The "app-vertising" business is capturing the imaginations of brand marketers worldwide. Simply put, app-vertising is the use of applications to deliver branding, messages, content, or functionality to reach target audiences.

If you're looking for a tool that offers affordability, ease of use, and significant return on investment (ROI), then app-vertising may well be right for you. Whether you're new to app-vertising or already reaping its benefits, you need to know a few things.

App-vertising goes beyond mobile

Much of the noise in the marketplace is about mobile apps for the iPhone or Android, so you may be wondering where Web apps can take your business. Whether it is apps for the iPad, netbooks, television set-top boxes, car electronics, or the Web, you're probably interacting with the technology more frequently than you think.

When you consider that nearly two billion people worldwide are already using browsers, it becomes clear that browser-based app-vertising holds the greatest promise.

App-vertising delivers value

Today, Web apps are deployed either alongside or in place of more-entrenched marketing vehicles. For instance, businesses can share promotional incentives via a Web app. And, when it comes to customer acquisition, Web apps can be deployed at no cost to current users, providing serious cost savings over traditional direct-marketing methods.

It's an open-and-shut case for brand recognition: A Web app that appears persistently in the browser, no matter where a user may travel on the Web, is often more potent than online banner advertising or search-engine marketing.

And, for even broader reach, apps can be shared via many online app stores, such as Add-ons for Firefox, Apple Web Apps, Google Apps Marketplace, Google's Chrome Web Store, and the Conduit App Marketplace.

App-vertising is measurable

Marketers live by measurement. So before you deploy a Web app, you need to be sure it delivers a compelling user experience and meets your business's goals. Business owners should answer these key questions:

  • What would you like to accomplish through apps? Brand awareness? Engagement? Customer acquisition?
  • What is the best content on your website? Breaking news? E-commerce? Social media?
  • Are there topics for which your organization can claim industry expertise?
  • What kind of functionality could better communicate your content (e.g., podcasts, games, chat, or feeds)?

App-vertising is cost-effective

Businesses often don't want to devote large amounts of dollars to new marketing endeavors, but app-vertising can be done for a minimal (or no) investment that is easy to control.

Business owners have a range of choices for creating custom apps—from free solutions such as Widgetbox and the Conduit platform, to low-cost providers such as KickApps. These platforms are not only free but also easy to use—no technical expertise is required.

App-vertising shares your best content

The best apps have compelling content. They aren't flat or one-dimensional; rather, they offer true contextual, interactive content that your customers are already interested in.

A recent Coca-Cola Zero app was shown to more than 1 million users within a day, and within 10 days it reached more than 80 million people with nearly 1 million minutes of combined viewing time—now that is ROI!

* * *

App-vertising takes existing great content and experiences, and packages it up for consumers to digest. It is cost-effective, appealing, and practical. The proof is in the pudding, and the results are fantastic. Watch and see as customers, new and old, engage in an entirely new way with your business.

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Five Reasons Why App-vertising Is Right for Your Business

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Adam Boyden is president of Conduit (, which powers apps for Web publishers and offers a platform to enable publishers to create apps using their own brand and content.