Mobile Marketing: The Time is NOW!

From downloading new apps and checking email to watching movies and playing music, our smart phones are our lifeline.

Because consumers are so attached and dependent on mobile devices, marketing to that audience is a strategy businesses can’t afford to miss.

According to StatCounter.com, Internet use on mobile phones grew to 8.5 percent as of January 2012, which doubled last year’s 4.3 percent.

For 2012, there has been 98 million smart phone subscribers and more than 400 types of smart phone devices at the end of 2011, according to SnapHop.com’s report from comScore 2012. As more people rely on smart phones for communication, work and entertainment, the demand for mobile marketing is increasing significantly.

Real-time Interactive Communications

Target your potential customers and prospective clients through effective communication and interaction via mobile devices. Where are your leads? On their smart phones — texting, using apps, social networking and searching the Internet. Using a Web-host provider that offers an array of mobile features, such as custom optimization tools and live chat solutions, provides your business with the ability to efficiently connect with customers and enhance business relationships.

Immediately responding to inquiries and questions, directly communicating with customers, and understanding their needs and objectives will maximize your customer and consulting services. While assisting customers, gather information about your target demographic with first-rate live communication to capitalize on the mobile space, provide a premier mobile experience and expand your brand.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Make sure that your website is easily accessed and compatible on smart phones. More than half of customers who visit a mobile-unfriendly site using a smart phone will go to a competitor's site. To effectively reach customers, your site has to provide a user-friendly and highly dimensional experience on all digital mediums. As recommended by Blur Marketing, make sure that your brand and corporate identity are professional and recognizable no matter how it's accessed.

To convert your mobile website into a platform that's mobile-friendly, Mashable recommends the easy DIY tool bMobilized. This tool converts your website into a HTML5-enabled mobile site equipped with full features. Mashable explains that you simply type in the name of your website on the bMobilized homepage and click mobilize to optimize your site. Upon registration, you'll have customization options including design, editing menus and a redirection script.

Word of Mouth & Referrals

Traditionally, word of mouth was the best way to market products and services to a target audience. Online word-of-mouth strategies and referrals are effective low-cost and far-reaching marketing solutions. Provide high-quality marketable content that is easily shared on social networking sites via mobile devices. The goal is to maintain a strong social media presence with fresh content consumers find valuable enough to share.

Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, Foursquare and Merchant Circle are high-profile digital spaces where you can promote services and products and inform consumers about your brand. Keep in mind that location-based deals are also top-notch mobile-marketing tactics. Coupons, sweepstakes, freebies and other monetary incentives keep your business competitive and increase customer loyalty.

QR Codes

Also known as quick response, QR codes are two-dimensional codes scanned to deliver information to consumers using smart phones. Once users scan a QR code, they're taken to a source of content such as an eCommerce site, YouTube video or promotional message. For example, according to onqmarketing.com.au, real estate agents use this marketing technique for promoting properties and offering virtual tours. Agents print QR codes on "For Sale signs, marketing flyer's and local paper advertisements" to invite interested prospects to learn more.

LunaMetrics social media project manager, Dan Wilkerson, advises that businesses can enhance QR code marketing with the following tactics:

  • Offer an incentive or perk: Scanning a QR code can be time consuming, even frustrating. Make it worthwhile for your customer to scan a code by ensuring its value. Special discounts or free samples are perks that effectively encourage consumers to interact with your business.
  • Provide instructions: QR codes are still a growing and evolving marketing technique. Average consumers aren't even sure what the code is, how to use it and what's to gain.  Include a few simple steps outlining what this code is and its value.
  • Consider location: Scanning QR codes needs to be a quick process that doesn't frustrate the user. Integrate marketing QR codes in places convenient and easy for the user.
     
  • Distinguish codes: Because QR codes can be misinterpreted as an industrial code, for example, design codes that are aesthetically attractive to users. Design codes into custom shapes such as a company logo.

Organic Search

According Google's "The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior," 65 percent of what consumers search for online and 63 percent of Internet browsing occurs on smart phones. For common online activities such as online shopping and social networking, users prefer their smart phones over PCs. Achieve optimal marketing by making your website appear on mobile search engines organically.

Inc.com recommends a responsive website for maximum optimization and performance monitoring. A responsive website detects the device of the user and delivers content tailored to that specific device. To monitor the performance of your mobile optimization, use Google Webmaster Tools' mobile search data segment.

Mobile Applications

A Digital Consumer report released by The Nielsen Company reports that consumers spend 64 percent of their mobile-device time on apps. To fully engage in the digital marketplace, build and offer mobile apps targeting relevant consumers with your business's services and products. Digital Trends explains how traditional SEO has also evolved into ASO, also known as app store optimization.

Because mobile apps have become a leading way for content to reach consumers, extend your marketing capacity and create rich content and premium strategies for smart phone applications and ASO. Oomf is a startup that develops, enhances and promotes mobile apps. Launch an app through Oomf, build a following and increase conversions using its system of state-of-the-art tools. Oomf also provides a Web landing page and user connections for businesses that want to compete in the marketplace with mobile apps.

Digital Trends also recommends Tapstream, an app-analytics program that strives to improve app visibility and discovery. Other buzzed-about app solutions include Crosswa.lk and Chomp — which partners with Apple. Crosswa.lk is designed to help users navigate and sort through thousands of apps available on mobile devices.

The Apple iOS app store search tool Chomp is an interactive digital utility that “enables users to search for apps not just by their names or keywords, but also by 'functions and topics' of applications,” according to Digital Trends. With the partnership of Apple, trending apps are more searchable, relevant to user needs and easily found.




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