Originally published on Technorati as: Local Mobile Marketing – 6 Tips for Small Business
Mobile marketing – it’s not just for big brands with few local roots any more. Mobile marketing has become the new standard in small business marketing, too. It’s great for securing business with local customers who’re on-the-go. Plus, it can save you a small fortune compared to other PR, promotions, and advertising channels.
The small business marketing crowd increasingly is leveraging this reality: Customers aren’t sitting at a home computer any longer, searching for local businesses to patronize. If your Web presence is only geared toward traditional Internet surfers, you’re likely missing lots of business. To leverage the new wireless world, start fusing your local marketing with mobile marketing.
Snapshot: The Local Mobile Marketing Universe Any type of local business can benefit from mobile marketing, with the most searched mobile categories being: restaurants, retail shops, sports, weather, news, financial information, and events/concerts. You can use local mobile marketing to connect with consumers many ways. Small businesses use mobile channels for advertising, customer care / PR relationship management, and sales promotions.
But Keep an Eye on “Siri,” the SEO Game-changer As plentiful as the small business marketing opportunities are, there’s always game-changing new technology to be mindful of. In the mobile marketing realm, it’s “Siri” – the buzz-worthy personal assistant app for Apple iPhone 4S. Voice-activated, Siri can handle a multitude of tasks whenever the user gives a command. If you haven’t seen Siri in action, here’s a video demo:
While voice recognition exists on other mobile phones, Siri takes it to new heights. It sifts through all of the other apps on a user’s iPhone 4S to find and execute whatever the user requests.
In other words, Siri never uses a search engine. If your business is search-engine reliant, Siri will never discover and recommend you. Even those who’re up-to-speed on local mobile marketing techniques are planning for the possible shift
Siri App vs. Local Search Engine Traffic To be sure, Google Android, Blackberry, and others are working to develop similar non-SEO search technology. The implications for those concerned with small business marketing . . .
- Start rethinking your small business marketing mix . . . Fewer people will be typing your keywords into search engines. Instead, they’ll use Siri-like technology, which only recognizes businesses connected to some type of mobile app,
- Web-based pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns will generate fewer sales leads. With Siri making it unnecessary for users to use search engines, there’ll be fewer people viewing the PPC ads on the search results pages, and
- Having little to no mobile presence may cost you dearly. Diversify beyond desktops and SEO now, to both protect and grow your business.
6 Ways to Enter Local Mobile Marketing If you’re new to local mobile marketing, take steps now to make your business more discoverable. If you’re not ready to invest in getting your own app yet, consider implementing these easy mobile marketing ideas:
- Make Your Website Mobile-Compatible – As an easy entry point, get your website optimized for mobile phones. It’s now easy to make your website small screen-friendly. If you’re using WordPress, there are several free and premium plugins available.
- Join Mobile Directories – Getting listed in a few mobile directories easily puts your business “on the mobile map.” The new Google Places offers one such opportunity. Also many local mobile marketing
- Create a Mobile Website – Someday soon, every business will need two versions of their website – one for computer users, the other for the mobile / wireless crowd. Services such as Mofuse and Mofuse Premium and mobiSiteGalore offer mobile site design services.
- Build Traffic with Location-based App Marketing – Many local retailers, restaurants, charities and nightclubs tie-in with apps like FourSquare and Yelp to attract mobile customers.
- Start Mobile Advertising – Local mobile advertising on Google is a low-cost way to reach more customers. Bid only on what you’re willing to pay, either paying per click (PPC) or per phone call from a prospect. You can even target multiple mobile devices, ranging from high-end smartphones to standard cellphones.
- Connect via Text Message Short Codes or QR Codes – Most exciting are Quick Response (QR) codes – i.e., the new bar codes. QR codes can be read by mobile phones. We increasingly see QR Codes in magazine ads; on Web pages, billboards, and lawn signs; and even on T-shirts! Once a mobile user scans your QR code, it’s easy to connect in real-time, sending them coupons, event announcements, RSS feed updates, and more.
Watch This: Your Mobile Web Analytics To better meet the mobile crowd’s needs, pay keen attention to your mobile Web analytics. Google Analytics (GA) and similar programs can track mobile Web traffic on a basic level. For finer metrics plus actionable detail for site optimization, use a more advanced SEO platform like Ginzametrics, which complements and integrates nicely with GA, Omniture or CoreMetrics. With Ginzametrics, you’ll discover the exact search terms that “hidden” mobile visitors are using to land on your site. This analytics program also shows details of referred traffic from the top 3 search engines in 35 global markets. The Ginza dashboard even recommends an array of improvements you should make, to better optimize your Web and mobile pages for more traffic. Mobile has become so important in small business marketing that major search engines are now tracking the volume of mobile traffic visiting websites. They’ll soon start ranking mobile-ready sites the same way they do traditional websites. To prepare for this and other local mobile marketing opportunities, first get a sense of how many of these customers are hitting your website, and how they’re moving about while there. You might learn that mobile customers are bouncing off your site in droves. If so, how much longer can you continue missing out on this potential revenue?