|Five Tips for Mobile Marketing Beyond Text-Message Ads|
Mobile marketing once meant simply text-message ads. No more. Now a range of free and low-cost technology can help you market products and services to mobile consumers in a variety of new ways.
Of course, mobile ads remain effective, but they're just a small part of a comprehensive mobile-marketing strategy. New to mobile marketing? Consider these five ways a small business on a budget can take its marketing on the go.
1. Develop a mobile-friendly website.
Take the time to test your site on an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, a BlackBerry, and other popular devices.
2. Use location-based apps.
An excellent free mobile-marketing app for small businesses with brick-and-mortar locations isFoursquare. You can easily create your own Foursquare company page and offer check-in specials, discounts, and frequent-visitor deals. If your customers enjoy mobile gaming, and mobile gaming is consistent with your brand, then the free Gowalla app can be a great mobile app for brand building.
3. Create your own mobile app.
Your mobile app can help drive sales through real-time promotions and bring in foot traffic through local marketing. It can provide quick and inexpensive customer service by offering answers to common questions. Make it a game and it can even add some fun to users’ lives. It’s up to you to create a mobile app that matches your customers’ needs, your brand promise, and your business goals.
4. Use quick-response codes.
Related: Six Tips for Mobile Marketing to Engage Customers
There are many free and affordable websites that help you create and track QR codes. ScanLifeand iCandy both allow you to create QR codes and track scans for free. Custom price quotes are provided to businesses that need more comprehensive tracking and management. For simple QR code creation without tracking capability, Kaywa and Zxing offer free bare-bones QR code creation tools.
5. Publish mobile content.
For example, you might write an ebook and publish it online in PDF format for sharing. Further, you could offer it on Amazon’s Kindle ereader device for mobile reading (learn about Kindle royalty rates). If you publish a podcast or online radio show, make it available on BlogTalkRadio(free), Podbean, or another site that enables you to easily make your podcast content available on iTunes for mobile listening (or publish your podcast to iTunes directly).
If you send marketing email, make sure those messages are mobile-friendly. A growing number of people view their email on their mobile devices. If your email message doesn’t load correctly or displays poorly on a smartphone or tablet, you’ve lost your chance to connect with those customers.
More people purchase smartphones and tablet devices every day, and annual sales of mobile devices have surpassed sales of personal computers. Your customers are using these marketing-friendly gadgets, or will soon be, so don’t wait to create a mobile-marketing plan. While you hesitate, your competitors could already be connecting with the mobile audience.