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8 Mobile Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Mobile Marketing Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

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When it comes to mobile marketing, your small business needs to be there or be nowhere for an ever-increasing percentage of the market.

A survey of wireless carriers revealed that over 285 million Americans are mobile subscribers, about 91 percent of the total U.S. population (2010).

Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley analyst, predicts that within the next five years "more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs" ( Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Will Soon Overtake Fixed Internet, Gigaom).

So how do you get into mobile marketing? Here are mobile marketing strategies for your small business:

1) Get into mobile advertising.

Direct marketing is still the most effective type of marketing and mobile advertising has strong response rates. Don't let the price of a shortcode (necessary for mobile marketing) put you off. As Mike Craig of Ruxter Mobile Marketing points out in Mobile Marketing: Get a Grasp on the Basics, it's possible to share a shortcode with other businesses.

2) Take advantage of text messaging to communicate with your customers.

Text message marketing, also known as SMS marketing, is ideal for sending notices of time-sensitive events such as deals-of-the-day. One of the things to keep in mind is that SMS is not limited to particular types of phones, such as SmartPhones. So it might be the way to go with your mobile marketing if you want "everyone" to get the message.

3) Use phone apps that are customized to your industry to get the jump on competitors.

For instance, About.com Real Estate Guide James McKinnon writes about a text message marketing service for realtors that lets prospective buyers text in the property ID and get back a fast text of the property basic details. What apps are available for your industry that you could be using?

4) Interact with customers using check-in and coupon services.

Use services such as Facebook Places, Gowalla, Foursquare and Groupon to entice customers to check in, get discounts, and participate in "exclusive" giveaways, contests and deals.

5) Blend your mobile marketing with your social media marketing.

Don't forget about Facebook and Twitter, more great places to interact with customers through their mobile devices. Giving them the chance to do things, such as enter or vote in contests and polls, post reviews or upload photos, is always good.

6) Because local search is so big, make sure that your business listings are all up-to-date and accurate.

Claim your business listing on Google, if you haven't, and make sure your business is listed properly on sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Don't forget your local directory sites, such as your Chamber of Commerce listing, if you're a member.

7) Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Your website may be a thing of beauty to people viewing it with a Web browser on a desktop computer, but an unusable mess to someone trying to access it via mobile device. Find out and do what's necessary to ensure mobile viewers also have good seats.

8) Make sure full product information is available on your website.

Product numbers, model numbers, full descriptions, even reviews... Remember that customers are increasingly using their mobile devices as research tools to compare products and prices - even when they're standing in your store. Almost seven out of ten shoppers check the store’s website while they’re in the retail establishment according to ForeSee. And nearly half (46%) also used their phones to access a competitor's website.

Mobile Marketing Strategies a Wise Investment But...

Mobile marketing is like any other type of marketing. You need to assign some money and time to mobile marketing for it to succeed and be sure you have the metrics in place to measure your mobile marketing success. But with mobile device use and the number of ways people use their mobile devices both increasing, it's a marketing space you want to colonize.

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