mobile marketing - Duct Tape Marketing

Tag Archives for " mobile marketing "

effective mobile campaigns

What Goes Into Creating An Effective Mobile Marketing Campaign?

I recently wrote a post about the importance of mobile optimization and today I want to expand further on the topic of mobile and discuss mobile marketing and advertising.

I can’t reiterate this enough: When it comes to your business, if mobile isn’t currently on your mind, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity, especially when it comes to advertising. In fact, experts are saying that by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending (MarketingLand).

Given the amount of time people spend on their phones, it always amazes me how low mobile ad spend is in comparison. There are so many benefits of using your ad dollars to target mobile users (we’ll get into a few of those below) and when used correctly, these campaigns can drive significantly more traffic and conversions.

If you’re in charge of marketing for your business, ensure that mobile is part of your strategy to give your audience the best experience possible. Below are a few tips to get started.

Device targeting with advertising

When it comes to mobile campaigns, it’s not uncommon for people to simply copy and paste the same messaging that is being used for their desktop campaigns. If it’s working there, it must be working on mobile too, right? Wrong.

When it comes to searching on your desktop and mobile devices, the needs and uses aren’t always the same. People use the two devices in different ways and with different contexts.

While keywords that are entered may be the same, the user’s intentions may be vastly different. You must understand your audience’s habits and behaviors when they’re on the go and take the time to develop a full mobile advertising strategy around it.

The terms you use can have drastically different response rates depending on the device a person is using.

Keep in mind, your bids will vary on the various devices as well, so from a tracking perspective, it’s smart to measure desktop and mobile separately.

Your mobile ads may be outperforming your desktop ads, or vice versa. Given the separate data, you can more accurately put a revised plan together for either device moving forward.

For marketers, this may go without saying, but you’ll want to be as detailed as possible with tracking and measurement so that you can continue to optimize the campaigns for each device.

Mobile only ads to mobile only pages

As I alluded to in the last section, marketers often try to use existing content from desktop formats and convert it to mobile. Why not, instead, create a mobile-only ad that drives to a mobile-only landing page to help increase conversions?

Keep in mind, the more a landing page resonates with the ad, the more likely people will be to move forward.

This idea can work really well, especially when it comes to location-based campaigns.

Let’s dive into this a bit more.

Location-based advertising campaigns

Consumers are on the go and as a business, it’s your job to reach them at the most relevant time to give them the most personalized and custom experience possible with your company. In the age of personalization, consumers now expect mobile ads to be tailored to them, and location-based campaigns is one of the ways to do just that.

In fact, 78% of consumers say they would be happy to receive mobile advertising if the ads relate to their interests.

There are numerous benefits of location-based advertising that you should consider:

  • Can be used to compete with larger brands
  • Personalization – If a customer truly feels like you know them, it can help you deepen your relationship and establish an emotional connection.
  • Measurable – Through technology like WiFi and beacons, you have the ability to measure offline activity, which is often difficult to do.

With location-based marketing, you must put a lot of thought into how it’s going to work ahead of time. How will you track results? What kind of CTA will you use to attract your audience? What technology will you use?

Timing is everything. You must be relevant and think of the context of your ad delivery. You can get very specific with your targeting with this type of marketing, but please, refrain from coming across as creepy, as that can actually be very easy to do with this tactic. People don’t want to feel like you know information about them. At the end of the day, just provide value to them.

Keep in mind, this should not be used as a standalone tactic. When used, it should be a part of a comprehensive marketing approach for when they leave the area of your location-based campaign.

Like all marketing, this really only works if you truly understand who your audience is so that you don’t risk wasting your ad dollars. Spend the time to get a good grasp on that before you begin your campaigns.

SMS Campaigns

A few years back, SMS campaigns seemed like they would be the next big thing with mobile marketing, and then the buzz started to fade, which begged the question, “is SMS marketing dead?”

To that, I answer “no,” provided it is implemented correctly.

There are still a plethora of benefits to SMS, or text, marketing, including:

  • Instant
  • Direct to consumer
  • High open rate – Over 95% of SMS messages received are opened and read.

A major downside with this tactic is the ability to easily come off spammy. To avoid this, be sure you get permission from recipients before you begin marketing to them via text message.

When it come to SMS, be clever and unique in your messaging and offer true value. As easy as it is to market to your audience, it’s just as easy for them to opt out, so be sure to keep them engaged.

With mobile campaigns, always keep in mind that you are putting these together for real people. Strategy must be at the root of all of these tactics. You must understand your goals and audience first and foremost, and create an authentic, genuine, and valuable campaign around them.

As already mentioned, measure, measure, and measure. Kee modifying and testing your tactics until you find a method that gets the results you’re looking for.

Are you currently implementing mobile campaigns as part of your overall marketing strategy? What have you found successful? What are you struggling with?

Need more mobile marketing tips? Check out our entire Guide to Mobile Marketing.

Building Relationships Through the Customer Loop

Today’s Guest Post is by Sam Balter – Enjoy!

The customer journey is a simplified expression of the complex thought process of a customer looking to purchase something. A quick Google search for ‘customer journey’ brings up a myriad of complex diagrams full of hundreds of metrics. The truth is that every company has a unique customer journey; each marketing channel has a unique customer journey, and every product has a unique customer journey. All customers go through a different journey and engage with a brand in a unique way.

The customer journey model relies on seeing a buying decision as linear and a one-off interaction. Brands that will succeed in cross-channel marketing are building a relationship with their customer in every stage of the journey. When thinking about mobile, specifically mobile messaging, it’s all about creating a frictionless and compelling experience for the customer.

Let’s take the basic model of the customer journey: Awareness -> Consideration -> Purchase -> Retention -> Advocacy. The most successful businesses will foster a relationship each step of the customer journey, and along the way, delight their customer.

waterfall, the customer journeyAwareness:
Using physical signage or online advertising is a great way to create awareness of your brand. Visual advertisements capture customers’ attention and use the present moment to start building a relationship via mobile. Here’s an example of a simple text Call-To-Action (CTA) on a billboard:

Get 20% off your next purchase
Text KRUSTY to 55155

Using a text call-to-action on outdoor signage helps get more from marketing dollars because the billboard creates an impression, and the mobile messaging gives you a way to speak directly to your customer. Mobile messaging adds a CRM component to an awareness campaign.

To take this a step further, a brand might want to ask their customer for their zip code so that location-specific offers can be delivered. If you want to see some great CTAs, check out our site where we’ve compiled examples of successful CTAs, Art of the CTA.

Consideration:
To optimize the efficacy of mobile as a channel, it’s imperative to send the right message at the right time. If Krusty Burger wants to increase lunch traffic, it makes no sense to send a message at 4:15pm. Instead, achieve optimal results by sending a message one to two hours before a customer is encouraged to take action. That way, when their stomach starts to growl, they know they’ve got a Krusty Burger coupon in their pocket.

To take it to another level, consider using a share-with-friend function that will allow more people to get in on the savings while capturing more phone numbers in the process.

Purchase:
This is an incredibly powerful step of the customer journey. I am very cheap, so sometimes purchasing things can make me feel a little guilty. It is important to offset these feelings of guilt with heart warming offers. For example, offer customers the ability to receive a receipt via Multimedia Message, thereby saving paper, or the chance to enter a sweepstakes, to win a prize. If you have connected unique coupon codes with your point of sale system, you can even deliver the customer a coupon just moments after their purchase.

Retention:
An excellent part of mobile messaging campaigns is that in the awareness stage, a customer can opt-in to a loyalty program, and from there, consistently receive coupons and deals. For mobile messaging loyalty programs, we suggest the offers vary; mix SMS and MMS, and collect different pieces of information every few messages. Ask questions like: What is your favorite meal? When is your birthday? What is your email address, etc.? Encourage customers to provide information with incentives, and only ask for information if you will use it to delight your customers.

Advocacy:
It seems like only a few years ago, the only way for people to advocate for a brand or product they believed in was through word of mouth. Now, every customer has access to a digital bullhorn. Capitalize on customers’ social media connects with mobile messaging by embedding ‘click to tweet or post’ within your message copy. At Waterfall, we are big fans of viral sharing campaigns. Dropbox built an enormous user base through a viral sharing campaign in which every referral you signed up added additional storage to your account. This is a great way to provide value to your most helpful customers by leveraging the power of social amplification.

Customer Loop – The future of the customer journey
The customer journey has long reigned as a keystone of modern marketing. As we move into a cross-channel world, where brands are advertising to, providing content for, and engaging in conversations with customers, the journey will be replaced by a loop in which each interaction strengthens the bond between brand and brand advocate.

Sam Balter WaterfallSam Balter is a Marketing Manager at Waterfall, a mobile messaging and CRM provider that helps companies engage their customers on their phones. Sam writes about mobile strategy, industry trends, and how to create successful cross-channel marketing campaigns.

8 Ways to Amplify Your Content on Mobile

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Dave Landry – Enjoy!

photo credit: shutterstock

Mobile is becoming a powerful, driving engine in the content world. The January 2014 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet shows that 63% of adult cell phone owners use their phones to go online, while 34% of cell phone Internet users go online using only their phone rather than any other device.

Mobile content is distinct because of the idiosyncratic and curious ways users interact with it. A Rumble study from 2013 found that while certain mobile app user behaviors were similar, most of those interacting with mobile content exhibited unique behavior.

Apps account for 86% of the average US consumer’s time on a mobile device, while time spent on the mobile web declined. How can marketers make their content stand out in such a crowded mobile marketplace?

Here are eight ways marketers can amplify content on mobile:

1. Be mobile-friendly.

You must optimize for the device as well as the way that users will interact with your site’s content. Mobile users NEED simple sites with easy navigation. Utilize the principles of responsive design to ensure that your content will display correctly for all users on all devices.

2. Build a community.

You can amplify your reputation by being helpful and relevant to your audience. When you build trust, you also build a community – and this community will be vital when it comes to amplifying content. The cultivation of long-standing relationships is key to having your content amplified. Even if you’re not posting undeniably quotable and shareable content all day every day, your base community of followers with whom you regularly engage with will still have your back and interact.

3. Develop a mobile app.

With so many users trading in time spent on the mobile web for time in apps, it’s easy to see why it’s beneficial to develop your own app to deliver content to users. The added bonus is that you can further target content for the segment of users that download and use your mobile app. Enable all possible sharing options to allow users to share content with their network.

4. Make mobile a part of your overall strategy.

Keep your business and marketing goals in mind as you consider your mobile campaigns. Don’t make the mistake of treating mobile as something separate from your marketing strategy, as it should be integrated into the rest of your initiatives. Do not silo mobile because it will likely affect other aspects of your organization and marketing. Understanding where mobile falls into your overall strategy allows you to drive sales activities.

5. Consider real-time video.

In May 2014, Grabyo, a company specializing in real-time video, released a report stating that 72% of the traffic on their platform came from mobile. The company found that live TV clips generate exceptional levels of engagement on Facebook and Twitter. Content creators can sponsor these mobile clips to reach new members of their target audience. Content creators interested in amplifying content on mobile should consider paid sponsorship and advertising opportunities. With targeted advertising you will be able to measure exact analytics.

6. Don’t just think social – think branded.

Mobile users are almost twice as likely to share content on social media sites. A study from the video technology company Unruly showed that branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than branded videos. Brands like PepsiCo, AT&T, and General Electric are already taking advantage of consumers’ love for bite-size content and use it to boost their overall content marketing strategies.

7. Add SMS to the mix.

comScore’s January 2014 report showed that 159.8 million people in the United States owned smartphones, making up only 66.8% of the mobile market penetration. The majority of devices on today’s market are SMS enabled. SMS messaging is affordable and provides a sizable ROI for marketers, as 90% of SMS text messages are read in the first 4-6 minutes of delivery.

8. Always analyze.

Perform a thorough analysis to help you understand what campaigns are working and which need to be adjusted. Take your newfound data and apply it to your next round of marketing. Your collected data and improved campaigns will be critical to amplifying future content.

Successful content amplification is rooted in providing your audience with engaging, valuable content. With creative power and vision, marketers can take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that mobile opens up for them.

Dave Landry Jr.Dave Landry Jr. is a journalist and business owner who enjoy creating graphic and written content on his downtime. He hope you enjoy this article.

How Mobile Marketing is Changing the Face of Events

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s post comes from Adam Hope.

‘Mobile marketing’ Image Credit: Osman Kalkavan

‘Mobile marketing’ Image Credit: Osman Kalkavan

In today’s increasingly mobile world, more and more marketers are focusing their activity primarily at mobile users. According to research from mobiThinking, there are over 2 billion people using a 3G or 4G mobile phone network. That means nearly 30% of the world’s population has access to high-speed mobile internet – and this percentage increases dramatically among business users and those living in developed nations. Data from eMarketer predicts that by 2017, 50% of the world’s mobile phone users will be using a smartphone with access to the internet and mobile apps.

Keeping up with the mobile trend

Mobile marketing is nothing new, businesses have been creating mobile friendly websites and using social media to reach their on-the-go audience for years. However, as with all technology, the industry is constantly evolving as new hardware and software are developed. These developments are aimed at enhancing the mobile experience for the user and are giving mobile marketers an increasing number of channels through which to reach their customers.

Mobile marketing at events

One key area of growth in the mobile marketing world, is the use of targeted activities to connect with customers at events. Whether it’s creating a pre-event buzz, managing the duration of the event or keeping in touch afterwards, mobile technology offers countless possibilities for customer engagement. Event marketing is rarely a fixed location affair, with businesses travelling to meet their target customers’ locational convenience and, as such, mobile marketing and event marketing make a well suited pair.

Creating a social buzz

The event marketer’s job starts long before the actual date of the event and mobile marketing is a great channel through which to build pre-event hype. Social media and mobile friendly email campaigns are a fantastic way to reach your pre-existing audience, giving them an early introduction to an upcoming event.

In order to have a wider mobile reach and grow your audience prior to the event, research influential local retweeters and sharers alongside complementary businesses in the location of your upcoming event. Get them to share your event information by building a relationship with these people and asking them to share information which may be of interest to their followers.

During the event

There has been an emerging trend in the creation of custom event apps. Businesses are either creating an app specifically for an event or expanding their pre-existing mobile app to include the event. This offers the ultimate convenience to the customer – putting all of the essential event information in their fingertips. Apps also provide great brand exposure as your business’ branding is installed on the customer’s phone, keeping your message fresh in their mind, as they use their mobile device.

Make it as easy as possible for your audience to access further information on your business, product or service at your event. Direct customers to your social media accounts by including information on how to find you online in your printed display materials. The use of QR codes has had a varying success rate, allowing mobile users to scan a code with their smartphones camera which takes them directly to your site. The more mobile channels through which your target audience can access further information, the better.

The use of geotagging at events is extremely valuable to businesses as it shares your attendees’ location with their friends, having a visible knock-on effect on social media. Ensure your event’s social pages are set up in a way which allows attendees to ‘check-in’ to your location.

The post-event social sweep up

The success of an event is generally measured by examining post-event data, whether it’s the number of leads generated or the level of attendee engagement. Social media is a great way to follow up your event and give attendees a specific #hashtag that they can use when sharing images or comments socially, during or after your event. This makes it easy for businesses to track any mentions and gather a general overview of the event’s success.

Industry trends predict clear growth in the use of smartphones as people’s primary access to the internet. It is clear that successful event marketers will need to shift their focus to ensure that their events are fully integrated with mobile communications in order to ensure future success.

Adam HopeAdam Hope is a blogger for The Events Structure – the UK’s largest single source provider of road show exhibition trailers and mobile event marketing vehicles. We provide versatile event venues for exhibitions, one off events and marketing roadshows. These range from inflatable pop-up structures to fully customizable exhibition trailers. We work with a variety of large and small businesses to promote their products at events around the UK. Our self-drive promotional vehicles offer the ideal economical solution for small businesses looking to make a big impact.

 

3 9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Text Message Marketing

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Justin Mastrangelo – Enjoy!

Young woman using her mobile phone outdoors

photo credit: Anna Bryukhanova

When we talk to businesses and non-profits about text message (SMS) marketing, there are a few misconceptions that commonly come up.

Unless you’re a spammer, it’s permission-based.

Amazingly, many organizations think you need to already have a list of phone numbers, or worse, you need to buy this list before you can start sending out text messages.  Not only is sending unauthorized text message terribly ineffective, it’s illegal and could lead to lawsuits and penalties.  The effective and legal way to do SMS marketing is to grow your own list through campaigns promoted to your targeted audience.

You don’t need to get your own shortcode.

One of the first questions we get from newcomers to SMS marketing is, “How do I get my own shortcode?”  While some large brands may find value in getting their own shortcode, most businesses and non-profits can save the expense and hassle.  Like many SMS marketing providers, we provide our shared shortcodes to clients.  This saves them money and allows them to get up and running quickly.

It doesn’t cost a lot and it’s very cost-effective.

Frequently, marketers are surprised to hear the entry-level costs for SMS marketing.  For whatever reason, even small organizations assume it will be a significant investment for them to start using this technology (it’s not!).  Once they learn how small the investment is, they quickly stop worrying about how difficult it will be for them to prove the value to their bosses.

It’s extremely easy to setup and manage.

When we help a new client setup their first SMS campaign, they’re usually surprised how easy it is.  I think this comes from the email marketing world where setting up a campaign for the first time involves a lot of configuring, template building, graphics uploading, etc.  With only 160 characters to work with, it almost always takes longer to decide the message than it does to set up the software.

Your audience wants to receive text messages from you, if they’re valuable.

Because at this point almost everyone has received at least one of those spam “you’ve won this gift card” messages, organizations assume their messages will be received the same way.  This just isn’t true and they’re always surprised after their first outgoing campaign how well the messages are received by their audience and how few people opt-out.

You can capture email addresses and other information with text messaging.

Initially, organizations are very focused on growing a big list of mobile numbers so they can “blast” out messages to many people and they often overlook the two-way capabilities of SMS.  Many organizations have captured email address, zip code, survey responses, product numbers, and more through text message.  Don’t focus too much on the outbound part of SMS and miss an opportunity to gather valuable data and feedback from your users.

It works best in three situations.

We’ve worked on a lot of SMS campaigns, and while many unique campaigns have generated great results, there are three types of campaigns that always seem to work the best.  Those that are promoted at events, at a physical location, or any campaign run over traditional media (TV, radio, print, or outdoor).  These campaigns always seem to grow the biggest mobile databases, assuming the incentive was attractive to the audience.

SMS is used by some of the biggest brands in the US, but remains relatively “untapped” by small and mid-sized businesses.

Many small to mid-sized businesses we talk to are amazed to hear how many large, well-known brands are using SMS marketing today.  They’re also amazed when they realize not many, if any, of their competitors are using it.  Quickly, the conversation turns to “why haven’t we considered this sooner” and “when can we start?” As with any form of marketing, whenever you can reach the audience where your competition isn’t, the more effective it can be.

It’s not just for a “young” audience anymore.

We don’t hear this one as much as we used to, but every so often we have to pull out the stats (81% of mobile users use SMS) to prove texting is not just something teenagers do any more.  Look around, everyone uses it!

justin-headshot-150x150Justin Mastrangelo is the Founder of the JA.TXT text message marketing software platform. As President of the parent company, JA Interactive, he has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and agencies to cost-effectively reach new audiences through digital marketing and technology. Justin launched the JA.TXT platform to give these same organizations an opportunity to start strategic mobile marketing campaigns using text messaging (SMS).

How to Leverage Mobile Technology to Gain Insights Into Your Marketplace

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Willie Pena – Enjoy!

small_4773693893

photo credit: blakespot

In the next few years, marketing will be almost totally mobile. Mobile gadgets offer a bevy of versatile tools and methods for collecting data from consumers on the go — and almost everyone is on the go but ever-connected to people and businesses through gadgets like iPads, smartphones, Kindles, tablets and other devices.  These devices present unprecedented opportunities for a company to learn about its target audience and customize its business and promotions to respond to consumer needs.

Mobile Apps are the Future of Marketing Research

There are many benefits that make mobile marketing research more attractive than traditional forms of research: mobile research is faster, less costly, way more interactive and attracts far more respondents than print and phone surveys. Since mobile devices typically come with an array of apps, it is through apps that many businesses will funnel their future marketing efforts.  By using apps, companies can take advantage of touch screens, swipes and other responsive mobile technology features while asking customers questions in polls, games and other interactive platforms.

Because mobile technology, such as the innovative iPad, encourages users to express themselves beyond words, businesses can create apps and digital surveys that allow users to draw, record audio feedback, record video reviews or share images of themselves and their friends or family using products. The traditional survey model will shift as businesses design app-based questionnaires that take advantage of the inventiveness and options available on mobile devices.

Geolocation Will Give More Insight Into Customer Habits

With most mobile devices coming equipped with GPS technology, companies can use tracking software to verify  survey respondents’ locations with more detail. In cases where companies interact with consumers during shopping, such as through promotional text messages or popular QR codes that shoppers can scan and read on their smartphones, businesses can study in-store activity, consumers’ traveling habits, where customers go before and after a visit to a company and what leisure places might to be patronized by consumers.  Often, consumers will even volunteer this information by posting places visited on social media.  All this data is useful as it can show if buyers visit competitors, what neighborhoods or locales have people who are more likely to embrace a particular brand and in what contexts consumers might likely use a product. Geolocation can help create a more in-depth profile of people within a target or niche audience.

Routers will Help Gauge Customer Behavior

GPS isn’t the only way marketing groups can probe audience behavior. People using mobile devices while running errands and shopping often are at the mercy of hotspot routers to maintain Internet access. These routers will be increasingly used by market researchers to study and track consumer behavior; some frameworks may allow researchers to identity and study impulse purchases. At the very least, marketers can analyze consumers’ searches for related products, product features and service descriptions  —  possibly while a customers is on the verge of entering a business to complete a transaction.

Invitations to Take Surveys will Get a Lot More Lively

Businesses can take advantage of several inventive ways to ask mobile device users to take surveys, whether its through mobile ads/banners, video feeds, BlueTooth messaging, rich media animation, apps, search page listings, newly popular automated voice services or even sponsor messages built into mobile devices upon purchase.  Some companies, particularly those in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry are creating special mobile sites that allow shoppers to click a photo or link to immediately contact a special call center; these call centers can be used for spontaneous surveys to gather details on shopper needs, preferences and concerns. By using mobile technology to expand how to solicit consumer feedback, businesses will be able to better understand brand engagement. While some people might ignore a traditional mailed survey or emailed link to a survey, consumer might find these dynamic mobile invitations too fun to pass up.

Sophisticated Mobile Advertising Analytics Provide Insight

Advanced software is becoming increasingly available to study the mobile advertising impact. Marketing researchers have often relied on analytics applications designed for traditional websites and for people who use personal computers. Such software does not provide reliable mobile data; however, special new mobile research tools can provide accurate and reliable information on click-through-rates for mobile campaigns, general mobile traffic and customer details.

Willie PenaWillie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

71 What Small Business Needs to Do to Get Ready for Mobile Marketing Now

We’ve been talking about the coming of mobile marketing for a long time now. I remember talking about it when I was doing work for one of first PCS carriers, Aerial Communications (now owned by T-Mobile), back in 1995 of so.mobile version of blog

Mobile marketing has taken far longer to evolve than people imagined, but I believe we are on the doorstep of an evolution in marketing that will rival social media in terms of impact.

First off, what is mobile marketing really? To me it’s not a hot trend driven by some new killer technology so much as a realization of the fact that more people have mobile devices than land lines and those devices have evolved to contain the power of usability of multiple devices, including desktop computers. According to industry source dotMobi four mobile devices are purchased today for every personal computer purchased.

My current mobile device is a phone, email client, web browser, digital camera, video camera, digital recorder, music player, alarm clock, navigation system, compass, calendar, to-do list, flashlight, book reader, hard drive, guitar tuner, and four-track recorder.

People are using mobile devices for everything, including surfing and shopping for local businesses, products, and services. Marketers must now come to grips with the inclusion of this device as one of the considerations whether it’s to broadcast or be found.

In this coming year the buzz around mobile marketing will get very strong as big brands rush to create text coupons, iPhone apps, and offerings based on your phone’s current location, but most small businesses can play in the mobile game by simply making these subtle changes.

Read and learn

The first step to getting involved in mobile marketing is getting educated. These sites are a great place to start.

Search Engines

Bookmark the mobile versions of the major search engines and start learning how differently they return and display search results. This is an important area as mobile SEO will differ for now from traditional SEO and understanding the differences is a part of the game.

Analytics

Mobile marketing may be more important to some industries or target market demographics initially than others. Restaurants and anyone trying to attract customers under 30, for example, have better jump in with both feet, but eventually the local accounting firm will need to master mobile marketing as well.

One of the first steps is to get a sense of how many people today are visiting and viewing your web sites using a mobile device. There are many things that can be done to address the needs of this audience once you start to learn about them.

Mobile web analytics packages have become popular in recent years.

  • Google Analytics – This free tool does the job to some degree if you set-up a customer segment for a list of mobile browsers or screen resolutions associated with mobile devices
  • Mobilytics is a free tool that can track mobile site traffic and web application usage.
  • Bango – a paid tool that boasts the best accuracy and is a leader in this rather new field

Mobile Friendly Sites

While mobile coupons and location based offers may seem far off for your local small business, the fact that a growing percentage of web surfers use their mobile devices to view your web site is here today. Creating a mobile version of your web site must become a priority.

There are a number of ways to address this task. You can work with a designer to create a smaller, simpler site that involves mobile standards or you can employ one of the growing number of bridge tools that can convert your site. For now, the mobile site converter tools look very promising as a way to get a mobile version of your site immediately and also include some of the necessary SEO, sitemaps and analytics at the same time.

  • MoFuse – this paid service can convert your entire site and put it on a custom domain such as m.ducttapemarketing.com. The good news is that you can get your blog converted for free.
  • MOBIFY – Another converter that offers a nice list of features for a monthly fee
  • EverywhereIGo – Nice set of features including form building and SMS functionality
  • WordPress Mobile Pack – Plugin that offers mobile functions for WordPress blogs

Tools like the ones listed above are a great solution right now, but I suspect, as mobile sites become the norm, web design firms and open source plugins will create mobile versions of sites as part of a standard package.

Auto detection – A word about mobile domains. Once you create a mobile site with its own URL you will want to make sure your server determines when a mobile browser in visiting your primary site URL and automatically redirects it to your mobile site. This way you won’t need to promote two separate URLs. This is standard in most mobile site converters, but you may need to add some code to the head of your main site to facilitate this step. Here’s some bonus reading on Mobile Site Detection.

Text Message Campaigns and Ads

Text messages get read – depending on the source, research suggests it’s over 90%. So, at some point, small businesses will need to embrace text message (also called SMS) campaigns. This new frontier will eventually suffer fatigue in ways the email enjoys currently, but done right, it is a powerful new tool. One very simple principle to get started – this is not another broadcast channel, it’s a way to offer useful information to people who want to receive it.

Choosing the right vendor and strategy is key to your success. Offering coupons, Text2Win, and SMS auto responder campaigns are a few simple ways to start building a Text Message database for future use.

  • Clickatell – whole business communications solutions using SMS
  • Mobivity – focuses on use of short code messaging – ie: Text DuctTape to win
  • Mobireply – very simple text message auto-responder
  • AdMob – offers mobile advertising opportunities for small businesses and web publishers

Mobile Apps for Smallest Business

Eventually you may feel the overwhelming need to create your very own mobile applications like those you see in the iTunes app store. You can hire a programmer to create a custom app or check out one of these low-cost simply builders. As users choose mobile apps over web based sites this is a tool that many businesses must consider even for content that is available on their main site.

Local Directories

One final thought and plea for you to get your company listed with the local search directories. A great deal of local search on the mobile device (ie: people looking for a local business to buy from) will happen around the local search directories that are powered with click to call, maps, directions, and coupons. This may be the highest priority if you haven’t yet claimed this real estate.

28 R U Collecting Mobile Phone Numbers Yet?

A decade or so ago the cry was to build your email lists. It’s still a very valid tactic today, but now is the time to start collecting those mobile phone numbers too. About 60 billion people have mobile phones and with each passing year the technology improves to the point where it may be the only portal of information for some folks.

First off, just like you wouldn’t spam with email, you certainly don’t want to grab mobile phone numbers from prospects and customers so you can send annoying messages. There are some great reasons to use text messaging however and smart marketers, including small businesses, are starting to discover them.

Services like Mobile Storm and Mobivity are making easy and affordable for small business to explore the world of mobile marketing. Pizza joints are sending out coupons via mobile for sure, but small businesses of every ilk are also creating campaigns for weekly tips, event updates, contests and members only content via mobile campaigns.

This is a very hot topic and one that’s not going away soon, so dive in and start learning.

I conducted an interview with Kim Dushinski this week for upcoming episode of the Duct Tape Podcast. Kim is the author of the soon to be released – Mobile Marketing Handbook. I’ve had an early read and this is a great resource. More on that.

3 Must Have iPhone Trick for Bloggers

When I go around the country to blog related conferences I find that the majority of bloggers I meet are Mac folks and iPhone nuts.

With that in mind I give you the ultimate iPhone blogger trick.

Basically this is a way to create your own little glassy iPhone application icon and put it on your phone’s homescreen as a link to the iPhone version of your blog. (That’s the first step but you can of course make it available to your readers who want your icon and link on their phone’s home screen!)

First, let’s create the icon. These icons, sort of like last year’s favicon, are called webclips.
1) Create or resize an image to 57 x 57 px
2) Save the image as apple-touch-icon.png
3) Upload to the root directory of your site – like this
https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/apple-touch-icon.png

Now, grab your iPhone, fire up the Safari browser and surf to your blog. (It must be on the same domain as where you uploaded the image) Once there hit the bookmark + sign and select “add to home screen.” If all goes to plan your new image gets the rounded corner, glass button treatment and is now on your phone as an application icon. Call it iPhone vanity if you must, but it’s sure fun.

You can take this a step further and use an application like mofuse to create mobile and even iPhone versions of your blog. See example of the Duct Tape blog – Mobile version and iPhone version.

If you want to add this blog right on your phone just surf to the iPhone version on your iPhone, bookmark and choose add to homescreen.

4 Google Maps with My Location

Google MobileGoogle announced a new mapping/mobile feature called My Location. My Location allow you turn your phone, using a browser and Google Maps, into a GPS device – even if it doesn’t have a GPS function.

Not too many phones supported yet, including the iPhone, but this is another big leap for mobile advertising as, if you can just pull your phone out of your pocket and it knows where you are, it can deliver the nearby pizza ad without you doing much of anything. Of course directions, menu, specials and even a personal coupon could all be part of the deal.

The remaining challenge is numbers. How do you get the numbers of users in general locations tied to the ads to make the financial model makes sense for service provider and advertiser alike.

The service uses cell tower signals to approximate your location if you don’t have a GPS enabled phone.