Get this. You probably spend more time on your smartphone than on a laptop or desktop computer. Also, this is probably not mind-blowing news for you. But just in case you’re still in doubt, there’s data to prove it.
In 1995, only one percent of the population used mobile. By 2014, 73% were depending on their smartphones. Further, mobile viewing was only 12% of the hours spent on the internet in 2008, but as of 2015? Over half of the hours we search and view things online is now done from our smartphones.
So the answer is obvious: If you want to find and engage with your customers, small business mobile should be your priority. That means assessing your small business and looking at every place where it can be optimized for mobile.
Here are some ways you can start optimizing for a small business mobile model. Let’s dive in, people.
- Responsive web design for mobile viewing: This is the first place that your customers and prospects will see you. And, if your website doesn’t load and respond to the mobile screen and navigation, they’ll quickly leave – and most likely never come back.
- Mobile app: While you may think that an app is just for games and social media, the reality is that an app can become an extension of what you offer your customers. How so? In terms of reaching out with additional information, exclusive deals, and location-centric content that makes things better and easier for them. Study what your customers need before creating the app so you can get the greatest return. For some, this may be an app that works within the store to deliver specific coupons or specials. Another company may benefit from an app that helps facilitate e-cash payments, communication, or project management. Make sure that app is then available in as many places and “app stores” as possible.
- Mobile marketing automation: Also known as in-app marketing, this specific mobile optimization strategy has provided companies with more user insights and engagement. Creating messages for your audience based on your research can be facilitated by automation. You can create various types of campaigns, including conversion, life-cycle, one-time and transactional campaigns with mobile marketing automation software that better targets your audience based on their needs, time of year and seasonal changes.
- Mobile ads: Like your web design, make sure that all your mobile marketing ads are user-friendly and look just as compelling on the smaller screen like they did on the larger one. With more mobile ad options than ever before, including video, native and banner—determine your audience’s preferences and develop a campaign that delivers that preferred content.
- Mobile search marketing: With more people and businesses using their smartphones over anything else to search for what they need, it’s incredibly important to optimize your website and overall mobile content.
- Location-specific mobile marketing: Since the smartphone has now become our in-pocket map, phone book, everything book—a small business can leverage localization tactics to be found faster by their target audience.
- Mobile social media marketing: Determine which social media platforms fit your business. Snapchat or Pinterest may not be for you because your mobile audience and your business don’t align on those sites. Instead, only select those social media sites where you can showcase your business and reach your target audience. You probably don’t have the time or budget to be on every social media site, especially if you are not going to get the return you need. On the social media sites you do appear on, make sure you incentivize your fans and followers to check-in and engage with you on their pages, which more often happens in the mobile environment.
- Mobile marketing research: Don’t assume you know everything about your target audience based upon previous research because there is a good chance you don’t know what type of smartphone operating system they are using or when they prefer to use their smartphone for online activity.
Remember! You don’t need to take on all these changes at once. Consider it as a build process, starting with the responsive web design in order to not lose customers or prospects along the way as you optimize for mobile.
Research and benchmark every mobile optimization process and trend as you go to make sure you’re implementing it in the best way possible. As you implement more mobile campaigns and engagement actions, be sure to conduct usability tests to ensure everything displays properly and is attractive to your audience.
Test it on iPads and other tablets, various types of smartphones, and other wireless gadgets like a smartwatch. Just like various internet browsers, there can be considerable differences in how anything you create looks and loads.
As a result of a targeted small business mobile strategy that optimizes these channels and processes within your company, you’ll be able to capitalize on some—if not, all—of the benefits of reaching more of your target audience. Not only will your lead volume grow along with increased conversions, but you’ll also be able to achieve better brand engagement.
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, author and contributing writer for Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Inc., and The Huffington Post. Don’t miss his recent post on our beloved former CEO, Dave Goldberg on Business.com.
Reach out to John with questions here or leave a comment below!