Did you know that 65% of Americans own smartphones? Did you know that 70% of mobile searches trigger an action within an hour?
Mobile isn’t just the future; it has revolutionized business. Mobile devices are a key communication tool for most consumers in the US and growing numbers worldwide.
A We Are Social study shows that 50% the world’s population has a mobile phone and there are 9 new mobile phone users added every second. Isn’t that amazing?
That’s why mobile marketing is a must for both online business and brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs.
So, what is mobile marketing? Targeting marketing campaigns to mobile device users. If you don’t do it, prepare to lose out to your competitors.
Advertisers have already caught on. In 2013, 22.1% of digital search ad dollars were spent on mobile. That share is expected to reach 59.6% by 2017… and that’s just for the US!
And, what about email marketing? According to Marketing Sherpa, mobile email open rates are improving, as the chart below shows:
That makes mobile marketing a key tactic to grow your business. The beautiful part of mobile marketing is that it works well and some businesses are already sharing their data.
Mobile Marketing Success Stories
Imagine reading a movie review, then seeing bloody fingerprints on the screen, every time you touched it, with a call-to-action to watch a trailer. Would you act on it?
More than five million viewers did, when HBO used that technique to attract mobile users to its True Blood trailer.
Here’s another success story… The American Red Cross ran an SMS donation campaign, asking people to donate by text message. That resulted in $50 million in donations.
So, how can you enjoy similar success for your online business? By implementing the 14 tips that I’m going to share with you below:
1. Make your site mobile friendly
An infographic by Ad60 shows that 8% of all digital traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. Mobile e-commerce is also on the rise:
In 2015, it is projected that online shoppers will spend $25 billion.
That’s why the first thing you should do before you start a mobile marketing campaign is to make your site mobile-friendly. You need to make sure that menus and content display well for users and you can’t do that unless you have a mobile-friendly theme.
That’s really easy to do, if you’re using WordPress. If you’re on a tight budget, there are free themes. Or, you could invest in a premium theme compatible with all mobile platforms.
If you don’t want to install a theme, there’s another option: use the WPtouch mobile plugin to make your site mobile compatible.
Here’s how you can make your WordPress site mobile friendly with WPtouch:
Step #1: Download and install WPtouch. To do this, log into your WordPress site, hover over the plugins link and click “Add New.” Search for WPtouch, then click the “upload”’ link.
Step #2: Upload and activate the plugin. Then, go to WPtouch > Dashboard > Core Settings, hover over it and click.
All you have to do is to add the site title. Apart from that, you can leave everything as-is.
Scroll down and click “save changes.”
That’s all. Your site is now mobile-friendly.
Step #3: To make sure it has worked, test your site to see if it looks good on smartphones and tablets.
Visit MobileTest.me. Select a mobile device.
Next, type your site URL into the search box and hit ‘Go.’
If your blog/site is mobile-friendly, you’ll see something like this:
2. Create mobile friendly content
Write content based on what mobile users need while on the go. If you’ve been using your PC for writing online, you might think all of your tabs, pages and links are relevant and essential. In this mobile age, they are not.
You have to keep in mind that most mobile devices display content on a small screen. And, mobile users don’t care about your About page. What they care about is why they came in the first place. Writing good headlines is one way to deliver.
Writing your headlines: When you’re writing for mobile users, you don’t have the luxury of a wide PC screen to display long headlines. Make your headlines shorter and more persuasive, to show the benefit of reading as soon as they see it.
For example, if your headline was…
How You Can Start a Home Business With Little Or No Money
A mobile friendly version could be…
How To Start A Home Business with No Money
Here is another example…
10 Simple Ways To Show Your Spouse How Much You Love Them
The mobile version could be…
10 Simple Ways To Love Your Spouse
Optimize for Search Engines: A recent study by iAcquire revealed that 70% of mobile searches lead to action on a website, usually within 1 hour from the time of searching.
This study further shows that when people search for products and services on their mobile devices, they’re usually more motivated to take action than someone who searches on a desktop computer.
That’s why you can’t ignore mobile search engine optimization (SEO). Mobile’s share of organic search has increased steadily and this trend will continue, well into the future.
Mobile users’ search behavior is also different. As Search Engine Watch shows, mobile users tend to be more specific in their searches.
For example, when they’re looking to buy a wireless reading device, most of them will search for a specific make and model, because they have read about it, either online or in some offline ads.
This means that when optimizing content for mobile readership, you must go deeper and use the specific keywords that users are familiar with.
For example, if you’re a photographer and you write reviews on different digital cameras, don’t write a headline such as this:
Top Digital Camera Reviews
Be specific and mention the exact brand and model. E.g.
Best Canon Powershot SX520 Reviews
The reason for targeting keywords that are specific to a particular product, event, course, industry, topic or news item is because mobile users often have prior knowledge of the item before using their devices to search.
3. Take your brand to mobile users
Brands can’t ignore mobile and neither can bloggers, software developers, business owners … you get the picture. One way to get your brand out there is with mobile ads, which you can run through social media and other channels.
A recent case study by Medialets shows higher CTRs on tablets (0.59%) compared to desktops (0.23%). Ads on mobile apps performed twice as well as those on mobile websites.
To use mobile ads, the first thing that you have to do is to identify your core audience. Unless your brand is as huge as Apple or Hewlett-Packard, you can’t market to everyone.
You also have to help mobile users discover you, using mobile SEO and delivering convenience so that users can easily access your products and services and get what they need.
Here’s an example: Hotel Tonight is an app that enables prospective guests to book rooms and specify dates of arrival and departure. Once you download and install it, it’s good to go. It’s all about convenience and solving a particular problem for mobile users.
4. Get local with Google My Business
Mobile users often look for local information. If you want to deliver, you need to get your business on the local map. Google makes this simple with Google My Business, which also makes it easy for both mobile AND desktop users to discover you.
Once you’re listed, you’ll notice an improvement in overall search engine traffic, because mobile device users will be able to locate your business when they search.
Getting started is easy. You need a Google account. If you’re already logged in, the next steps are easier than you think. Simply Business has a great flowchart that walks you through the process.
5. Use text message (SMS) marketing
According to Ihumanmedia, 58% of smartphone users check their phones at least every hour. They keep their phones handy and are always ready to use them to find information.
What can you do to build engagement and increase conversion rates on your campaigns?
As we saw in step 3, mobile advertising truly works, but you have to get into users’ inboxes. That’s the only way to steer clear of the noise and get a positive return on investment.
Most online entrepreneurs frown at mobile text messaging, because they think it’s more regulated than email marketing. But, that’s a myth, as Forbes points out:
Since 41% of mobile phone users use their phones for text messaging instead of talking, using SMS marketing is a no-brainer. Try a service, like EZtexting, to see how it works for you. It’s free and you can upgrade if you like it.
Here are some advantages of mobile text messaging:
- Trackable platform: You can easily track who opens your message, what links they clicked and who ignored the message.
- Interactivity: Mobile text messaging makes it possible to get feedback from your recipients quickly, via a quick tap on the ‘reply’ button.
- Immediate delivery: Overall, mobile marketing is fast. Once you press ‘send,’ your message goes out instantly, unless there is a technical error. You can set up a campaign and have hundreds of impressions and clicks within 5 minutes.
- Personal touch: When you send a text message via your mobile device, it gives you an informal opportunity to personalize the message. You can share a brief story or link to a resource where recipients can read a personal experiment or case study.
6. Make your site navigable
Navigation is one of six user interface fixes that can increase conversion rates. Your menu, footer bar and other items have to be navigable. It has to be responsive, so it can display perfectly, no matter what mobile device people are using.
If you install the WPtouch plugin, as I recommended above, you may not have much work to do. Your goal is to ensure that each section of your menu is distinct, with no overlapping.
Your call-to-action buttons and links also have to be compatible with mobile devices. Let’s compare Copyblogger and FitnessExpertAwards. Notice how navigable Copyblogger is, compared with the other site?
The rules for building a navigable mobile-friendly site are not set in stone. You have to test it for yourself before drawing conclusions. Whether it’s for desktop or mobile, carry out an A/B test on your menu, the colors, fonts, call-to-action and the rest of your site.
You can also read my article on 50 Split Testing Ideas, for help with this.
7. Add a personal touch
Small firms still value the personal touch. And, people do, too.
It’s often said that, “search engines don’t have credit cards – they can’t buy your product.” So, why make them your #1 focus?
Some SEOs make the mistake of stuffing keywords and over-optimizing anchor text, without considering users. Google Panda and Penguin updates discouraged these ugly practices.
Instead, it’s better to provide value and connect emotionally with readers. The best way to do this is by personalizing your marketing.
Note: When you personalize your marketing for mobile users, it doesn’t mean that you just talk about yourself and your achievements. No, it means that you’re connecting at a personal level, putting yourself in their shoes and answering their questions.
So, how do you personalize your marketing? Follow these simple tips and you’ll nail it every time:
Identify individual customer needs: Derek Halpern of Social Triggers understands how to identify individuals’ specific needs. When someone subscribes to his list, they get a welcome message.
This is where he introduces himself, what he does and how you can benefit further. Then, he asks subscribers to tell him what they’re struggling with.
This is genius, because once you identify your readers’ specific needs, you can tailor your message to suit them.
And, you know what? When an individual has a challenge, it also means that thousands of other people are facing the same challenge.
So, let’s assume you sent a message to your subscribers and one of the responses you got was, “I want more Facebook traffic.”
You could write a useful post using any of these headlines:
- How You Can Drive Facebook Traffic Right Now
- 6 Simple Steps You Can Use To Get Facebook Traffic
- How I Got XX Visitors From Facebook To My Blog
Share a story: Storytelling works. Mobile users love emotional stories that can prompt them to act. Econsultancy showed how WaterAid used storytelling to raise £2.5 million through their ‘Big Dig’ campaign.
Use photos: Do you want a message tht people will connect with and also share? Start using photos to engage mobile users. According to Hubspot, photos on Facebook generate more engagement than other posts.
Visual content, like infographics, videos and charts, will enhance your brand via social media and mobile platforms.
Create characters: You can also create characters that will help your brand stand out in the crowd. This character might even be a mascot for your blog. Here are some examples:
Zac Johnson has his own mascot. Trust me, this has positioned his brand in the affiliate marketing industry, which is very competitive.
MailChimp, an email marketing provider, uses the character of a chimpanzee to give their solution a personal touch. See for yourself:
Note: MailChimp has since changed their homepage and the chimp character is not as prominent as it was before. But, you can still find the mascot on their header:
I’ve been using characters on my “About Page” and I know it connects personally with my readers and clients. The page is also well optimized for mobile users. This is how it looks on an iPad Mini:
I even reveal my favorite T-shirt, though recently, I’ve seen how spending over $162,000 on clothing can make you more money.
8. Create QR codes for quick access
If you want to take mobile marketing to the next level, then you must start using QR codes. These are common in Japan, where they originated.
QR means “quick response.” The codes store a lot of data and can be transmitted digitally and quickly, making them ideal for mobile device users. Here’s what a QR code looks like:
If you have a lot of data to transmit via a mobile browser, using QR codes can speed up your site and make it more easily accessible for mobile users.
You can use Kaywa to generate QR codes.
Step #1: Visit Kaywa and type in the URL of your site/blog. Select ‘Dynamic’ and click ‘Sign Up & Generate.’
A dynamic QR code is better, because you can edit it later from your dashboard. You can’t easily edit a static QR code.
Step #2: Click on the free plan, which is great for starters. If you have never generated a QR code before, the free plan is fine. Once you click ‘Join,’ fill out the form:
Step #3: After completing the form correctly, log into your email inbox and confirm the account. You are now ready to create your QR code:
Click “Generate” to get your QR code and shortened URL:
Note: It may look like image code, but in reality, it’s a quick access tool that will help mobile users get what they want out of your site faster.
Now, paste the code on your blog, using the html (text) editor:
Mobile users can scan your QR code and they’ll instantly be redirected to your site. Here’s how Homecellers uses it:
9. Create mobile apps
Mobile apps are mostly designed to run on smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices. You can download them from the Google Play Store or Apple Store and then access a range of program or site functions. Having an app for your site or business could help drive leads and sales.
There are several options when you want to create a mobile app, including a wide array of job sites.
I use dribbble for all of my infographic designs and they also have skilled mobile app developers. Visit the site and type, ‘mobile apps.’
Click the images on the left. You can either hire the mobile app developer or learn about their work. Check out their samples and their rates before making a move.
Another place to find a mobile app developer is AwesomeWeb.
On the homepage, type in “mobile apps” and hit the search button:
The results show an array of mobile app developers waiting to be hired:
Most of these designers charge by the hour. Whichever rate you can afford, go for it, after researching the designer’s track record, integrity and quality of work.
If you’re interested in any of the designers, click their photo on the left hand side and follow the simple instructions.
10. Encourage social engagement
Engagement on social networks comes mostly from mobile devices, so you need to build social media into your mobile marketing strategy.
But, which networks should you use? These statistics might help you:
Pinterest (21%) is now more popular than Twitter (18%), in terms of usage.
And, Facebook (71%) trumps every other network, in terms of engagement.
These stats tell us that bloggers and content marketers must consistently distribute content on Facebook and ask people to air their own views on what they share.
Jeff Bullas showed how Cadbury’s giant chocolate Facebook thumb went viral on Facebook and gained 40,000 more followers for the brand. The live video streamed as part of the campaign was watched by more than 350,000 fans worldwide
If you are selling physical items (clothing, shoes, accessories), then consider sharing pictures that are relevant to your brand on Pinterest. This is how pinboards look on different mobile devices:
Exact Target highlighted 30 successful social media campaigns from 2014 – I think you should check them out and learn from them.
11. Don’t ignore PCs
More people are browsing the web on mobile devices than on desktops. While it’s important to focus on mobile marketing objectives, such as the ones outlined by Marketing Sherpa, you still have to optimize for PC users.
As I said earlier, mobile users tend to be specific in their online searches. For example, when they’re looking to buy a digital camera, they’ll likely specify the brand and model.
A desktop internet user might want to know the best digital camera models first, before going deeper into the various brands.
They may search for… “top digital cameras for beginner photographers.”
As a smart online marketer, don’t focus on people’s mobile goals alone. Your target audience are also using PCs. Optimize for both platforms and you’ll win more often.
12. Enable real-time tracking for apps
Effective mobile marketing relies on tracking. And real-time tracking for your mobile apps is essential, so that you know what’s happening, when it happens.
MobileAppTracking helps you generate data from real-time analytics, to guide you in targeting the right keywords, improving conversion rates and so much more.
Heat maps: Mobile heatmaps solutions, like Crazy Egg, will guide you by showing what people did with your mobile sites, who they are, when they took action and where they clicked on your site. It’s easy to set up and you can get started for free.
Heat maps can also help you to see how load times affect people’s app usage, as these stats from Heidi Cohen show:
13. Use multi-channel campaigns
Mobile Marketer says that you should combine many of the mobile marketing methods that I’ve outlined to increase user engagement. You don’t have to pick one; they are complementary.
Multi-channel campaigns for mobile can be sent through mobile apps, social networks, chat platforms like WhatsApp, mobile display advertising and more.
Customers now live a multi-channel lifestyle; your marketing has to match.
Blogging is another key marketing strategy that is proven to drive leads and sales – and it works for mobile, too.
Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income, uses multi-channel campaigns to drive user engagement. When you click on the menu icon, you see the major channels he uses to reach mobile users (podcasts, videos, blogs, ebooks, online courses and more):
14. Make mobile the heart of your business
To get the most from mobile marketing, make it central to your strategy. The delivery rate is fast and reliable, compared to desktop PCs. And, with easy integration of apps and tools like WordPress, GetResponse, Infusionsoft and Crazy Egg, it’s easier than ever to be successful.
Mobile’s response rate is also five times better than the response rate for email marketing.
Mobile devices are within our reach 80% of the time. Why limit your spend on pay-per-click advertising, when mobile advertising is reliable, trackable and affordable?
From the statistics and trends, you can see that mobile marketing is the wave of the future.
It’s no wonder CIO says that rich media messaging on mobiles was expected to grow in 2015.
Create and share useful content and use mobile marketing to achieve better brand positioning and drive more targeted customers to your online business.