Change is inevitable, and keeping up with the times can mean a great deal to the livelihood of your business. When the dot com boom was first introduced into the playing field, adapting to the new technology of a personal or business webpage was not a necessity, but it boomed why? A fair portion of what is to blame was the hype, but there also was an equivalency in convenience and effectiveness – people had fun partaking on both sides of the screen. The internet passed the test. Flying colors. But soon enough, however, we find ourselves in a day and age when not just is the internet incredibly relevant to increased success with businesses of all types, but the internet is being used in all kinds of new ways. The same principle applies: what works, stays. Folks, mobile marketing is here to stay for good.
How and Why Mobile Marketing is a ‘Movement’
In fact, in a recent study published at the end of last year by Ofcom, consumer research points out that a great deal of internet usage is conducted using mobile devices – and in many countries. Just take a look yourself:
Those stats get me giddy, but if you’re seeing laptops still in the lead or don’t find that the strong surge being global is proof enough, let your eyes rest upon these glaring statistics. Mobile marketing to outrun desktop computer usage?! Not only is that a possibility to ponder, but according to Microsoft Tag research, its a prediction for what we’ll see ahead of us come 2014.
Safe to say the facts speak for themselves and operating in denial could leave your business in the dust. In 2013, there is no longer the need to calculate the value and worth of mobile marketing investment; although you can if you want to, and you sure can share your outcomes and data if you want to, too – there are many, many like myself who warmly appreciate the sharing of analyics in evolving paradigms. See now, your competitors aren’t just “getting into” mobile marketing – throwing up some QR codes on marketing peices or setting up the option to “check-in” to your local business. No. They are getting in and getting dirty. Everybody is having wild fun with the mobile technology too (just the dot come bubble), which only naturally leads to.. new functions, usages, and applications within this (not so little anymore) world of mobile marketing.
How to Maximize Your Efforts and Invest Best with Mobile Marketing in 2013
It is a movement that is snowballing quickly in several directions, and businesses, programmers, and users alike are all discovering both new ways as well as the most efficient ways to enjoy the experience. Don’t let the magnitude of this momentum stop you from building your own mobile momentum. Whether you’re not in the game yet, or you’re not sure how to get the most of mobile in its current state, you’ve got options; successful, customer-winning options. I mean, you came here for a reason right? So, without any further adieu, let me share with you the most useful and effective mobile marketing ideas for 2013.
1. Time to trash the notion that SMS (text messages) are intrusive.
Many businesses (local SMB’s especially) have reserved their opportunity to tap into an incredible resource: insanely intimate communication with their customers. The truth is that most consumers don’t find SMS marketing intrusive at all as long as they have opted-in to being messaged, most consumers enjoy the special perks, coupons, and offers in the personal manner of SMS, and lastly, not most, but all, consumers who have plunged for the opt-in will 99.9% of the time receive and actually read the message. Not only can you use standard text-messaging in your marketing efforts, but MMS (multi media messaging) is also an option. Do you think direct mail marketing pros of the past would brush the oppurtunity off? Didn’t think so either. A few ideas for ways to get customers to opt-in:
- Restaurants, have your waitress or cashier equipped with a simple postcard with the number to text to opt-in when it comes time for food bills to be paid. Slipping these in takeout order works too.
- Storefronts, post attractive, easy-to-read signage displaying the opt-in method and a special offer for signing up that they can redeem that day. This will help get people in the door and you’ll also have their number for keeps to repeat the process!
- Retail businesses, appeal to your audience by informing them that by signing up they will be informed about exclusive sales and other useful reminders, like when a new brand is stocked.
- Physical stores that utilize shopping carts, display the opt-in on buggy handles, offering special deals – right where their hands are placed (and phone if they happen to pull it out).
While these are industry-specific examples, any business can easily implement SMS marketing and build a solid list by having simple postcards with the opt-in, on-hand!
2. I didn’t say QR was a waste – You simply need to get creative with those darned things!
They certainly are not a waste in any aspect, with the increasing number of people who utilize smartphones. Even people who don’t are familiar with them by now. These funky boxes of “quick response” codes are wonderful tools when you actually think outside the basic box though. Implementing QR code functionality in ways that will either greatly benefit your customers or impress the heck out of them with creativity, will win them over. QR codes have become a saturated phenomenon, so you’ve got to stand out from the crowd. One example, as the mobile infographic above suggests, is placing QR codes on price tags so that customers can do things like: compare competitor prices, tally total costs, calculate savings, or redeem discounts – all right then and there. Mobile consumers build trust with your brand when the sense of reward is obtained; that sense/trust is invoked or conjured up really as easy as them simply utilizing their gadget in a new or interesting way. See this list for a great bunch of unique suggestions.
3. Do thorough analysis on the experience customers get when they interact with you in mobile modes.
How to go about that exactly? Your analysis should include:
- Testing and analyzing how every single aspect of your website looks and functions in a variety of devices. If you don’t have responsive design implemented into your website’s design/coding, the results you’ll find with a peek on a phone will be startlingly bleak: a bunch of jumbled up and illegible content; useless. It’s more important than every to have responsive design, and it covers all the bases – any size screen will be able to browse your site in an appropriate view. Do due diligence and check on small phones, smartphones, tablets, and every possible resolution of screen, and take your time. Every page. Every submission form. Every product display. Evaluate if any changes need to be made, and hire a pro to fix your errors an inconsistencies.
- Have an e-mail newsletter going out too? This should also be optimized for mobile viewing or you’re losing out on tons of action. Consumers who spend their “reading time” on their mobile devices is at an increasing rate, and makes perfect sense, too. Who wants to sit at the same familiar desk when you can catch up on your favorite news sources and e-mail subscriptions while enjoying a fine seat on a park bench on a perfectly sunny day?
4. If you haven’t tackled it already, optimize for mobile searching. I urge you!
An overwhelming portion of searches (1 in every 7) are being performed on mobile devices, and a hefty portion of those searches happen while customers are in-store even. What bases need to be covered for a perfect-10 score on the mobile search scale?
- First, be sure you have all of your correct information filled out on your Google+ Page listing (formerly dubbed a “Google Places” listing) which appears on the Google Map when people search for your services. Also, more obviously, when they search for your business name. Go the full distance, and be sure to add photos to your profile, descriptions, and try to get reviews from happy customers. This listing may be the only impression your business has the chance to give before a mobile user decides which local business to patronize.
- Once you’ve got that taken care of, don’t stop with filling the profile out. Search engine results, especially in local markets when mobile users search, can be highly competitive. Just because you have more reviews than your competitor means that you will outrank them on the map (although reviews are necessary components to beating them out). Much more than that goes into ensuring a top spot on Google and chances are if you’ve thought about being #1, your competitors have too. So where do you fall in the results? Hire a professional search engine marketing specialist to implement a campaign that will secure your local spot. Also, a true professional SEO will not just wing it with where you’re going to pop up (as in, which search terms will be queried and you’ll be the top result for), but they will perform keyword research to analyze what EXACT search terms are getting the most search volume. Keyword research and targeting could be put into an easy analogy: it’s essentially figuring out where the jack-pot school of fish are hiding out in most frequently, when you’re examining the territory of the lake you’re fishing in. But, seriously, I can’t stress enough how important it is to tackle this now rather than let time tick away – because according to Social Media Today, 70% of the time, 1 single hour is all that stands between a consumer’s actions once they’ve performed their mobile search.
Katie is the Editor and Director of Communications and Design at The People’s Marketing. Driven by a passion for language and communication, she lives for educating and exploring the power of human interaction in a technology-driven world. In her spare time she enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time outdoors.