Sometime in 2013, it’s estimated that the ratio of web-to-mobile browsers will shift in favor of mobile devices — that means that more people will access the internet from smartphones and tablets than from traditional computers.
Is your business ready for that tide change?
Just like advertising only in print media and being in the Yellow Pages won’t cut it for marketing in 2012, simply having a website may not be enough a year from now, especially if that site loads slowly or improperly on mobile devices. Marketing is entering the age of the handheld, and it’s time to get onboard.
To join the mobile revolution, start here:
Be a Super Socialite
Facebook’s most recent iPhone and Android app update fixed a lot of the old version’s glitches, but criticisms of their previous version helped contribute to the company’s tanking stock value over the summer. Marketing and mobile haven’t quite figured out how to coexist yet, but users demand mobile access to their social media networks.
While Facebook tried to catch up, Twitter grew heartily this year, in part due to its streamlined mobile interface. Start-ups like Path launched as a social network alternative, without any computer access at all — it’s a wholly mobile platform.
If you’re overwhelmed by the need to keep Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter feeds up to speed on a daily basis, at least appreciate that you can ‘work’ from anywhere with a mobile device. It’s important to post status updates and tweet daily, and even more crucial to stay engaged with followers who comment and ask questions. By responding quickly and sparking conversation, you’ll draw more traffic to your site and keep people coming back.
Embrace the mobile and make a point to interact with your company pages at least twice daily.
Optimize Your Site
If you’ve never looked at your company’s website on a phone or tablet other than the one you own, borrow a friend’s device and do it immediately! Just because your site looks great on Android, it may be clunky or not load at all on an iPad (especially if you’ve utilized Flash animation).
Most sites using Flash now include a second version on their server that mobile devices automatically redirect to. From using lower quality photographs to removing animation, these mobile-friendly sites load far more quickly than a site full of drop down menus and moving parts that looks great on a computer.
Any qualified developer will be able to create a mobile friendly site, and most online template programs now include them standard in their packages. If you created your site a few years back and have generally left it alone ever since, immediately check that your site loads quickly and correctly on a variety of devices.
Connecting with mobile customers doesn’t have to be all tech-centric. Text messages are one of the fastest growing marketing methods (and fastest growing spam offenders — so be respectful). If you’re able to collect customer’s phone numbers, offer them a weekly deal via text. Give people a big incentive when they provide their number — something like 50 percent off a purchase up to a certain amount, or a freebie. Then make sure the follow-up deals you send are worthwhile, and people will actually look forward to receiving your texts, bringing traffic back through your door or to your website.
There’s An App for That
Should you have an app for your business? That depends. Do you provide a service or information that could be accessed more efficiently through an app than a mobile browser? If the answer is yes, then an app may be a great idea. Most designers are now trained in app creation, and plenty of online tools exist for DIY rookies, including iSites and AppMakr.
If you’re thinking about an app just as another place to post the same information that’s on your website, it may not be necessary. Ask yourself if you can see people utilizing your app on a daily basis. Apps that don’t meet that criteria are likely to be quickly deleted, and even worse, get bad reviews within the Android and Apple App Store marketplaces.
Have you seen a difference in your business traffic since going mobile with your website and marketing? What other ideas do you have for getting your brand into customers’ hands?
Christopher Wallace, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Amsterdam Printing, has more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing. At Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom pens and other promotional items such as custom USB drives, Christopher is focused on providing quality marketing materials to small, mid-size and large businesses. He regularly contributes to Promo & Marketing Wall blog.