Business owners often feel alone and sometimes struggle with aspects of running their businesses. The mission of Intuit’s Small Business Blog is to help small business owners succeed by publishing content they value enough to read and share with others. By sharing our content with others, our readers help us achieve our goals of increasing awareness and improving the perception of Intuit among small business owners.
We re-launched the web version of the blog in October 2010, and quickly saw a 4x increase in traffic as we improved the site design to incorporate more images and hired a professional editorial team to publish more frequently.
Yet we recognized that our audience was spending more time on smartphones, so we launched iPhone and Android app versions of the blog in April 2011 and July 2011, respectively. We’ve tested different versions of the apps with real customers to observe how they use them, what would delight them more, and how we could make it more relevant. Mainly, we kept the apps simple — and our articles brief — so we wouldn’t waste the time of busy readers with the goal of making it easy for them to read and share articles on the go.
The result has been the creation of two apps that have received customer ratings of 4+ stars and over 50,000 combined downloads, giving us reason to believe we’re serving our readers well. The most important business outcome has been that the mobile apps drive disproportionately more shares than the web version of the blog.
From December 2011 through August 2012, mobile apps generated 60% of shares from only 11% of pageviews. On a per pageview basis, our mobile apps were 15 times more effective in driving social shares. This data gives us confidence that further investment in our mobile apps is a great way to encourage more sharing of Intuit-branded blog content and increase awareness and preference for Intuit and our small business products.