When asked about their failed (or failing) apps, business owners and software developers responded with a myriad reasons.

Queen Shabazz, a software engineer at Queenscript, shares an all-too-common problem: 

Her.CEO Founder, Stacy Caprio, shares her own disheartening experience:

And finally, James Predelus, CEO of James Predelus Corporation, sums up an issue most newbies go through:

Too often, businesses that built an app in hopes of gaining more accessibility to customers (and more sales) find themselves paralysed in obstacles spanning across these themes:

Overpopulated app market. It’s difficult to break through the noise, let alone acquire paying users. 

Unpredictable market. A world event (like COVID-19) or even a change in a partner app’s API or bot requirements — as Caprio mentioned in the intro above — could hinder the way your app functions. 

And above all else, costly investments

In our conversations with businesses across industries, we found out that PureVPN spent $10,000 on their app, while Travel Money Exchange forked over $15,000+.

George Hammerton, Director at Hammerton Barbados, previously ran an app design and development agency; he shares that a typical app development process can easily take up to 3,500 person-hours:

3 Big Cons Of Building Mobile Apps For Your Business: Expensive, Time-Consuming, And Stiff Market Competition 

The future of app development gets bleaker. 

Just look at the following statistics:

Here’s what we can deduce from the statistics alone: Most apps fail. 

Even good apps that land in the top charts might struggle to make an impact in the long run. 

Acquiring Inbound Links: A Better Way To Build An Online Presence & Sales

Sure, some of the issues mentioned in the introduction above can be solved with an improved marketing or user acquisition strategy, but considering the massive investment involved, is it really worth it? .

In this article, we want to turn your attention towards a simpler alternative: Acquiring inbound links.

These links come from other established websites (hence the word “inbound”), and they play a massive role in helping you gain visibility in front of a targeted audience. 

These inbound links, also known as backlinks, can exist in multiple forms, such as:

Affiliate Marketing 

A type of marketing where an affiliate mentions your products or services by including a link to your website on their established platforms (e.g., blog, YouTube channel). 

Each time someone buys your product via this unique link, you earn a sale and the affiliate earns a commission. 

In the U.S, affiliate marketing is set to hit $6.8 billion by 2020.

Link-In-Bio Tools

A bio link that houses all your content in one place. Popular examples include: Linkin.bio by Later and Linktree. 

Linktree recently hit five million users and a 250% revenue growth, signaling a growth opportunity in the space. 

Note: Like social media links, this doesn’t have a rank-influencing impact on your website, but stick around: We’ll share why this is a powerful tool in boosting engagement and generating sales.

How a typical Linktree page looks like [Source: Linktree]

Influencer Marketing 

A type of marketing where a well-known social media user (a.k.a. influencer) endorses your products or services and shares your link to their large followers.

 89% of marketers say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.

Is It Easier To Generate Additional Sales Via These Inbound Links Than An App?

We think it is.

But we don’t want to make bold claims without backing them up with proof, so let’s look at the following real-world examples.

Karolina Gawron, Head of Marketing at Surfer, uses affiliate marketing to promote her company’s SEO tool. She credits it for bringing in 15% of their revenue: 

David Morneau, CEO of an InBeat, a TikTok and Instagram influencer marketing agency, works primarily with ecommerce brands. He’s seen great results in this arena, even highlighting one of his favorite success stories with us:

Leaving affiliate and influencer marketing for a minute here, link-in-bio tools are also powerful channels in generating engagement and sales.

For Kim Crisostomo Bavington, Founder of Art Classes For Kids, profile link tools boost her website visits by 10% and sales by 7%.

Abhishek Joshi, Founder of Dog With Blog, sees a boost in his email subscribers and conversions:

Link-In-Bio Tools: Expect A Sharp Rise In More Specialist Features

Unlike affiliate, social media, and influencer marketing that has been around the block, link-in-bio tools are relatively new in the marketing space. 

In the years to come, we can expect a shift in these platforms. For starters, they will start offering more features to help businesses stay online and support new revenue streams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Benn, who runs Soundplate (a music company that offers smart links for music artists and record labels to display all of their music in one place), predicts that we’ll see these links becoming more niche-specific

Benn outlines an example:

“The features needed by a fashion retailer trying to increase sales are very different from those of a podcaster trying to give their listener the choice of where to subscribe or a restaurant needing a booking system and menus.”

Will we see these industry-specific tools anytime soon given the current disarray caused by the pandemic? Based on Benn’s predictions and the rising trend of links, it’s a resounding yes.

App Development’s Future: Building Apps Isn’t The Only Option

Sometimes we spend too much time on building than selling when all we need is a simpler solution.

Do you really need to build an expensive app? Or use an unnecessarily complicated website builder to create a website? 

If your goal is to establish an online presence and generate additional sales for a small business, you probably don’t need them.

Acquiring links is a much more sustainable option than building an app, as it requires less upkeep and has a higher chance of getting you an ROI.

Over to you: Do you think these links are the next big thing?   

Oode helps one-person businesses build an online presence in just a couple clicks. With just a click of a link, your prospects can easily book a video call with you and get connected within seconds. If you’d like to learn more about our features, check out Oode.