Building an app for your business can be expensive. In addition to the initial cost of building an app, there are maintenance and updating costs. Many businesses hire an app expert as part of the staff to maintain the app. An alternative to a mobile app may be better for your business.
The best mobile app alternatives include websites designed for mobile, flyer campaigns, social media, creating media content, and in-person interaction with the public. These alternatives provide exposure for businesses, encourage customer loyalty, and cost less than building a mobile app.
Using these alternatives can help save you money, share information about your business, and work as advertising. Read on to learn more about each of these alternatives.
Websites for Mobile
A mobile website makes your company seem up-to-date and user-friendly. Flyer campaigns provide local interaction. Social media allows for larger-scale advertising with interaction. Creating media content can show your business is more than a business, but also an interesting part of this world. Interacting with the public in-person establishes trust and customer loyalty. Let’s dive in first and talk more about mobile websites!
Instead of creating a mobile app, make your business's website mobile-friendly. Many people do not want to download an app just to access a business page. A mobile-friendly website page may be more appealing than a mobile app!
Making your website mobile-friendly may cost some money, but it is nowhere near the cost of developing and updating an app. Mobile-friendly websites require different formatting and a few considerations for users with small screens. Making your business website mobile-friendly shows your business stays up-to-date and offers convenience for customers.
To make a website mobile-friendly, use these tips:
- Use a template for mobile websites when designing the website.
- Cut back on content. Keep only the things you absolutely need viewers to see.
- Make pictures and graphics light, not dark.
- Don't use Flash. Flash doesn't run on mobile websites.
- Create large buttons and place them where mobile users will see them.
- Get rid of pop-ups. Pop-ups on a laptop are a slight annoyance, but pop-ups on a mobile device make the site unreadable.
There are many tips and tricks that will make your website mobile-friendly. It is worth it!
Don't know if your website is mobile-friendly? Google has a solution. Insert the URL for your website into Google's Mobile-Friendly Test Engine. Google will tell you whether or not your website is mobile-friendly and tell you how easy it is to navigate the website as a mobile user.
Another way to make your website mobile-friendly is to spread information about your website through a QR code. Most people won't remember a URL or website title. People can take a picture of a QR code and access your website whenever they want with no hassle.
Flyers may sound like a thing of the past, but flyers are still a great option for advertising and spreading information about your business. In a world that's largely digital, a physical paper flyer can stand out among the dozens of ads people see every day.
By adding a coupon to a flyer, you create an incentive for people to visit your business. If your business is local and caters to the local people, flyers can be a great way to get people into your business. People like to support local businesses but often don't know about them.
Advertising online means advertising to anybody and everybody. For local businesses, this isn't always helpful. A local family-owned restaurant in Maine doesn't need advertisements in Texas. A flyer campaign in your area allows for specific, aimed advertising to people who will actually visit the business.
We offer several methods of distributing flyers, each customizable to your business's specific needs. You can choose from hand-to-hand or door-to-door personal flyer distribution. You can even choose to have your flyers mailed out at certain times to specific places.
While social media may seem like a silly platform for many businesses, the truth is that most people use at least one social media platform. Formal advertisements cost money, but sharing information about your business costs nothing with your own social media account. People can follow you, like your content, and share your posts with friends.
Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform. With Facebook, you can build a page for your business. Within the page you can add videos, links, and pictures.
Instagram is popular with a younger crowd. If you want young people visiting your business, Instagram is a great way to get their attention.
The company Chevron has an Instagram. The business posts about their new ventures, their employees, and their efforts to make the world a better place. People enjoy seeing businesses make the world a better place. Instagram is the perfect place to share how your business helps others.
Twitter is another great medium for businesses. People interact on Twitter and share ideas. Anyone can see something posted on Twitter. Your tweets may start a conversation, and people can even ask questions about your business.
TikTok may seem like a platform for young people, but young people are a large market. TikTok also tracks what people watch, so if people in your community tend to watch videos about your area, your video is likely to pop up on their feed next time they're scrolling.
Making a TikTok doesn't have to be time-consuming or formal. Most TikTok videos are casual, with trends about dancing, jokes, and people sharing their lives. Share your business on TikTok by highlighting your employees, your day-to-day operations, and funny things that happen during the business day.
Creating Media Content
In a world that revolves around media, businesses can make their voices heard in creative ways. Podcasts, YouTube videos, and E-books are common, with businesses using their creative and imaginative skills to entertain and advertise at the same time.
A podcast can be especially helpful in drawing an audience. People who listen to podcasts are eager to learn, and your business may be interesting to them. Start a podcast about your business, even if it only continues for a few episodes. Ideas for episodes can include:
- Your business philosophy: People never get tired of hearing new business philosophy, especially if they already admire your business.
- Day-to-Day Operations: Talk about what it's like to work at your business. People are often interested in details that make a business unique.
- Your story: Tell your story. Add personal details and construct your story like a storyteller. Podcast listeners love stories, especially real ones.
Podcasts generally have commercials as well. If you don't want to make your own podcast, contact a popular podcaster and create a commercial. Commercials in podcasts don't require video footage, just audio. It's also common for podcasters to recommend the business in the commercial.
YouTube videos are some of the most common media content on the internet. Like a podcast, you can make a video about your business. Talk about all the things that make your business unique and show the most interesting parts. You can post it on YouTube for free!
Some businesses have gained popularity on YouTube just by recording their day-to-day operations. A rug cleaning business called Lubuski Centrum Czystosci posts videos of their rug-cleaning process. Viewers seem to enjoy watching the dirt and grime wash away from the beautiful rugs. The process also produces soothing sounds of running water.
Lubuski Centrum Czystosci adds a breakdancer at the end of every video, just for fun. The combination of satisfying cleaning, relaxing sounds, and fun details has made the YouTube channel very popular. With over half a million subscribers, this rug cleaning company has found free advertising with a simple camera and video editing software.
E-books are a great option for a business with a lot of ideas to share. Anyone can write an E-book, and anyone can download an E-book from anywhere in the world.
A person looking for information about a certain topic could stumble across your E-book. After a quick download, that person will have a great introduction to your business.
E-books are also easy to share. Friends can send E-books to each other with just a click.
Without paying anything for advertising, your E-book can spread information about your business all over the world in minutes.
For many businesses, in-person interaction is vital for sharing information about the company.
Booths can be an interactive way of gathering interest in your company. Anyone walking along can learn about your business and talk to actual employees and owners.
Ideas for booths:
- Offer food. Many people are willing to listen in exchange for food.
- Play games. Passersby enjoy interactive activities that catch their attention, especially if a prize is involved.
- Be friendly. Wear bright clothes and smile wide, making sure that you highlight the workers within your business.
- Stand out. Don't let your booth look like every other booth. If your business sells board games, dress up as Candy Land characters. If your business is a motel, decorate with pillows and breakfast food.
- Hand out free stuff. People like free pens and pencils, free stress balls, free drink cozies, free t-shirts, and free stuff in general. The stuff can be cheap, just remember to put your business name on everything. People will approach the booth for free stuff, listen to your information, and walk away advertising for your business.
Use your booth to get people involved. If your business repairs vacuums, cut a vacuum open and show off the parts, letting people get up close. If your business sells paper, host a paper airplane contest or an origami lesson. Let people see that they can use your business in a variety of ways.
In-person interaction allows a business to be part of a community. Showing your business is a community business builds customer loyalty and encourages people to shop locally. Other local businesses may join you in promoting community outreach.
Another type of in-person interaction is allowing your customers to sample the product or have a trial period. You may demonstrate how to use the product in person, answering questions along the way. The customer will feel they have a personal relationship with the business.
Ways you can offer a sample of your business:
- Give the customer a product trial period. If they don't like it, they can bring it back.
- Offer a free coupon for something small. If your business sells fried chicken and lemonade, give them a coupon for a free lemonade. They'll come to your business for their free sample and you'll be able to provide more information about the company.
- Try a giveaway. Put together a package of your business's products, services, etc., and advertise it on social media. Have people tag your company in their posts. Each post from a person gives them a chance to win the giveaway.
- Provide service at a local event. If a dinner needs to be catered, offer a discount to the dinner planner and serve your food to everyone at the event, showing them what you have to offer. If your business sells cars, dress up your cars and throw out candy at the next city parade.