Tuesday, 2 April 2013

How to build an ‘App’ for your Business – A guide from Waseem Saddique Marketing Services

It’s estimated that there are 6 million apps in circulation (source: esave.com) across all platforms including: the iPhone app store, the Android Market, the Windows Phone market place, the Blackberry and many more.

Waseem Saddique comments: “The ‘app’ market is competitive, as businesses jostle to attract consumer attention. Therefore, if an app would be suitable for aiding business growth, it’s certainly worth considering the development of an ‘app’ when implementing an online marketing strategy.”

Statistics show that quality ‘apps’ tend to go viral very quickly and are a sure fire way to increase the prominence of an online marketing campaign and increase the exposure of a business. ‘Apps’ have become a particularly favoured marketing tool among SME’s as they look to raise the profile of their businesses.

Waseem Saddique states: “Whilst there are a number of DIY ‘app’ development tools available, it is recommended that you consult a specialist ‘app’ developer, especially if you’re technological knowledge is basic at best. There’s no shame in calling in a professional, after all it’s best to develop an ‘app’ that is effective and less likely to encounter functionality issues.”

What’s the benefit of an ‘app’?

One of the key benefits that ‘apps’ offer is versatility as they can be embedded almost anywhere, whether it is on a Facebook page, on a mobile or smartphone or on a website.

Other benefits include:

#1 – A cost effective approach to online marketing.

#2 – Rapid viral exposure.

#3 – ‘Apps’ are interactive, encouraging consumers to connect with your business, whether        consciously, or subconsciously.

#4 – They offer a revenue stream – ‘Apps’ can be sold on a number of ‘app’ markets.

#5 – They can constantly be refined to keep up with consumer trends.

What are my options for developing an ‘app’? 

Do-it-yourself – Whilst consulting with a developer is recommended, if your budget is tight there are a number of DIY ‘app’ development tools available. One particular DIY tool that is proving popular is Google’s App Inventor. ‘App’ inventor does not require the involvement of a developer and allows you to create Android compatible ‘apps’ that utilise smartphone features such as, GPS and SMS.

Should you wish to capture the iPhone market the ‘AppMakr’ tool is a website-based iPhone ‘app’ creator.

A number of DIY tools also exist for creating microsites, Facebook applications, blog ‘apps’ and much more.

Waseem Saddique states: “It’s imperative, that when developing an ‘app’ of your own, without professional assistance, that the concept and strategy are right from the word go, otherwise the development could become a time-consuming and costly process.”

Hire a freelancer – Freelance websites are a great way to source ‘app’ developers, some of the top sites include peopleperhour.com, odesk.com and freelancer.com

There is a risk element to hiring the services of a freelancer, but it is also a cost effective method compared to hiring a development agency.

The key element of hiring a freelancer is to do your research and when selecting a developer to work with, make sure everything is put in black and white by way of a contract. That way there can be no misinterpretations of what is expected from both parties during the ‘app’ project.

Hire an agency – For the more affluent business owner, with a more significant budget, hiring an ‘app’ development agency is perhaps the best option. If your ‘app’ is likely to play a big part in your marketing strategy, there is no substitute for ensuring that you ‘app’ is developed to the highest standard.

Waseem Saddique comments: “A well-developed ‘app’ can be a ‘game changer’ when jostling for consumer attention. Functionality is of the utmost importance and research conducted by esave.com shows that 47% of consumers will cease to use an ‘app’ if it’s slow and too complex to use.”

A highly recommended ‘app’ development agency (as supplied by masahable.com) is TheyMakeApps.com who have the capability to develop ‘apps’ for all platforms, particularly for online marketing campaigns.

For an all-in-one solution, employ in-house developers

Hiring an in-house developer(s) offers a solution that combines all three of the above. If online marketing and mobile marketing are the essential foundation for the success of your business then, purely for the long-term benefits, employing in-house staff is the most effective solution. 

Over a period of time, in-house staff will have a solid grasp of your ‘app’ requirements and can constantly refine and develop applications in order to keep up with customer trends and tastes. In terms of longevity and establishing an ‘app’ brand having developers that know your business inside out will ultimately prove pivotal.

Founded in 2007, Waseem Saddique Marketing Services has consistently provided small to medium enterprises, as well as larger corporate firms, with a range of digital marketing & online solutions. To learn more visit www.waseemsaddique.blogspot.com