Social media can influence different stages of a consumer’s journey. These stages are described below.
At this stage, social media ads, social media posts, blogs, or referrals from online influencers, friends, or family influence potential consumers’ decision-making.
At this stage, consumers do their own research about a product or service. For example, consumers can focus on user-generated content (UGC), which is provided by other consumers who have used the product before. A consumer will trust the judgment of other consumers as they have previous experience and can encourage purchasing of potential consumers. Some examples of UGCs are reviews, star ratings, or even blog posts.
At this stage, the consumer decides to buy the product or service. They may post on social media regarding their purchase and this would be useful to other potential consumers.
At this stage, the consumer uses the product and gains satisfaction from utilizing the product. The consumer may then create some UGC for example a blog post, Youtube video, or Tiktok video on how to use the product. This UGC can influence and help other potential consumers who may be in the consideration or evaluation stages.
At this stage, the consumer starts to promote the brand via social media platforms. This yet again is useful to potential consumers as consumers trust in the judgment of other consumers who have gained a positive experience from using the product. So, the consumer becomes a brand ambassador as they are spreading positive information which can influence other consumers.
At this stage, the consumer has created a bond with the brand and is loyal to them. This consumer may repurchase the product again. Promote others to the use of the brand and build a relationship with the brand and follow the brand on social media to keep up with the latest updates on new products.
There are five website characteristics, which can provide a good user experience. These are:
- Coherence: the site must make sense to the user and have a simplistic but creative design as well as be easy to read and not have an information overload, adequate font, and readable sizes.
- Complexity: the site must have different categories of text on different pages, so the user is not overwhelmed by the amount of info on one webpage. The different pages should be clearly named with what they contain so the user can find them easily and fast.
- Legibility: there should be a home menu link on every page of the site and it will let the user move back and forward to different pages easily and they will not get lost and frustrated when using the webpage.
- Site personality and style: This means that the site should be clear to the user through the colors and the images as well as the content contained within the webpage. It lets the user know if the webpage is a fun social one or a more serious business one.
- Visual design: the user experience also depends on how well the webpage works like the downloading speed as well as the resolution of the screen of the computer and the type of web browser that is used and what device the user is accessing the webpage on.
There are two types of User Experience (UX).
One type of UX is called tactical or technical UX: this represents the core principles of good user interaction and design are applied. A good interaction design makes sure that every user interaction is well thought through and that it serves the user in the simplest and most effective way possible. Conversion optimization focuses on ensuring that the user finds their way to the end of their goal of going on the page without dropping out of the conversion funnel. This type of UX uses the conversion rate as well as the method of split A/B testing
The other type of UX is Strategic or human UX: For this type of UX, the company gets into the realm of user insights and brand. the role of UX at this point is to find out about the needs of people and to design an experience that meets those needs in a way that fits the brand. The whole point of using this type of UX can be many different reasons. It can be used to create a fun place for people to hang out. It can be used to create a no-nonsense solution-based experience. It can be used to create a content-heavy deep site or a place where people can chat and discuss topics or make an exclusive and members-only site.
The following tools are very useful for your User Experience (UX) Research
• Heatmap software. This is a tool that shows researchers where the users move around the website with their mouse and where they hover their mouse and for how long. It gives the researchers an indication of where the appeal for most users comes from and what are elements of the page the users are more interested in. The following image is an example of heatmap software used on the Scales4research.com website. The Blue dots provide an indication of where the appeal for most users comes from and what are elements of the page the users are more interested in.
• Usability testing. This is when the researcher and the users are together while the users use the website, and the user will test the UX and will let the researcher know of any improvements needed and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the UX, and what can be improved.
• Eyeball tracking. This is when the users’ eyes are tracked to see where they are looking on the screen. It lets the researcher know what more appealing aspects of the page are and what users are more attracted to.
• Split A/B testing. This is useful when two different versions of the same webpage are running simultaneously to see which one is the better performer and is more suitable for the UX.
• Web analytics. This is used across all websites to provide detailed numbers of visitors to the site and how long they spent on it and how they got there and where.
The definition of UX is the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or an app, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
Companies can no longer assume that if they have built a great and easy-to-use website that it will still satisfy all users. Users on a mobile phone will have a different view and experience as they will interact with the website through touch rather than a keyboard. Users on a mobile phone can also be interrupted by calls and are more likely to be looking to absorb on the website than actually make a purchase compared to a desktop user. These differences are a very important factor for the company to keep in mind.
There are three main reasons for the digital display campaign
- Awareness: If your company is less focused on direct sales through digital channels then a Digital display campaign will play a big part in your conversion journey. High volumes of online sales results in you having to play in a highly competitive market, therefore, resulting in a need for awareness advertising. E.g., an estate agent.
- Direct response prospecting: If your company is focused on sales and you are targeting the right customers at the right time with the right message. Direct response is suitable if you are trying to maximize your sales volume to the full potential but aiming for it at the lowest cost possible.
- Retargeting: They highly target customers by chasing users with reminders of the products and prices they have been previously quoted. It can be highly effective in ensuring that your conversion rate is optimized even after the user has disappeared out of the picture. It can be very popular in retail and travel sectors where people shop for similar products.
Search Engine Marketing
This consists of enhancing the visibility of a website when someone searches something using a keyword/term on a search engine like Google. It consists of two main methods: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of bringing traffic to a website through organic search engine results. It has 2 factors of ranking: Content and Backlinks. An SEO has 3 elements: Title Tag, URL, and meta-description.
Search Engine Results on google
-How to configure these 3 elements?
• Title tag
• 50-70 characters
• Company name is specified.
• Attractive to click.
Domain Name is not the URL. A domain should be made up of keywords and be easy to read.
• The Domain name should be as short as possible in order to make it memorable and understandable. It should be pertinent catchy and should be a description of the activity.
• Meta description should be a short eye-catching description of the website.
• Content that is more engaged with will be more successful i.e. if someone cites or links your website it will go to a higher position on google.
• Back-links or entering links are separate links to your website for different sectors.
The popularity of a Website:
Three elements are used to measure the popularity/ rating of a website:
1)The number of links
2)Quality of website
3)Context of the link.
Social media do not have a direct impact on SEO. However, there is an indirect impact on SEO.
Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising, which is also referred to as PPC or Pay-Per-Click. It is advertising directly on a search engine. It shows ad results (sponsored) at the top.
• Define the reason you are doing the ad.
• Make an attractive description.
• Adapt your landing page according to your advertisement.
Mobile app development: what lies ahead for the industry
Can you believe there were just 500 apps on the Apple store’s offer back in 2008? Much has changed since then, didn’t it?
Mobile app development has revolutionized business operations with an impeccable app that streamlines the processes involved in various aspects of the business. For effective mobile app development, it needs to be done in a series of steps that various mobile app development services have to follow. Let’s take a look at how to structure your app development process.
Mobile app development market growth
Lately, smartphones and apps have gone from nice-to-haves to absolute essentials for many consumers and businesses. Case in point, in 2017 there were almost 4 billion connected mobile devices generating 178 billion annual app downloads and more than $81 billion in in-app store consumer spending.
According to Q2 202 Statista report, users downloaded about 28 billion apps from Google Play Store and about 7.9 million from the App Store. Additionally, by the end of 2022, US consumers will spend around $34 billion and even more on apps via the app stores.
As recorded in 2021, worldwide, there are about 7.1 billion app users. Every smartphone user has installed about 35 and more apps on their devices. Out of those, they uninstall some because of some issues like performance. Still, nothing has stopped the growth of the mobile app development industry. The global app revenue of about $581 billion in 2020 is expected to reach nearly $808 billion in 2022.
Noticing the hike in these stats, more and more startups and enterprises are emerging to develop mobile app ideas for their business. Besides, this increased the competition in the mobile app development industry.
Voice-enabled technologies allow users to communicate with their apps without touching their phones. At this point, it is still not possible to have complete conversations with voice assistants. However, phone owners can use voice controls to get their apps to perform specific functions. While the technology is imperfect, it is improving rapidly.
The use of voice-enabled technology can offer the option of hands-free app use to anyone. This option is something that all smartphone users may soon come to expect from their apps.
Why is there so much buzz about 5G? 5G technology may radically change the way people use mobile apps. It will reduce latency and increase data-sharing speeds for mobile phones. The environment will encourage the exchange of massive amounts of data between apps and services, and make the benefits of cloud computing even more accessible for all kinds of devices. This development could open up new app markets.
Not only will developers need to create apps that can keep up with this amount of data, but they will be racing to be the first to develop apps that can take advantage of real-time data to create new and more useful apps.
With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the number of devices with embedded computer hardware is increasing by the day. The IoT covers a vast array of systems.
Many users may already be familiar with home internet-connected systems — smart home technology — that control lights and heating. The IoT also connects medical device monitors, auto information centers, smart refrigerators, and automated manufacturing equipment controls.
More and more consumers will expect to monitor their devices from mobile phones and get operational data and warnings of malfunctions. Healthcare and manufacturing are two industries that will expect apps that can monitor patients and production, respectively.
Payments via mobile wallets, such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay, continue to grow in popularity. Companies want to offer consumers the option of cashless and cardless payments, and the trend toward mobile commerce, in general, is leading to new app development.
Existing companies, including those with brick-and-mortar locations, want to offer mobile payment and shopping options, and newer businesses can start with lower overhead by using mobile commerce solutions.
Augmented and virtual reality
In 2021, the AR, VR, and mixed reality market will likely reach $30.7 billion and catch up with about $300 billion by 2024. Augmented reality mobile apps have the feature to simulate products in actual size in virtual trial rooms, which is giving customers a virtual in-store experience.
In the retail sector, AR mobile apps can allow users to try on clothes by using virtual fitting rooms, saving time and effort. The apps that use augmented reality can also enable the store to showcase more stock than they can physically manage. Augmented reality examples of such apps are Converse, Sephora, and L’Oréal.
The viral Pokemon Go app was an early example of the possibilities of augmented reality. Both Google and Apple have augmented reality frameworks for app developers to use.
The real estate industry is taking maximum advantage of augmented reality business applications. Realtors and real estate agents are using the AR app to sell the benefits of the property. AR is embedded in the mobile app to give potential buyers or tenants a 3D experience of the apartment or flat.
As per the predictions, the global blockchain revenues will grow in the future by about $39 billion by 2025. Blockchain integration solutions will change the way the apps are developed and deployed.
Initially, blockchain technology was famous for the stable functioning of all cryptocurrencies. Now it’s used as a database that one can use for almost every app like a fintech app, retail app, health app, and more.
As we move forward, the mobile app development industry also advances over time. This is the main technological aspect that will surely make the development of mobile applications more advanced. And over time, new technologies will emerge to open up new possibilities and develop applications.
Other emerging technologies like blockchain are quickly becoming mainstream in mobile app development. We will also see how mobile app security will reach new heights with a higher-level user experience. To reach a balance between pricing and quality, consider hiring an experienced mobile app development company to help you build an outstanding mobile product that fully meets your business objectives.
Alex Kulitski is Founder and CEO of Smart IT and is the co-founder and executive CTO at MEDvidi. Being a serial entrepreneur, he is a keen investor in technology startups and runs several successful side projects besides Smart IT and MEDvidi.