SMB Marketing Tips

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July 09, 2014

How to Make the Perfect SMS Pitch

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Using SMS messaging in the most effective way requires an understanding of the singular properties of the medium. If you approach your text marketing campaign in the same way you would an email campaign, you’ll miss out on the many advantages of an SMS-focused strategy.

Perhaps the most important differentiator between email and SMS is the character limitations of the latter. If you’ve already engaged with social media via Twitter, you’ll understand the unique challenge of crafting a message in less than 140 characters. You may have an extra 20 characters at your disposal with SMS, but the same rules of clarity, brevity and levity apply to the creation of a good message.

But there is a key difference between a social media campaign and an SMS messaging campaign. Tweets don’t require opt-in subscribers, or incur even a minimal additional cost to the viewer. To engage with your texts, consumers have to give up their cell phone number and agree to receive messages. This is no mean commitment, and it demands a new standard of ethics and responsibility on the part of mobile marketers.

With an open-and-read rate of more than 90%, it’s worth getting your SMS strategy right from the start. If you fail to impress with your first message, subscribers will simply opt out. Hooking recipients with those first 160 characters they see is essential for the long-term survival of your mobile marketing campaign. Here, we offer a few pointers on making the perfect SMS pitch…

Be Relevant

You might have a large portfolio of services to offer a wide range of different consumers. The beauty of SMS lists is the ease with which you can ‘divide and conquer’ according to personal preference. Don’t waste that opportunity by viewing your contact list as a monolithic, static entity. Instead, view each phone number as an individual organism, with highly specific needs. If you run a hotel with a public restaurant, for instance, don’t send updates on room rates to someone who only signed up for meal deals.

Be Appropriate

Striking the right tone for your audience is one of the tricks of the SMS marketing trade. This will vary hugely depending on industry, but there are a few rules of thumb that apply across the board:

  • Don’t use text speak in an effort to appeal to a youth demographic, or simply to save precious space. Unless you are aiming purely for a tween crowd, it will come across as unprofessional at best, and incomprehensible at worst. Remember, many people dislike text speak, but nobody objects to proper English.
  • Having said that, your messages should be more informal than a letter or even an email. Strike a friendly but professional tone.
  • Avoid jargon. When working in a specific industry, it’s easy to get caught up with insider jargon, so remember who your audience is before rattling off a message containing a foreign acronym.

Be Link Friendly

In all likelihood, you have a lot more to say than you can possibly fit in a text message, so don’t forget to include a hyperlink to your website. View text as a gateway to your brand, and encourage recipients to click with a clear call to action.

Be Plugged In

Segmented mobile subscriber lists are an invaluable source of user information. You should be constantly tracking the analytics of your mobile marketing campaign to see what each subscriber likes or dislikes, and adjusting your messages accordingly. The more you seem to be speaking to each customer as an individual, the better your SMS pitch will be.

July 03, 2014

Six of the Best: Mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

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Since 2010, the best practice for mobile marketers has been to interact with clients primarily through social media. Things have changed. Here are six of the best trends in mobile marketing for 2014:

1.Location Targeting

Location targeting has been around for quite some time now, but only recently has it been elevated to new capabilities. Location targeting has become much safer, commonplace, and convenient in the last year. And it’s getting better. As consumers continue to depend upon mobile devices that can find local products and services – when and where they need it – custom ads have been developed for these exact moments. Their activities are then recorded by marketers, so that the relevant information can be examined and tracked to appeal to consumers’ buying habits and movement patterns.

2.Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is basically the buying and selling of the consumer’s potential ad space. When a consumer sees an ad in the course of app use, in most cases that space has been won by the highest bidder. This service is getting new traction in the mobile marketing world: advertisers are able to summon historical intent side-by-side with profile data and behavioral data in real time. Forecasters expect programmatic buying to become the most common way to advertise to mobile users in 2015.

3.Wearable Tech

With the inauguration of Google Glass and Samsung Gear, mobile designers are blurring the lines where fashion meets technology. This giant leap forward has begun to provide businesses with new frontiers to claim in the territory of wearable tech. As many tech consumers have begun to embrace this new technology, marketers in turn have embraced their technological capabilities. Ideally, the seamless interactions inherent in these devices will allow advertisers to provide unique experiences for consumers.

4.Mobile Messaging

The ever-popular messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp continue to garner a larger user base. Clearly, an increasing number of people prefer to use these apps to communicate rather than text messaging or calling each other. Apps of this nature allow for a multimedia user experience in real time, which appeals to a new generation of mobile users. Mobile marketers are preparing for the influx of new users upon these platforms, designing revolutionary messaging strategies for the future of text-based communication.

5.Mobile Currency

It’s not just about PayPal anymore. Since everyone has to have a smartphone today, we are beginning to see an increase in the usage of mobile wallets. The mobile phone has become the new way to pay instead of using cash or a credit card. The demand for advertising in this space is bound to increase based on user demand alone.

6.Video Demand

Mobile video viewing has become very common due to faster wireless networks, improved technology, and an increase in data plans. Ads for this medium are likely to follow suit in the next year. Evidenced by both Vine and Instagram’s incorporation of video, as well as the aforementioned commonality of mobile video, it’s pretty safe to assume that this space will be a veritable gold mine for mobile marketers.

Within the past six months, the business of mobile marketing has undergone a revolution. The increase in mobile usage, cutting-edge tech, and the expanding consumer knowledge of mobile utility has broadened the ways in which marketers reach mobile users. It’s time to prepare for the wave of the future in mobile marketing.

July 01, 2014

Five Key Benchmarks for Mobile Marketers

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June was one of the biggest months of the year for the mobile marketing industry. Silicon Beach Fest brought the brightest minds of the SoCal tech industry together, and the Cannes Lions Festival was another roaringly successful celebration of creativity in the field of mobile communications.

One of the biggest results from the latter event was a study conducted by The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on the best ways to build and execute effective mobile marketing campaigns. Their analysis looked at more than 450 award-winning and leading brands – including Mercedes, Nike, Ray Ban and Coca Cola - and uncovered five key insights for industry creatives.

The MMA’s CEO described the findings as “benchmarks [to give] marketers and their agencies… a concise framework on how to think more strategically about mobile”. 

Let’s summarize the five key benchmarks identified by the MMA:

Brand Activation Remote

According to the MMA, mobile should be viewed as a kind of remote control for brand engagement, consolidating each strand of a marketing campaign into a single portal, thereby keeping consumers constantly connected along the path to purchase. Once you view your mobile marketing strategy as a unifier in this way, you can more easily drive conversion and sustain loyalty.

No Time Like the Present

There is no marketing channel more capable of having an instant impact than mobile. Mobile marketing campaign managers are able to wield the timing of SMS messages with finesse, engaging with consumers in the present moment, and on their own terms. Think about the maxim ‘timing is everything’ and in how many ways it applies to mobile: users carry their smartphones everywhere, it’s always in close proximity, and it’s a device that’s unique to them (ie not shared with others).

Content Rules

Another maxim that has held true in marketing circles for years, “content is king” remains a fact of advertising. Create compelling content that people want to share, and the job of promoting your brand will be done for you. And mobile is perfectly suited to delivering a wide range of media, with modern smartphones capable of streaming rich content like video and audio, as well as the usual slew of articles, images and, yes, text messages. 

Bespoke Experiences

Customizing the user experience to individual preferences is the holy grail of targeted marketing. The closer you get to appealing to a person’s sense of unique identity, the more loyalty they will feel towards your brand. The message here is this: bring users into your circle, make them feel heard by getting them to engage, and they will return the favor by sticking with your product.

Smartphone-as-Toolkit

Many marketers make the mistake of focusing on the bells and whistles of a campaign, ignoring the fact that businesses need to offer something of real value lest they perish in the long term. Mobile is perfect for integrating familiar handheld tools into their software. Calculators, barometers, cameras – even the phone itself might be thought of as a secondary function next to the multitude of apps available to users in 2014. The point is, those utilitarian features are demanded by smartphone owners. Come up with your own mobile version of an existing real-world tool, and you are on to a surefire winner.

June 27, 2014

The Power of Negative Marketing

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The internet loves snark. The democratic nature of the beast, coupled with it’s anonymity, makes the web an ideal repository for miserablists everywhere to flex their sarcasm muscles or take part in some top-drawer trolling. Whether you see this as a sad reflection of a cynical world, or the mark of a healthily contemptuous society, online negativity generates as many clicks as cute pets.

It might seem counter-intuitive, even dangerous, to mess around with negativity as part of your desktop or mobile marketing campaign. But in an industry where standing out from the crowd is a key objective, turning the decidedly sunny optimism of most mobile marketing tactics on their head can be a real attention grabber.

The reality of any modern web enterprise is appealing to niche markets. By definition, your niche market must exclude a whole bunch of people who are simply not interested in your product. This is no bad thing. Exclusivity means scarcity, and scarcity increases demand. That’s business 101. The more exclusivity you can attach to your product, the hungrier people become for it. And once you’ve given customers a taste of the special treatment, their sense of brand loyalty soars.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to generate an air of exclusivity for your mobile marketing campaign:

  • Create mystery. Design a special offer, but don’t tell people what it is. Encourage them to sign up for the promotion via social media, and lay down a virtual treasure trail for them to follow. As long as you give them something of real value at the end of it, it’s a fantastically effective way of driving traffic and fostering attention-grabbing intrigue.
  • Test knowledge. People are flattered when their general knowledge is tested to the hilt. Create a brain-flummoxing trivia game with the promise of a prize at the end, and your audience will view your brand as the perfect match for their smarts.
  • Place time limits. This is a winning mobile marketing strategy, as it prevents users from putting the experience off until later – a ‘later’ that rarely materializes. If they have to do it now or not at all, they’re more likely to go for it.
  • Place number limits. Similarly, run a promotion that will only pay off for the first 20 respondents and you will get a much better hit rate.

Exclusionary mobile marketing tactics like this represent the safer end of the negative marketing spectrum. Your audience probably won’t even consider it ‘negative’ – which is precisely the trick you’re trying to pull off. You’ve now spun a negative into a positive.

In the next part of this series, we’ll go a little deeper into the possibilities of negative marketing. We’ll look at the proven CTRs generated by negative headlines, and how you can bond with your target market through shared enemies and a touch of self-deprecation. These strategies won’t be for everyone – such methods are not appropriate for every industry – but it’s worth considering the power of negative marketing as a way of jazzing up your mobile campaign. Stay tuned for part 2, coming next week…

 

June 26, 2014

How to Get People to Text In


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When starting an SMS campaign, an important first step is to build an opted-in subscriber list by incentivizing potential customers or members to text in. to accomplish this, consumers must be motivated to send that initial text message that effectively opts them in to the SMS contact list. That incentive could be a product or service discount, a one-time coupon, a special offer, or access to exclusive information or privileges.

To increase the likelihood that potential customers will subscribe, considering how, when, where, and why to communicate with them is also essential. When the SMS text marketing campaign presents itself as an exclusive, limited-time opportunity, giving consumers access to something they wouldn't otherwise be able to have, customers are more eager to opt in. Remember, customers are skeptical about giving away permission to contact them, especially on their personal devices, so it’s important they understand exactly what special treatment they are receiving in return for such permission. It’s also important to make the opt-in process as fast and simple as possible.

What follows are some of the most effective strategies used to grow an opted-in subscriber list through SMS texting:

Social media: Facebook and Twitter are great opportunities for businesses to bolster their SMS text marketing efforts. Facebook's web widget, for example, helps build subscriber lists by allowing potential clients to opt in by texting the campaign keyword to a short code directly from their computers.

Web/Email: Email messages are another great way to communicate with current and potential customers about the opportunities a particular SMS campaign has to offer. Consumers who receive email newsletters, for instance, may jump at the chance to receive information directly on their phones in exchange for opting in…as long as the information is valued.

Newsletters: Include a blurb in the hard copy of the company's newsletter asking readers to text the campaign's keyword to a shortcode. Send them exclusive news or other important company or business information in exchange for opting in to the contact list.

Radio Commercials: Ask listeners to text the company's keyword to a short code for special discounts or more information. Radio stations themselves may also use text-to-shortcode strategies to make taking song requests a more streamlined process or to better run their listener contests. Regardless of what the call-to-action is, remember to keep it simple and memorable:

Text {KEYWORD} to {Short Code} for XYZ. For example, Text STUDY to 12345 for more information on how to earn your MBA at ABC University in half the time!

Other Sweepstakes/Contests: Offer customers a chance to win contests for increased customer loyalty by texting in. First, always consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with state and local laws when implementing contests. 

Signage: Signs inside stores – or at trade shows, lectures, or other special events – can be used to ask everyone who walks through the door to text keywords to shortcodes for information, brochures or special offers. Clothing stores, for instance, can create buzz around new arrivals through in-store signs asking customers to text in for special coupon codes.

Outdoors: Billboards containing a texting call-to-action allow for even greater brand exposure. Entice consumers by offering them exclusive information or a chance to win a contest when they text to opt in.

List-building is a process, and it takes time. However, it is well worth the investment. The more a business makes potential clients comfortable communicating via text, the more likely those same consumers are to convert and become loyal customers. Those customers will also be more responsive to future SMS marketing campaigns.

June 23, 2014

5 Essential Mobile Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses

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SMS messaging and other mobile marketing tactics are an invaluable asset for any local business. Cheap, fast, regionally targetable and highly effective, a mobile marketing campaign can help you compete for custom in your area without the need for a huge budget.

As exciting as this brave new world is, many small businesses are hesitant to step into the future. By their very nature, local businesses are often small, serving a limited geographical area, and proprietors may have limited knowledge of marketing campaigns that go much beyond a website and local directory listings. They may not have thought about the possibilities of new technology simply because it hasn’t been necessary.

But instead of allowing your lack of knowledge to overwhelm you, do some research on how to take your marketing strategy to the next level. It could ensure your long-term survival.

The first step towards creating a vital, effective mobile marketing campaign is to optimize your website for mobile. Go back to your web developer to see if they can do this, or find someone who can. A mobile optimized site is easily navigable and viewable on a small screen, and improves the user experience compared with a desktop design, ultimately resulting in more traffic and conversions.

Once you have a mobile-friendly website, there are myriad options at your disposal for promoting your business to mobile users. The positive effects will be obvious, but more importantly, they are easily tracked and analyzed so you can see what works best for you. It’s been predicted by industry analysts that small business spending on local mobile marketing tactics will double every consecutive year for the next five years. Indeed, 41% of small business in the United States are already planning to increase their mobile marketing spend. If you want to join their ranks, consider some of the following essential mobile marketing tactics:

1) Email

Email is a great place to start. Everyone now uses email intuitively – all you need to do is adjust your messages so they are mobile-friendly:

  • Use a single column layout
  • Use 14 size font for body text and 20-24 for headings
  • Keep the headline character count to less than 40 characters
  • Make calls-to-action easily clickable (without zooming) for small screens
  • Ensure content is concise and readable without scrolling 

2) SMS

After successfully dominating social communications during the 90s and 00s, text messaging is flourishing as a commercial channel. Conservative estimates put the open-and-read rate of SMS at 90% - and that’s within a few minutes of the message being received. A few tips for effective SMS messaging campaigns:

  • Strike a professional but friendly tone
  • Keep content brief
  • Offer something of value, such as discounts and time-limited deals
  • Include a link to your website so recipients can easily access more detailed information 

3) Social Media

According to one recent study, some 40% of Facebook’s revenue now comes from mobile. If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention over the past few years, you’ll already have a Facebook page (if not – get one!). Now, look at it in ‘public mode’ on your smartphone. Is it easy to read and navigate? Is the most important information displayed prominently? There are multiple things you can do to improve the mobile user experience:

  • Encourage visitors to your store to take pictures of themselves and tag the photos with your location
  • Keep updates limited to a few words. The shorter the post, the more attention-grabbing it will be
  • Download the Pages Manager app to help your adjust your settings and view activity on your page
  • Make sure your listing on Facebook Local Pages is accurate

4) Directories

Listing your company with online business directories is a crucial part of boosting your web presence. You can post multiple listings within the space of a few hours and trust us: it will be a day well spent. Start with major directories like Yelp, Yahoo and Foursquare. If you’re in the food industry, get your business listed on GrubHub and other popular user-oriented sites. Encourage customers to leave reviews – the value of positive online comments cannot be overstated.

5) SEO

Hire a competent, plugged-in SEO consultant who is up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile marketing. Your mobile site should feature rich content like videos, and be kitted out with the proper redirect codes so that users are seeing what you want them to see. A proper SEO strategy is plays a significant role in boosting web and foot traffic, so ignore it at your peril.

June 19, 2014

How to Run a Successful SMS Trivia Campaign

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Whether you’re a new business trying to make your mark, or a well-established industry fixture, a compelling mobile marketing campaign can help you reach more potential customers. A well-executed, original idea can easily set your brand apart from the competition. If it’s really special, it might even go viral.

Trivia marketing is a tried and tested framework within which you can flex your creative muscles. While it’s not a new idea per se, there is so much you can do with quizzes, competitions and other participatory contests to engage users. The fact is, people love to put their skills to the test. Give them the right sort of challenge and you will foster a long-term sense of brand loyalty that translates directly into revenue.

The best way to attract interest is by concocting a truly unique spin on the trivia concept. Still, it’s wise to look at examples of successful SMS trivia campaigns so you can begin to chart a path to your own jumping off point.

 

Starbucks

It’s no coincidence that the coffee behemoth is on top of its mobile marketing strategy. You don’t consistently remain the largest coffeehouse chain on the planet without having some pretty creative brains in your marketing department.

Last year, Starbucks used SMS messaging to winning effect with a trivia campaign offering customers prizes. Like any good mobile marketing strategy, it offered something of value whilst growing the company’s opted-in SMS contact list. After determining which kinds of devices users owned, Starbucks even followed up with an MMS message containing a short clip and information about a Happy Hour special offer. By leading with a teaser trivia question, the campaign reminded subscribers that they were part of the mobile campaign, effectively engaging them with the brand.

The campaign began with a trivia contest that quizzed subscribers about the company’s Frappucino. Users were enticed to respond quickly, with the first 100 correct respondents being offered a copy of The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Once recipients had sent in their answer, they received a follow-up message letting them know if they were correct, and encouraging them to reply with the keyword READYSET if they wanted to receive summer alerts.

This type of time-limited offer is crucial to the efficacy of trivia campaigns. The longer users sit on a text message from a business, the less likely they are to engage, and the SMS is soon forgotten entirely. By incorporating the first-to-respond element, Starbucks ensured that recipients participated quickly.

 

Chipotle

More recently, Chipotle had their own take on the SMS trivia idea. The brand sponsored and developed an original series for Hulu called Farmed & Dangerous, a biting satire on petro-chemical agriculture that encouraged viewers to think about where their food comes from. Already, the series had the makings of a brilliant marketing campaign that cast Chipotle in a positive, ethical light. Then they threw in a dose of SMS magic to engage viewers with the show and, by proxy, the brand.

The SMS trivia campaign was advertised during commercial breaks, and offered viewers a buy-one-get-one-free offer from Chipotle. By texting BADMILK to a shortcode, viewers were taken to a series of trivia questions relating to the current episode. Once three questions were answered, viewers were prompted to reply with the keyword REMIND to get future SMS alerts about the latest episode of the show. Each text message included a link to a mobile coupon.

Chipotle and Starbucks are two of the big boys to have successfully used SMS trivia marketing. If you lack the budget to create a web series or run movie soundtrack giveaways, there are plenty of other ways to leverage the power of SMS trivia marketing. See what you can come up with this summer!

June 18, 2014

A/B Testing Your Text Ads

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By 2018, the world will see 9.3 billion mobile data plans in use. When it comes to capitalizing on the vast potential of mobile ads and SMS campaigns, marketers have barely begun to scratch the surface. Mobile marketing budgets in the U.S. alone will soon reach $4.4 billion, but unless businesses measure the effectiveness of their messaging, they may be wasting money. 

This is exactly why A/B split testing is an essential tool for successful mobile marketing. Instead of making educated guesses, marketers should instead analyze concrete evidence to assess which campaign messaging works. Using this method to fine-tune one of its own marketing campaigns, top Australian parenting site Kidspot, for example, saw user app engagement go up by 87% in just two weeks. 

What is A/B Split Testing?

A/B split testing is a method for testing two variations of a campaign to compare their performances. The A/B split testing of SMS texting campaigns helps boost ROI, allowing more marketing dollars to be invested in the messaging that drives the most sales. It also makes optimizing future campaigns possible.

Regardless of whether the goal is increasing the response rates or sales or simply reducing “unsubscribe” rates, the method is simple:

  • Write two variations of the SMS message.
  • Split recipients into two lists.
  • Message variation A goes to one list, variation B to the other.

To track which campaign message generates which responses, variations A and B should ask consumers to text in to two different short codes. If two different short codes cannot be used, the two messages should at least be sent a few days apart, giving the first mobile ad's effect some time to wear off for a better read on the data, which may be viewed via Google Analytics or a similar tool.

How are A/B Split Test Results Used?

Once data is collected, these questions should be asked:

  • Did one message have a higher “open” rate than the other?
  • Of the number of messages opened, did one variation have a higher response rate?
  • Did one message have a lower “unsubscribe” rate?
  • Which message generated the highest number of sales or inquiries?

If there is no significant difference between the two messages' performance, it's possible the SMS campaign messages were too similar. The following factors should be taken into account:

  • Tone: Did both message sound professional or friendly?
  • Keywords: Was a compelling keyword used in one message or both?
  • Price: Did only one version include the price, or did both? And were prices similarly presented?
  • Calls to action: How were they different? For instance, did they both ask recipients to text, or did one ask consumers to call?
  • Time of day: Consider testing to see if different times of day lead to the higher open, response, and/or conversion rates as well.
  • Subscriber lists: Consider testing one consumer demographic over another. For instance, some campaigns may be more effective with recipients living in suburban zip codes than those living elsewhere.

If one message significantly out-performs the other, principles used in the most successful message can be applied to future campaigns.

Companies may split test more than two variations – known as multi-variant testing – so long as their recipient list is large enough for a good sampling.  A/B split testing and multi-variant testing are excellent ways to ensure marketing dollars are going where they pay off the most and that each mobile campaign is more effective than the last. No matter how well an SMS or text ad campaign performs, there is always room for improvement.

June 12, 2014

Mobile Marketing Tactics: Buy Online, Pick Up In Store

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In an era when Amazon.com can deliver almost anything imaginable – by delivery truck or even via drone  – consumers have increasingly come to expect items for purchase to be not only inexpensive and widely available, but also shipped to them quickly and conveniently. As a result, brick-and-mortar retailers everywhere are struggling to keep up with emerging technology. That struggle can be especially difficult in the midst of elevated demand for free shipping when retail margins are already growing thin.

The good news is that savvy retailers are figuring out ways to harness mobile technology to better meet consumer demand and simultaneously increase in-store foot traffic. Leveraging the power of SMS text marketing campaigns, retailers are urging their mobile customers to order items online and pick them up in-store.

Consumer Convenience that Also Benefits Retailers

Because of the high cost of shipping, increasingly more retailers are seeking cost-saving measures that include delivering purchases directly to stores instead of homes, as well as allowing customers to return mobile online purchases in-store, among other strategies.

Not only do omnichannel efforts help save retailers an enormous amount of money; shoppers appreciate the flexibility these choices afford them. During the past holiday season, for instance, more than one in three online shoppers in the U.S. said they would like the ability to pick up, in-store, items that they had ordered online. The added bonus of offering such an option to consumers is that more mobile online customers come through retailer's doors as a result, increasing the likelihood they will make additional purchases.

In-Store Pick-Up Gives Online Mobile Consumers More Control

While home delivery may sounds appealing on the surface, it becomes a hassle when consumers arrive home after a long day at work just to find that a delivery attempt was made when no one was home. Therefore, more than 80 percent of shoppers consider knowing when a package will arrive to be the number one most important service that mobile online shopping can offer.

In practical terms, giving consumers better control of when a shipment arrives can mean several things. One strategy is to use SMS texting campaigns to alert opted-in consumers that they may pick up items they've ordered online, in-store, as soon as the items arrives. Alternatively, customers may also be permitted to reserve an item online and then both pick it up and pay for it at a nearby store location. In addition, consumers may be given the option to buy the item online via an SMS text link and then retrieve it from the store at a later date.

Allowing in-store returns of mobile online orders, as well as alerting consumers that they may place orders using online catalogs while in the store, are a few additional strategies that offer the consumer increased convenience while also increasing in-store foot traffic. All of these improve the likelihood that mobile consumers will make additional on-premise purchases. In the end, these strategies create a win-win scenario for both businesses and satisfied customers alike. 

June 11, 2014

Research Shows 80% of Mobile Searches Result in a Sale

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Online directory Neustar Localeze recently published a study demonstrating the scale of consumer migration to mobile. The results show that 79% of smartphone owners and 81% of tablet owners use their devices to search for information about local businesses. Of those searches, around 80% resulted in a transaction between merchant and consumer, and 75% ended with the customer physically going to the brick and mortar store. 

However, only 50% of searchers were satisfied with what was available on mobile, indicating a need for businesses to better optimize their sites for mobile. This disconnect between user demand and experience offers exciting opportunities for canny mobile marketing strategists to secure greater ROIs by offering a truly mobile friendly platform through which to conduct business. 

According to Brian Wool, VP of content distribution at Neustar, consumers “want to see more information around products and services,” though he conceded that local search engines were beginning to use more specific data to improve search relevancy.

The key difference between desktop and mobile search is exactly what you’d think: screen size. Tablets and smartphones can only display so much information before the need for scrolling, so it’s crucially important that businesses prioritize the most sought-after content.

The localized content Wool alluded to is starting to make inroads into mobile marketing tactics, but it’s mostly the preserve of large corporations with the spending power to play around with new ideas. But it’s precisely these localized searches that small, regional businesses should be focusing on. It’s their best chance of competing with the big chain retailers who have the edge in terms of pricing and traditional marketing clout.

If small businesses can develop user-friendly, highly visible mobile sites, they will carve out niche markets that are just a local search away. Lots of quality content remains the best hope for improving online visibility. As Wool says, “the more you can share with the ecosystem, the better your listing is going to perform.”

The take home message for SMBs, then, is this: the majority of local searches do end in a conversion, so devising and investing in a mobile marketing campaign is a safe bet when it comes to growing that bottom line.