Mobile marketing campaigns and small businesses are a match made in heaven. Historically, start-ups and local firms had no way to compete with the marketing clout of big companies. The rise of smartphones has changed all that, with the majority of commercial web searches relating to nearby businesses like restaurants, gas stations or coffee shops. You only have to take a glance at Google's autocomplete function for any type of retailer to see that the phrase 'near me' is the most common suffix.
Concomitant to Google searches are trusted user review sites such as Yelp which have exploded in popularity over the past few years. For small businesses that rely on local reputation, this development is clearly a double-edged sword. It's important to develop your own mobile marketing solutions that will engage your audience and add your voice to the choruses of approval, reproach and everything in between that constantly buzzes between smartphones on the high street. Take a look at our top mobile advertising tips for small businesses, and start changing the way you reach out to customers:
Appreciate the Advantages of Mobile Marketing
Just as mailouts, and then email lists were standard practice for growing businesses, SMS lists are now de rigeur. Call it a 'text club' to emphasize exclusivity, and ask customers to opt-in to receive discounts, promotions and other special offers. More than 95% of all text messages are opened and read – compared with less than 20% for most emails. Use QR codes or NFC tags to encourage sign-ups, and to demonstrate your tech-savvy approach to the modern business world.
Be Mobile Optimized
You might have an awesome website, but if it doesn't work on smartphones, you're going to miss out on a lot of traffic. If your site isn't readable and easily-navigable on a mobile device, consumers will plump for the nearest rival with a mobile app. If you use WordPress, you're in luck – the platform offers mobile optimization tools. Acquaint yourself with these tools. If you cannot easily change your settings, change your website. Avoid Flash – they look snazzy on a desktop, but usually won't work on smartphones. The same goes for drop down menus, which are tricky to work on small screens. Use a larger font size (14 is about right) and make sure the pertinent information like your address and click-to-call phone number is placed at the top of the page.
Make Sure You Can Be Found
On your app or website, include a thumbnail of your location at GoogleMaps to help consumers find your store. Even more important is your search visibility. Optimize your website with keyword-rich content, and build other websites with links to your main domain. Provide industry-related content that work as indirect mobile marketing solutions.
Budget Mobile Marketing Campaigns Separately
The features of mobile marketing strategies are different to web search marketing. Instead of competing for real estate in the morass of information online, you should look to build opt-in SMS contact lists so you can target existing business. Allocate a separate budget for mobile advertising and mobile marketing. If you're a small business, text messaging services are a lot cheaper and more effective than SEO campaigns.