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Mobile Marketing: 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Business Doesn't Get Left Behind

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Smart businesses are already advertising on smartphones, here's how not to get left behind.

When asked about adopting trendy marketing tactics, I typically advise caution and encourage people to wait a year before adding to their marketing mix. In the case of the mobile web, however, I believe this is a trend that's affecting your business whether you are aware of it or not.

Think of your own daily routine. How often do you search on your phone for a nearby restaurant or shop? Having a strong mobile presence helps you get in front of consumers in the moment they are looking for your business.

Mobile searching has become second nature, and is now a key element of the purchase process. According to a recent survey of smartphone users, nine out of 10 consumers have taken action as a result of a mobile search, with 77 percent calling or visiting a business. And it's not just retail shops. Many B2B companies are finding that mobile is a valuable path for qualified sales leads. After launching a mobile campaign, Box, a start-up focused on cloud content management, found that mobile ads drove one-third of their overall conversions within the first full month of running the campaign.

Before getting started in mobile marketing, you should first consider the options that are right for your business. Here are a few simple ways businesses are making the move into mobile.

1. Determine how mobile your business already is. Take a look at the traffic on your website and identify how much of it comes from mobile devices. Mobile searches have grown 4X over the past year, and most business owners are astonished by the amount of web traffic coming from mobile phones. If your mobile volume is significant, ensure that your website is optimized for mobile viewing. You can work with your website designer to create a mobile optimized site, or use a free tool like our mobile site builder.

2. Make it easy for people to take action. Smartphone users typically click and type less than those using a desktop computer. Whether you have a physical or digital storefront, mobile ads help convert search into sales by putting your business at people's fingertips. To get the most out of your advertising budget, set up a separate mobile campaign to take advantage of mobile ad formats that help users find information faster. Advertisers experience, on average, an 11.5 percent increase in mobile click-through-rate when running a mobile-specific campaign.

3. Direct customers to your business. Location is especially relevant to mobile users, and smart mobile marketing can increase foot traffic to your store as mobile searches often have more "intent" than desktop searches. If you have a retail storefront, direct prospective customers to your store with directions and a map. Hyperlocal ads can also show distance information within the ad, alerting customers to how close they are to your business.

4. Integrate mobile into your promotions. Mobile usage increases in the evenings and on weekends, when people are on the move. Since mobile ads can be location-targeted, you can entice nearby shoppers who may not have otherwise walked in your doors. If you are running an in-store promotion or special offer, place a coupon directly into your ad and customers can email or SMS your offer to themselves for future in-store redemption.

5. Be prepared to adjust your mobile strategy. As with any marketing campaign, it's important that you regularly analyze results to create mobile marketing strategies that are most successful for your business. Analyzing your mobile ad campaigns can help you better understand the users visiting your site, the actions they are taking, and their path to conversion. You can then use this data to improve your website and marketing campaigns, and better track results against desktop campaigns.

Mobile marketing is increasingly becoming an essential part of any savvy marketer's arsenal of tactics. People are already on mobile 24/7. It's time for businesses to be there too.