The good news is that mobile marketing is not all that complex.
Here are five things you can do to get started in mobile marketing. Once you've mastered the steps below, you'll see that mobile marketing is a great way to open up new revenue streams for your business.
Ready to get started?
#1: Set up your mobile website
This is actually easier than you might think. One option is to use the automated systems offered by many companies. They essentially take your existing website content and auto-format it for a mobile screen.
WordPress has some plugins that do a pretty good job of this and GoDaddy has an automated system that does it, too. But for the best user experience, I recommend you focus on one of the options outlined below.
Option number two is to use one of the many plug-and-play platforms offered online. These companies actually create a separate mobile website that is completely independent from your regular website.
Just Google “How to set up a mobile website” and you'll find a number of companies doing this. There are some good organizations offering these plug-and-play systems, but there are also some real losers, so do your research before you choose a company to work with.
A third option is to add a simple line of code onto your existing home page that “sniffs out” the screen size of the person visiting your site.
If the person visiting your site has a screen that's more than 600 pixels wide, they're probably coming from a PC and are directed to your regular site. If the screen is smaller than 600 pixels, they're probably coming from a mobile device and will be redirected to pages designed for a smartphone screen.
Out of these three options, the third option is the best approach. Just ask your web designer to do a search for “mobile website redirect code” and they'll find plenty of options like this one on CSS-Tricks.com.
#2: Claim your business on location-based platforms
Claiming your business just means that you're raising your hand to these services and saying, “I'm an official representative of XYZ business and want to be listed on your platform.” Claiming your business is similar to calling up the phone company to get a free listing in the Yellow Pages, only now you're reaching out to these location-based services instead of Ma Bell.
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Once you've claimed your business, you can start using these platforms to run mobile promotions. For example, Chili's ran a promotion where everyone who “checked in” to their locations using Foursquare got free cheese dip.
Better still, Chili's improved on the promotion by making it so that anybody who checked in at another store within 200 yards of Chili's got the same offer. Yup, you heard right—if you checked in at the florist next door, you got a digital coupon for free cheese dip at the Chili's a few steps away. Brilliant!
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#3: Immerse yourself
You can't fully understand mobile marketing until you use mobile marketing. So when you get through reading this article, grab your smartphone and mess around with it—check in on Foursquare, buy some shoes using the Zappos app, do a voice search using Google Voice Search—just get comfortable with all your smartphone's nooks and crannies.
When you're ready to take a deeper dive into your smartphone, download the Starbucks mobile payment app and use it to pay for your next cup of coffee. That way, you can look even cooler than the guy who ordered the “double whipped mocha Frappuccino with a twist of whatever to go.”
The more you use mobile media, the more you'll see that it's really not all that complex. It's just the newest marketing channel in a long line of marketing channels introduced throughout the last several decades.
Tip: For smartphone overachievers: 1) Download LinkedIn to your smartphone, 2) enable your Bluetooth function and 3) open up the LinkedIn application. In the LinkedIn app, you'll notice an icon with two people shaking hands called “In Person.”
Find someone in your office who has LinkedIn installed on their smartphone, then “bump” your phones together. Ding! You've just used Bluetooth to exchange your LinkedIn profile without having to type a word.
#4: Run a mobile ad campaign.
A mobile ad campaign is great for all kinds of companies, but particularly good for companies that have brick-and-mortar locations. After all, if you own a restaurant, wouldn't you want to have an ad pop up when someone searches for “restaurants near my house”?
Mobile ad campaigns can be bought on a cost-per-click basis, a cost-per-thousand basis or a cost-per-acquisition basis.
Sound confusing? Don't worry—just visit any of the most popular mobile advertising platforms (like Millennial Media, iAd from Apple or AdMob from Google) and they'll walk you through the distinctions and how to use the services.
#5: Scan a QR Code.
QR Codes are those little barcode-like squares that are popping up all over the place. For an in-depth introduction to QR Codes, you can check out How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business.
QR Codes (or their closely related cousins EZ Codes, Microsoft Tags, SPARQCodes, etc.) can be scanned by smartphones. Once scanned, they drive you through to mobile web pages that offer discount coupons, bonus content, special offers or some other additional content.
Looking for a QR Code to scan? Glad you asked. Just scan the QR Code below and it'll drive you through to a post called “100 Top Mobile Media Applications.” It outlines all of the most important mobile media applications you'll want to be familiar with.
By now, you're probably realizing that mobile media really isn't that complex. It's just like social media or email marketing or organic search, the only difference is that the delivery mechanism is a smartphone or a tablet computer instead of a PC.
These are just five of the ways you can kickstart your use of mobile marketing. I'm sure there are dozens more.
What are your thoughts? What mobile marketing tools have you tried out that you'd like to share with our readers? Leave your comments in the box below.
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