Internet Marketing April 9th, 2015
eMarketer recently called mobile marketing the “linchpin” of retailer success this past holiday season. MarketLive’s Performance Index for Q4 2014 alone revealed that mobile traffic grew 47 percent, while smartphone-driven purchases resulted in mobile revenue increases of more than 100 percent. In short, you can’t afford to not have a mobile marketing strategy for your business. Here are some simple ways you can implement a mobile marketing strategy — even if you don’t consider yourself a mobile marketer.
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Aside from customer experience and an increased likelihood that you’ll convert visitors into buyers, having a mobile-friendly website that features a responsive design is no longer just nice to have; it’s a requirement to being perceived as credible — at least in the eyes of Google. As of April 21, Google will include “mobile friendliness” as part of their criteria for determining search engine rank. The factors Google will use to determine mobile usability include: content flow (users shouldn’t have to scroll horizontally or pinch the screen to see a page), whether a site uses appropriately sized fonts for mobile device screens, the use of mobile-friendly spacing between touch elements, and whether a site includes software that most mobile devices don’t support, like Flash.
AdWeek recently noted that nearly 80 percent of customers ages 18 to 44 carry their mobile device with them for 22 hours a day. The benefit of such consumer mobile dependence is that you can now transform your existing customer demographics, search pattern and marketing response intelligence into messages and promotions that reach a highly targeted audience at the exact right moment, thanks to the geo-location capabilities mobile devices offer.
Regardless of your budget or industry, any small business can execute mobile-based social media campaigns by connecting with customers via geolocation capabilities offered by social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and Facebook. Entice them to “check in” and interact with loyalty programs, special discount offers or rewards. Assuming you’ve received customer permission to contact via text messages, there are also affordable tools that allow you to text message a highly targeted audience with limited-time promotions or offers, based on your real-time business needs and the customer’s location based on mobile use. Regardless of the tool you use, mobile marketing campaigns centered on location are an extremely cost effective (and in some cases, free) means to connecting with your audience at the perfect time: when they’re preparing to make a purchase — but haven’t yet made the final purchase decision.
Movable Ink research conducted in 2014 revealed that nearly 70 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. As Ken Burke, founder and CEO of MarketLive recently explained to eMarketer, those statistics make email a critical marketing tool for any small business looking to capture new prospects and customers on mobile devices — even if the customer doesn’t ultimately purchase with their mobile device. Much like a responsive mobile site design, emails must be easy for mobile users to read and navigate.
Experts at MailChimp recommend that emails are most conducive to mobile use when designed with a “one eyeball, one thumb, and one arm’s length” in mind. To optimize email-driven mobile marketing campaigns, email font sizes shouldn’t be smaller than 17 or 18 pixels, and call to action buttons should be at least 46 pixels squared. Any call to action buttons the user might select, either for more product information, to redeem promotions, to connect with your business via phone, email or chat, or to purchase should take mobile users directly to the appropriate “next step,” quickly and seamlessly.
Mobile coupons are an affordable and customer-friendly means to giving prospects and customers a compelling reason to choose you over a competitor. If your business is listed on a free web-based maps and customer review tool (and it should be), explore whether the service allows you to design a mobile coupon offered specifically to users of that site. (Many offer businesses the option to design and activate the feature free of charge.) Customers who wish to redeem the offer simply “claim” the coupon, and present it on their mobile device at the time of sale, for easy redemption — no printing or manual coupon-tracking required.
Now that most of the global population owns a smartphone, businesses of all sizes have come to terms with the future of marketing: it’s all about mobile. Whether you’re experimenting with free mobile coupons offered by map and review sites or partnering with a mobile marketing provider to tailor customized SMS text messages to your audience, mobile marketing is a cost efficient way to reach a highly targeted audience — exactly where they are, at the exact moment they’re ready to buy.