Mobile marketing strategies for a small marketing budget
While reading through Google’s Mobile playbook, a lengthy guide on how businesses should use mobile marketing, most of their case studies were from huge companies with huge marketing budgets. But what about small to medium sized businesses (SMB) who don’t have a huge marketing budget (for example, to create an app or implement a large campaign) but still get a significant proportion of mobile traffic? Or just want to keep up with changing consumer habits? The adwords experts and I racked our brains and put together some ideas that can be applied to SMB’s.
- Mobile Ready Site
- Social Media
- Regular Email Newsletter
- QR (Quick Response) Codes
- Location Based Services
- Loyalty Programs
- Customer Relationship Management
Use analytics to find out where the majority of your mobile users go on your website – that’s a sign of what information is most important to them – make that information as easily accessible as possible (i.e. on the main screen of the mobile view).
Participating in a particular social network makes sense depending on what type of business you are. For example, Facebook is not always relevant for business to business as LinkedIn, though Facebook for business to consumer is. If you sell products, Pinterest or Instagram might suit your audience. Instagram would also work if you’re selling an experience – like a gym. Things that are visually interesting, ways to use products, and tips are good things to post. To consistently build your audience create fun and engaging campaigns to spread your brand’s reach. Example: pin it to win it or asking followers to hashtag cool pictures related to your business for a chance to be featured on your website or social media profile.
An email newsletter sent out on a regular basis to customers and/or prospects who opt-in is a great way to maintain contact as well as establish your business as an authority on your topic; and it’s inexpensive. Content for the newsletter could include but in no way is limited to blog posts, company updates, or industry updates.
QR codes by their nature drive interaction. Applied to a service business, QR codes could be used on print advertising to send potential customers to a landing page on your website.
For retail stores, a new term for the customers shopping process is showrooming – when customers view products in physical store to research before purchasing online. Displaying QR codes within your store with links to product information and reviews and having sales people ready to answer questions can improve the in-store experience. Combining the digital experience of QR codes with the physical experience is something that the online store doesn’t have. Additionally, QR codes used on print advertising can be used to drive customers to the physical store. If you want more people to purchase in-store reward them with special deals like check-in deals using foursquare or yelp.
Location based services (usually an app), if you opt-in, use your phone’s location to give you targeted alerts, discounts or announce an event.
In Google AdWords, with the launch of enhanced campaigns it’s possible to display different ads based on location and the device being used. The reason for using these is similar to having a mobile ready site – people searching for something on their phone might be looking for different information than if they were searching on a desktop computer. Mobile PPC ads and banners aim to address the difference in search intent.
There are tons of affordable loyalty software options that will work with your existing POS System. Rewards can vary based on frequency, dollar amount spent, or points. The benefit of a program like this as opposed to an actual punch card is the amount of usable data that comes with it like email addresses, and purchasing habits like frequency and time of visit. That information can be used to better serve your customers.
Typically, a database that organizes customer information like frequency, past purchases, total spent per month. Having this data can help identify who your best customers are and customize their service. The data can also be used to divide customers into groups based on their behaviors and market different services to them based on those behaviors.
The following items are elements of mobile marketing but were not included in the above list because they exceed the average SMB marketing budget or only apply to a very small amount of businesses.
- App for mobile and/or tablet – can be a very successful method but development is expensive
- Augmented Reality (AR) –also expensive to implement
- SMS Texting – This tactic in our opinion is more intrusive because of the more personal nature of text messages. Effectiveness would really depend on the service or product you offer and how the campaign was implemented.
The mantra to keep in mind when creating a mobile marketing plan is: easy to use and easy to find – because customers are on the go. Mobile marketing shouldn’t be the only marketing you do, it is only a part of the whole.
Did I miss anything? Has your business used mobile marketing? How so? What have the results been?