One of the best ways for small businesses to learn how mobile can increase their success is by example. With that in mind, here is a story about a New Hampshire sports club that transformed both itself and its community simply by following tried-and-true mobile tips.
Seacoast United is a sports organization offering soccer, field hockey, and baseball programs to athletes of all ages in New Hampshire. The club competes year-round, runs various programs and classes, and hosts 10-15 annual tournaments. It is also very involved with the local sports community, helping teams advance past the grassroots level. We asked Kelly, the Executive Assistant and Webmaster, why she decided to create an app for Seacoast United. Kelly answered: “After spending a decent amount of time chasing various websites for field locations, maps, schedules, local business, etc. for a tournament that my girls’ team was participating in, I thought: ‘What if all this info was in one place?’”
Kelly set about creating an app that would incorporate the needs of families, coaches, and the athletes themselves—especially regarding game-day logistics. The Seacoast United Tournament app was released in March 2013. The app features field locations, first-aid information, tournament vendors, schedules, events, and even an online shop that sells Seacoast United merchandise.
Kelly had no prior experience in app building, and since she wears many hats within the organization, she’s also limited in time. Kelly was quick to point out that while you still need to invest some time in gathering your graphics and planning the app content, “having a tool [like Como] to assist in building an app for multiple platforms and where you don’t have to stress over every line of code is such a relief.”
But here’s the burning question so many SMBs ask when they go mobile: How do I get people to install my app? Well, Kelly hit a home run when it comes to app-promotion strategy. Here are some of her best methods that helped her rack in over 1,500 installs:
- At each tournament registration, she displays a sign that reads, “Have Questions, Download our App” next to a QR code
- The Seacoast United website has a page dedicated to the app, with a clear call-to-action to download it from the app stores
- Other pages on the website also display app information, including the tournament page and the schedule page
- Every tournament registration confirmation email includes a plug-in to download the app in its footer
Eight months after launching the Seacoast Tournament app, Kelly created a second app, which she wanted to cater more towards fans and partners. The SUSC mobile app gives back to the community by showcasing local accommodations, restaurants, and sponsors, granting them exposure to hundreds of users. The app also includes custom coupons and discounts for activities taking place at or near the games.
But app success isn’t measured only by installs and daily active users. Positive user feedback is also a major component. With an organization as public as Seacoast United, the response from the community is extremely important. Not surprisingly, Kelly says, “The feedback has been great! Lots of compliments on ease of use, the content, and the ability to have all the information they need at their fingertips.”
Kelly continues to hit all the success milestones because she consistently engages in tried-and-tested methods to promote SMB apps:
- The app is promoted across a variety of digital channels, including the Seacoast United website, emails, and Facebook page
- The app content is engaging and regularly refreshed
- The app is aesthetically pleasing, with good use of custom icons and high-quality graphics
- The app includes advanced business features that promote maximum engagement, such as coupons and catalogs
Which methods do you use to promote your app? What does mobile app success mean to you? Share your best practices with the Como community!