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5 signs you need a mobile marketing strategy

Last year, more than 50% of Google searches occurred on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile users are doing everything on their devices from streaming video and reading news to shopping, interacting over social media (read Brands gain social media buzz from Super Bowl blackout for example), and checking in to their favourite locations. You may not think you need a mobile marketing strategy, but if your business meets any of the following criteria it’s a good sign that you do:

  1. You have a physical store or office that your customers may want to visit.

    Customers are constantly searching to fill their immediate needs right from their smartphones, and acting on the results in real time. Is your company easily found, and can your customers easily access the information they need on-the-go? If not, one of your more mobile-savvy competitors will probably get their business.

    Ensure that your business is listed on local search sites such as Google Places, Bing Local, and Yelp. When users search for products and services on these sites, their mobile device uses their location information to let them know what businesses are nearby. If a customer is looking for your product while walking down your street, you don’t want to lose out on that sale because your business wasn’t listed.

    It’s also important to ensure your website is mobile-optimized. Busy mobile consumers don’t have time to zoom in and scroll around on your full-sized site from the small screen on their smartphone. If they can’t quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for on your site, they’ll move on to the next search result. So, make sure that your site displays well by using responsive design techniques and ensure that your phone number, address, hours, and other information are easy to find.

  2. Your customers like discounts, contests, and prizes.

    Customers are always happy to save money, and a mobile campaign can provide the extra incentive needed to drive conversions or close a sale.

    In-store, try running ads that enable your customers to access a coupon or discount using their mobile device. The extra savings may entice them to purchase that one extra item.

    Out-of-store ads can encourage customers to enter a contest or access a prize that must be collected in-store, driving traffic to your storefront. These sorts of promotions may not provide enough incentive for consumers to leave the comfort of their homes, but can be enough to convince shoppers in or near your location to give you their business.

    Running these promotions over mobile enables you to easily track the success of the promotion and capture customer data for analytics tracking as well as follow-up marketing efforts.

  3. Your customers are active on social media.

    Social media users access their networks via mobile apps to post photos and comments, check into locations, and share information from their tablets and smartphones. You can tap into this audience with a mobile strategy that includes a mobile site, social monitoring, and social check-in.

    We addressed the need for a mobile-optimized site above. Once your site is set up to display on mobile, you can promote your business over social networks using ads, contests, and content marketing. You can also enable social users to check into your store over Facebook or Foursquare to gain access to special promotions.

    The key to an effective social strategy is to monitor it closely. Keep track of your social platforms using tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to view all your feeds at once, and set up alerts for Twitter and Facebook so that you know whenever someone has interacted with your profiles. You can also use tools like Social Mention to receive alerts for certain keywords and phrases, so that you can join into conversations that might be related to your business.

  4. You offer online shopping.

    49% of smartphone owners use their phone to make purchases online, and 55% of tablet users report shopping on their device. More than half of North American adults now own a smartphone, and that number is increasing, so if you have an ecommerce site, it’s critical that it be mobile optimized.

    You can drive mobile traffic to your ecommerce site using mobile SEO tactics, social media, and mobile ads. Once shoppers are on your site, ensure that your login, information gathering, and checkout functions run smoothly and minimize the number of steps so that on-the-go mobile users can buy from you easily. If the process is difficult or takes too long to load, it could mean the difference between capturing a mobile sale and losing it to a competitor.

  5. Your current marketing mix includes out-of-home promotions.

    If your current ad campaigns include transit ads, posters, billboards, radio, events, trade shows, sponsorships, or any other media that target your customers while they are out and about, you need to integrate mobile into the mix.

    Consumers are more likely to access your website immediately from their mobile device than they are to wait until they’re in front of their home computer. Campaign collateral should include QR codes, Near-Field-Communication (NFC) chips, or easy-to-type web addresses that lead to mobile-optimized landing pages. As mentioned above, you can offer place-specific benefits to encourage mobile users to interact with your brand depending on their activity or location.

If any of the above is true of your brand and you don’t currently have a mobile marketing plan, it’s likely you are missing out on mobile business. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to tap into the mobile market. First, make sure that your site is mobile optimized with responsive design. Then, incorporate mobile into your marketing mix according to the behavior of your customers and the nature of your business by adopting some of the strategies outlined above. Finally, ensure that you track your progress and refine your campaign over time using Google Analytics or a similar program. Mobile use is increasing and mobile consumers expect brands to keep up, so don’t ignore the signs – start building your mobile strategy today.