Mobile has quickly become the front runner in the world of marketing, putting it ahead of online advertising. A number of key mobile marketing strategies for small businesses will not only maximize the potential of mobile marketing, but will also keep it ahead of competitors.
Develop a mobile-optimized website
If you have spent any significant amount of time browsing the internet on a mobile device, you have most likely run across at least a few companies that do not have mobile-optimized websites. Internet-optimized websites do not automatically translate into mobile-optimized websites. Small business owners must consider proper formats for different mobile devices -- smartphones, tablets -- as well as intended uses. Typically, people are not using mobile devices for the same purposes as desktop computers -- therefore, it is important to tailor mobile content accordingly.
One of the most popular uses for mobile websites is a GPS feature or other map information. A mobile map should feature a clear and concise location -- including an address and a link to a map website with up-to-date, accurate directions.
Not all small businesses have the internal know-how required to design mobile-optimized websites. It is well worth the money to hire a professional website designer who has experience in this area.
Keep it relevant
Never send a message to a customer without a good reason. While customers may enjoy funny emails from friends and family, they expect the emails that they receive from companies to be informative. Every message that they receive from your small business should be both useful and relevant. Nothing sends potential and existing customers running faster than annoying messages that get sent at random.
Complete market testing
Take the time to have your employees or co-workers test your marketing campaigns before you send them to customers. Have your staff test mobile pages to determine which format is the most user-friendly with optimal usability. Experiment with different landing pages and track the hits for each of them. Some small businesses also opt to pay an outside consultant to evaluate mobile marketing campaigns and site designs that provide constructive feedback.
One of the most effective techniques for staying ahead of competitors is paying attention to what they are doing and adopting similar strategies -- if appropriate.
Keep up with the latest technology
As there are varying outside influences in the mobile world, there are often varying levels of mobile customers. It is important to recognize that an entire market can change in a very short time because of new technology. In turn, this change may have a significant effect on your customer base. Even though keeping up with technology can be difficult due to its rapidly changing nature, it must be a priority for every modern small business. Companies using advanced technology for mobile marketing strategies stay ahead of the pack.
Consider building an app
Although apps are not expensive or time-consuming to create and maintain, it's important to know that apps are not for all businesses. Before you consider building an app, make sure there is a need and purpose for your app. Companies choose to create apps because customized apps take the mobile marketing experience to a new level. Numerous choices for app features and designs exist creating endless possibilities for any industry.
One of the most popular features for an app is a feedback option. Offering a way for customers to give feedback allows you to build genuine relationships online with your customers as well as increase your credibility. Customer input is always valuable -- even when it is negative. Small businesses can use negative feedback as a way to demonstrate their superior customer service by listening to customer input and righting wrong situations. Small businesses should seek out customer feedback whenever possible.
Provide options for sharing
One reason that mobile marketing is so effective is because of how simple it is for customers to share information. Instead of copying information by hand or sending a flier or postcard through snail mail, potential and existing customers simply click a button to spread the word. Make sure that you include social media sharing buttons on all mobile content as well as a sharing via email option. Instead of including every social media button available, research what your customer base is using most frequently and stick to those sites.
Communicate via text message
As text messaging continues to become more widespread, many companies are adopting it as a method for communicating with their customers. Text message or SMS is an ideal method for sending time-sensitive information such as daily promotions.
Don't forget about email campaigns
Many mobile users are not only browsing company websites and apps on their mobile devices, they are checking their email. Email campaigns are guaranteed to get a better response when they are mobile friendly. All included links should be for mobile-optimized sites. Provide direct clicks to phone numbers in case customers want to contact you directly via their smartphones.
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