We're getting ready to close out 2017 and start a new year. How is your community engagement going? Are you connected and thriving, or could you use a little boost in that department?
If it's the latter, you may be looking around and wondering how you got here. You invested a ton in content marketing collateral and you've perfected your data slicks and white papers down to the 'T.' You even joined the major social media platforms and you're active on Facebook and Twitter. Still, you're having a hard time building the followers and feedback your company needs to compete.
Here's one reason why you could be behind: You're failing to capitalize on one of the most lucrative opportunities ever presented to build brand recognition and facilitate the customer experience: the mobile app.
For the first time in history last year, mobile phone usage topped desktop computer usage, revealing that as technology sophisticates, so do its users. To stand out among a sea of competitors, it's not enough anymore to be visible on the web. You need to also be available at your audience's fingertips when they need you the most. To this end, the following five apps help companies around the world become more engaging, responsive, and informative -- all while delivering the top-notch service that clients crave.
Yes, we're talking about the same app your 12-year-old cousin can't stop talking about. While you may have initially brushed it off as juvenile tween fodder, the reality is that forward-thinking companies are using the playful app to build a brand persona and interact more closely with their customers. Video content marketing is extra-hot right now and arguably no platform makes it easier to create than Snapchat. Thanks to the new 'Stories' feature, companies can upload short videos to introduce a new topic, explain a challenging concept, or answer user questions.
A strong business leader knows that a company's audience is its heartbeat. Without satisfied customers, you could have the best product or service in the world and it wouldn't matter. To that end, it only takes losing one pivotal client to turn your entire brand on its head. ClientPULSE allows you in-depth insight into how your customers are feeling and what their specific pain points are. The app takes care of sending your customers ongoing feedback surveys to make sure they're delighted, then sends you the data. Then, you can quickly act on that knowledge to improve retainment rates and pinpoint at-risk customers.
3. Adobe Spark
While this app doesn't allow you to communicate with clients directly, it does perform one critical function: It allows you to create the feature-rich content that they're looking for. With Spark, you'll be able to develop dynamic graphics, interactive web pages, video stories and more with a few clicks. By integrating these elements into your online platforms, you'll help establish a brand aesthetic and give customers who visit your channels something to explore. Experts reveal that video marketing is at an all-time high right now, and as brands across the globe seek to cash in, your videos and graphics need to be beautiful, and Adobe Spark helps you get there.
4. Facebook Live
We couldn't complete this list without mentioning Facebook in some way, but we're not talking about setting up a profile, posting for 'likes' and then calling it a day. Innovative leaders are also using the platform's 'Facebook Live' tool to create real-time videos that allow customers feel like they're in on the action. As the app allows viewers to 'check-in' and leave comments as you record, you're always in the loop about who needs help, who wants you to go over something again, and who's loving it! This app is especially handy when you're revealing an exciting new product launch. Don't just tweet about the news -- let your loyal customers watch the unveiling right from their living rooms.
It's not just for saving your favorite recipes or planning your wedding. Pinterest is providing to be a powerful player in the content marketing industry. Create a profile and virtually 'pin' things that relate to your brand. You can link back to your own website or blog content as a promotion tactic, though it's also helpful to find outside sources that relate to your industry and provide followers with information that's both helpful and related. For instance, if you're a small interior design business based in Chattanooga, TN, you could pin updates on the latest Pantone Color of the Year in addition to your own design-related collateral.
While this list is far from exhaustive, it reveals that sometimes it's best to get a little creative and think outside of the standard web-shaped box when communicating with clients. Reveal to them that you're listening and want to be where they are, then use tools that help you get there.
Did I miss any helpful marketing apps? Feel free to leave me a comment below and share your favorites!