Without a doubt, smart phones and devices have become an extension of ourselves for many of the people you and your business interact with on a daily basis. Almost every business and organization can benefit from a good mobile presence but that doesn’t mean you should put all of your eggs in the mobile basket.
Entrepreneur Magazine posted a great article on the “4 Critical Things Every Business Must Know About Mobile Marketing.” It’s an insightful read if you have the time to check it out or just see their bulleted list below…
1. Making your website mobile friendly
Despite the small size of their device (usually a smartphone), consumers expect to have the same online experience with you as they would via desktop. The easiest way to do this is to build your site in a responsive manner. This means the site’s design will scale to fit the device, but the content will remain the same.
Having a dynamic website, one that provides mobile-specific content and a mobile-friendly display to mobile visitors while serving the desktop version to those with full-size monitors is the ideal. The key to this working is to know what your visitors most need from your business when they’re mobile (hours, location, click-to-call phone number, special offers, etc.) and provide that to them when they are mobile. The tools to easily build a dynamic site aren’t yet commonplace, so you may have to hire a web designer to help you out.
2. What to know about mobile search
One of the most common uses of smartphones and tablets is searching online. As with desktop search, the biggest player in mobile search is Google, so you want to make sure you take advantage of all the ways to work well with them.
First, if you’re a local business with a physical location, give full attention to your local business listing on Google Places. When a mobile searcher is looking for a local business, Google serves up its Maps listings near the top of the search. Build your listing as robustly as possible by adding photos, videos, a full description, hours, and any other details you can. It’s the best free way to be found by local searchers.
Second, you need to know that Google says responsive web design is their “recommended option” and sends mobile searchers to sites that use responsive web design, sites that use dynamic web design (different content and different design to mobile sites), and those that have a separate mobile site.
Third, mobile search result advertising is a great way to be found. If you’re already doing AdWords advertising, you’re already doing mobile advertising because it’s incorporated into your ad spend. You can choose to minimize your mobile ads or use them exclusively. Knowing your mobile stats will help you prioritize. Having a mobile-friendly website will give your mobile search results advertising the ability to work.
3. Integrating text messaging into your online marketing
One of the most powerful tools of mobile marketing is text messaging. The best way to incorporate texting with online marketing is to use your online efforts as a way to get opt-ins for your SMS text message list. Then you can use text messaging as a way to reach your audience outside their full and overwhelming email inboxes.
After you’ve built a list of opt-in subscribers by creating a compelling reason for them to sign up, send text messages to your list with the kind of information you promised them when they enrolled. Here are a few text message content ideas:
-S hort tips or strategies your audience can use
– Mobile coupons
– Reminders of webinars or other events
– Announcements of product releases
– Meetups at events
4. To mobile app or not to mobile app
It may be very tempting to jump into building a mobile app for your business, but given the financial and time investment involved, it’s smart to consider first whether or not a mobile app is the right match for your business. The single most important factor in this decision is whether or not your app will provide a way for your customers to do something repeatedly. More specifically, it must be something they want or need to do repeatedly. That’s because people will only download an app and keep it on their phone if they find they use it regularly. Otherwise it will be deleted.
If the mobile app you have in mind will simply tell customers about your business, give them your location and hours, a list of services and provide special offers to them, then you don’t need an app. You just need a mobile-friendly website. If the mobile app you have in mind will give them access to their account with your business, entertain them in a way that also congruently markets your business or in some other way engages them repeatedly, then you can consider moving ahead with a mobile app.