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What are the best ways to market web applications to small businesses?

Since smart phones took the world by storm, apps have become an increasingly important part of their function. For businesses, they have opened up another avenue of communication and interaction with their customers. Using apps you can engage, inform and impress your clients. In addition, you get the opportunity to reinforce your brand both on a practical level and as a way of creating an association with dynamic yet functional technology. However, you can’t just insist that small and medium-sized businesses use the apps you’ve developed – so what are the best ways to market web applications to your target audience?

The Fastest Growing Industry…Ever

The mobile app industry is the fastest growing industry ever. By 2015, it is predicted that it will grow by 1000%. With predictions like that, is this something your company can choose to ignore? Apps can be created to serve practically any purpose, but the best ones are those that serve your client a hard and fast purpose. Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, has developed a number of apps that have proven invaluable to his clients by keeping them updated on the latest developments in the software industry. Rather than being just a series of faceless bulletins, they are well thought out and engaging blogs that entertain, as well as delivering significant information.

Marketing of any sort is based on word of mouth. If you supply something worthwhile then people will talk about it. Thankfully, the Internet community is practically an online grapevine and it’s this aspect that you need to hone in on. A massive part of the Internet today is devoted to blogging. Bloggers, particularly in the business sector, are more than happy to review and comment on apps.

Blogging sites tend to have a large number of regular followers, particularly if they conduct reviews. Take a look on the Internet and source blog sites that are relevant to your business. Using Twitter, you’ll be able to see the profiles of users who follow that site and decide if they are your target audience.

Forums and Social Networking Sites

Business forums are also a good focal point for marketing. By joining forums you can get immediate and honest feedback on your app. If your app is well designed and useful, word will spread. Conversely, if your app isn’t up to standard, you will likely receive constructive criticism as to where its weaknesses lie. However, these forums are also useful for conducting research into the kind of apps that are lacking, and tucked away within the discussions is where you might discover a niche that needs filling.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are especially useful in marketing apps. Those who use these sites are likely to be technologically aware, although it’s worth noting that if you’re targeting people in their middle age then you might want to look elsewhere other than social networking sites. Choose your demographic carefully and make sure that the platform you’re using matches those parameters.

However, the immediacy offered by these sites gives you the potential to make personal, professional and long-lasting relationships with your clients, through which you can market your apps to the right demographic.

Apps are an important part of keeping your brand at the forefront of y our clients’ minds and generating new customers. With the right marketing, they can work for both you and your client base.

Carlo Pandian

Carlo Pandian is a freelance blogger covering the start-up scene in Asia, small business marketing and technology. He also writes how to guides about Intuit QuickBooks accounting software and loves sharing tips with the community of Startup Lokal.

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