It’s no exaggeration to say that cellphones and tablets are ubiquitous. When was the last time you left the house and didn’t see someone on their smartphone?
Mobile technology is more than just a new frontier for business marketing. If it ever was, that frontier has long been crossed. Mobile marketing has gone beyond an opportunity, and has become a do-or-die part of overall marketing. In fact, in some ways, mobile marketing has become even more important than other forms of online marketing.
What Is Mobile Marketing?
“Mobile Marketing” is a broad term covering any type of business promotion directed at mobile users and intended to be used on mobile devices.
Different tools for mobile marketing include apps, mobile websites, SMS, and mobile advertising. You can also make use of 3rd party tools, including social media apps such as Snapchat and Twitter. Stick with me and I’ll discuss some advantages and simple strategies for each of these.
SMS ~ Short Message Service (aka Text Messaging)
You use mobile messaging every day, and so do your customers. Aside from tapping a channel of communication that your customers are guaranteed to be locked into, SMS campaigns have a couple of big advantages.
For one, customers have to choose to receive your messages. Thus, the relationship becomes one of voluntary participation in which you have a receptive audience.
A second advantage of SMS marketing is that recipients are extremely likely to open the messages. In contrast to email marketing messages, which people often delete without even seeing, users rarely get rid of texts without checking them out.
Text messages are short and efficient, which is something that people appreciate these days. As long as your messages have actual value to your audience (e.g. a coupon or exclusive offer) and you don’t abuse the medium (don’t start sending out promotional texts every day), they’re likely to get viewed.
The Importance of a Mobile Website
It’s important to make sure you have a website that is optimized for mobile. Gone are the days when people were willing to put up with web content that had to be constantly zoomed and adjusted. Users don’t just appreciate a good mobile viewing experience – they expect it.
If you’re not sure what a good mobile website feels like, check out some good examples of well-designed mobile sites. The best ones are simple and user friendly, but utilize graphics that emphasize the brand, business, or product without being obtrusive.
You can use a responsive framework to create a mobile site that accommodates different screen sizes and doesn’t need a separate web address.
It’s also a good idea to use icons, rather than words, to call up other sections of the site. And you should definitely make sure your pictures (and videos, if you have them) are optimized for mobile. Content should also be kept short and to the point, if possible.
If you’re concerned that you don’t have the skills to develop a mobile website, then you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a talented person to do it for you. It’s not so difficult that you can’t do it yourself, but it might ultimately cost less to outsource the job than to do it yourself (if you consider that time is money). On the other hand, learning how make your own mobile website will give you some valuable skills that you may be able to use in the future.
Apps – Yes You Can Have One Too!
What’s even better than having a mobile-optimized site? Giving your business its own app. Of course, this only works if it’s a well-designed app. It needs to be user friendly and provide your audience with the information they’re looking for.
As with mobile website design, app design is something that isn’t extremely difficult to learn if you have patience. By the same token, you can hire someone to design your app and likely save yourself quite a few hours of work time.
Be Cautious with Mobile Advertising
In many, if not most, cases, I would actually steer you away from traditional banner-style ads in mobile advertising. It’s not worthless, but there are better options out there.
If you do decide to go this route, make sure your ads are showing up on sites that match your objectives and the interests of your audience.
A Few Mobile Marketing Social Media Options
Snapchat is primarily popular among people in their teens and twenties. If that’s your target age group, you shouldn’t ignore this platform as a marketing opportunity.
It’s especially useful for offering exclusive deals, contests, and coupons. You can also partner with big-time social media influencers to get your message out.
Twitter is another hot way to connect with your audience. Like Snapchat, Twitter is mostly a young people’s medium, but the users are a bit more diverse. Beyond fluff, people are interested in news and a variety of hard-hitting stories.
Twitter is a challenging marketing niche, but also a rewarding one. People go to Twitter for information, and they are able to get the specific type of info they want. That’s also the reason Twitter is such a great place to market if you can tap into it. When people follow you, you know they are interested in you, your business, and your content. It’s not so easy to just stumble across someone’s marketing campaign on this platform.
The number one recommendation I can give you for Twitter marketing is to focus on content (this is good advice across all formats, but particularly here). Twitter users want to see what interests them, and not a bunch of superfluous stuff. Focus on giving readers what they want, and work your message in where you can.
Overall, the goal of mobile marketing is to use a format that your audience likes and is familiar with to deliver content that is both interesting and promotes your business. Remember, it’s all about putting users first.