We know mobile is hot. You say, how hot? Apple sold more mobile devices in one year (2011) than sold computers in 24 years (forever). More people access Facebook via mobile than desktop.
From a business perspective mobile has tremendous word of mouth power. With word of mouth arguably as photographers #1 source of clients, mobile now seems to contain the largest opportunity for new business. Fortunately, Sticky Albums (affiliate) has a way to give each of your clients a custom app.
Mobile App Data
- Photography is the 15th largest app category in the Apple app store, with over 16,000 apps and 2% of total.
- Google Andriod alone has delivered over 10 billion app downloads and that number continues to increase at a staggering rate.
- Mobile users spend at least 94 minutes per day using their downloaded apps (22 more minutes than in mobile browsers).
Everyone is obviously using apps, but how does that translate to business?
If you can break onto (not into) someone’s phone or tablet via an app your photography business will benefit from longer and more frequent exposures.
Longer exposure because people spend more time on apps than mobile browsers. No surprise there. When people open an app they are dedicating a chunk of time to that activity. On the contrary, when people come across a website they usually want to move quickly onto the next task like another website, Facebook or email.
Branding frequency increases because people see the app icon every time they look at their mobile device. It’s the computer equivalent of having a desktop shortcut on a clients computer. How much is that kind of loyalty and branding worth to your business? I’d say a lot.
To recap – you want an app.
How Purchase Decisions are Made
Google’s Zero Moment of Truth talks about the change in buying behavior. Purchase decisions used to be made when the customer came face to face with the product. You go to the store, decide what to buy, then buy it. Now consumers decide what to buy way in advance. They research heavily before making a decision. “The average shopper uses 10.4 sources before buying, twice as much as years past.” Those 10+ sources include personal referrals. The whole point of the ebook is businesses can’t begin marketing when a user is ready to purchase. It begins before the customer knows they want something.
Thinking about my last 30 days I realized this applies to me. I had a fence replaced, windows installed, and got a new hair stylist. I wasn’t looking for fence repair, but a neighbor was getting hers replaced and recommended the company to me. I took her word and didn’t get estimates from other companies. In another example, I was at a friend’s house while they were getting their windows done and since they were happy with the service and price I jumped on board too. I wasn’t thinking about changing hair stylists until someone raved about his and convinced me to switch. Each scenario was a big investment (don’t tell me hair isn’t a big investment) yet my purchase decision came exclusively from word of mouth. In the service industry, you trust your friends’ recommendations.
Back to photography. When you have apps out there on client phones, the become changes to get into conversations like the above.
Sense of Ownership
Apps carry a sense of ownership that web galleries and blog posts don’t. When you use Sticky Albums to create a custom app icon for the client they will be proud of it and want to show others.
You’re also giving them something to keep. It’s a much different mentality than putting photos on your site, which you own. The Zero Moment of Truth ebook explains this better than I can:
“Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president, Global Marketing Group, Johnson & Johnson, describes the change in mental models this way:
We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumer is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another way: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?
The wonderful potential of this, if you’re willing to work at it, is to have an intimate relationship with consumers. And that leads to the ultimate moment of truth: when the customer buys your product again.”
A custom app seems like the perfect way to give something to your clients they will truly appreciate while opening the door to referral opportunities.
Ideas for Sticky Albums (and a discount code)
You’ll make more than your money back on a single referral, and clients will be happy and impressed with your unique gift to them.
With Sticky Albums you give your clients a mobile download (application) that links to your site. Each client has his or her own gallery accessible through the app (that displays your logo and link) and you can easily update the photos at any time in the future. You can create a unique icon for each app. Ideas for marketing the app:
- Make StickyAlbums as a bonus incentive. For example include the cusotm mobile app with higher priced packages, or charge a fee for clients to get the app as an add on to an existing package. Either way, the product can earn you more money per session.
- Create a custom app for your own business to demo when meeting people face to face. Think of it like a digital business card. When you meet someone in the grocery store and start talking photography, they can download your app right there to get your contact information.
- Create albums for partners or vendors that they can show their clients. For example, if you shoot a wedding, take photos of the flowers then make an app for the florist that she can use to showcase her work. Every time she shows that app to brides, your logo will be seen.
- Create inspiration apps for yourself to use when preparing people for a session, or for existing clients who seek ideas. Since Sticky Albums allow you to continue adding photos at any time these galleries will always be up to date. Like giving customers offline access to a Pinterest board with only photos of you. You can create what to wear apps, photography product apps, etc.
- Create a special offer as an image in the gallery. Make an image in every gallery with a special offer that encourages people to show their app to friends.
Comment below with ways you would leverage a mobile app for each client. What are your thoughts about mobile marketing or apps in general?
Photo credit: Breeze Floyd self-portrait