THE BLOG
10/04/2013 04:11 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2013

9 Mobile Marketing Tactics for Your Small Business

With more than half of adults in the United States now using a smartphone to connect to the internet, if you want to get your message out to your customers and target customers, your mobile web marketing plan needs to consider the types of devices in use. Even if you have a brick and mortar retail store, your website must be mobile friendly. Regardless of whether you sell a service or product, if your customers can't find your small business through a mobile search, you will be left in the dust. Here are 9 mobile marketing tactics for your small business.

Encourage Check-ins: You can encourage customers to use Foursquare, Google+ location sharing or shopkick and give incentives for checking in, including special recognition, discounts, kickbacks, and gifts.

Social Media Marketing: Keep your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google + profiles up to date from your smartphone.

Text/SMS Marketing: Once you have permission to contact your customers, you should create the right message to get them to click on your link or opt-in to a specific promotion using text messaging.

Use your smart phone to grow your email list: To grow your email list via a mobile device, you should focus on the contact moments we have with people using a smartphone. Instead of collecting business cards from people at a conference there are new tools you may want to consider for building an email list. You can use a text to join app that integrates with your email marketing program, a QR Code app which can be scanned to join, or a business card scanning app such as www.Camcard.com, and create a registration app at Go Canvas http://www.gocanvas.com/

Incorporate QR Codes: Incorporate QR Codes or Quick Response Codes on your business cards, ads, flyers and in your email signature. A QR code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by QR scanners which can be downloaded for free to any smartphone device. Once scanned, a QR Code allows you to send your customer to a specific page on your website or to a special discount and offer.

Mobile Search Advertising Programs: It's just like traditional PPC or pay per click advertising, it's just on mobile devices. Google lets you bid on what you are prepared to pay, either per click or per call from a potential customer. From text to locally-targeted ads and click to call ads, there are lots of options for mobile search campaigns. It works well for local retailers as it's estimated that 30 to 35 percent of mobile searches have a local intent.

Mobile Customer Service: Use your smartphone to track payment processing and shipping details and to respond to any customer service or new business inquiries on the go.

Use Mobile Directories: Get on the "mobile map" by joining a few mobile directories. Make sure that all of your directory listings include a simple description of your services, hours of operation, phone number, address and a link to your website. Sample directories include Google+ Local and Yelp.com

Create a Mobile App: Some smartphone users prefer apps over mobile websites; 20 million apps have been downloaded. You can create an app that provides unique content, produces an e-newsletter, sells products or drives traffic to your business website. App advertising is an option as well. Source: comScore, mobiThinking.

What mobile marketing tips have worked for your small business?

This article was originally published under the title: How to Use Mobile Marketing to Promote Your Small Business at www.succeedasyourownboss.com

Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady, is America's #1 small business expert. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business startup, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9 p.m. ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works and the ebook: How To Become A Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online.

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