The overall success of your business-to-business (B2B) endeavors rely heavily on lead generation. But you may have noticed that generating valuable leads is incredibly challenging nowadays. Over a decade ago, you only needed a reasonably presentable website and some social media presence to grow your leads.
But in 2023, a website and social media aren’t enough for lead generation. And the reason this has happened is due to the way the Google Search Algorithm functions, which is complex but impacts whether or not potential clients will find your website.
Furthermore, social media platforms have become walled gardens that severely limit the amount of traffic leaving these platforms. Instead, they strive to keep users engaged for long durations, causing them to be less interested in visiting websites unless there’s a compelling reason to do so.
But where does that leave your B2B efforts in light of all these developments? Well, you could launch advertising campaigns for the sole purpose of generating leads. Yet this is expensive, with plenty of trial and error involved to achieve optimal results. And while we’d never dissuade you from running ad campaigns if these can help your business — we also want you to consider other options!
Consider that mobile apps still engage users and drive innovation in 2023. A good example is TikTok, which has radically transformed how users consume and interact with video content. It’s had such a huge impact that it forced YouTube to introduce short-form video content via Shorts to remain relevant. That’s a testament to how powerful and mission-critical app development has become, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Not every business invests in a mobile app, which will place you in that rarified space of leading brands with their own custom apps. Not only will it increase the prestige of your business, but also its trustworthiness.
And if you’ve created an app with an excellent user interface (UI) & user experience (UX), a well-integrated chatbot to respond to inquiries, and watertight security — lead generation will become significantly easier. Besides, it’s more convenient, personalized, and safer for users to interact with your business via your mobile app than through your website.
Qualify Your Leads
One of the most crucial things about developing and releasing a mobile app is that users will ultimately download it. And while that may seem obvious, it’s one of the most powerful aspects of having a mobile app. Once prospective leads download your app, you’re in a position to take things further.
After all, what’s the point of lead generation if you don’t qualify those leads? You can request their contact information or even for them to create a profile. To reward them for completing these actions, you can give them access to exclusive content or features. Thus, you’ll likely impress them and drive them faster down the lead funnel.
It’s likely you’re on a tight budget and must limit the number of staff to interact with prospective leads. And considering that the global economy faces a recession in 2023, it’s wise to streamline business operations. Fortunately, mobile apps are ideal for automating the lead generation process.
A well-implemented app can consistently keep prospective leads interested in your products and services. The app can offer suggestions and special offers based on a lead’s preferences, purchase history (if any), and app usage. It can also send reminders when necessary and commence with the follow-up process. The latter is crucial as leads often turn cold when businesses fail to follow up.
The Bottom Line
Mobile app development facilitates the lead generation process but also supercharges it like no other methodology. And given how it enhances the status of a business, streamlines its business processes, and automates lead generation — it simply can’t be ignored in 2023. Contact NS804 to learn how we can help you build apps that will grow your leads exponentially!
https://www.ns804.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/pexels-product-school-2678468.jpg9601280NS804 Contenthttps://www.ns804.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/ns804logo-nav-1.pngNS804 Content2023-02-09 08:00:472023-02-17 16:57:37Lead Generation In 2023: Why App Development Is Mission-Critical
Improving your business lead count should be a top priority. And that’s because you’re likely operating in a competitive environment where only effective organizations survive and thrive. However, it’s never been easier to pump up that business lead count with today’s mobile app technologies.
About a decade ago, you’d rely on your website, blog, social media presence, and marketing outreach to generate leads. While you’ll still need to use these channels, a mobile app can help boost your lead count immensely. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise due to the wide proliferation of mobile devices. Inevitably, most of your clients likely engage with your organization via their smartphones and tablets.
And this presents a golden opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with existing clients while also reaching new clients. A quality mobile app designed and coded by a reputable studio, such as NS804, can take your lead count to the next level. But if you’re sitting on the fence, here are several reasons why an app can improve your business lead count.
1. Tap Into A Larger Market
As of January 2023, there are 6.92 billion smartphone users, which make up 86.41% of the global population. When the majority of the world uses smartphones, you must optimize your business for mobile. Failing to do so will be detrimental to your business, as your competitors probably already have front-facing mobile components implemented.
When these competitors have established a direct relationship with clients via their mobile apps — it’s game over! Clients will remain loyal to these competitors since they’ll enjoy the convenience of having their needs met via a mobile app. They don’t have to waste precious time calling in or visiting an organization’s premises if they make inquiries or have services rendered.
More importantly, your competitors can keep on generating new leads with their mobile apps. Existing customers will often recommend these apps to their friends and families if they’re satisfied with the user experience (UX). But your competitors can also spread awareness of their app via advertisements, leaflets, flyers, and other marketing materials. All they need to do is place a scannable QR code on these marketing materials, which has a download link to their apps.
Another way a mobile app can help you is with your email campaigns. First-time users that download your app may need to provide an email address and set up 2-step verification. So, they’ll receive subsequent communications via email, which you should optimize for mobile devices.
However, email is an effective tool for generating and improving your business lead count. You can start by creating several email templates that work well on mobile devices. Then, proceed with A/B testing to optimize these templates and your messaging further.
Running a lengthy email campaign can be time-consuming, so use an automation email marketing tool. You may use an existing platform or create your own, which integrates with your mobile app for maximum efficiency. Also, ensure that you’ve set up a backend database to store user emails, responses, feedback, and other related information.
3. User Geo-Location Presents Further Business Lead Opportunities
Utilize the built-in GPS of your users’ smartphones to determine the locations of most of your clients. With this information, you can run promotions in your most lucrative markets and do outreach programs in markets where you’re relatively unknown.
But keep in mind that geo-location strategies work best with existing users. For example, a restaurant may use its order-taking app to secure orders. But also use the same app to run promotions via in-app messages when customers are nearby the restaurant. Undoubtedly, this strategy will boost sales but won’t likely lead to additional business leads.
4. Attract B2B Clients Via Sponsored InMail
You’ll find many potential business clients on LinkedIn. And one of the best ways to reach these clients is via sponsored InMail messages. But this feature is only available for premium users, and 50 credits of InMail currently costs $79.99 per month. Yet it could be worthwhile, especially if you’re able to attract quality prospects.
And the good news is that you can further increase your business lead counts on LinkedIn with the Communication APIs. These APIs include the Invitation API and Messages API, which you may integrate into your app. The side benefit is that your app will become a social hub for clients that use LinkedIn on a regular basis. And potentially bring new clients to your business that you would’ve never been able to reach before.
5. Build A Business Lead And Tracking App
If your company and sales representatives work out in the field, you should consider building a mobile business lead and tracking app. While there are several established platforms available such as Apptivo, Salesforce, and Zoho, you may prefer a tailor-built solution instead.
The primary advantage is that you can take a mobile-first or mobile-only approach. And even though there’ll be an upfront cost for developing this app, you won’t need to pay an ongoing subscription or deal with changing end-user license agreement (EULA) issues of turnkey solutions.
But why would you want a business lead tracking app when a spreadsheet would suffice? For a small business that’s only just started establishing itself, a spreadsheet may do in the short term. However, for any organization that needs to integrate other components, such as its customer support systems, e-commerce, and email, it’s an absolute necessity.
Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your organization’s growth rate and the complexity of your business processes before developing such an app. And while there’s nothing wrong with using a turnkey solution as a startup, a custom-built and robust solution should always be a long-term goal.
Make your email campaigns and outreach programs as engaging as possible. You want to impress your prospects early on and keep them interested all the way down the sales funnel. However, you may have generated plenty of leads, so you’ll need to automate the process.
Take the tracking app that we mentioned earlier. One way to improve it is by including the capability of processing a large number of prospects rapidly. And ensure that it keeps log event data, including when a sales representative attains a business lead, the date and time, the value of the lead, and any sales related to this lead.
Then, implement analytics that keep track of all aspects of your business lead endeavors. These analytics should reveal how successful your efforts have been, the quality of your leads, and insights into all your sales activities. Moreover, you should be able to drill down on the data to a granular level. And compile a detailed report with a single click, which management can access at any time.
And if you already have a customer relationship manager (CRM), you should allow for easy interoperability with your business lead tracking app. This will make customer acquisition and retaining those customers a more efficient process.
Mobile apps offer the perfect vehicle for increasing your business lead counts significantly. Not only do they make the process of attaining leads more efficient, but it’s also easier to track results and take the appropriate actions far more quickly. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop a business lead app that will boost your business!
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Improving Communication and Collaboration for Remote Workers
The digital era saw a hyper acceleration through COVID-19 and the events of 2020. Because of the pandemic and the major shift toward a digital era, remote workers and remote staff quickly became the norm. This subsequently forced businesses and organizations to embrace a digital world with remote workers. Before the pandemic, there was already a lot of buzz and excitement around the future of remote work. In fact, some companies like NomadX sought out to create entire business plans based around planning travelling work trips for the remote-worker. In any case, whether prepared for the digital era or not, the transition started in the blink of an eye.
Now, remote work and remote workers seem absolutely normal. As if it were always the way things were. However, many organizations and businesses are still adjusting to the new remote landscape and digital economy. And the companies that were already in position for a digital transition, are still looking for ways to improve their current remote-work environment.
One of the most important aspects in a business is communication; internal communication between teams, external communications with partners, suppliers, and consumers, and internal communication between staff and management as well. Especially in a remote-work-environment, then, prioritizing effective and efficient communication tools is more than necessary.
Keeping Remote Workers Looped In
Remote workers need to be able to communicate. Plain and simple as that. Yet, communication can mean a lot of things; and in today’s world businesses utilize everything from social media platforms, to email, IM, and phone calls to correspond and communicate. Therefore, building a suite of communication tools that keeps your remote staff in the loop is a daunting task.
When addressing the communication solutions for your remote workers it’s important that you keep their needs, workflows, and operations in mind. You don’t want to give a carpenter a painters toolbox and the same applies to your remote workers. Building an enterprise application from scratch for your organization won’t only help you customize the features and tools that your remote staff can access; but will also lead to boosted efficiency and higher rates of productivity from your staff.
While developing your enterprise business application to address the communication needs of your remote workers; consider push notifications to encourage and boost communication efforts between team members. By enabling push notifications at a reasonable rate, your enterprise application will become more than a simple business tool. Rather, it will add value to the c0-worker relationships that exist and develop within your firm, boost productivity, and lead to higher rates of efficiency from your team.
In addition to boosting important business KPIs; having an organization-wide enterprise application for communication supports team-building and team bonding. By acting as a medium and platform for digital and remote team-building exercises, by investing in a custom enterprise application, you’re really investing in the people of your firm.
The era of the remote workers is upon us, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Even with vaccinations rolling out world-wide, the pillar of remote work is likely here permanently.
For more information on managing remote workers, enterprise application solutions, or anything else app development, keep browsing NS804.
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Every business and entrepreneur wants to push their product to market with the smallest investment of time and capital as possible, and for good reason. It makes sense as an appreneur to seek out the method of mobile development with the lowest cost, which is usually hybrid app development.
In our second installment of How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide, we’ll look into the pros and cons of both hybrid and native app development, and shed light on why when examining the entire lifecycle of an app, we believe native is the more cost effective choice.
It is important to note that this is a topic of debate with a wide and varied array of opinions and conclusions. Throughout my research on the native vs. hybrid debate, the overwhelming consensus is that “it depends on the developer.”
Developers and blogs are quick to espouse the pros and cons of native and hybrid apps that the tech industry has agreed upon, but there seems to be little supporting evidence as to where these findings originated, other than from their own personal experience. Articles, thought-pieces, and blogs have all come to contradicting conclusions based upon the same sets of data, and these conclusions seem to arise from the opinions and skillsets of the developers or authors themselves.
Regardless of any opinion about native and hybrid development, the most important step you can take as an appreneur or business is to work with a developer you trust – but it is important to know how each method of development can influence your app’s future.
This is a debate that seems to be mainly fueled by opinions rather than stats – but we will provide as much insight as possible by using what case studies and supporting data are out there.
There are many different lenses from which to view this debate, but we will mainly focus on answering these questions:
What is hybrid development?
What is native development?
What do they mean for your users?
What do they mean for your business?
What is hybrid development?
A hybrid app’s code is passed through a “wrapper” that the OS can understand – like an English speaker using a phone to translate a conversation with a Spanish speaker. Hybrid apps rely on plugins to access your device’s functionality – such as the device’s native hardware, camera, mapping, messaging, and email functionalities. Plugins are built and supported by third parties, and a hybrid developer doesn’t have control over how a plugin functions – only when and where it is implemented.
In a similar vein, a progressive web app (a hot topic right now) uses the device’s native browser to access a website specifically designed to display information on a mobile device. It’s akin to clicking a hyperlink, but instead of taking you to a link, it takes you to the site where the app is hosted. The app isn’t visually displaying the browser layer, but uses the device’s browser as a way to connect the device to the app.
What is native development?
Just like hybrid, native development’s name describes its exact method of app creation; apps are coded using languages native to a specific platform, such as using Swift to write for iOS, or JAVA for Android.
Native apps can seamlessly integrate with the native functionality on your device – this gives native developers the opportunity to focus on designing the main aspects of your app, rather than spending time working with third party plugins to achieve the same functionalities already included on your users’ device. Native apps are also more secure than hybrid.
What do they mean for your users?
Your users honestly don’t care if your app is built using hybrid, native, progressive, or React Native development. They care about solving their pain point – and how well your app solves that problem. Whether it’s Snapchat (a natively-developed app with a focus on iOS) solving the dearth of filtered selfies, or an HVAC engineer using an augmented reality (AR) app to run diagnostics on a broken system, your users care about how responsive your app is to their inputs, the intuitiveness of its UI, and the quality of the solution it provides.
Users want your app to feel like it belongs on their device; they don’t want to be forced to learn how to use your app. They want your app to work for them, and the easiest way to ensure your users are provided with an intuitive UX (user experience) is to natively develop your app.
When it comes to UX/UI, natively-developed apps will almost invariably perform better than hybrid. Native apps are not only coded for a specific platform; they provide a UI that is designed to the standards and conventions of that platform. To put it simply; using an iPhone feels completely different than using a Samsung. They both display interactive information across a touchscreen; and for a user, that’s just about where their similarities come to an end.
Over time, Android and iOS users have come to expect certain commands to perform specific functions, and both platforms rely on their users to interact with apps using different sets of intuition. Both platforms have released style guides for developers to follow, which can vary significantly in their principles of design and function.
Take, for example, the difference between the home screens of Android Pie and an iPhone X:
Above (left to right): Android Pie, and an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2
Have you ever borrowed a friend or colleague’s phone, only to be presented with an unfamiliar UI? It’s a jarring experience, and it’s an excellent example of the personal connection we share with our phones and other mobile devices.
Android users will intuitively search for the “hamburger” (three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other) style menu to access information, while iPhone users will expect bottom menu bar navigation. It seems pretty straight-forward to adapt to either system, but users quickly form strong opinions based on their first interactions with an app, and users are more likely to uninstall your app than keep it. Within the first 3 days of an app being downloaded, 77% of the users who downloaded it have already uninstalled.
An important thing to keep in mind is that your app is not the only one on a user’s device. There are most likely apps competing for your users’ attention, and those users are liable to switch to another app at any time – especially if it doesn’t provide the best experience possible. According to Dynatrace, a software intelligence company, 48% of users are less likely to continue using your app after a negative experience, 31% are less likely to purchase another app made by your company – and will spread negative word-of-mouth marketing to their friends – and 26% will give your app a negative rating.
This is why your development method matters to your users. An app with a hybrid design will run on both platforms – but it won’t run as well as a native app. A hybrid app will always be forced to sacrifice the aspects of the user experience that make each platform unique; and because of this, your app will feel less personal – and mobile’s strongest attractor is the personal experience it provides.
If your app isn’t responsive, and doesn’t flow seamlessly with the rest of the UI/UX a platform offers, users will grow frustrated – which can lead to them switching to a competitor, or giving your app a bad rating or review.
What do they mean for your business?
Simply put, hybrid development will almost invariably have a lower initial cost and faster development time when compared to native. This is for two main reasons: There is no extra cost to write code that runs on multiple platforms, and they are written using languages web developers already know.
This means that when developing for multiple platforms, hybrid development takes roughly half the time of native, and opens access to two markets for the cost of one. This method of development usually comes with a lower billable rate, as web developers make about 20% less than mobile developers and spend less time coding and testing (initially), as the app runs on every platform using the same code.
These factors indicate hybrid development has both a lower initial investment and opportunity cost when compared to native, and are extremely compelling reasons to choose hybrid over native; but the lower up-front cost and doubled market size are traps that can lead to issues down the line that can severely hamper your app’s growth and sustainability.
It was in 2012 when Facebook CEO and tech giant Mark Zuckerberg was quoted saying “the biggest mistake that we made as a company is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native,” in an interview with TechCrunch. “[I]t just wasn’t there,” he continued. “[S]ince we’ve done the iOS app we’ve seen double the amount of feeds people consume.”
The social media company had many reasons for switching to native development, which were presented in a post detailing the performance issues and limitations Facebook encountered with HTML5. Some of these performance issues include:
Lagging scrolling speeds
The overload of data in the feed would sometimes cause the app to crash
These were issues Facebook deemed important enough to spend the time and money on developing their app natively, and is a perfect example that no matter how large your market presence is, your UX is crucial to your app’s continued growth and success.
A hybrid app may have a lower initial cost than a natively-developed one – but a native app will provide a better experience, and only the best apps perform well on the App Store and Google Play. In 2016, the top 200 apps on the App Store had an average of $82,500 in daily revenue, while the top 8,000 apps had an average daily revenue of just $3,500, a stark decline that demonstrates the need to be the absolute best at providing the solution to whatever pain point your app aims to solve.
As another example, in 2016, AirBnB took a leap of faith and began development using React Native, a switch from their native development roots (a five-part, in-depth study into their experiences with React Native can be found here). Ultimately, AirBnB decided to switch back to native development for many reasons, including:
There were technical and organizational issues with React Native that hampered development, causing unexpected delays on projects that could easily have been completed using native code.
It turned out that while their app was created using React Native, only a small portion of the app was truly coded using React. In order to work effectively, bridging infrastructure was required, and the engineers were forced to add to their work load by supporting code on three platforms instead of two.
While build time iterations were an order of magnitude faster than native, debugging could take days.
When comparing the cost of developing an app for both iOS and Android, native development will always be more expensive than hybrid, as code must be written separately for each platform, leading to more billable hours – but keep in mind that companies like Facebook and AirBnB have deemed that investment to be worth it.
Web developer for Mozilla, James Long, even released a thought-piece in 2015 detailing why hybrid apps will never compete with native when it comes to performance and UX.
Your users decide whether or not your app is successful, and their decision is based on their experiences using your app. Your UX is largely determined by your app’s method of development, and native development almost invariably provides a better UI/UX.
In an interesting study, Alex Sullivan (a developer and writer for thoughtbot) created a simple stopwatch app for Android using three development methods: native, React Native, and Flutter (a hybrid development kit). When testing on a Nexus 5, the natively-developed app beat out both the React Native and Flutter apps by a “non trivial margin when it comes to performance,” and both CPU and memory usage were lower on the native app than the React Native and Flutter apps.
If your app does the same thing as a competing app, but the competing app does it one second faster, users will switch to your competitor. If there is a marked difference in performance for an app that only functions as a stop watch like Sullivan’s, its easy to extrapolate why companies like Facebook decided to switch to the more expensive option of native development; they were worried someone would do it better and faster.
One of the most important factors in determining how successful your app will be is your app’s App Store optimization, which is colloquially abbreviated to ASO. ASO is used to boost your app’s ranking in the App Store and Google Play by utilizing trending keywords to catch users searching for a solution to their particular pain point.
In the future, we’ll take an intricate look at all the strategies you can utilize to perfect your app’s ASO.
Other than keywords, your app’s user ratings, reviews, and retention are the key variables used to determine your app’s ranking on the app store. Each of these factors has a direct correlation with your app’s UX/UI, and this is where the trap hybrid development sets becomes twofold; with a cheaper and more direct path to a multi-platform release, you set yourself up to fail twice as fast, and twice as hard. Beating another appreneur or business to market is all well and good, but as soon as a competing app comes into the picture, it only has to provide a slightly better UX/UI than yours to begin siphoning from your user base.
This is where the longevity of native and hybrid development really starts to split. All apps require updates throughout their lifecycle – sometimes due to the platform itself updating, security issues, implementing additional functionality, or improving UI to follow current design trends.
If your app is hybrid, when an update for a platform is released (no matter how small of an update), you must check every plugin to make sure it’s still functional. If a plugin isn’t functioning properly, the developer must wait for the third-party provider to update the plugin itself – this can lead to downtime that is both out of your control, and your developer’s.
Hybrid apps must constantly be re-worked and tweaked to function properly on different platforms, and you’ll often attempt to solve one issue on one platform, only to begin working on a different problem for the other.
The trap set by the initial low cost of hybrid development becomes exponential by this point; a hybrid app’s UX/UI will under-perform natively-developed apps on both Android and iOS, which in turn leads to lower user ratings, reviews, and retention on Google Play and the App Store. Even if your hybrid app provides the best user experience it possibly can, there’s most likely a native app out there that’s doing it better. If a competing app’s average user rating is a four, and your’s is a three, those ratings add up, and can lead to a significant disparity between the two apps’ ASO and overall ranking.
A hybrid app, by this point, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It may have been on the market for a longer period of time than a native app, but time on the App Store or Google Play isn’t the key factor in determining your app’s success: it’s ASO. The hybrid app will constantly be battling the low or mediocre user ratings it receives, which is a huge handicap to your overall ASO score. You must now weigh the options before you: constantly provide users with updates to keep up with competition and the standards of multiple platforms, or walk away before your sunken costs get out of hand.
A native app also has the added benefit that a large chunk of your app’s ASO comes from a passive source – those being user retention, ratings and reviews – and since those factors are already robust, it gives you the ability to focus purely on keywords (the lifeblood of successful ASO) and trending topics.
It’s like building a house; it doesn’t matter how pretty the paint is if the foundation isn’t sound. A house with good bones might have a higher initial cost and take longer to build, but throughout the years it requires much less maintenance, and updates to the home can add additional rooms rather than fixing extant issues.
Interestingly enough, while hybrid apps require more updates and usually have a higher rate of bugs and crashes when compared to native apps, 44% of hybrid developers don’t track errors and crashes (this stat comes from an article arguing hybrid is a better option than native).
The pros and cons of hybrid and native development
Quick development cycle
Low initial cost
Low initial billable rate
High maintenance costs
Slower development cycle
Higher billable rate
Higher initial cost
If you’re considering building an app, and are worried about the up-front costs of native development, remember that you can always start with a natively-developed MVP, and build from there. Taking the extra initial time and cost to produce a native app will inevitably save you money if you plan on your app being around for more than a year, and it’s better to start with a solid foundation than trying to go back in and fill cracks later.
https://www.ns804.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/native-vs-hybrid-2.png29485267adminhttps://www.ns804.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/ns804logo-nav-1.pngadmin2018-12-12 22:10:032018-12-19 20:24:19How to Build a Mobile App: Native vs. Hybrid Development