The following guest blog post was written by our friend, Andrew, who offers his opinion on why hotels should implement mobile apps in their marketing.
Did you know 82 percent of mobile users use apps over a mobile web browser for their media needs, according to Smart Insights? Go beyond only making a mobile version of your hotel’s website for mobile marketing, and consider mobile app creation. It’s not some impenetrable field that requires highly specialized market research and software developers. In fact, the coding part of the app is not all that complicated for most software developers. Your hospitality business should have its own mobile app.
1. Captive audience
One of the downfalls of Internet marketing is that your visitors have so many distractions; it’s hard to keep their attention. When you have your traffic loading up a mobile app, you eliminate the outside distractions. It’s harder to multi-task on a phone compared to a computer, so you receive the majority of their attention. A mobile app gives you a direct connection with your customers and guests, increasing their satisfaction.
2. Build for your core demographic
People love apps for their phones, especially if you give them a practical and useful reason to use your app. When consumers are comparing cell phones online, they want one that will support their favorite games and offer them useful tools for everyday life and travel. When your app offers room discounts, mobile reservations, and special events, you get a leg up by catering to what people need in a hospitality app. You don’t have to worry about going with a broad appeal approach like you might in other forms of marketing. If you understand your audience properly, you can capture their attention and engagement by sticking to useful and straightforward tools.
3. Customer service streamlining
Customer service and satisfaction are two important aspects in the growing hotel business. This also applies to your mobile app. If you cannot provide quick service, people have no problem jumping online and telling their entire social networks. A customer service element incorporated into an app gives customers quick access to get any problem solved before it becomes a major issue.
4. Staying on the mobile curve
Take a look at your competitors. Chances are most of them have mobile apps available for customers. Whether it’s a simple app that just gives hotel information or an app that lets them plan an entire vacation, they have a mobile presence that goes beyond the plain mobile website. You don’t have to have the flashiest or most involved app in the world, but have your app be useful enough that customers are going to want to access it regularly. App retention is a difficult skill to learn, but it’s one of the most useful skills you have in your mobile marketing toolbox.
5. Brand loyalty
When you have an app available, you help build brand loyalty through the mobile marketplace. Your most avid customers and guests get on board with whatever you have to offer, and their recommendations can bring other, less enthusiastic customers. It builds up your customer engagement and gives you a way to build loyalty and authority.
What tips do you have for creating mobile apps for hotels and other businesses? Tell us in the comments.
Andy White is a mobile app developer and freelance writer originally from the Pacific Northwest.