Every year, speakers at large events and popular marketing magazines declare that this is the year that mobile will dominate. But when the head of marketing for huge businesses, such as Facebook, declare that we should all be focussed on mobile, it can be hard for small businesses to see where they fit in.
We live in a world that absolutely centres around mobile – we buy things, communicate with friends, find information, and more on our mobile phones. According Marketing Week, 82% of owners now check their phones within an hour of waking up and 42% of owners aged 25-34 use their phone as their primary news source.
Despite this, some aspects of mobile still seem to be mystifying to some people, with Marketing Week also recently suggesting that two thirds of marketers don’t know to how measure ROI on mobile.
If everything we do in our social and personal lives centres around our mobiles, then businesses should be taking measures to make sure that they’re not getting left behind. Marketing for mobile doesn’t have to be difficult, and in fact mobile should come into much of your digital marketing activity pretty easily. Essentially, when you’re marketing your business, you should simultaneously be marketing for mobile.
Here are a few of the essential steps small businesses can take to make sure they’re marketing for mobile.
One significant way of making sure you’re reaching out to your audience when they’re on their smartphone is by using video. Audiences are adopting and engaging with video at an incredible rate, making it the fastest growing digital sector of the last few years.
And where are all these users watching video? On their mobile devices. Facebook and YouTube in particular have made it incredibly easy for audiences to find and engage with relevant video content on their mobile phones. People are becoming more and more dependent on their phones for entertainment and information, and video is a great way of doing both of these things. If you want to reach out to customers when they reach out for their smartphone, creating relevant and engaging video content is a great way of doing so.
Most businesses should be on social media. Why? Because of the exact same reasons that many businesses might want to create video content. When customers are searching for information or entertainment, social media apps are our first port of call as opposed to searching in our browsers. If you’re not active on social media, and are too focussed on optimising your business for search engines, it’s likely you’re going to miss out on a lot of traffic. Here’s a few tips on how you can get started on your social media strategy.
Keep content clear and simple
Your business needs to be accessible. Audiences are likely to be turned off if they have to work harder to get information from you. When you’re marketing for mobile, therefore, it’s vital to remember that you’re working with a much smaller screen. This means you have to consider a few important things. The first is that your content should be simple and easy to read. Where possible, you should keep information to a minimum and remember to break text up with heading and titles. Remember, when people are reading something on their phone, they’re usually on the go. Your business’s content needs to be something people will be able to read on the train, while they’re shopping, or in the doctor’s waiting room. You should also remember that some images won’t display as well on mobile phones, so avoiding images that are the wrong size, or have details such as lots of in-image text, will mean that your audience is more likely to be engaged.
Having a website that isn’t optimised for mobile is a huge issue, and this isn’t just about making sure your website is easy to read and engage with (although that is still important, of course).
Last year, Google implemented a new search algorithm update that penalised non-responsive websites. This means that websites that aren’t mobile-friendly appear lower down in search rankings than websites that are. Responsive web design is therefore a crucial part of marketing for mobile users, particularly if you’re concerned about competing with other businesses who are likely to show up in searches for the same keywords as you.
And the rest…
The above things are the absolute ‘must-dos’ for marketing for mobile, but there are plenty of other mobile strategies that some businesses might want to consider if it’s appropriate. This can include anything from QR codes, to location-based services, to Snapchat Geofilters. A couple of other methods worth an honourable mention include:
- Text marketing. This isn’t used by everybody, but depending on the business, it can can be really effective (as anybody who has received a “Two For Tuesday” text from Domino’s probably knows). It’s not a great idea to spam your customer database with texts, but it’s definitely worth doing it when you have something important to remind them of. For example, texting your customers when tickets for your event go on sale.
- Apps. Creating your own mobile app isn’t cheap, but for some businesses, it might be worth the time and effort. This is particularly true for commerce. As mentioned before, customers find it quicker and easier to use apps rather than searching in their browser, so if having an app will make it easier for your customers to make purchases, for example, it might be a sound investment.