There’s no doubt about it: today’s world is mobile. Because of this your small business needs to be as well. In fact, if you aren’t catching customers while they’re on the go, there’s a good chance you’re not catching them at all. That’s why the most successful entrepreneurs are engaged in mobile marketing in order to help to drive smartphone users to their businesses.
Recently Megan Totka of Business.com offered some of her best tips for small business mobile marketing. Here are three takeaways that your business can and should implement:
Having a mobile-optimized website
You’ve probably heard the term “mobile-friendly” in relations to websites before. In fact, even if you weren’t already familiar with the concept, last year’s Google update dubbed “Mobilegeddon” likely brought the importance of having a mobile-friendly site to your attention. While ensuring that you have a site that displays nicely on smartphones is certainly a must, in order to really capitalize on the power of mobile, you need to go further.
With many customers consistently on the move, offering a site that’s not just mobile-friendly but mobile-optimized can give you a big advantage. What does mobile optimization entail? Instead of just displaying your content in a way that’s acceptable, mobile optimization essential serves an entirely different site to mobile users, which is built to make their small screen experience much easier. For example many mobile-optimized sites utilize large tabs that are easier to tap. Additionally you’ll want to highlight some of the info those using mobile devices are most likely to search for, including store hours, your location, and directions to you.
As mobile becomes even more dominant, Google’s search index is moving towards mobile first, the importance of mobile website optimization becomes even more critical. Google currently has over 150 million AMP pages in their index. As an example after implementing AMP, Slate.com saw a 73% boost in Google mobile search traffic. Although it is mostly large sites with big development teams, e.g. Washington Post, Ebay, Buzzfeed, that have successfully implemented AMP so far, there are signs that it is coming to the masses with the emergence of AMP themes for WordPress.
Creating an app
If you really want to give your customers a superior mobile experience, you will want to consider building your own app. Admittedly app competition is fierce as millions of applications fight for limited space on users’ devices. As a result the chances that your casual customers are going to download your app are slim. However offering a polished and useful app can help build loyalty for your business and please your best customers.
The key to a good app is to give it a function not available elsewhere. For example a common mistake brands make is to simply turn a mobile website into an application. Instead of retreading the same info in a new medium, perhaps you could introduce a mobile loyalty program that offers app users exclusive coupons, deals, or punchcard-style freebies (e.g. buy 10, get one free). By giving your customers incentive to download your app, you’ll make it easier to drive them back to the store using special offers and push notifications.
Using and advertising on social media
Do mobile-optimized sites and smartphone apps sound a little out of your league? Then there’s at least one tool that’s an absolute, no excuses must use: social media. Not only is having a presence on social media a powerful (and free) way to build a following but investing in social ads can also really help your business to reach new customers.
Keep in mind that, in addition to there being multiple social platforms you should look into (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), there are also several different ways to use each one. A good example of this is the growing trend of Facebook and Twitter users turning to social media when they’re in need of customer service. With that in mind, you should be prepared to respond to replies and messages in order to assist customers in addition to posting engaging content. This sort of availability and helpfulness is what will keep people coming back.
No matter what the size of your business is, mobile marketing is now an essential part of reaching customers. Although not every strategy is right for every business, having a mobile-optimized site, building an app your patrons will find useful, and taking advantage of the power of social media are three things every entrepreneur should strongly consider. Best of luck.