers want to be paid per hour, anything you want changed or updated will require you to pay huge amounts of money.
Time and Approval
Aside from the fact that a mobile app is costly, it takes a long time for development. You’ll have to wait for a couple of weeks for your app to be tested and ready for market. After that, you’ll have to wait for an indefinite amount of time for your app to be approved on some of the most famous app stores. You’re lucky if you choose to submit your app on the Play Store because Google doesn’t require a long and unpredictable approval period. For the rest though – you’ll need to keep your fingers crossed and hope that they’ll accept your app.
Reach and Discoverability
This is the biggest issue with mobile apps if you aim to use it to be found by potential clients. The problem can be summed up in one simple personal question – “Will you use the app store to find products and services that you need? Of course you won’t! You open the app store to find games or cool apps that you can use for fun, productivity, work or communication – you don’t open it to look for a dentist nearby if you’re experiencing a crippling toothache. Nonetheless, if there are indeed a significant number of people who look for services via the app store, the question is how to optimize your app so that it will be on top of the search results for certain relevant keywords.
Mobile apps are just vanity software that doesn’t really do much aside from making your business look “cool”. In terms of marketing, the best solutions are SMS, QR codes and a premium mobile websites. They are cheaper, don’t require approvals, work on all brands of smartphones and you can do an SEO campaign so that they’ll always show up on top of a keyword search on any search engine. Now that’s value for your marketing money!