With mobile usage in the US finally surpassing desktop use in 2014, there is no better time for you make mobile marketing a priority in your small business.
This is actually good news for you if your a small business owner because right now you may be spending hours each day trying to make social media work for your business.
Mobile marketing could be the most bang for your buck when it comes to your time commitment, budget and involvement when executed properly.
Using mobile marketing for small business, you’re not able to get closer to your customers than ever before with ads and messages that are personalized, local and timely.
Now, before you go jumping in without a plan we’ve laid out 7 ways to win with mobile marketing for your small business.
1. Your Mobile Marketing Works Towards Your Business & Marketing Goals
The number one reason businesses don’t find success with mobile is that they start with the tools.
Really, they start with tools for tools sake.
Signing up for a new tool because of x, y, z features is great but if that tool (and even those features) aren’t used in a way to get you closer to you business or marketing objectives, you’re wasting your time and money.
I get it.
Each and every day you’re called or emailed by someone offering mobile marketing tools. Heck, I have to make those calls and emails too sometimes but, don’t be be aware when you’re just getting pitched on some tool or software.
Will that tool help you in some way? Maybe.
When you’re ready to leverage mobile marketing and or a mobile related tool, be sure to ask yourself the following questions.
Will this tool or service help me get my existing customers to spend more money? If yes, how?
Will this tool or service help me get my existing customers to spend more frequently? If yes, how?
Will this tool or service help me get new customers? If yes, how?
If you can’t answer “yes” to at least one of these questions and have a clear understanding of how you’ll achieve one of those goals, you’re not ready to use mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing should align with and support your existing business and marketing goals.
2. Do What You Do Best – Delegate Your Mobile Marketing Efforts
Nobody in this world wins doing it alone.
We all need help.
Think about when you were growing up and you played sports.
You had a coach.
Sometimes, you had multiple coaches or assistant coaches that helped you with specific areas of your game.
You had a head coach and then each assistant coach was focused on a specific area like offense or defense.
As a small business owner, you’re the head coach in your own business. The only thing is, many SMB owners don’t have assistant coaches.
A recent study by BrightLocal found that 58% of SMB’s have 1-3 employees.
When there is only 1-3 employees, you’re likely the head coach (and only coach) and have a few players (employees) helping you.
You may not even that that.
If you’re the sole owner, there is really only so much you can do yourself right?
You know your business best.
You know the customers.
You do the books….heck, you may even do the cleaning.
By adding marketing, let alone mobile marketing to your plate, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
As the head coach, you need to find those assistant coaches to help you with the areas that are outside your expertise or that you just don’t have time for.
Things would be a lot different if all SMB’s had some assistant coaches don’t ya thing?
Yet, in that same study, only 18% of SMB’s use a consultant/agency. That grew from 15% in 2013 which means some owners are starting to realize that getting help is their best chance to win.
39% of the SMB’s that worked with a consultant or agency, loved the work they provided.
That’s not shocking if you think about it.
The owner (or head coach) can focus on what they know and do best—running their business. The agency or consultant (assistant coach) can focus on improving other areas such as your mobile marketing.
I know you want to do it yourself but the faster you can find someone you know like and trust, the faster you’ll start seeing results with your mobile marketing efforts.
3. Get The Most Out Of Your Mobile Marketing Budget
As a small business owner you don’t have budgets like the Starbucks’ of the world. That’s ok.
You know what? You’re not alone.
70% of SMB’s are spending less than $500/month on their marketing.
83% are spending less than $1000 and just 16% are spending more than $1000 per month on marketing.
If this sounds familiar you need your marketing spend to go as far as possible.
Now, that may sound like you need to do it all yourself but you have to consider the time it takes for you to do these things yourself.
Time is money right?
By using that marketing spend to delegate, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Letting someone that has the time and resources to execute your marketing is what gives you the best chance to grow.
4. Make What’s Working Even Better By Adding Mobile
One of the great benefits of mobile marketing is that it can actually make your other marketing initiatives more effective.
What do I mean by that?
As a small business owner you’ve probably invested in direct mail.
When you add up the costs of creative, printing, shipping etc it can get pretty expensive.
Depending on how you measure your marketing, you may not even have a good idea of how well it’s working.
Well, by adding a mobile call-to-action to your direct mail you can start moving prospects and customers from direct mail (a non-interactive media) to a mobile database (an interactive media).
If you’re using something like SMS text message marketing, you’d be able to use different keywords to track which direct mail pieces resulted in the most engagement all while building a database of mobile numbers you can use for future marketing.
If your business attends trade shows you can use SMS text message marketing to build your email list.
By inserting your mobile calls-to-action into other marketing channels you can begin moving your customers into situations where they can continue the conversation and better engage with you.
5. Mobile Marketing Makes The Phones Ring
Remember how your mobile marketing should align with your business and marketing goals?
Well, how might you measure that?
In the same study by BrightLocal, the most valued metric SMB’s use is phone calls to the business.
With 31% of SMB”s focused on phone calls as their main metric we need to find ways mobile can do that.
Luckily, mobile makes the phone ring—when done right.
Whether it’s having a mobile optimized website that provides your contact info front and center, or using mobile offers via SMS marketing and including your phone number (a trackable phone number) your mobile initiatives can quickly make the phone ring.
In fact, if your mobile website delivers the info your customers are looking for they will take action.
Google has reported that mobile browsers buy local. After looking up a business via mobile: 61% result in a phone call; 59% result in a visit.
Think about how you could use mobile marketing to drive existing customers to book more appointments or come to your store with a specific offer code.
Simply put, when your looking to drive traffic and calls to your local business, mobile can and will do that for you.
6. Give them what they are looking for
Some 47% of consumers confirm they use their smartphone to search for local information, such as information about the store they want to visit.
The most common info searched is:
Make sure this sort of information is easily accessible from your mobile web experience. If you do, you can easily expect more interaction with your mobile visitors.
7. Keep It Simple
It’s really easy to get caught up in the latest mobile trends.
Beacons, NFC, mobile payments etc.
While these are important these are the more advanced aspects of mobile.
Even big brands are still ironing out kinks and strategies to get the most from these new shiny strategies.
They can afford to do this because they have spent the last 5-10 years setting the foundations.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln
Just like President Lincoln you need to spend some time planning and setting the foundation for your mobile marketing success.
Those foundations may not always be “sexy” or shiny but they work.
It’s been quoted many times that Coca-Cola spends 70% of the mobile budget on SMS text message marketing.
When asked why, “because we invest in what works” is the answer.
As you already know, the biggest mistake businesses can make is expecting the tools to do the work and jumping right to execution.
If you can avoid the shiny objects and focus on the foundations you’ll not only get short term results but plant the seed for long term success.
In 2015, mobile marketing can be a key area to generate growth in your small business if you take it seriously.
With mobile marketing giving you such a personal and immediate connection to customers and new prospects you’ll see tons of new opportunities open up.
Mobile may be new to you but don’t be afraid of change. Instead, learn to adapt. And if you can adapt before your competition, you can win.
So, how will you prepare for mobile marketing in your small business this year?