Why your business needs to go mobile in 2013

Face the facts – Your business is going mobile with outreach, ads and social customers, whether you want it or not.

Mobile display-ad spending increased in 2012, brands are launching mobile ad campaigns everywhere, and small businesses have to look for ways go mobile with marketing and branding to keep up.

With more U.S. consumers reaching for their digital portable devices, mobile ads are soaring in number, creativity and category. Ads for new cars to tech toys, and everywhere in between are taking over consumers' phones, and the outlook for 2013 is expected to be more of the same.

Local digital ads

Localized digital advertising revenues are expected to hit $42 billion by 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Annual Forecast. Mobile ads are a small sliver of the overall digital marketing landscape, but it's a growth area.

Marketers worldwide were expected to spend $1.8 billion in 2012 on mobile display advertising. That's more than three times higher than 2011, according to "Mobile Display Proves Its Worth" in eMarketer.com.
And those same marketers are seeing the value of a good mobile ad campaign. More than half of the marketers polled said their results from these mobile campaigns qualified as "moderate" and "very effective." Plus, click-through rates are above average and engagement levels appear to rise for a brand with mobile display ads.

So what's holding up most marketers? Is the hesitation not to overload consumers on their devices with marketing messages? Are they finding TV and Web ads a better solution?
For some businesses, using strict web advertising might be a better fit, especially if the product is technical or information-driven and requires more consumer involvement on the Web.
But local businesses may find that going mobile is a better fit for a faster consumer reaction. Local institutions like Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla., and even auto dealerships like Chapman BMW in Phoenix may find that mobile ads work more effectively in bringing more customers into the store.

More than half of the U.S. population carries a web-enabled smartphone, according to NielsenWire, and it's only a matter of time before small businesses see the value and effectiveness in mobile marketing and advertising.

So look into the next wave of marketing's future with these five tips to improve your business's mobile ad campaigns:

Mobile Ads

1. Get your website mobile-optimized now

Consider making your website mobile-optimized for smartphones. This is the first step in embracing mobile ad campaigns. Smartphone platforms to target include iOS (Apple iPhones and iPads), Android (Google), and even Windows Phone. Consider developing a separate version of your website that appears automatically to mobile smartphone users. You can quickly test your website's mobile look on this tool from Google.

2. Are your email campaigns ready for mobile?

Make sure your email campaigns work well when viewed on smartphones too. Test each campaign or at least your commonly used email templates and see how it looks in a mobile browser or email reader. Be aware that images in your emails may cause problems for mobile users. The images may not display properly or just take too long to load.

3. Try mobile ads for search

In addition to running your pay-per-click ads on a popular platform like Google AdWords, consider running them specifically on mobile devices. Online searchers already tend to have a goal in mind. Mobile searchers can be even more focused based on profiles created from user data. When a user searches Google with a smartphone or tablet, Google Mobile Ads can show a version of your campaign specifically tailored for them.

4. Location-based mobile social networking

This was a big theme this year and brands like Target and Trader Joe's took full advantage of this. Location can be determined by using cell phone towers and your smartphone. In May 2012, Target started running a mobile campaign on the Shopkick shopping app. This is a great example of in-app location-based mobile campaign that leverages social media and couponing. Customers earn points for visiting any Target store. Additional points are available on specific days and for scanning products at a Target. The points can then be redeemed for a number of different rewards. 

Trader Joe's got involved just this year with mobile ads. They created a simple in-app ad that displayed in Pandora for iPhone. The campaign took mobile users to a landing page that helped them find the nearest Trader Joe's retail store location. Visitors could also interact with a mobile version of their sales circular known as the "Fearless Flyer." This type of mobile campaign is great for sending customers into stores.

If you don't have the resources to build your own app or create in-app ads, you can use Foursquare instead. Foursquare is a top geolocation-based social media app to run your mobile campaigns on. Users check in to businesses they visit with their smartphone or tablet. Once checked in they can be presented with special offers, coupons, and other discounts. This can spur additional purchases that may have been missed. You can also provide additional loyalty specials based upon how often someone checks in.

5. Test out mobile ads with a simple campaign of your own

Create mobile versions of your existing ad campaigns to test the waters.Try something simple such as mobile-optimized versions of your text link ads or banners and see what happens.If you get results, try something more ambitious like a Foursquare campaign or creating your own app.

Now is the time to gear up for mobile ad campaigns. It is still early, but growth is high and opportunities abound for businesses that embrace mobile. Major brands are already involved and your business should be too. Use these tips to get started and take your mobile campaigns to the next level.

Have you considered mobile advertising for your business? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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One thought on “Why your business needs to go mobile in 2013

  1. Paul G says:

    Agree with the post,I did not understand the importance of mobile website untill i purchased android phone. When checking the site on my mobile i felt the layout is very difficult for the mobile users,more over the ads were not seen properly.If you want more traffic follow the technology as well,otherwise your site would be outdated.

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