The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing at a rapid pace. Tech is advancing at such a speed that it’s changing the way we live our lives.
Take mobile phones, for example. It’s hard to believe, but mobile phones have been around for less than fifty years.
Considering how ubiquitous the tech has become, it’s crazy to think that there were generations who never knew the perks of elearning or who weren’t able to check a phone number on the go. Now, people who aren’t glued to their cell phones 24/7 are seen as something of a lunatic fringe.
The point is that tech is in a state of constant flux. Something that is considered sci-fi today could be old news two weeks from now. In this post, we’re going to focus on mobile marketing as the mobile phone is arguably one of the most significant pieces of tech today.
According to studies, mobile traffic already exceeds desktop traffic. Around 56% of all online traffic runs through mobile devices – and that figure is growing rapidly. In other words, accessing the Internet via mobile devices is becoming more popular. And, according to Statista, 47.2 million web users use their mobiles exclusively to access the Internet.
We could go on citing statistics all day that show how mobile is more important than ever. What matters, though, is that you leverage this information in the right way to get a bigger piece of the pie.
In this post, we’ll review some mobile marketing best practices that ensure every campaign is a success. That said, if you’re looking for a “one and done” solution, you’ll want to keep looking. Mobile marketing incorporates much more than simply setting up an app or sending out a few text messages.
Is It Worth the Effort?
You might be wondering if the extra effort is worthwhile. Let’s come at this from a different angle. If you were using traditional media to advertise your business, how would you decide on the media? You’d consider the best platform that allows you to best reach your target market.
So, if your audience watches a lot of TV but doesn’t read newspapers, then video content or TV ads are your best bet. If your target market doesn’t spend time watching TV, you’d be better served using print media. In both cases, you’re pinning your hopes that your target audience flips on the TV at the right time or reads the right newspaper.
The advantage of mobile marketing is that most people take their phones everywhere and check them constantly. Instead of worrying about whether or not your target market is going to come across your advertising, you already have a captive audience. It’s true that someone in your audience could switch their phones off for weeks at a time or get rid of them entirely – but that’s not a likely scenario.
Who wouldn’t want that kind of advantage? Social media marketers are already doing it, so why shouldn’t you implement the same strategies as well?
You Need a Complete Strategy
If done correctly, mobile marketing can help get your marketing message to a wide range of people in a reasonably cost-effective way. Before you get too excited and send off an SMS or find someone to build an app, take a breather.
Marketing of any kind should always have a comprehensive strategy. The app you’ve developed is only one piece of the puzzle. What happens if half of your target audience doesn’t bother to download it? What if those who do download it use it only once?
You’ll need to have a holistic strategy that utilizes various marketing methods to enhance your overall efforts. That way, if Mr. X doesn’t have a smartphone and can’t download the app, you should have other ways to get through to him.
Think of ways that you can market your products. Look into different mobile marketing techniques and how you can work them into a cohesive plan. For example, maybe you could send an email out two weeks before a sale. You could then follow up with a quick SMS or instant message.
Figure out how your marketing efforts will go for at least the next month before launching a campaign. Each effort should build upon the last to make the entire campaign more successful.
Steps to Take Now
- Read through this article before you start working on your strategy.
- Pick three potential marketing methods that would work well for your target market. For now, we’re not going to count email marketing – we’ll go into why later. Would your target market prefer an app, SMS messages, or maybe some form of proximity marketing?
- Write these three techniques down and set the page aside.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile-First Indexing
Before you start putting any marketing plan into action, you need to do a full site audit to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. At present, you have a few options – you can opt to have a separate mobile site or to have one site that is responsive across a range of devices.
Having one responsive site is the best long-term strategy, and we’ll tell you why. First, there are so many different mobile devices on the market today that creating a responsive design is becoming essential.
More important, though, is your friendly neighborhood big brother search engine – Google. Google has been talking about mobile-first indexing for a while. What that means is that Google is switching from counting the desktop version of your site as your primary site to the mobile version.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, and, in theory, it shouldn’t be. In reality, though, it could have an impact on your site rankings, especially if you have a separate mobile site. Why?
Your site is going to be indexed either way. If you don’t have a separate mobile site, your site will be ranked on how mobile-friendly it is. Which means that it could be ranked much lower if it loads slowly.
If you do have a separate mobile site, things become a little trickier. Google will prioritize your mobile site and mark you based on that site. That’s fine if all the information on the site matches your main site.
It becomes problematic if the information is slightly different. Contrary to popular belief, there won’t be a separate mobile and desktop index. Your rankings will depend on how well your site performs. So, if your main site is a winner but the mobile site needs work, you could be marked on the latter, which could cost you dearly.
It’s far better to have one site that is fully responsive across a range of devices.
Steps to Take Now
- If you’re building a new site, make sure that it has a responsive design.
- If you already have a site, check how mobile-friendly it is with this free Google tool. Changing the whole site might take some time and will cost money. If you can’t do a complete redesign, at least ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.
- Do a site audit and remove any out-of-date content or anything that doesn’t add real value. Your aim is to have a clean site that loads as fast as possible.
Shift Your Focus to Mobile SEO
While SEO for mobile is not a complete change from the way you’ve been doing things up to now, you’ll have to take things a few steps further. Your main focus here should be on the type of queries users might make.
They might, for example, ask for the “nearest plumber.” If that’s the case, it’s essential to mention your company’s location on your site. Go a few steps further and geotag photos and mention the location in a few places on the website.
Most importantly, though, go to Google My Business, and claim your page. Google will try and build its own page from information that it can draw online anyway, so it makes sense to make sure that all this information is up-to-date. The bonus is that it gives you a shot of landing in the local three-pack and also gets you listed on Google Maps.
Another area where mobile searches might differ is that they might be voice searches as opposed to written queries. Voice searches are often termed as questions and are usually full sentences. It’s much easier to do this with a voice search because you’re not typing anything out.
So, a person conducting a voice search might say something like, “Where is the best plumbing service in London?” If they were typing that out, they might type, “Plumbers, London.” This means that individual keywords are far less important.
In other words, you need to optimize for longer-form questions. One way of doing this by incorporating questions and answers into your content.
Steps to Take Now
- Brainstorm questions that people might ask about your business or the processes that you use.
- Create a page of Frequently Asked Questions and add it to your site.
- Aim to incorporate some of those questions within your content as well.
- Ensure that you geotag the photos on your site.
- Make sure that you have your full business location and contact details on your site – at the bottom of every page is best.
- Claim your Google My Business page and fill in as many details as possible.
Consider Developing a Mobile App
Today’s consumers expect much more from businesses. They want the best service, and then they want you to go above and beyond that. It’s a buyer’s market, and we need to remember that.
A good-quality mobile app could be a great way to add continued value for existing clients and draw in new ones as well. Best of all, once it’s been created, it’s fairly inexpensive to run. It is worth budgeting to pay a little more upfront so that you get an app that looks great and works seamlessly. So, if the budget is tight now, save a bit instead of taking the cheapest option.
There are several features that you could incorporate into an app. You could allow clients to look up balance information, earn loyalty points, refer friends, get the information they’re interested in, and so on. The key to making an app successful is designing it with utility and value to the client in mind.
Steps to Take Now
- Think about your target market. Would they use an app?
- If the answer is “Yes,” think about which apps they find useful.
- What do they want to learn? Do they need to access specific information on their accounts or more generalized information?
- Which features would be most useful for your clients and target audience?
- Are there apps out there that do that already? If so, how will yours differ? How can you improve upon what’s out there already?
- How will you market your app? If an app’s published, and no one downloads it, does it really exist? You’ll need to promote your app in much the same way you would any other service or product.
- Is it going to be free? If not, how much will you charge?
- How much time can you devote to the ongoing content creation for the app?
That’s enough to get you started. You should have a clearer idea of what your mobile marketing strategy is now, and have the killer website to back it up. Your next step is to implement what you’ve learned and get started with your new campaign.