Five mobile strategy tips for small business

Whilst large organisations like Argos and Tesco are engaging both new and existing customers through increasingly intelligent mobile marketing, many smaller organisations aren’t taking advantage.

Whilst large organisations like Argos, IBM and Tesco are engaging both new and existing customers through increasingly intelligent mobile marketing, many smaller organisations aren’t taking advantage of the benefits that this relatively recent strategy can offer.

In this example, I’ll discuss how a local hair salon can tap into the mobile audience through five quick and effective mobile marketing tips.

Understand your mobile return on investment

Before deep-diving into mobile marketing, it’s important to measure your audience’s existing behavior and understand the desire for mobile interaction. The best way to do this is through analysis of existing website statistics.

Adding a custom segment which only shows mobile and tablet engagement to Google Analytics allows the hair salon to see which devices are most popular, as well as analyzing traffic sources and search keywords. Once the business knows that (A) their audience are active mobile users and (B) the ways that the audience find and interact with the website then they can target marketing efforts on the areas which will return the best return on investment.

Optimize your website for mobile browsing

Whilst many small businesses have a website, not that many are optimized for mobile. Without a mobile friendly (or at least compatible) website, all the other mobile marketing efforts will be a waste of time – Why direct a mobile audience to a non-mobile ready website?

There’s some quick wins that the hair salon could take to make their existing site mobile-friendly. I’ve previously wrote a separate article about this, which can be found here. In short, making the website responsive to the size of the screen is the best solution.

Create mobile-specific paid advertising campaigns (Click to call)

Google has been really pushing paid advertising (PPC) to small businesses for a number of years now, and it’s beginning to show online. However AdWords has some really neat features which lend themselves perfectly to mobile marketing.

Creating a separate PPC campaign is recommended, rather than relying on any pre-existing campaigns that may already exist. In the example of the hair salon, a number of ad groups could be created, each targeted to specific locations and schedules. Adding ‘ad extensions’ shows the location and telephone number for a seamless mobile experience.

Google are also launching Bid-Per-Call, allowing bids to be placed for phone calls. Although in it’s early stages of release, this promises to be another useful tool for businesses who are serious about mobile marketing.

Add your business to Google Places

Adding yourself to Google Places is a brilliantly simple and effective way to increase your online presence across all devices, but works particularly well with mobile search. Not only will your business be searchable in any software which uses Google’s ‘Places API’ but will also appear within organic search results with directions, telephone numbers and opening hours all visible. Add to this photos, Google maps and potentially star ratings and you’ve got a great organic search ally.

A hair salon could add photos of model haircuts, and ask existing clients for reviews to boost their ‘star rating’. The premium features of Google places would allow the hair salon to promote salon offers to nearby users, including those using the Google Offers and Google Wallet applications.

Start promoting your mobile site with QR codes

Alongside all the digital promotion, there are offline things that can be done to increase a small businesses mobile interactions, too. QR codes can be an effective tool when used intelligently with printed promotional material such as offer flyers or posters (Providing that you’re directing customers to a mobile friendly website!).

QR codes are a great way to get typically offline customers interacting with online material. The hair salon could benefit from adding QR codes to a printed leaflet which directs users to a mobile-specific landing page displaying offers or promotions, redeemable in store. Adding a digital (mobile) edge to traditionally offline marketing can give small businesses the edge in the ever-evolving marketplace.

John Alexander Rowley

An enthusiastic digital marketing professional passionately dedicated to increasing the online presence of businesses and individuals in order to improve engagement and ROI.

Why I love digital marketing

Mobile email optimisation factors you should consider

More and more emails are being delivered to mobile inboxes, which is why mobile email optimisation and location segmentation are so important in modern email marketing.

Read the full article

Mobile website development quick wins

Modern websites are usually designed with mobile in mind – Some even focus on mobile over desktop visitors. These quick-wins will help older websites keep up to speed and display on mobile.

Read the full article

Mobile email marketing best practices

A study by ReturnPath revealed that mobile email open rates increased by 34% in 2011. Comparatively, desktop open rates dropped on average by 9.5% and via webmail access by 11%.

Read the full article