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How Businesses Make Money Out of Mobile Apps

Like it or not, our mobile phones are embedded into our everyday existence. Before, we only had beepers and pagers. But the role of mobile devices has evolved such that it’s difficult for us to give them up for just a few hours of PDA repair. Our phones are on our person for most of the day. We wake up, check our phones, and go to sleep after checking them for one last time.

If your brand already has social media pages and a website, but you’re still looking to expand your reach, it’s time to create a mobile app. Having a mobile app is a way to make your business and services more accessible, given that the average adult spends more than three hours on their phone each day. Having a platform optimized for mobile use gives your brand a much better chance of being part of users’ daily app rotation.

And while your company may already have a website, it may not look its best when viewed on a mobile browser. Having a mobile app allows for a view and experience that’s optimized for smartphones and devices. Customers would then be able to view any of your platforms perfectly regardless of what device they’re using. Apart from having an online presence via your website, your company also needs a mobile presence.

How do free mobile apps make money?

The best way to make your mobile app accessible is to make it free, but you might wonder how your company will make money off an app that doesn’t charge upfront. In fact, there are still several ways for free apps to make money. The first way is through in-app advertisements. Many free apps show advertisements as consumers scroll through their interfaces. Many mobile games, for instance, offer players in-game benefits in exchange for viewing 30-second video ads.

Another way to profit off of a free app is through in-app purchases. This means that while the app itself is free, consumers will have to pay to access certain features and products. Another way to make money from free apps, freemium upsell, runs in this same vein. Customers can download the app for free, but “premium” features will only be available through payment. If the ads on the app bother customers, they can opt to pay for a feature that, apart from offering other benefits, removes ads. Spotify Premium is such an example.

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How to market your mobile app

But for your free mobile app to make a profit, people have to download it. Perhaps your business already has a mobile app up and running but has this problem.

One of the ways to get more downloads is to give users an incentive to download the app. Apart from the convenience of having access to your products and services on their phones, what else can they gain from it? Explore reward or point systems that are exclusive to your mobile app. For instance, users can get a certain reward for opening your app once a day — perhaps this reward can even grow as they prolong their daily streak. If your business is in retail, you can also consider offering customers a discount for their first purchase through the app.

When users search for keywords related to your app on search engines, you want a link to your website or your app’s download page to be one of the first results listed. Achieving this will require search engine optimization (SEO), which involves commissioning articles or blog posts that link keywords to your website. App store engines work in a similar way to Google. When users search for keywords in the app store, the order in which search results appear depends on how effective their app store optimization (ASO) is.

Another way to get more downloads is to contact the press. Ask app review blogs and websites for a feature. Journalists are very busy people, so make sure that you create press kits to guide them through your app. Apart from links to your website and your app’s page on the app store, press kits should contain a pitch letter, your company’s history, information on the app as well as a guide on how to use it.

Suppose you’re looking for ways to reach more consumers and build customer loyalty, consider developing a mobile app for your business. Even if it’s a free mobile app, you can still turn a profit through in-app advertisements, in-app purchases, and freemium features. But to earn from these strategies, make sure to market your mobile app effectively with SEO, ASO, and press partnerships.

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