The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
It's one thing to have a responsive site that looks good on both desktop and mobile, but what about the experience? Many brands do not take into consideration the fact that the user is using their finger and the phone's UI, not a keyboard and mouse. The same functionality used on a laptop is not optimal for a mobile device, even if it looks good on both platforms. Build mobile experiences.
We've been experimenting with different chat functions, in order to engage our fans and partners. We recently created a Slack channel to enable them to talk with each other. This is free (great for a startup!). Our team helps when appropriate, and we're able to learn a lot about what questions are on customers' minds.
Most people are not thinking about where their customer is physically. The example being, if your customer is in a bar, why is a liquor company not hitting his or her mobile device?
Brands should take advantage of app store SEO or app store optimization. App store search is actually the most used method for discovering new apps, and brands can optimize their mobile apps to display higher in the app store. Pay attention to your title and most relevant target keywords, and find ways to encourage rating, reviews, and downloads.
Send out coupons, discounts, and promotional alerts via SMS rather than using your other channels. Close to 50 percent of smartphone users use their devices for shopping.
We work with a lot of small businesses in the service area. They actually prefer phone leads. We have found that call-only ads on Google Adwords are performing really well. It puts the potential clients and law firms directly in touch with each other quickly (and without the need to navigate a website to fill out a contact form or find a phone number).
Your consumers are using mobile, whether you're ready for it or not. They want their interaction with your brand to be as easy and fast as possible, so if you are not making payment accessible to them through mobile, you're falling behind. No more long, unoptimized payment pages with check boxes and buttons that users can barely navigate -- the world wants to be able to pay on mobile and move on.
Many consumers are looking for ways to make money on the side, and a survey app is something that can help them make money while you have access to a lot of data at a very low cost. Plus, you can use this format to market new products and services to simplify that aspect of the product development process. Offering these as an app over the old paper, or even online surveys, will yield more responses.
Millions of apps sit in the app store with little to no users. The app store ranks apps based on how many installs they get (quantity and recency of downloads). However, most app owners don't have a marketing strategy to drive installs, which is why I recommend app owners leverage Cost Per Install (CPI) advertising via Facebook and Twitter ads to drive installs and increase app store rankings.
Apps aren't just a mobile marketing extension of our businesses anymore. They are also becoming integrated platforms for purchasing via e-commerce. While social media sites start to add "Buy now" buttons to their mobile apps, your company may want to consider how you can also open the door to integrate more sales into the features you're already offering your audience.
It is so simple to set up, yet so many mobile websites haven't set up a clear call-to-action with the ability to click to call the business. When the user is on their phone it takes very little effort on their part to just click that button and call you. If you're a business that wants phone calls and you don't have this set up, go do it now and watch your conversions increase.
Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the best mobile marketing opportunities for brands, yet many still aren't on board with it yet. A Snapchat story requires the consumer to give their entire focus to that one message. Facebook and Twitter ads are lost in the noise. Consumers scroll and don't give their entire focus to an ad. Snapchat commands that 100 percent attention that is unavailable elsewhere.
Beacons can change the way we market to retail shoppers. When you walk into a mall or shopping plaza, companies can install beacons in the mall and as they identify visitors in the mall they can push the deals to the device to bring customers to the shop. There have been some POCs for this idea, but big companies still have to adopt it. It can also reduce the cost of sales persons on the floor.
Some of the most successful mobile companies (think Uber) have leveraged referrals to increase distribution quickly and efficiently. More companies should learn from their success and leverage the power of their biggest ambassadors.