It is hard to find a business these days that doesn’t use the Internet as a major outlet for its marketing efforts. But there is another rapidly growing market that you should not ignore when developing your promotional strategy. Analysts predict that by 2015 mobile usage will surpass computer use. And while it is still a must to continue actively promoting yourself to desktop users, today’s entrepreneurs need to pay as much or in some cases even more attention to their mobile audiences.
Remember that people can access a website or an app from their cell phone or tablet anywhere and anytime, making it extremely important for businesses to stay up to date with the latest trends in mobile technology. Here is a list of tips to help you ensure that your company makes a loud statement in the mobile world.
1. Develop a Strategy
Just like you would with any other marketing campaign, do some research on the types of customers your business attracts and develop a campaign with these people in mind. What is the age group that your company primarily caters to? What interests do your customers have, online and offline? What kind of a platform are they more likely to use? Answering these kinds of questions will help you develop a more specific and, in turn, more successful marketing campaign.
You can hire a company specializing in mobile strategies, such as Mutual Mobile, or have your own team develop and test a mobile marketing campaign for your business.
2. Optimize Your Website
Whether you are hiring a design company to help you improve your online presence or using one of the website building platforms to do it on your own, be sure that whatever package you select includes mobile optimization.
Many businesses today create separate versions of their websites for mobile users. Alternatively, you could optimize your existing website by making it simple, clutter-free and easy to navigate.
3. Think Like a Mobile User
Put yourself in the shoes of a mobile user when developing your marketing campaign. Imagine having a short attention span, wanting to find what you need within seconds and being attracted to beautiful graphics. Incorporate these things into your strategy, keeping your descriptions as concise as possible, your paragraphs short, and your images large and colorful. Increase the spacing between the lines to 1.5 and the font size to at least 14. Use large, catchy headlines to attract attention. Utilize a lot of videos, as these are popular among mobile users, but keep them short. Get rid of any flash animation, because it doesn’t work well on cell phones.
4. Design a Stellar App
When developing your company’s app, make sure that it’s both visually appealing and highly functional. Think of any industry related features that your customers will find useful. If you own a grocery store for example, incorporate an easy-to-use grocery list into your app.
Check out what your competition is doing, but don’t repeat it. Try coming up with a unique feature that is not overutilized by others. So instead of just putting together a plain old grocery list app, for example, give your users the ability to click on each item in their list and see the range of brands and prices available in their area, or incorporate a map with all the stores that carry the products they need.
5. Do a Lot of Testing
Before you publicly launch your website or app, make sure you test it on every mobile platform. Include iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile and any others you can possibly think of.
Send a sneak preview to friends and co-workers or even share it via social media, encouraging people to leave feedback. No matter if the commends are positive or negative, this information will be really valuable in determining whether your product is ready for a general audience or if any other changes are needed.
6. Optimize Your Content
While you might be already optimizing your content for the Web, be sure to do the same for your mobile audience. Concentrate your SEO efforts on Google. With 96% market share, it dominates mobile optimization field even more than it dominates the Web. To succeed in this area, keep your SEO efforts local, write informative yet brief copy and don’t overload your website with images, as these are harder to find than text.
7. Utilize Social Media
Besides Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, which any successful business must have, make sure your company is present and active on Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, as well as on various bookmarking websites, such as Delicious and Digg. Include large social media icons on every page of your mobile website. More importantly, always stay active in your social media groups and pages. Sign up to receive notifications on your phone when new comments are posted and respond immediately. Interactive approach is the key to a successful social media campaign.
8. Take Your Marketing Offline
If besides online presence your business has a brick-and-mortar store, make sure you are taking advantage of many popular offline marketing techniques and linking those to your online promotion. If you own an ice cream shop, for instance, place large signs on the walls promoting check-ins. Offer your customers a free scoop if they check in 10 times. Distribute fliers or coupons with QR codes. Do everything to turn your brick-and-mortar customers into online followers and the other way around.
9. Keep Track of Results
In addition to good planning, your strategy should include continuous oversight over your primary audience, and tweaking your mobile marketing campaign depending on what works and what doesn’t.
Enlist the help of free statistics tools such as Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics or Piwik to measure the success of your efforts. Start doing this as soon as you launch your marketing campaign and check in daily to keep track of the latest stats. Feedback is another useful measuring stick, so make it easy for visitors to leave comments on your mobile website or app.
10. Never Stop Learning
In addition to all this, always try to expand your knowledge of the mobile market, polishing your mobile app and social media skills. Stay abreast of the latest technologies and put them to use as soon as they come out. Your customers will appreciate it, viewing your business as one of the leaders in mobile innovation that’s worth following.
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