An “app” (which is shorthand for “application”) is a piece of software that may be found on your computer, mobile phone, or across the Web. Originally, all software programs have been called “apps” (Tim Sanders actually wrote a book entitled, Love is the Killer App). But recently apps have come to be used specifically to refer to the small programs to be found on iPhones and now other smartphones, Facebook, and Google. They are relatively small, but they typically help you do something and make your life a little easier in a big way. For example: The iPhone has an application was allows you put your phone up to the radio (or any type of speakers) and it will search and find the name and musician for the song!
Over the past two years, the development of different apps has been growing at an extraordinary rate. Even more significant is the use of the apps, which is primarily for many of the Web 3.0 sites and marketing tactics we have discussed.
Rather than only talk about the traditional apps in your marketing, we’re going to discuss three totally different ways of looking at apps. First, think of the apps for general business use. These apps will make your job easier, create more revenue and make communication with your prospects and clients easier. Second, think of using apps in your Web 3.0 marketing. These are the apps that can be used for mobile marketing, in targeted forums, micro-blogging and the like. Lastly, think of apps as a possible lead generator or profit house. Entire businesses are being made solely for developing, selling or giving away apps.
Selling apps is one way to generate revenue. But, giving away apps is an even more powerful way. As we’ve discussed before, one of the best marketing tactics for generating leads is to offer free stuff, whether it’s a whitepaper, a CD/DVD, or an app. Give first, and it will all work out in the end!
I personally use apps to make my businesses run smoother, keep me productive and to have some fun along the way.
Here are 18 applications I use on a regular basis:
- Amazon Unbox: The service lets you download movies and TV shows to watch on your PC or portable device.
- Skype: Skype is my favorite way to chat via text, voice and video over my Internet connection – for free!
- Answers.com: Looking for answers? This service pulls information from several different reference sites to provide answers to all your questions.
- Picasa: This is Google’s Web-based photo-hosting service. Users get 1GB of free hosting; images can be uploaded and manipulated using Picasa.
- YouSendIt: Every now and then, almost everyone has a file to send to someone that’s too big to email.. YouSendIt meets that need via a Web-based service.
- BlogTalkRadio: Broadcast your own Internet radio show!
- LogMeIn: On the road or offsite and need to get access to your computer remotely? This is the service that will help you access those files you need.
- Kayak: This service scours the Web to help you find the cheapest deals on travel services around the world.
- ooVoo: Looking to chat with several people at the same time on video? This application is great, and I use it daily.
- ZoHo: Looking for massive amounts of productivity tools? Check out the apps offered by ZoHo.
- Woot: One item for sale each day, and lots of great bargains. They are an online retailer of goods.
- Zillow: Zillow is an online house-buying service.
- Veodia: Creating video recordings with ease
- VoiceThread: A photo- and video-sharing tool. It lets users upload photos, videos and documents and add voice, text and video annotations to each slide.
- Mint: Manage your money through the Web for free.
- Pandora: Want to jam out to some great tunes while working? Free streaming music and video tailored to your likes.
- Basecamp: Looking for a solid Web-based project management tool? This tool will make your groups come together and work on large or small projects on the same shared, collaborative space.
- Wikia: Very similar to Wikipedia, but it is a collection of Wikis that can be edited. So it’s actually a white-paper service that lets site owners add Wiki elements to their sites and brand them to match.
- Remember the Milk: Ever forget things? How can you not?! This app makes your to-do items and reminders available in Gmail, via SMS, the iPhone, Windows Mobile devices, Skype and popular IM clients.
At this writing there are over 75,000 apps available, many of them free – which makes them a welcome presence in your customers’ lives. As a result, they are also an interesting avenue for Web 3.0 marketing.