Mobile Matters

Mobile’s Time is Now

When the bare fact is that more than 75 percent of us can’t part ways with our smartphone to visit the bathroom, it’s time to grasp we are indeed a mobile-obsessed generation. It has so intricately woven itself into our everyday lives that most of us can’t remember a time when it wasn’t so.

What does this mean for marketers and businesses? It signifies that mobile is no longer coming, it’s here. Here are 5 observations that are going on now, and how you can benefit from mobile today.

5 Pieces of evidence that mobile marketing has arrived

  • Google loves it – One of the more startling statistics we’ve seen is that greater than 65 percent of ALL searches begin with mobile. Given that is the starting point, it makes sense to make sure your business has a mobile presence, and the ability to capitalize on it.
  • We already own lots of mobile devices – Does it surprise you to learn that the average person owns 3.1 mobile devices, and carries most of them around at all times? 85 percent of us carry a smartphone, another 65 percent a laptop, 48 percent tablets and 40 percent mp3 players. And all or most of these are connected to the internet continuously.
  • Small business is still clueless with regards to marketing on mobile – Most businesses know they must do something with mobile, but are not sure exactly what that is. They might even have made a mobile version of their website, but they’re not optimized for mobile there or in their emails. This comes as no great surprise when you see that 33 percent of businesses spend less than an hour a week on mobile marketing.
  • Use Responsive design – Responsive design is a must when it comes to marketing with your mobile devices. Ensuring that you present well on the smaller screens while still keeping the vitality and intent of your campaigns is vital.
  • Mobile simply gets more conversions – More than 90 percent of consumer’s comparison shop using mobile, and a full 70 percent of mobile searches produce an action with an hour. That’s the best reason yet to make sure you’re up to speed when it comes to mobile marketing.

Check Out These 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Mobile Marketing

In case you weren’t familiar with this alarming statistic, it’s been shown that we check our mobile phones on average 150 times a day. Sounds about right, wouldn’t you say?

That ought to be great news for those of us who’ve embraced mobile marketing; and not so excellent news for those slow to join the party.

However you cut it, mobile marketing is here to stay. Just in case you need one final push over the cliff towards mobile, listed below are 4 reasons you’ll want to implement it as soon as possible.

4 Reasons mobile marketing is a good idea for your small business

  1. Mobile is what your customers are choosing – Mobile use is increasing exponentially, if you can believe that. People are using their mobile devices 23 percent more than they did in the same period of time only a year ago. Not just that, desktop use is in decline: users spend only 2 hours and 12 minutes on them as compared to 2 hours and 51 minutes on their mobile devices.
  2. Mobile shares are golden – It’s well known that when our content is shared socially it has the chance to reach a far larger audience than we would have access to ourselves. The even better news is that built into this sharing is a de facto recommendation. Hence, awesome social proof at your mobile doorstep.
  3. People who use mobile are a lot more likely to take action – Statistics are showing that mobile users are extremely likely to act upon their searches. A full 70% of mobile searches lead to an action of some type within the space of only one hour! This usually has to do with the fact that many are in your area seeking what you have, and wish to act on that information.
  4. Mobile messages get opened more – Many more people are likely to deal with instant communication on their mobile devices. For example 98% of text messages are opened within an hour! And furthermore, as more than 90 percent of American adults now possess cell phone and other mobile devices, you have a far greater chance at reaching your audience, whether by text, email or other methods.

We’ve morphed into a world where many more communications are taking place in a far more compressed time period. Your business needs to be mobile to stay competitive.

Mobile Search

Need Better Local Search Results? Make Sure You’re Using Mobile!

These days the question isn’t “Do you have a mobile strategy?”, but “How is mobile doing for you?”

More than ever before, local business owners need to realize the incredible opportunity that being active in mobile offers them, and how best to make the most of that. Here are several reasons why this is important, plus some things you can do about it.

Why you need to be mobilized

Part of this is based on being aware of what your market is doing with their mobile devices. Here are a couple eye-opening statistics to help all of us get an understanding on just how important this is:

  • A whopping 97 percent of people search online for products or services in their local area.
  • A full 73 percent of those mobile searches result in visitors and conversions.
  • It is real time: 70 percent of those searchers act upon them within an hour.
  • They’ll use it in your store: 15 percent of consumers use their smartphone to price shop while they’re in your store.

What you can do to take advantage of mobile for local search

There a number of things you can do to ensure your business is ready and available for mobile visitors and customers.

Get your site mobile ready – There is some adjustment to make when it comes to ensuring your site renders well on mobile devices. Don’t leave this to chance, thinking it will show up “good enough”. You’ve got very little time to make a great impression, by some accounts fewer than ten seconds, and if you spend all of that just loading your page, the result is going to be that most people will leave before even viewing your page.

Take care with font and button sizes – Since your screen is obviously a great deal smaller, you need to make the demands on your readers less challenging. Don’t overload them with big sections of small text, and also, ensure that any buttons you would like clicked are large enough to easily touch.

Initiate an engagement strategy – Don’t leave them hanging: reply promptly to comments and concerns, and particularly complaints. Also, make regular connections with those that are trying to engage your brand.

Claim your directory listings – You’ll want to claim any listing you find on local directories, and create them where you don’t. Stay consistent in the information you post on each site, so visitors and search engines can easily find you.

How to capitalize on the new trends in mobile marketing

We’ve all heard that consumers are making a large switch to doing business on their mobile devices, but what does this mean really? What steps must we take as merchants and vendors to reach the mobile masses as they roam the streets, looking for deals they may devour?

Let’s have a quick look at consumer mobile behaviors, and how you can best take advantage to make your products and services available to them.

A quick look at mobile marketing numbers

  • More than 51 percent of all emails are now being opened via a mobile device
  • 74 percent of consumers use their mobile devices to research their shopping before they do it
  • 82 percent of mobile shoppers complete their purchase inside your store, and 26 percent right from their phones!
  • 55 percent of mobile shoppers want to buy within the hour, and 83 percent within a day

Mobile consumers have hastened the buying cycle considerably. In addition, they are increasingly more likely to complete the entire cycle right from the convenience of their mobile device.

Musts for any merchant or advertiser hoping to reach the mobile market

Your audience is now taking the shopping platform with them everywhere they go. It’s your job to make sure you are not just present, but able to service their needs just as well as if they were in your store. Below are a few ways to help with that. Make sure you are putting up a fully functional and optimized mobile site. If you’ve got a shopping app to sit right alongside it, that’s a double win. You’ll want to be sure the site renders well on all devices and platforms.

Secondly, there are plenty of opportunities now within the mobile ad space. Make use of the large inventories of available ads as well as relatively low prices you’ll find there. In addition, be on the lookout for new ways to reach the mobile user. One recent one that’s very promising is retargeting via Facebook ads.

Making sure that your business is not just fully optimized for mobile but also up-to-date as to how to use these exciting new toys is your job. After all, this is where the money is, shouldn’t you be there too?

Mobile Advertising

How to Use Mobile Ads in Your Small Business

Mobile is the new frontier in advertising, having a monstrous 27.8 billion more search queries than desktop searches by 2015. Pew Research lets us know that that 74% of smartphone owners use their phone to receive real-time location-based information, such as directions, that is acted upon typically within an hour.

With estimates of 27.8 billion more mobile searches than desktop by 2015, and the fact that some 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to get real-time location-based information, such as directions, it is now abundantly clear that mobile is where the people are.

So with all this growth happening, how does a small business use this opportunity to drive customers into their doors? We’ve outlined several ways your business can profit from mobile ads.

How to use mobile ads in your small business

  • Make sure your site is mobile friendly – consider revamping its design now. Ideally move to a responsive design that automatically resizes the screen and provides the optimal user experience for your visitor.
  • Optimize for local keywords – This can kill two birds with one stone. Ranking organically to appear on mobile search, in addition to advertising for those terms can give you a double dip. With GPS and Google Maps keen to help its users find you locally, who are you to reject them!
  • Look into various ad platforms – There are more and more mobile ad choices these days, and the big dogs are starting to make their presence known as well. Facebook and Google are devoting more and more resources to mobile, and don’t neglect looking into platforms like Jumptap, mMedia, Mojiva, and Foursquare.
  • Investigate Native Advertising – A term that’s getting a lot of play these days is native advertising. This means simply that the ad complements the content on the site it is running on, thereby increasing the chances of consumer interest. This can help keep you more in control of where your ads are showing.

Research firm IBISWorlds tells us that sometime within the next five years, the geolocation in these ad platforms is going to be able to pinpoint consumers as they pass by your place of business, inviting them with ads and coupons. Shouldn’t that be your store!

Mobile Marketing Tips

5 Tips to Help with Your Small Business Mobile Marketing

The day has passed when it was appropriate to believe that mobile marketing was merely the next big thing. It’s not just here; it’s growing daily. A survey by the Web.com group tells us that 69 percent of small business owners said that mobile marketing is going to be very important to their small business in the next five years; however, the majority of them had not even begun to start. The same statistics reveal that 84 percent of those that had a mobile marketing solution reported an increase as a result. It’s very clear that we’ve run out of excuses for not implementing mobile marketing in our small businesses.

5 Tips on how to get mobile marketing active in your small business

  • Mobilize your website and social media pages – Making sure that your website and any significant social media pages, such as your Facebook business page, are optimized for mobile is crucial. Understand that mobile versions of your content have to be Spartan in size, images smaller, and textual content more brief and concise, so as not to lose the busy mobile browser.
  • Be sure to claim and optimize local listings – It’s not enough to only have a listing on entities like Google local, Yelp or other local directories, you need to make those listings work for you! Keep your info up to date, and change frequently with new promotions and news.
  • Optimize your email – One that frequently goes brushed aside, optimizing your email for mobile devices is critical as well. eConsultancy tells us that 41 percent of email is now opened on a smartphone or tablet, and of that group, 63 percent close or delete any emails that aren’t mobile optimized. Strive to use one-column layouts, font size of 14, and line spacing to 1.5 for small-screen readability.
  • Employ analytics – How do you know if your mobile marketing is working? With the use of an analytics program, like Google Analytics. Utilizing the segmenting and referral tracking within Analytics, where you can follow smartphone and tablet visitors and analyze their onsite behavior, you can determine how you’re campaigns are performing.
  • Offer great deals – All of us love to get a deal, and there’s no one who is more active in this arena than the mobile user. The great thing is that they are frequently right down the street from you, and ready to buy. Offering awesome offers and coupons just might make them pay a visit they otherwise wouldn’t have!

Facebook Mobile

How to Optimize Your Facebook Page for Mobile Devices

You might have thought to have your website optimized for mobile devices, but just how many of us have taken the steps needed to make sure our Facebook pages are also mobile ready? That’s what I thought! You’ll need to give this some thought, since huge numbers of people are accessing Facebook daily, and more than half of those are connecting with their mobile devices. Going further, it’s been shown that 79% of smartphone users use their phones to help with shopping, with 74% making a purchase as a result. While much of Facebook would appear to be mobile optimized out of the box, there are some aspects of this you’ll want to check.

Look at how your Facebook Page is rendered on a mobile device

Facebook creates a summarized version of your web page that is served to the public via their mobile devices. It’s essential that you take a moment and learn how this looks. The first component of your Facebook page that is rendered is your Timeline, although, and this is important: not all of it. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a “pinned” post, so that it will be featured first and most prominently. Next is the Recommendations and Check-Ins section, and then photos, and lastly, your most recent post.

Some ideas to help optimize your Facebook Page

  • Remember you have less time and space on Mobile to grab someone’s attention, so make sure you use vivid pictures, (not too big, as Facebook will crop them!) and direct, concise text and calls to action.
  • Keep your Facebook page complete and up to date. Make sure and check it on “Facebook Nearby” to make sure your vital information is visible and correct.
  • Be sure to encourage check-ins from your location since they make a big difference. This is the mobile equivalent of word of mouth advertising.
  • Be active and check in on your page frequently. You can also manage your Facebook from your own mobile device, which can help with customer engagement tremendously!

Tips to Energize Your Location Based Marketing

There’s no more disregarding the reality that business is heading to your local area. You prove it to yourself daily you go out of the house equipped with your smartphone, ready, willing and able to find and conduct business and pleasure while on the go. So, since this is where the business is, it’s wise to make sure your business is planted firmly in the path of this wave, and be able to profit from location based marketing.

5 Ways you can profit with Location Based Marketing

  1. Complete your local listings – According to Yext, businesses are sacrificing at least $10.3 billion dollars a year by neglecting to get their business information updated and available on their profiles and sites. This is a cardinal sin, and one that should be addressed immediately. If your company is not being found, your competition will be! Make sure you get your listings correct on sites like Google Local, Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, MapQuest and any others you use.
  2. Reward reviews! – Rewarding reviews is an easy and cost-effective strategy to create terrific social proof, and make your existing customers happy at the same time! You don’t need to give away the store, and a lot of regular customers are all too willing to do this for free (but give them something anyway)!
  3. Shower your customers with perks – In connection with the above, make sure it is worth their while to come back frequently. There are lots of ways to do this including coupons, a loyalty program, backlinks and more.
  4. Use coupons and daily deals – As per Entrepreneur, location-based marketing operates by not only pushing ads out to your existing customers, but by letting new customers to find out about you. This can be easily done through daily deal sites, as well as simple coupons delivered via messaging.
  5. Engage with your customers – Don’t make the mistake of failing to talk back to customers or prospects who are enquiring. If you do, you will most definitely reap the negative feedback you deserve! Take the few minutes necessary to answer, specifically when it pertains to customer service, and avoid a social media meltdown!

Location-based marketing is a marvelous way to develop your presence in your local market. Start using it today!

Is Your Small Business a Candidate for the New Foursquare Ads?

Mashable is confirming that location based social networking company Foursquare is now testing a new advertising platform geared towards small business, by letting large advertisers like Burger King, Gap and Starwood Hotels to test promote themselves on the platform. These listings appear in Foursquare when a customer gets close to a business’ geographic location. Small businesses already had the ability to offer discounts when a user checked in to a location, but now Foursquare is providing them with a way to attract geographically close customers by showing an image ad and/or review by a previous Foursquare user.

Why this may be a good idea for Foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social networking site for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Typically its users “check in” at various venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific app. Their specific location is available through the GPS in their mobile device. Foursquare has until now been a way for consumers to promote their favorite bars, hangouts and restaurants. Now, those places will have a way to promote themselves directly to consumers. While Foursquare has gathered some 25 million registered users, they made just $2 million dollars last year, according to The Wall Street Journal. They’re clearly searching for ways to boost the revenue.

How the ads work

The way the new ad platform works is by targeting Foursquare users based on their locations and check-in histories. Merchants have the capability to attract nearby customers with specific tastes, say for example a hankering for Far Eastern cuisine, or simply just customers who had checked-in to their location previously. Merchants are able to stop their Foursquare promotions whenever they want, and the pricing for this is like a pay per click model, that is, they are only going to be charged on a “per action” basis (when a user actually taps on a promoted listing rather than merely looking at it). Initial ad prices are $0.50 to $3 per action, but that may change as it’s released to everyone. Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt said, “Small businesses are willing to pay for local advertising if it makes sense.”

Mobile Marketing Tools

New Tools to Help with Mobile Marketing

As a marketing method deeply entrenched within a fast-growing technology, we’re seeing that new tools are constantly being introduced to help us either improve, keep up with, or use these new gadgets. Listed below are 3 new tools we’ve found that really make a difference!

Red Stamp – Red Stamp calls themselves your modern day social secretary. How true that is! Red Stamp is a free Apple app that gives users a chance to send electronic and printed cards or notes with but a few clicks. Designing and customizing is easy, and there are even content suggestions if you’re stuck. Red Stamp can pull up your contacts, and recalls all your vital info as well. However, the best thing is the cards sent via email, text or Facebook and Twitter are absolutely free! If you wish to go all traditional on us and send a printed card, Red Stamp stamps it and physically mails it to the address of your choosing for only $1.99 each. Red Stamp is an excellent app that Hallmark ought to beware of! (or buy!)

Swipely – Beginning as an online payment processing site, Swipely has added a mobile loyalty program to its products, and it’s a hit! No more searching everywhere for that (usually) lost loyalty card or keychain fob. Now it’s all done by using a single text to join message, and you’re in! Swipely can make it a snap to sign up with any participating loyalty program. This type of program is incredibly useful for restaurants, retailers and professionals seeking methods to keep and win new customers. Mobile loyalty programs can also help you build a customer email list, that is by necessity and definition a permission based list. I’m sure you are probably already thinking of what you can do with that!

TextUs.biz – More and more people prefer to text rather than talk (roughly 32 percent) TextUs.biz found a way to fill a very real need for a very reasonable price. TextUs.biz is an app that allows businesses to send and receive texts from customers via their computer, phone or iPad, everything from simple reminders to promotional sales messages. Your end users don’t even have to download the app! TextUs.biz is completely free for the first 100 messages, and is very affordable after that, even if you end up sending oodles of texts!