iPhone App LogoMore and more people carry smartphones in their pockets, and that means one thing for sure: Apps. People love apps. They’re quick, convenient to use, and there’s one (or two, or more) for just about anything.

Hopefully by now your business already has a social media presence and online marketing campaign, so why not launch a mobile app, too? To create one you just need to draw out your idea, find a developer and then get it approved by Apple, Android, and Microsoft.

However, before you start the process, you need to ask yourself if a mobile app is right for your business. Here are some things to consider.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Think about your customers and your target audience. Are they using smartphones and apps? Lots of people are, but some more than others. In particular, the younger crowd (18-35 years) uses apps than other age segments.

If your audience is into apps, are they using iPhones, Droids, or Blackberries? Find out (if you don’t already know) as much about your audience’s smartphone habits. As with anything else, you need to make sure you’re putting your efforts into something that will actually reach your customers.

What Can Your App Offer?

Here’s the deal: There are so many apps, that people aren’t going to download yours unless it’s really special. You need to offer real value. The value might be something that makes a user’s life easier or helps them in some way.

It could also be entertainment, but useful is usually better. It should also offer repeated value. If it’s something that will only be useful one time, your app will quickly be deleted or forgotten.

Your app could offer many things such as knowledge or a database related to your industry or niche; an easier way to access your website or membership features; or a utility tool that can help people in their daily lives.

Think hard about this one. If you can’t come up with a high-value app, your business shouldn’t create one.

Android logoDo You Have the Time and Resources?

Creating a mobile app isn’t easy. If you’re not a programmer or developer, you’ll probably need to hire a third party to create your app, unless you want to spend a very long time learning how to do it yourself (you don’t, trust me!).

Find out how much money it will take to hire a developer, and understand that it could take months before your app is ready and available for use.

Does your app really have the potential to drive enough business that it justifies spending the time and money to create it?


How Will You Get People to Download It?

Don’t forget that you’ll also need to spend time and money marketing your app, because no one will download it if they don’t know about it. Be prepared to link to your app on your website, all of your social networking profiles, and in your offline marketing campaigns and materials, too. Getting the word out is an essential part of the process.

If you decide to create an app, don’t forget to budget for marketing it, too.

This and many other educational articles helping web professionals understand the challenges of the web and how to promote business concepts online have been prepared for you by Sarah Dunbar thanks to SEOMap – the keyword strategy experts.