Posted 9/7/2013 8:30:34 AM by MARJORIE NATAL, Contributor
Thanks to mobile technology, people have access to everything at the click of a buttonor a tap on the screen. Google search statistics reveal that 20% of telecom, 30% of restaurant, and 25% of movie searches are performed on mobile. Clearly, right now is a good time for businesses to think about monetizing mobile apps. Mobile owners are always on the lookout for creative yet simple information-sharing apps, both for professional and personal reasons. Apps that help users locate a service provider, apps that let users book tickets or make reservations, or apps that entertain users have always beena hit on the app store. Additionally, games and social media apps tend to do well.
A couple of years ago, the primary way businesses could make money on apps was by selling them on mobile app stores. Today, businesses have access to more than a dozenw ays inwhich to monetize mobile apps. Let's see how you canuse mobile applications to drive sales, promote brand and generate advertisement revenue.
Sell Subscriptions, Offer Free and Paid Versions
News, sports or entertainment users can download an endless amount of information with their apps. A study published by Morgan Stanley states that mobile searches will surpass desktop and laptop searches by 2015. The study also confirms that 3G access plays a vital role inthe success of the mobile web, and its reach is expected to hit 21% this year.
The findings are a clear indication that users enjoy surfing the web, and reading and watching videos onmobil e device more than on their desktops. Companies can provide content to these users on the basis of subscription and earn money every week, month or quarter.
With mobile apps, you can deliver services and information to users while they are on the go. In order to attract mobile apps users to subscribe to your services, content or media, you should consider offering free and paid versions of the app. You can spark the interest of potential clients by offering a free version with limited or teaser content.
This will help you build a large base of subscribers. By providing quality services and enticing users with promotional offers, you can gradually increase the number of paid users and make money.
In-App Advertisement and In-App Purchase
You can monetize your mobile app by placing banner advertisement on the free version of your mobile apps or games. The trick here is to ensure that the app offers enough entertainment or usefulness to the users.
If your app has a large, annoying advertisement but offers enough value to users, they will still use your application. Of course, the same does not go for paid apps. By continuing to add newer features to the app, you can ensure that mobile users continue to come back for more.
The trend of developing a free app that allows users to buy products and services has also been gaining traction over the last few months. You can build a catalogue-type app that provides general information to the users about your products, services, locations and other similar information.
Such an app functions as a mobile website, and you can use it to send promotion information, notification about the launch of new products and information, and news related to the products. Not only does this strategy help you make money, but it also helps you reinforce your brand.
Geo Targeting and Geo Advertising
Geo targeting is an indirect yet effective form of mobile marketing that drives sales for brick-and-mortar businesses. Imagine a user stumbles upon a new street without any prior knowledge of where it will lead. The user then gets a message on their mobile device and checks it. The mobile app will display all relevant data about that area, including information about the products and services available for purchase.
Geo-targeted advertising holds a lot of potential for local small and medium-sized businesses as well as first-time shoppers. Your mobile app will use geotargeting to notify customers about promotions based on their location and preferences.
In research done by Berg Insight (via B2B), the global mobile ad market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2010 to $22.0 billion in 2016. The main objective of any mobile app must be to increase customer engagement. The figures from a study by Adobe Mobile Experience Survey & eMarketer speak for themselves: 81% of users prefer mobile sites to apps for price research, 79% for product reviews, and 63% of purchasing.
Monetization of mobile apps has multiple benefits. It helps developers focus on their users and their immediate needs, and gives exclusivity to the apps in the widespread app market. The method you choose to make money with your mobile app does not matter. What matters is how your mobile app differentiates itself in the mind of its users.