The Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Marketing

The Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Marketing

There’s only one way to describe the presence of mobile devices in today’s culture: ubiquitous. Everywhere you turn, consumers are tweeting, calling, reading, researching and playing games, from the morning commute to evening strolls with the dog. Those observations are backed up by the numbers, with mobile searches usage growing by 81% percent in 2012 alone.

For small businesspeople and marketers, mobile marketing presents unparalleled opportunities to reach consumers not just when they’re at their desk, in the den or at the kitchen table with a laptop, television, or mailer, but entirely independent of locale. However, given the personal relationship many people have with their phones, it’s important to know the difference between valid and spam tactics. We’ve put together the following list of dos and don’ts to guide you in your efforts.

DON’T write long messages. This is a good rule of thumb for most marketing communications, but it’s all the more so on mobile devices. No consumer, after all, wants to scroll through pages of text. In fact, sometimes it’s best to eschew text all together for a simple QR code or text message to encourage easy mailing list sign up and coupons at the cash register or in a shop window.

DO design everything, from your site to your emails, for the mobile platform.

There’s nothing more frustrating and off-putting for consumers than trying to interact with a website or web form not optimized for the mobile platform. Design a separate site specifically for the mobile platform, or have designer employ responsive design so that your site automatically adjusts for mobile screens. Stick to relatively clean designs so they’ll be sure to load on bad WiFi or cellular networks, and use email programs like MailChimp for mobile optimized templates.

DON’T bait and switch. Mobile users have short attention spans, and they won’t react well to an intriguing tagline or offer that doesn’t follow through. Get to know what mobile users actually need, whether that’s your store’s hours, locations and directions, or quick access to coupons. Mobile users also often use their devices to compare prices, so make these as transparent and as easy to find as possible, rather than frustrating customers with a convoluted hunt.

DO use mobile marketing in conjunction with social media and your other marketing efforts. For example, mobile marketing is often used well with Facebook business pages, particularly if you allow check-ins, which gamify the experience and allow you to take advantage of location-based services that can help you to offer in-store coupons, personalized attention, and loyalty rewards.

DON’T target too broadly. The best mobile marketing plans stick to their consumer niche and business goals, clearly specified within a broader marketing plan. The more targeted you can be, the better you can creative relevant deals and content that will actually engage your customers.

DO use geo-targeted ads. Geo-targeted ads will help you capture the much sought after “your industry + location” keyword, which are otherwise difficult to capture. While sponsored ads in regular Google searches are easy to ignore, geo-targeted ads on the smaller mobile screen are harder to miss.

DON’T send texts at random times of the day. Research the times and days when mobile users are most responsive both in general and specifically for your industry. For example, a lunch café would do well to send out a coupon to loyal users just before 11:30AM, while a bank might want to wait for the post-work rush.

DO make your site and messages multimedia. If you’ve got the budget, try developing a helpful app related to your industry that customers can use without feeling marketed to. Zyrtec, for instance, created an app that regularly measures local pollen count as a nice service for their customers. Also, keep in mind that 25% of YouTube videos are viewed on mobile devices, meaning that even a short Vine video can be highly effective at capturing user attention. Just stick to video formats that will load well on the mobile platform.

DON’T measure the wrong things. Mobile impressions can be an inaccurate statistic. Instead, focus on the amount of e-commerce sales made on mobile platforms, engagement with apps and the amount of calls received for a more accurate view. Google’s How to Go Mo app provides particularly apt measurements.

The Take Away

The mobile platform can be extremely useful to businesses and marketers, but only when properly mastered. Get to know the ins and outs and create a mobile marketing plan that’s right for you.

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