In October, Google confirmed that mobile searches had passed desktop searches worldwide. An effective mobile strategy is now essential to effective marketing. Here are some ways marketers are adapting to the new mobile marketplace by implementing mobile search optimization and beacon marketing strategies.
The Challenge of Mobile Search
One of the toughest challenges mobile marketing presents is the fact that many users start searching on mobile devices but finish elsewhere, says Web Talent Marketing. Additionally, mobile searches are typically auto-completed after the user enters two or three characters, frustrating long-tail keyword strategies. Another factor is the shorter attention span and smaller viewing screen of mobile users, making it difficult to be competitive on search engines if your page doesn’t show up within the first two results.
Targeting Mobile Search Users
To address these issues, Jumpshot VP of Sales Eli Goodman recommends implementing a number of best practices. Use Google’s AdWords interface to determine what percent of your traffic and conversion is coming from mobile devices, and if you find it’s 10 percent or more, consider targeting mobile separately. Use device, operating system and carrier information to tailor your marketing campaign to mobile users. Employ Google’s mobile keyword selection tool to pick the optimal character string for your campaign. Shorten your copy as much as possible, using mobile-friendly tools such as clickable phone numbers and geo-targeted maps. Optimize your landing pages for mobile users and for your call-to-action goals. Finally, bid aggressively on keywords to ensure top search results.
The Emergence of Beacon Marketing
For brick-and-mortar retailers, mobile also presents the opportunity to deliver personalized offers to in-store shoppers by using beacon technology. Early beacon devices such as Apple’s iBeacon were mounted on store ceilings or walls to broadcast locating information to in-store mobile users via Bluetooth signal, recounts VentureBeat. Once the user’s device detected the signal, an app transmitted the signal to the app’s server via Wi-Fi or cellular data network. The server then sent back location-customized texts, such as welcome messages, coupons or sales information.
This early beacon marketing method depended on stores having expensive Wi-Fi networks or on users having access to cellular data. Additionally, beacon transmissions could only be managed for a particular store location via paired Bluetooth or physical connection. More recent mesh beacon marketing leverages the capability of the Bluetooth 4.1 upgrade on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Mesh beacon marketing enables two-way signals without pairing, and also empowers beacon networks to communicate with the Internet. This lets beacons send customers dynamic, internet-updated product and pricing information without the need for customer Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Mesh beacon marketing methods are still being refined, but pioneering efforts have met with some success. For instance, Energizer boosted post-engagement purchase intent for a new product release 3.8 times by using a beacon campaign to raise product awareness.
Beacon Marketing Best Practices
To optimize beacon marketing campaigns, MobStac Senior Marketing Associate Devika Girish recommends a number of best practices that are emerging in this growing field. She recommends that stores implementing beacon marketing begin by collecting data on customer in-store behavior, such as how often a customer visits the store and which departments they shop. This in-store information should be integrated with other available sources of information, such as customer relationship management databases. Stores can then analyze behavior patterns to make strategic decisions, such as placing popular complementary items near each other on shelves. Stores can then begin running first-use test studies, for instance by sending welcome messages and analyzing customer reactions, before launching personalized marketing campaigns. Successful campaigns should engage users with relevant content, such as demonstration videos of products a customer is standing near in the store. Creating rules which match customer profiles to triggered offers will further enhance campaign effectiveness. Finally, campaign results should be measured in order to make improvements before scaling up.
Roy Rasmussen, co-author of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.