Mobile apps are the wave of the future for content marketing. The big boys are pioneering ways to deliver their content via mobile, but it’s been a tough nut to crack for content creators and small publishers. There are, however, a number of free content services that allow small publishers and bloggers to create syndication apps for iPhone, Android, iOS and Blackberry.
Why Go Mobile?
The simple and obvious answer is audience. Mobile marketing service MobiThink notes that at the end of 2011, there were more than 6 billion mobile subscriptions globally. That’s more than 87 percent of the world’s population. More people use mobile broadband than use fixed broadband for Internet access. More people access news and content on their mobiles than play games on them. That’s a potentially huge market for your content.
Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps
Of course, any content creator can make his content available on a mobile device. All you have to do is create a mobile version of your website or blog. Why app-etize if your content is already accessible to mobile audiences?
- Higher User Engagement
- Mobile apps make it easier for users — that’s your readers — to engage with your content. They give you access to native applications and capabilities. That’s a fancy way of saying that mobile apps let you do things like access the camera, sound recorder, GPS and other applications so your users can easily snap a picture through your app, record a voice response, or search for local businesses and resources. Those abilities encourage high user engagement.
- Push Notifications
- Mobile feeds from your website let readers check your blog updates — if they remember. Mobile apps give you access to push notifications, so you can send out a message to all your mobile subscribers that you’ve posted new content. It’s a great way to bring users back to your blog or website again and again.
- Apps make it easy to monetize your content. Many free app developers include in-app ad servers and share the profits with you. Some let you include your own ads if you buy a basic subscription. You can use in-app sales to sell other apps, grant access to more content or collect donations for a cause.
The Downside: Cost
While there are several services that allow you to create mobile apps for free, you’ll need to pay for access to the markets where you can distribute your app. Apple charges $99 a year to list your app in the App Store. Google charges $25 annually to list your app in GooglePlay, and it will cost you $25 a year to list your app in the Windows Phone Marketplace. When you consider the potential profit to be made, though, $150 a year is a small price to pay.
Free App Makers:
Deb P is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
Tags: content services