5 Mobile Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

by Wayne Liew

in Marketing

Mobile marketing is becoming a big buzzword in business and marketing. I am predicting that it might become bigger than social media. Possible? Yeah! But why should you care as an entrepreneur or small business owner?

Transparent Apple iPhone Screen

Here are some stats from Mobile Marketing Trends 2009 to spice you up:

  • Over 95% of new phones sold today have web browsers and over 70 million US consumers use them regularly.
  • Annual SMS sent in 2008 amounts to 1.01 trillion.
  • In September, Apple recorded 2 billion Apple iPhone App downloads.

How do you capitalize on this major trend? Cell phones or mobile phones usage is definitely not a fad and they are not going anywhere soon. Here are 5 Mobile Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business.

Third Party Mobile Applications

There are already a lot of mobile applications out there. If developing your own application seems too much, try to work out a deal with companies that already have a presence in the mobile world or leverage free tools or sites that are accessible via a mobile phone.

Popular Mobile Applications
Popular applications such as Google Maps and Yelp already have a significant number of users. Listing your business on Google Maps using Google Local Business Center can get your business targeted attention.

Some popular phone applications also allow ad placements, which is another way which you can use to get your business some exposure. Some of the popular mobile advertising networks are Pinch Media, Medialets and AdMob. However, ads on applications can only be a distraction for application users and they are hardly non-value adding.

Mobile Version of Social Media Sites
Mobile sites are sites that are optimized for mobile phone browsers. If you direct your phone to http://www.wayneliew.com, you will see one in action. ;)

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have their mobile version of their sites as well as mobile applications that have direct or indirect relationships with them. In order to capitalize on this, it is crucial for your company or business to have a presence on these social media platforms.

Mobile-Friendly Business Website

In order to tap the growth in the usage of mobile web browsers, it is important to make sure that your business or company website is mobile-friendly. Search engines are also starting to pay more attention to the mobile space and more people are searching on search engines using their phone.

All these make creating and optimizing your business site for mobile search engines extremely important. You can always hire someone to create a mobile-friendly site for you. If you are using a WordPress blog, get a mobile version of your blog by installing a plugin called MobilePress.

Read: Mobile Website Design and Creation, Mobile Site Optimization

SMS Marketing or Text Messaging Marketing

SMS or text message marketing is nothing new unless you don’t use a mobile phone. Just like email marketing, SMS marketing involves lead generation (acquiring prospects or customers phone numbers), relationship building, value adding and of course, selling.

Reaction rate for SMS messages is a whopping 70% according to Mobile Marketing Watch while for email messages is only 30%. By the way, when is the last time you leave a SMS message unread?

Nokia Phone SMS

If you are interested in this marketing method, you need to employ a company providing SMS marketing solutions. Stay clear from spamming as your number will be blacklisted by telecommunications provider and your business brand will be tarnished.

One thing to keep in mind with SMS marketing is that most of the cost are passed on to the consumers. Make sure that you know the price per SMS that your customers will be billed for and more importantly, does the price matter to them.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce will allow your customers to purchase or order something from you via mobile sites or mobile applications. Currently, most of the products sold using mobile commerce are mobile content such as ringtones. Mobile banking, which is banking conducted via your phone is also another form of mobile commerce.

The set up for such a platform will be higher because of the need to implement security solutions and payment gateway. Not many business actually require mobile commerce as ordering of products can actually be made through a phone call. Thus, evaluate your customer needs and the nature of your business properly before spending the money on mobile commerce.

Interactive Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are better for engaging customers and prospects as they allow a longer interaction time as compared to, say, a banner ad or a 30 seconds television commercial.

Building a mobile application from ground can be very costly, not to mention the headaches trying to rectify bugs and communicating what you want to the application developers.

Check out 13 Tools for Building Your Own iPhone App. These solutions are way cheaper than building an mobile application yourself. Write out what kind of application that your customers or prospects will need and go through the tools listed here.

Integration with Non-Mobile Marketing Strategies

The above will be my 5 Mobile Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business. Phones have gone beyond fixed lines. More people are accessing the Internet via their mobile phones today. However, as I have always said, only take up a marketing strategy when it suits your business and target market. Don’t do it just because anyone is doing it.

Also, ask these questions before dipping your toes into any mobile marketing strategies. Are your customers savvy with mobile phones? Are they willing to pay in order to get the information they need from you?

Always think of ways on how you can integrate mobile marketing into your current marketing strategies. For example, if you are planning to hold a contest or a sweepstake to promote your business, what kind of role can mobile play?

Leave a comment below with your questions or even more ideas regarding to mobile marketing for small businesses.

If you like the content above, feel free to subscribe to Wayne Liew Dot Com Newsletter to get premium content as well as notifications of upcoming blog posts. Just submit your first name and email address using the form below.


Photo Credits: edans and fluzo

{ 7 comments }

zen November 5, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Excellent. Thanks for the mobile marketing ideas. It would be helpful for me to improve my business.

Ruby April 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Thank you for sharing these mobile marketing ideas with us. I really think that mobile advertising will be a successful one on the coming years. You just have to look forward and see other capabilities of what mobile marketing has to offer.

Ruby
http://www.dreamwalkmobile.com

Steve May 26, 2010 at 5:09 am

Some good stuff on mobile marketing and this is definately going to be one of the biggest markets over the next few years.

Thanks for the tip on the Wordpress plugin for mobile sites.

Devin McMillan June 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Great information. I do believe that mobile marketing is going to be bigger than social media marketing. With text message marketing you have instant, targeted communication with your customers. That is a great way to build a relationship!

Marc Accetta June 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

Text Message marketing is effective as long as there are leads from sign ups.

Compare and save money November 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I tend to always think of internet business related ideas, but this post is the proof that there’s always something to try in the real world. Great post!

Martha June 20, 2011 at 2:26 am

Thanks for this informative post. Mobile marketing is definitely a growing trend and by all indications, will continue to be so. Both online marketers and offline marketers are wise to consider the possible integration of mobile in all their marketing endeavors.

The rise in “local-based searches” on mobile phones makes having a mobile-optimized site practically a necessity for almost all businesses. And while mobile apps have their place, a mobile web site will do more for the average consumer looking for the nearest restaurant, club, or just about any service they’re trying to find while “on the go”.

A properly created mobile web site is one that immediately presents just the amount of information the user wants without having to download something or scroll up and down, side to side to find it or worse yet, having to enlarge the site to try and read it. The latter being when a normal pc site is displayed or simply “shrunk” to act as a mobile site.

Mobile templates and some mobile plugins might work for some but the better solution is a fully customizable mobile site builder that will work on practically all mobile phones.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 4 trackbacks }