Supercharge Your Online Presence: Mobile Marketing

Issue: 
March-April 2013

According to the most recent statistics released by The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), roughly 77% of Canada’s current population are active mobile phone subscribers. CEO of this prominent authority on wireless communications issues, Bernard Lord, forecasts that this staggering percentage will exceed 100% within the next few years. Of the current 77% of Canada’s mobile users, 48% are smartphone owners and roughly half of these owners use their mobile phones to access the internet. 

This phenomenal industry growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the implementation of safer browsing and banking policies, however one factor should grab the attention of small business owners the most: the increase of accessible, informative and convenient, “made for mobile,” websites. Couple this with the fact that on average, Canadians send over 100 million text messages a day, small business owners have a winning combination – and one that is simply too favourable not to exploit.  

Understanding New Consumer Trends & Building a Targeted Mobi-Site 
With the new generation of smartphones, iPads, E-readers and Tablets, mobile internet usage has never been more accessible, more convenient and more appealing. In a study by Google, on average it was proven that mobile sites produce a 75% higher rate of engagement than websites accessed via desktop. One in five mobile website visits are converted into some form of sale or service request – incredible odds considering that only 14% of US small businesses are using mobile-friendly websites as marketing tools. 

Are mobile sites simply the same company website accessed via mobile? No. Mobile internet users behave and think differently than desktop internet users. According to statistics provided by iab Canada, a leading research institute in the digital marketing and advertising industry, 76% of smartphone subscribers use their browsers to surf the net using their mobile phones. They may use their browsers to research specific small businesses who offer the products and services they require. Mobile internet users want nothing short of immediate gratification and assistance – they want a website that can be fully loaded in a matter of seconds and they want the most important information on the home page. This means that small businesses who do not have accessible mobile websites are neglecting a large and growing chunk of potential customers and the ability to increase their revenue in this way. 

Mobile sites are inherently different from desktop websites and the best ones incorporate a number of critical features including:

A click-to-call button which allows mobile internet users to contact the company telephonically and instantly connect with a company employee. According to a study conducted by the search engine Google, in collaboration with Ipsos OTX MediaCT, 61% of mobile internet users will call the relevant company from their mobile phone (and we all know it’s a pain to try and remember the number once we get to the keypad). 

A map with detailed directions to direct mobile internet users to the business’s main office immediately. The same study shows that 59% of these users will use the map provided to travel directly to the company concerned. Google Maps offers an option to insert your address on the map itself and will deliver directions in real-time.

Clear content will ensure that users have a pleasant mobile experience. Google research shows that 57% of users will not recommend a bad, uninteresting mobi-website after having a negative experience and a further 40% of those users will move to a competitor’s mobile website as a result. This includes resizing your desktop pages so buttons don’t suddenly disapear and to ensure your call to action is blatant.

The good news for small business owners is that no high degree of internet or mobile “know-how” is required to set up a company mobi-site. User-friendly and popular mobile site creators include the Mobile Site Builder by www.4goodhosting.com, the mobile website creator solution by www.dudamobile.com and the mobi-site builder by www.mobifyit.com.

Bulk Text Marketing – Getting to Grips with Mobile Marketing through SMS
At the inception of any kind of small business marketing campaign, the most concerning question owners inevitably ask is, “how much will it cost?” Average costs vary between $20 and $80 to send between 200 and 1,000 text messages to a subscriber database (SMS = short message service, i.e. texting). The return on investment depends almost entirely on the quality of the database – whether each text recipient has retained a noteworthy interest in the small business and its latest developments and special offers. Customer loyalty in this sense, is utterly indispensable. Unlike other forms of marketing, text message marketing reaches a target audience in real-time. New campaigns can be set up in a matter of minutes and the relevant text message can reach subscribers in seconds. Few alternatives boast anything close to that level of efficiency. And don’t forget to add a link back to your mobi-site. Then customers are aware it’s up and easy to access.

Building a loyal database is of course the first step; the next step includes structuring different kinds of campaigns, driven by specific purposes, for example:

To inform subscribers of special offers such as a discounted rates on a selected range of services like large tree felling and emergency storm damage response during winter.

To promote a referral benefit that will encourage subscribers to refer a friend, neighbour or colleague who may also require arboricultural services and to receive an automatic discount on their next service request.

To create awareness on important new information concerning aboriculture: new tree diseases, new available equipment, a new service offering provided by the company or exciting news on the business’s latest developments.

To create hype around a competition run by the small business where subscribers could win prizes that would stimulate the interest of the relevant target market.

To invite subscribers to an exclusive event hosted by the small business or its affiliations. What about a spring pruning demonstration or tree planting?

The most popular bulk text senders include SMS marketing by Direct Access Mobile (www.up2date.ca), the BulkSMS solution by www.bulksms.com and the EZ Texting solution by www.eztexting.com.

Become Mobile Today
SMS marketing and building an effective mobi-site are just two forms of mobile marketing but they are also the simplest and most accessible to small business owners, particularly in the aboricultural industry where building and maintaining a loyal customer base is integral to business. Step-by-step, small businesses are empowering themselves through this effective and affordable form of marketing. Consumers are going mobile in every sense of the word. Are you as a small business owner at least meeting consumers halfway?  

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