What Architecture is right for your Mobile App?

To determine the right mobile app architecture, a company needs to understand the following:

  1. Categorization of Key Features—The company can employ use cases in this process to determine the key features that customers require from the app. Then, the key features should be classified as informational, transactional, or device-oriented.
  • Informational features are those where information is being consumed by a user, such as reading news on a subject.
  • Transactional features are those where a user carries out a transaction with the application, such as sharing, buying, or downloading.
  • Device-oriented features are those that enable a user to utilize device-specific features, such as using the camera or the gyroscope.

 

If a mobile app primarily has informational features, such as consuming news, then a web app might be sufficient. If, however, a mobile app primarily uses device-specific features, such as scanning codes using the camera, then a native app or a cross-platform app may be necessary.

 

  1. Type of User Experience Desired—If the type of customers a company is targeting for its app demands a high-quality user experience from the app, the best approach is native app development, followed by cross-platform development. The best user experience generally comes with utilizing the best that the operating system and the mobile device have to offer, which is what a native app can deliver. For customers who are fine with basic functionality, even a web app may suffice.

 

  1. Need for Multiplatform Compatibility—If the target market uses a wide variety of mobile devices and operating systems, it is important for a company to develop apps for each of the mobile platforms. Unless complex features are required for the apps that will require native app development, a company may be better off developing apps using a cross-platform framework or developing web apps. Where the target audience uses a limited range of devices and/or operating systems and requires complex features, native apps are the best option.

 

  1. Need for Offline Usage—If the target market has intermittent Internet connectivity, or does not use mobile Internet very often, it may make sense for a company to make an app, or important parts of the app, available for offline usage. If the app primarily acts as a means for a user to stay updated on news, offers, or other real-time information, then the need for offline usage will be much lower.

Once the mobile app development method is decided, the company then selects a specific mobile app development tool that should ideally fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • The mobile app development team should know how to use the tool. In the absence of in-house knowledge, external resources should be easily available to use the tool for the company.
  • Developers should be able to use the tool to create all the features desired by customers.
  • The cost associated with the tool should be within the budget specified by the digital marketing team.
  • The time taken to create an app using the tool should be within the timeframe specified by the digital marketing team.
  • The tool should not be based on technologies or languages that are likely to decrease in popularity or become obsolete in the near future. 

    The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
    SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
    Important links:
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Paint an Image for your Marketing Activity

An image is worth a thousand words. Image-centric social networks are generally very popular and have an impressive retention rate. These sites focus on the posting and sharing of images and short videos. For a successful social media marketing campaign, it is important to stay up-to-date on trends, and image marketing is one of the biggest trends.

The consumer attention span is ever shrinking. In today’s information age, audiences are flooded with content available at a single touch. This abundance of content makes it harder for good content to cut through the clutter and get noticed, but images capture the attention of consumers. They must be presented with engaging content quickly, or viewers will quickly move on to the next item.

If a social media post has multiple paragraphs of text, there is a chance it will be ignored by people who feel they do not have time to read it. However, images stand a better chance of capturing people’s attention, and therefore, a post with an image has a much better chance of engaging readers just long enough to pique their interest. Once viewers have noticed the image ad, they may then want to learn more and consume the content in more detail.

Here are two examples of Image Marketing:

  • Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat are some of the popular image centric social networks which focus on the posting and sharing of images and short videos. These image-centric networks have millions of users and a loyal user base.
  • Facebook ads are a great example of image marketing and native marketing at the same time. The ads, or “Suggested Posts,” are seen by Facebook users within their news feed and are presented in a way that is woven in with their friends’ posts and shares. They provide a large image and brief line of text that is visually appealing and engaging, and hopefully well targeted to be of interest to viewers. The result is an ad that really does not look or feel like advertising, which is arguably the best kind of all. 

    The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
    SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
    Important links:
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Mobile App Development Methods: Part 2

A number of factors make developing a mobile app difficult, such as the existence of multiple mobile app platforms, various operating system versions for each platform, and multiple device types, each with its own set of unique features. Given this variety, there are also many ways to design a mobile app, but the three most common methods are native app development, cross-platform development, and web app development. The company must decide which of these types of development methods is most suited for its needs. This decision should be guided primarily by what makes the most sense for the customer.

Let’s now discuss Cross-Platform Development along with key characteristics and situations in which this type of method should be chosen.

Cross-Platform Development—This method involves developing the app once on a cross-platform app development framework and then running it on multiple platforms after making suitable adjustments for each platform. The apps are listed in the mobile app store of each platform and can be accessed and downloaded.

Key characteristics of this method are as follows:

  • Ability to Use Operating System and Device Functionality—Apps that are developed using the cross-platform development method do not have as much ability to use the operating systems and device functionality as apps developed using the native app development method since some features are made available only to native app developers by a mobile platform in order to promote the platform. In addition, any new upgrades to the operating system of a platform or additional device features are not immediately available to cross-platform frameworks—and sometimes are not made available at all.
  • Ability to Be Used Offline—Because cross-platform apps are installed directly on mobile devices, just like native apps, some or all features may be used even when there is no Internet connection because the app can use data stored locally on the device. Once an Internet connection is restored, the mobile app can synchronize new data with a central server.
  • Cost of Development—The cost of developing apps for multiple platforms using a cross-platform framework is much lower than the cost for developing native apps for each platform. The cost savings are a result of the fact that the basic code of an app built using a cross-platform framework is the same across platforms with only small adjustments being required for each platform. Most of the development effort for one platform can be reused for all other platforms.
  • Level of Skills Required—If a company wants to create apps for multiple platforms using a cross-platform framework, the app development team only needs to know how to create apps on one framework. Thus, even moderately skilled resources might provide enough expertise in app development if the company chooses this method of development.

Here is an example of Cross-Platform Development:

Mobile App Development Methods: Part 3

A number of factors make developing a mobile app difficult, such as the existence of multiple mobile app platforms, various operating system versions for each platform, and multiple device types, each with its own set of unique features. Given this variety, there are also many ways to design a mobile app, but the three most common methods are native app development, cross-platform development, and web app development. The company must decide which of these types of development methods is most suited for its needs. This decision should be guided primarily by what the makes most sense for the customer.

Finally let’s discuss Web App Development along with key characteristics, and situations in which this type of method should be chosen.

Web App Development—Web apps may be accessed through an Internet browser by any device and on any platform. The app runs on a central server and generally does not need to be customized for different platforms. For a long time, web apps could not use any features of the device or operating system, or run offline, but recent developments have made this functionality possible. However, the performance and user experience is generally not as good using this method in comparison with apps developed using the native app development or cross-platform framework methods.

Key characteristics of this method are as follows:

  • Ability to Use Operating System and Device Functionality—The ability for web apps to use the device operating system and functionality is quite limited and has only recently been made possible. Use of upgraded features of either the operating system or devices is even more limited than that of apps built using the cross-platform framework.
  • Ability to Be Used Offline—Recent developments have made it possible for web apps to be used offline in a limited manner. While users are online, data is stored in local memory and can then be accessed while offline, to be later synced once a network connection is restored.
  • Cost of Development—The cost of developing web apps is low because the app generally needs to be created only once, regardless of how many different platforms or devices access the app.
  • Level of Skills Required—If a company wants to create web apps, the mobile app development team must know the markup language being used by most web app development frameworks.

Here are a few examples of Web App Development:

  • Document viewers and builders, spreadsheets, chat applications, and webmail are some examples of common web apps. They are primarily accessed through an Internet browser and are functional irrespective of the operating system or device on which they are used. These apps require an Internet connection to work and can also be used offline with certain limitations.
  • The advent of HTML5 has made it possible for web apps to use any features of the device or operating system, or run offline, Hence, HTML5 is the language used by most web app development frameworks.
  • Another common web development framework that is also used for web app development is Ruby on Rails. If a company is using Ruby on Rails to create its web app, it will require resources skilled in the use of this framework. 

    The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
    SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
    Important links:
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Mobile App Development Methods: Part 1

A number of factors make developing a mobile app difficult, such as the existence of multiple mobile app platforms, various operating system versions for each platform, and multiple device types, each with its own set of unique features. Given this variety, there are also many ways to design a mobile app, but the three most common methods are native app development, cross-platform development, and web app development. The company must decide which of these types of development methods is most suited for its needs. This decision should be guided primarily by what makes most sense for the customer.

Let us discuss Native App Development along with key characteristics, and situations in which this type of method should be chosen.

  1. Native App Development—This method involves developing apps directly on a specific mobile app platform using the platform’s programming language and native code. The apps are listed in the mobile app store of a platform and can be accessed and downloaded.

Key characteristics of this method are as follows:

  • Ability to Use Operating System and Device Functionality—This ability is high for native apps as they are built directly on a specific mobile app platform that provides access to all features of the operating system of the platform and devices that run on the platform. Whenever there are changes to the operating system or when additional features are supported on newer devices, native app developers are able to upgrade their apps quickly.
  • Ability to Be Used Offline—As native apps are installed directly on mobile devices, some or all features may be used even when there is no Internet connection because the app can use data stored on the device. Once an Internet connection is restored, then the mobile app can synchronize new data with a central server.
  • Cost of Development—The cost of developing native apps for multiple platforms is relatively high primarily because developing the same app for different platforms requires almost the same effort for each platform. There are only a few components (e.g., user interface design) that can be leveraged across platforms. Most of the programming must be done from the beginning for each new platform. For this reason, some companies choose to create an app for only one platform.
  • Level of Skills Required—If a company wants to create native apps for multiple platforms, the app development team must be skilled in developing apps for each of the platforms. Thus, highly skilled resources are needed for multi-platform app development. If a company does not have technical resources skilled in multiple platforms, it may need to invest time and resources in training existing resources or hire external resources for the app development effort.

Here is an example of the Native App Development:

  • Many native apps are included with the factory version or manufacturer’s version of a mobile, tablet, or other device. The camera, e-mail, and settings on a smartphone are a few native apps that can be used offline and then synced with other devices. These apps are created using native code and the platform’s programming language. At times, an update of the operating system is needed to upgrade the functionality or the version of these native apps. 

    The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
    SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
    Important links:
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
    Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

What is Search Engine Optimization and how it can Benefit Your Business

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a number of activities and initiatives that businesses can implement to achieve high search engine rankings. Such activities address factors that can impact a website’s or web page’s search engine rankings for specific search terms, resulting in a high placement in a search engine’s organic (unpaid) search results. It is important to note that the position at which the company appears in search results is a result of both SEO activities and paid advertising.

Consumer perception is impacted by the position at which a company appears in the result of a search. A high rank in search results helps build trust in the minds of consumers as they generally associate a higher ranked website with being a strong, more established brand with greater reliability. This perception in turn leads to greater conversions on the company’s website and supports the fulfillment of the objectives for the product or brand. Most consumers will not click beyond the search results on the first or second page and the potential diminishes the further into the list that the company appears. A website that is search engine optimized will appear higher in search results resulting in a greater number of visits to the site.

Search Engine Optimization is an Internet marketing tactic that takes into consideration how search engines function and “rank” websites, how people search for keywords, the keywords that are most frequently searched, and the type of searches (text search, image search, video search) that consumers are likely to use to learn more about a product, service, or business as a whole. Keywords are typically defined as either short tail (also known as head keywords) (e.g., women’s clothing) or long tail (e.g., best store to buy women’s clothing). Short tail, or head, keywords usually consist of two words, while long tail keywords usually consist of three to five words. While short tail keywords are generally more popular, long tail keywords are more targeted to specific searches and come with less competition. Less competition is particularly important when developing a pay-per-click campaign as less competition generally means the company does not have to bid as much money for a particular keyword or phrase.

Typically when a business adds a page to its site, the various search engines send a spider, or web crawler, that stores the page on the search engine’s server and then indexes the page (i.e., gathers relevant information on the contents of the web page and the links that it contains) for fast and accurate information retrieval when an online consumer registers a search query on the engine.

Optimizing a website for online searches involves editing the site content and tagging or coding pages to increase the relevance of the website content relative to specific keywords that are key to the business. The objective is to ensure that the site appears in search engine results for the keywords that are most relevant to the business. SEO also involves removing any barriers that would prevent search engines from indexing the site, as well as promoting the site to increase the number of back-links, or inbound links.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Getting the Website Architecture Design Right

One of the first considerations when building a website is the site’s structure. A well-planned structure is fundamental to the success of the website and can prevent issues in later stages of the site development. Website architecture design involves planning the layout and design of the website, identifying the pages to be included, determining how consumers will navigate the site, and planning how these pages will link together. Based on the learning from marketing research and competitor website analysis, the digital marketing team—along with subject matter experts, such as website developers—is responsible for ensuring an optimal website architecture design.

A key factor that the must be considered when planning the website architecture is click-depth. Click-depth or crawl-depth refers to the minimum number of clicks required of a website visitor in order to get from the “root” web page to a desired web page. The root web page is the page that displays when only the domain is in the URL (i.e., no path information is included). The objective is to enable visitors to find what they are looking for with ease. Companies must ensure that the click-depth is kept as low as possible, so that users and search engines can reach any point on the site within a minimum number of clicks.

The digital marketing team analyses how each page will be linked internally and externally, creating categories and subcategories within the site. While creating the website, search-friendly URLs should be used to increase the relevance of the links and help the organic ranking for the website. Additionally, duplicate meta tags, meta descriptions, and titles should be avoided to prevent confusing web crawlers.

In short, the website architecture design should assure visitors they are on the right page; ensure visitors can easily find what they are looking for by providing a clear navigation path and search feature; properly link together the various pages; and ensure that the website is easy to navigate not only for users, but also for web crawlers so that the site content can be detected by search engines.

A critical component of website architecture is scalability. Website designers must ensure that websites are designed in a way that navigation is not compromised when new functionality, product lines, or business units are added. Consumers have a low tolerance for long wait-times or high click depth pages and will quickly leave a site that does not provide optimal usability. For example, a business may start with a simple website to build awareness of the brand, and provide details of the product offerings; however, if the company chooses to add an e-commerce component at a later date, the e-commerce capability should be aligned with the existing product catalog so that customers can continue to navigate the site with ease and purchase products quickly and securely. A well-thought-out architecture at the planning stage will enable this new functionality without overhauling the existing site.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course