To many, the mere mention of "mobile marketing" conjures images of apps, unexpected SMS updates, and QR codes. But there's a lot more to on-the-go campaigns than these tactics suggest. Your brand's presence on users' devices isn't limited to these or even to mobile sites or intrusive mobile advertising. It's time to move beyond apps and consider the range of content that can be delivered directly to consumers through their devices -- the moment they ask for it. Fortunately, the same efforts used to deliver the real-time engagement users demand can produce the real-time results that you crave.
There are many types of mobile content, but there are five that stand out as particularly effective. See how the following types of content can work either independently to produce compelling, real-time results or in tandem with your other marketing channels to bridge otherwise disparate efforts.
If your goal is to drive real-time sales and/or in-store traffic, one of the most effective types of content is the mobile coupon. Mobile coupons are a far cry from the glossy clippings your mother used to snip from her newspaper on Sunday mornings. Done well, these digital morsels of traffic-driving goodness arrive just in time to fulfill a consumer's need instantly. As a result, the chances that consumers will redeem the offer -- in-store or directly from their phones -- are significantly greater than their paper coupon predecessors.
Timing is everything when it comes to mobile coupon delivery. So before sending, make sure that the coupon can be used and accessed right then and there -- otherwise your discount will be forgotten and its efficacy will suffer. An example of mobile coupons done right comes from Nickelodeon -- it recently ran an in-store campaign at Target. By delivering a $5 off mobile coupon for "Dora the Explorer" purchases -- while shoppers were in-store -- it achieved redemption rates that were 10 times higher than existing benchmarks.
Consumers watch more than 4 billion hours of online video each month on YouTube alone -- and online video accounts for more than 50 percent of mobile traffic. In short, video is one of the best and most memorable ways to engage audiences on a mobile device.
"60 Minutes" took advantage of these numbers to capture the viewers' attention by offering an exclusive mobile video preview of that night's interview during its sponsorship of CBS's NFL Sundays. By simply placing a mobile-activated prompt in their existing promotions, thousands of fans responded to the offer within seconds of the promotion.
Voting has a way of letting individuals feel like they're a part of something larger than themselves, while also helping brands build a relationship with the audience that they can capitalize on again and again. By offering real-time voting results and using mobile technology to make the process as simple as possible, it's now easier than ever to use a mobile device for instant participation and user engagement.
This past March, AT&T capitalized on its sponsorship with the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament to get viewers more engaged through their votes for the Naismith Trophy winner. Throughout the tournament, voters watched their opinions influence the outcome of a major award. This instant gratification gave them extra incentive to return to the programming and continue interacting with both brands. Thousands of people called in to vote in the first week alone -- that's an increase in fan loyalty that can be attributed directly to smart mobile marketing.
Social media amplification
Social media has nearly unlimited potential for consumer engagement. However, it's important to remember that social media is never a standalone initiative -- rather it functions best as a piece of a larger marketing puzzle. Since mobile and social go hand-in-hand with the consumers' ever-expanding desire to always be connected, you can use social media to insert consumers into a bigger picture campaign, in real time.
A great example of this is when Dove brought a Times Square billboard to life with users' participation. They placed a simple prompt on the billboard that encouraged passersby to share a picture of themselves on social media via their mobile devices. In doing so, these new fans could see their pictures appear on the advertisement in real time. By combining the forces of mobile and social, Dove attracted new fans, engaged old fans, created brand awareness, and relied on its audiences to create real-time buzz throughout their own networks.
Mobile opt-ins and subscriptions
Asking people to sign up for your alerts isn't rocket science. Simply remember that you have to give to receive -- content for qualified opt-ins. It's common knowledge that people won't give away their information for free. They are, however, often willing to do so when they feel they're getting something of value in return.
A recent effort by AT&T demonstrates how this can play out in the consumer world. AT&T used a sponsorship with NASCAR to create a mobile gaming app that allowed fans to try and pick the fastest driver during the race that week and win prizes accordingly. Interested fans dialed a mobile code and instantly received the game right on their mobile phones. This strategy led to thousands of calls to get the app each week, and 30 percent of those who received it opted in to future alerts and content from AT&T.
So there you have it, five ways to use mobile content to optimize and mobilize your existing marketing campaigns. The next time you're planning to roll out any new initiatives make sure that you consider the above in order to tie together all efforts and achieve your end goals.
Joe Gillespie is CEO and president of Zoove.
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