Free Apps? Good Idea!


There are apps for almost every interest and activity under the sun – apps for products, services, games, tips, guides, and apps for keeping up with social networks. It’s true that app developers are making lots of money selling apps – but business and organizations are doing just as well by giving away free applications they pay to develop.

Three reasons free apps can be great for your business or organization are –

Service. Make your customers or constituents happy by providing apps that meet their needs and they’ll do more than thank you for it. Not sure what that app might be? How about developing an app that reminds customers of appointments, birthdays, events or updates to your Website? You can also browse an app store for ideas.

Branding. Engaging apps are great for branding. Some of the most engaging apps are those that feature a game or enable social networking – or stuff that people  spend a lot of time doing. Associating your brand with a game or a network could be a great way to keep customers thinking about your product or services.

Revenue. You can earn revenue from your free app through advertising. Most free apps pay for themselves by running ads from Google, AdMob or other networks. But best of all, a free app can bring customers to your business or engage constituents!

The fact is, people are more likely to try a great free app than one they have to pay for – consult with an interactive marketing expert to see which app could get your brand out there. Also, check out our  our webcast of the recent Google Talks event, “The App Economy: How mobile developers attract users, win fans and make money.”

Celebrate a Holiday – It’s Good for Business

Everyone loves a holiday – especially smart marketers. There is no better time to promote a product, service or cause than when your target audience is in a celebratory mood. The reason some top brands spend millions promoting holiday festivities is clear – it’s great for sales and brand awareness.

If you don’t have a seasonal campaign calendar, it’s worth it to start thinking about putting one together. A seasonal campaign calendar will help you anticipate upcoming holidays so you can turn them into sales and marketing opportunities for your business.

Running a successful seasonal campaign involves more than sending a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ type email. You’ll have to come up with cleaver ways to engage your audience, pair your brand with the festivities, and present an opportunity to convert your audience to customers.

Here are three smart steps you can take towards seasonal campaigning –

1. Get a list of holidays that work for your product, service or cause. Start with the holidays your client’s are most likely to celebrate; if you don’t know what they are – ask them. Demographic information could also offer some clues. Holidays that align with your brand are also great places to start – for example, if you are running an Irish pub, St. Patrick’s Day could be a winner!

2. Engage your audience. How do you communicate with your target market? Get your modus operandi into holiday mode. Your e-newsletter, Website, social network presence should be dressed up for the party!

3. Convert your audience to customers. Create a buzz with giveaways, events, coupons – whatever will get your target audience in the door to sample your wares and have a great time.

If you came up with some great ideas you’d like to share – let us know!

What Sucks About Facebook’s Page Design Updates

If you are using a Facebook page to promote your business or organization,  you already know that come March 2011 your Facebook page will have an ‘updated’ layout. Some of the updates are great for page administrators – but from a marketing perspective, some of the updates are a headache. Here are three potential hitches and what you can do about them –

1. Hello photos, goodbye tabs. Info that was once accessible via tabs at the top of your page has moved to the left column – as ‘links’. Photos have taken over the space that was once dedicated to tabs. This might have been a great update for profiles since people enjoy looking at their friend’s photos – but are people as interested in photos from the businesses and organizations they choose to ‘Like’? This update is not going to bode well for businesses that use customized tabs for promotions.
What to do: Set your preferred customized FBML tab as your landing page.

2. Where is my ‘Like’ prompt? Most customized tabs have an arrow or some kind of prompting text reminding visitors to ‘like’ the Facebook page. You may need to update the alignment of these prompts as your Facebook page now has a breadcrumb navigation that pushes the ‘Like’ button to a new position.
What to do: Embed a ‘Like’ button on the customized FBML tab.

3.  They traded my wall size for…? Your wall got narrower – and the ad space to the right got wider. Businesses and organizations are not going to be happy about losing 50 pixels of messaging space to ads from competing brands. Marketers on the other hand will be happy about having more space to promote their wares.
What to do: Run ads to promote your business and organization – social media advertising is always worth it.

Mobile apps developers discuss the app economy

Check out our webcast of the recent Google Talks event, “The App Economy: How mobile developers attract users, win fans and make money.”

Watch live streaming video from marooninteractive at livestream.com

Moderator:
Jon Potter, RPG Strategies

Panel:
Leon Palm, Developer, Google Public Sector Team
Ken Yarmosh, Analyst, Developer, & Author: App Savvy (O’Reilly Press)
David Smith, Developer, AudioBookShelf
Natalia Luckyanova, Developer, Harbor Master
Robert Sarvis, Developer, Wertago

Top 10 Interactive Marketing Articles for 2010

2010 was a great year for us – we thoroughly enjoyed sharing the many interactive marketing ideas we published on this Website and elsewhere. Many of our articles were based on questions that came from projects and friends, and we certainly hope you keep them coming. Here’s a rundown of our top social media and interactive marketing articles for 2010 (based on visits and pageviews).

  1. Social Networks: Free R&D for Small Business
  2. Email vs. Social Media – Should you follow Ben and Jerry’s?
  3. How Much Time Should Visitors Spend on Your Website?
  4. Three Steps to Better Open Rates
  5. When your Company Name is Your Top Keyword
  6. Best Billboard? Yahoo! Mail Homepage
  7. Is mobile phone jailbreaking good for business?
  8. Yahoo! tosses HotJobs to Monster – Search Fail?
  9. How to become a “trending topic” on Twitter
  10. Facebook closing Gift Shop – but not for entrepreneurs

We hope you’ll keep coming back for more – follow us on Twitter @suzettegardner, @smmarketingtips, join us on Facebook or get fresh updates via email, the good (almost) ole fashioned way.

What’s next? More great interactive marketing tips and insights – plus an in-depth look at advertising today. Stay tuned!