Why should mobile advertising be a viable option for a local small business owner? In February 2011, total Smartphone subscribers topped 69.5 million people in the US. Mobile users are 3x’s more likely to purchase than those using a personal computer. If that is true, then the question is “Why is this so important for my local small business?” Think about how and where people are when they are making these buying decisions. If they read or access content that encourages a buying decision within a 1-3 mile radius of your business…will they find your business or a competitors?
Let’s talk about the how they are accessing content and consuming information. Most mobile users are comfortable receiving and sending text messages (SMS). Often they receive these SMS communications from someone they know or have requested these snippets of information by opting in to a service. Almost 40% are using mobile web browsers and that number is on a dramatic rise. Another 36% are interacting via mobile web apps and another 26% are networking with friends and followers on their favorite social media sites like Facebook.
Text message marketing or SMS marketing is not new. Japan, Western Europe and Scandinavian countries have been leveraging mobile marketing vehicles for years and the US has been lagging in this arena with a slower adoption rate.
When setting up a mobile advertising campaign for clients, we have found that simplicity for the user audience and the client is a key to greater marketing ROI.
Here are some of our other findings:
- Users accept SMS Marketing in exchange for free content when it is unobtrusive and respects the user’s inbox. We have found 40 characters of ad copy and a web link to be acceptable.
- Relevant mobile advertising is more memorable and more effective when part of Opt-in content. Personalized messages are preferred.
- By building increasingly more trust with each message, we increase the campaign’s viral ability or social sharing effectiveness.
- Always be obvious. Unclear messages are not effective. Easy to understand “Calls to Action” deliver greater returns.
Mobile Coupons for a Targeted Audience
“What are you trying to accomplish?” must always be the first place to start when setting up a Bulk SMS marketing campaign. Mobile marketing is highly measurable if done right. Taking advantage of the GPS receiver in Smartphone’s is what location based advertising is all about. Restaurants, clothing retailers and shore town entertainment venues benefit nicely when your goals are to increase walk-in traffic. Creating inbound calls using the “click to call” feature found in many Smartphone’s can also be a goal you establish for your campaign.
A mobile coupon is well received only if you are targeting these geographically focused mobile consumers and has proved highly effective if you have the right audience. There are guidelines to follow when building a mobile list. The coupon can be embedded within the text message or it can be a web based mobile coupon with a tiny url included in the text that drives traffic to a mobile sites landing page.
Building Mobile Sites
Does that mean you have to build a mobile website? Not necessarily. Some mobile marketing providers include a mobile landing page into their services as we do for our clients. Building a mobile website is not a bad idea for your business since the user experience is greatly improved assuming your mobile website developer understands what can and cannot be done on the wireless mobile internet today. You can use this tool to see if your website is MobiReady . It is an ever changing landscape. 4G connectivity allows for faster page loads and downloads but the infrastructure for 4G is still being developed. Therefore richer media can be part of the vision although for today most users are still using 3G devices. Keep it very simple for your new mobile web design.
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