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Local mobile marketing is exploding and shows no signs of stopping.
It is estimated that mobile Internet usage will exceed desktop usage by 2014.
That little statistic alone should get you inspired to use mobile marketing to its fullest potential to boost your business, especially, for local mobile marketing.
However, many local small businesses are finding mobile internet marketing elusive and challenging. There seems to be a myriad of directions that one can go with their mobile marketing efforts.
Questions range from design, to partnerships with social media sites, to how to use geo-location sites. And what are OR codes anyways you may be asking yourself and your team.
The good news is that you can rest easy. Below is a quick primer on how you can use local mobile marketing to grow your business.
Local Mobile Marketing: The Basics
Make sure that you have a mobile friendly website. You do not want someone to type in your company web address on their smart phone and they see a website that is not optimized for mobile viewing.
Your company website can easily be optimized for the mobile market by most web hosting companies. However, there are scores of companies out there that specialize in creating mobile websites such as, GoMobi and Dudamobile.
Having a mobile website can even allow you to add a locally themed URL to your existing brand. For example, if your website is: karinascupcakes.com, then your mobile site can have the URL of: karinasdallascupcakes.mobi.
Just as in Internet marketing as a whole, mobile Internet marketing will require you to implement a niche and location specific mentality in order to optimize its full potential.
There are two geo-location sites that are designed to take mobile marketing to the next level with the right strategies in place when executed by savvy entrepreneurs.
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Foursquare: This mobile friendly app presents a prime outlet for you to boost your business locally.
When you set-up an account for your business on Foursquare, your customers are allowed to “check-in” to your establishment. Once they do, friends and followers via Facebook and Twitter social networks are also able to see where they have checked-in.
The Best foursquare Features:
- Updates- Make sure you send updates on the happenings of your business on a regular basis (daily is best). Share announcements, contests, promotions, and recent photos.
- Foursquare Offers- Provide offers that are for your foursquare followers only. This can be a free dessert when they and a friend “check-in” or a 25% off coupon on your shoe sale at your boutique. This is an area where you can be really creative. This strategy also encourages check-ins.
- Use physical signs- Foursquare can provide you with window decals to place in your business. This serves as a reminder for users to continue to use the app and promote your business in the process.
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Instagram: This mobile app is driven by the power of an image.
However, in saying that, pictures are huge drivers of web traffic. People respond to pictures emotionally.
- Snap pictures of “hot items” that will probably go fast. Make sure you include your location and hours in your post message.
- Begin contests of “who wore it best” or “how they use it” with your followers. Offer a small prize to who tags your business with the best picture.
- Use hashtags that will generate search results that are favorable to local marketing such as; #LosAngelesBoutique #LittleItalybakery #DowntownMemphisSalon. Consistently search in the search feature popular hashtags that users are using to search in your area of town.
- Share behind the scenes pictures of your business. Once again always include the address and your hours.
- Interject your own personality into the pictures you share as well. Let the Instagram world know that you are a warm and approachable entrepreneur.
Tips: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Mobile Marketing
These three social media sites all come with engaging mobile apps. Use them to their advantage to turn up the heat on your local mobile marketing efforts.
Facebook: Considering that most people that use Facebook check status updates on an average of 14 times a day, with more than half of that being on their phone. You can only imagine the good it can do for your business to use its mobile app to your advantage with your business.
Facebook Mobile App Tips:
- Promote a post- Doing so will allow your post to fall right into your followers news feed.
- Use the “Nearby” option. This feature recommends nearby places to go where users are currently. A user’s friends and followers see this.
- Facebook Coupons- Use coupons to promote your local business.
LinkedIn Mobile App Tips:
- Promote your local business with status updates
- To arrange “coffee dates” with local potential clients
- To join local business and shared interest groups to offer advice, suggestions, and promotions via your mobile phone.
Twitter Mobile App Tips:
- Use the Promoted Tweets feature- Doing so will allow you to have Tweets that cater to your local business and be viewed by people that are using hashtags and key terms that resonate with your local business.
- Also use photos- Smart phones are equipped with the option to send a picture to Twitter. Take advantage of a market savvy photo opp and Tweet the photo to your followers.
- Use an automation service like; Hootsuite or Social Oomph, to schedule daily tweets that remind followers of your location, hours, on-going promotions and collaborations.
Bonus Social Media Tip
Make sure that you encourage readers to opt for push notifications when they elect to use a mobile app. This way you are ensuring that users will experience your brand via their mobile device in the most engaging of ways.
Ideas for Maximizing Local Mobile Marketing
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QR Codes: They allow you do embed codes into your marketing collateral that tech savvy mobile users can scan. Add a QR code to your business cards, brochures, posters, and flyers.
Have the code when scanned, direct them to a landing page that offers incentives to sign-up for your newsletter or that provides a one-time immediate discount on a purchase.
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Vine and You Tube for local mobile marketing:
Vine is a mobile app owned by Twitter. It allows users to record brief bits of video and share it to their Twitter account or on Vine directly.
Vine can be used to record “opening day” footage, sales reminders, and any breaking news that pertains to your company’s local marketing endeavors.
Over 40% of all You Tube video views are watched via a mobile device. However, only about 30% to 50% of the video is viewed in its entirety. To make You Tube work for your local marketing efforts, you should keep videos short, to the point, and optimized for SEO with local search terms in mind.
Local mobile marketing is just going to continue to influence how consumers come into contact with your brand. Optimizing your web presence to capture consumers in this area will take your business to new horizons.
What will you be doing to prepare your business for local mobile marketing?