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Tips for Utilizing Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

Jason Roy

Your smartphone is almost like an extension of yourself. You always have it with you and you use it often, sometimes for hours a day. Smartphone and tablet users have certain expectations when it comes to the businesses they patronize – they expect to have important information on demand and to be able to access services from wherever they are. This is mobile marketing. If you are a small business looking to maintain or grow your customer base, you should consider incorporating mobile marketing into your larger marketing strategy. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Mobile Marketing?

Before you can understand exactly what mobile marketing is, you need to have a basic understanding of what marketing is and what your goals should be as a small business owner. Marketing is simply the business of promoting and selling services and/or products, including advertising. Essentially, marketing involves getting the word out about your business to current and potential customers in an effort to increase traffic and drive sales. Marketing involves everything from running ads in the newspaper or on television, having a functional website, being active in social media, and publishing newsletters, press releases, and articles. There is no one-size-fits-all marketing plan – it’s all about what kind of business you have, who your target audience is, and what is the best way to reach them.

It is also important to realize that marketing is a multi-pronged effort – you don’t just do one kind of marketing. Online marketing is becoming the gold standard for modern businesses and it involves things like having a website, being active on social media, and communicating with customers via email. Another aspect of online marketing that you should consider for your small business is mobile marketing. Mobile marketing simply involves marketing efforts that are designed to appeal to customers and potential customers who use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It may be as simple as just making sure that your website looks good and performs well on mobile platforms or it might involve developing an app for your business. When done right, mobile marketing will give your current and potential customers the information they need about your business when they need it, no matter where they are, as long as they have a mobile device.

Why Should You Employ Mobile Marketing Strategies?

The age in which we live is driven by technology and, more and more, that technology is going mobile. If you want to reach your customers no matter where they are, you need to employ mobile marketing strategies – it is as simple as that. Recent reports suggest that as much as 40% of the average user’s time spent on the internet is through mobile devices. Furthermore, mobile access has surpassed desktop access and mobile searches have increased by more than 200% per year since 2012. It is clear that mobile technology is here to stay and it is quickly becoming the new standard, so do your business a favor by hopping on board!

Mobile Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Mobile marketing is incredibly effective for small businesses because it allows you to reach your customers wherever they are, directly on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Everything from emails and social media to text alerts and mobile check-ins can help to boost sales and grow your customer base. The beauty of mobile marketing is that you can cater it directly to your business and to your target audience. To give you an idea of how it works, here are some simple mobile marketing tips for small businesses like yours to try:

  • Use text marketing to create opt-in campaigns where customers receive alerts and rewards (like special discounts) for joining – it is a great way to encourage your customers to take action and many people read texts more than emails.
  • Update your site to make it more mobile-friendly – make sure your text fits on the page and that everything is easy to read. You also want to make links more clickable and ensure that all of the important information is clearly visible.
  • Offer your customers the option of mobile payments – take your time choosing a provider, considering everything from ease of use to security and cost-efficiency. You want to make it easy for your customers to pay so they will be more likely to buy something.
  • Consider developing a mobile app. It can sometimes be expensive to develop a mobile app, but if you do it right you can reap some pretty serious benefits. As many as 80% of smartphone users use apps on a daily basis, so find a way to reach that group through an app of your own.
  • Be active on social media so your customers can keep up with you and your business. Share posts and pictures that are meaningful to your business and relevant for your customer base. You can also use it to share promotions and contests to drive new traffic.
  • Take advantage of online coupon sites for mobile deals. If your business is about selling products, consider offering discounts for those products on mobile deal sites like Groupon and Living Social where you can reach a new customer base.
  • Consider offering mobile customer service. When customers have an issue, they want it to be resolved quickly – that is the benefit of mobile customer service. Make it possible for your customers to track orders, make payments, and ask questions using their mobile devices.

When you start to incorporate mobile marketing into your overarching marketing plan, don’t forget to register with mobile directories so your customers can find you. Some of the mobile directories you should focus on include things like Yelp, YP, and Google+ Local. When you create your entry, be sure to include all relevant information including your business name, your hours and location, the products or services you offer, a phone number, and a link to your site and/or social media. You want to make it as easy as possible for current and potential customers to find you. You never know where your next lead is going to come from, so take advantage of all mobile marketing opportunities!

As you work on your mobile marketing strategy, you’ll probably also find yourself making changes to your regular online marketing strategy. Though mobile marketing is different in many ways, you still need to remember the basics. Think about keywords when you optimize your website and when you use your social media accounts – that is how you are going to gain new traffic from search results. You also need to make your content relevant and valuable for your customers – this includes your sales and special offers. Always include your contact information, even if you are trying to appeal to mobile users because some people still prefer shopping in-store. The rule of thumb is to do whatever it takes to reach the largest audience for potential customers possible.

If your small business is going to survive, you need to stay on top of your marketing game. The type of marketing you do will determine what kind and how many new customers you gain, and that is the key to a healthy and thriving business. To maximize your marketing efforts, be sure to include some mobile marketing as well – it’s the way of the future, after all.

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