These days, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a mobile presence, for them to understand and reach their audience. Mobile marketing is the clear answer to one of the first orders of business every start up includes in their business plans: how to reach potential customers. Unfortunately, it’s also an area that most businesses tend to overlook, which can result in alienating existing customers and missing out on potential new ones.
We’re sharing 5 tips on what startups need to know about smartphones and mobile marketing in 2015:
- Smartphone usage is on the rise. According to Protect Your Bubble, the average American spends 2 hours and 42 minutes a day on their smartphone. In addition, over 173 million people in the U.S. own smartphones, and they spend 14% of their time web browsing. That’s precious time that they could be learning about and engaging with your brand in.
TechCrunch and GlobalWebIndex recently reported that in a survey of 170,000 adult internet users, 80% state they own a smartphone – a new high. In comparison, 91% own a PC/laptop.
- Consumers are using their smartphone to make purchases. Businesses may be hesitant to dive into mobile marketing, concerned that while consumers may use their smartphones to browse and gather information, they ultimately make purchases using a desktop, for security concerns and ease of use. But in fact, according to ReachLocal and comScore, “nearly 80 percent of local searches on mobile devices turn into purchases.”
Cisco Systems performs an annual report on global mobile traffic. This year they projected that:
- By 2019, there will be nearly 3.9 billion global internet users – more than 51% of the world’s population
- By 2019, there will be 24 billion networked devices and connections globally
…that’s a lot of people using the internet - all of whom could possibly be interacting with your brand!
- Google is paying attention to mobile marketing, too. Google has long kept an eye on Internet usage trends, and mobile usage is no exception. In fact, the search engine gods recently rolled out an update that penalizes any sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This can mean that the sites’ Google search result rankings will drop on mobile devices – and we all know it’s important for any business or startup to remain on the top pages of Google.
One way to combat being penalized by Google’s mobile update is to make sure you have a mobile-responsive site. A responsive site automatically adjusts to smaller screen sizes while keeping full functionality. It’s the new standard in websites, and one that every startup should have right from the start.
- Your competition is already doing it. Chances are that your biggest competitors and the leaders in your space may already be engaging in mobile marketing, and if they aren’t, they plan to do so soon. It’s been predicted that small businesses will double their spending on local mobile marketing every year for the next five years.
Want to see how you stack up? It’s easier than you think. Google offers a tool that can give you insights and other information on how you and your competitors are doing in terms of mobile performance.
- It doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are plenty of activities involved with mobile marketing, including email, social media, paid search and much more. But not all of them have to have a significant investment put into them. For example, having a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, taking advantage of local listings, and having ads on sites like Yelp and FourSquare doesn’t require a huge budget.
Utilizing email marketing is (hopefully!) an activity your startup has already begun, or plans to begin. Keeping those emails mobile-friendly will help you reach a bigger audience, who can engage with your messaging. A few tips for mobile-friendly emailing:
- Use a single-column layout
- Stay within 35 characters on the email subject line
- Keep content short and sweet
- Make call-to-action buttons “finger-friendly”
Getting Started with Mobile Marketing
So where do you go from here? Once you’ve identified the need for a mobile marketing plan, there’s no reason not to jump in with both feet. But as a startup, keeping budget in mind as you enter the world of mobile marketing is critical. Start with some inexpensive, low hanging fruit like:
- Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly
- Ensuring your email marketing efforts are mobile-friendly
- Creating social media accounts for your business on appropriate For example, a B2B software company likely won’t do well on Facebook, so don’t waste your time there. Instead, focus your efforts on LinkedIn
- Create local listings for your business on review sites and local sites like Yelp and FourSquare – consider paid ads if your budget allows
No matter where you decide to begin with your mobile marketing efforts, if you plan well and execute properly, you’re already ahead of the game. The audience is there – you just have to join them!