Despite being only halfway through 2016, the stats about mobile usage are staggering. Increasingly, people are using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for more than checking email and texting. These devices have become an integral piece of people’s lives. In fact, according to a Facebook study,
“73% of people always have their mobile device with them.”
This is a clear indication that mobile usage is booming and shows no indication of slowing down.
For small businesses, integrating mobile marketing into their business strategy is necessary. Without mobile assimilation, businesses of any size are more likely to fail because they’re missing the majority of their target markets. This doesn’t mean you have to turn your marketing plan upside down or find additional resources (i.e. money) to support these tactics.
Small businesses should concentrate on the following three pillars of mobile marketing. Making mobile a major consideration in all marketing initiatives will yield higher rates of return and engagement from the desired audiences.
Most likely, you already have a successful email marketing strategy in place. You have stylized templates and a robust subscription list to which you email regularly. Your frequent communications keep your business top of mind with your customers and provide “inside access” to your business.
Yet, your messages may be getting lost in the great inbox abyss if they are not mobile-friendly. Given than over 70% of people always have their smartphones on them, it’s a safe assumption that these same people are also reading their emails on their phones. Due to the smaller screen size, emails can easily be distorted and look unprofessional if they’re not formatted for mobile.
To ensure your emails are mobile-friendly, use clear and concise language and avoid large images, as they tend to take longer to load. Any loading delay increases the chances of your email being deleted before the recipient has read it.
Beyond the layout of mobile-optimized emails, you should send your emails at peak times. By sending communications at times when your target audience is most likely to read your emails, you increase the chances of engagement and customer satisfaction with your brand. You can A/B test or search marketing automation data to find the best times to send emails based on your industry.
Video has boomed in 2016 and social platforms have iterated to include better, faster, and easier ways to stream video. Facebook Live and Instagram’s 60-second videos are two prime examples of how video is taking over the social world. As we’ve discussed before, people’s attention spans are shrinking and companies have eight seconds to attract and convince a person to read a full article. In order to entice the maximum number of customers, switching to video only makes sense. People like watching videos, especially if it is relevant to them, because it takes less effort and we live in an increasingly visually-stimulated world.
Small businesses can use videos as instructional guides, advertisements, or behind-the-scenes opportunities for their customers. The goal is to put your product or service in front of your target audience in the most engaging way possible. It can be a direct pitch, a soft ad or something that is strictly informational. Given how many platforms support video now, there isn’t the buffering delay or frustration that was previously associated with streaming videos on mobile devices.
Lululemon uses video very effectively, as the company mixes up the kinds of videos on their Instagram feed from active workouts to product placement. No matter the subject, their videos always draw in the viewer, which is precisely the goal of videos for mobile marketing.
Lastly, video is easy to share and is growing in popularity on social media. Developing videos with content worthy of mass distribution will increase your marketing reach without doing any active solicitation. Reference your editorial calendar to align your videos with other published content so you present as much information about a specific topic as possible. When you provide useful information, your customers will be more inclined to share it, thus becoming inadvertent brand ambassadors for your business.
So get your smartphone ready and start filming strategic content to share across your social platforms and blogs. These short clips will unquestionably drive traffic and quality leads.
Similarly to video, having an active social presence for your business is needed in this digital age. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all support business profiles and advertisements. For small businesses, this is a huge win! For nominal costs, you can target your ads and get them in front of the right people: those who are most likely to become customers.
Developing advertisements that are mobile optimized for each platform guarantees a high quality of communication with your followers. If your business is committed to organic reach, then use these platforms to increase engagement rates with your subscribers. Just because you’re not putting money behind your social efforts, doesn’t mean they can’t be successful and help grow your brand awareness and social followers.
To deliver the best social content that is mobile-friendly, take note of the individual specifications for each platform. Before publishing anything, double check that your graphics, text, and videos are compatible across various devices, such as desktop, smartphone, and tablet. This kind of attention to detail will pay dividends in returns for your upfront efforts.
Mobile marketing is here to stay and it’s time for every small business to optimize their efforts. By applying these pillars to your business plan, you will stay relevant in your industry and expand your reach beyond your expectations.
About the Author: Julie Chomiak is the Content Marketing Specialist for Webs and Pagemodo. When she’s not scouring the web for small business trends, Julie loves traveling, interior design, and animals of all kinds. Get more from Julie on the Webs Blog and the Pagemodo blog.