How to Make Mobile Apps Work for Your Wedding Business

Friday, June 17, 2011

BRIDES just released their 2011 American Wedding Study and one of the insights included in it was that 1 in 5 brides "use a mobile app to help plan, shop for or register for their wedding." While the study didn't specify which types of apps are used, the ones that do get used include not just wedding-related apps, but also apps like Yelp, Instagram (to send photos of ideas to family and bridesmaids), etc.

The simple fact is that social media has evolved to include mobile media and if you're still worrying about whether or not to have a blog or sign up for Twitter, you're more behind the times than ever. When it comes to mobile, your site should at the very least be easily viewable on a phone. In light of the new stat from BRIDES, I'm reposting an article I wrote last year on how to make mobile apps work for your wedding business.


The Next Big Thing In Social Media
Originally published September 14, 2010

One of the questions I am often asked about social media is "what's next"? The answer is that social media is no longer computer based and is becoming more driven by mobile technology, such as iPhones, Blackberries, Androids and other smartphones.

Frankly, the United States is a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to getting social with mobile phones, in large part due to the affluence here. When everyone has a computer, it is easy to simply use a phone just as a phone. In countries where personal computers are a lavish expense and mobile technology is much cheaper in comparison, people have been relying on their cell phones to socialize for the past decade. In fact, in 2001, a few countries in Southeast Asia passed laws that made it legal to divorce via text message.

Fortunately, even though mobile technology as social media is nothing new, it is predominately growing in the business space and companies who jump on board now will still be in the early adopter stages. If you are considering developing a mobile app for your business, one of the most important things to keep in mind when doing so is consumer behavior.

Consider how someone in your target market uses their phone in other areas of their life. Do you often work with clients who travel frequently, either for business or leisure? One in six American travelers book their flights and hotels via their phone. For these clients, time is a highly valued commodity, and your app needs to deliver information in a way that not only saves them time, but maximizes it. Instead of reinventing the wheel, study the travel booking apps and take note of what they do well, and why using the phone rather than the laptop is beneficial to the client. What aspects of your app will benefit the client?

Are your clients foodies? What is it about the culinary apps that people are drawn to? Do you have clients who tend to work for large corporations? If so, then access to social sites on the Internet is often blocked, and many people are turning to their phones to skirt the system.

Another very important thing to keep in mind when you are developing a mobile application for your business is that it needs to do something. Vanity or "branding" apps mean nothing after the initial download to a bride or groom because they are not useful. If you are simply turning your blog into an app you are wasting your time and money. 

The reason for this goes back to consumer behavior: a bride may read 30 wedding blogs on a computer, but she is not going to download 30 different wedding apps on her phone. To do so would waste her time as the navigation methods between a computer and a phone are much different. While it is smart to design your website and blog to be compatible with mobile browsers, it does not behoove you to turn them into downloadable apps. What can you offer to brides that makes their entire planning process more useful and therefore your app (and your top of mind presence) indispensable?

Mobile technology is growing rapidly, and while it may feel a bit overwhelming, it's smart to begin strategically integrating it with your marketing now so that you're still ahead of the competition bell curve.

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