Personal Small Business Enterprise

Mobile Marketing: Establishing a Basic Mobile Presence

With today’s mobile devices, Canadian professionals live in a world of constant connectivity. Mobile Internet access has created a global mobile transaction economy that is growing at a remarkable rate. According to Yankee Group’s latest research, global mobile transactions will grow from US$241 billion in 2011 to more than $1 trillion by 2015.

Today’s consumers expect to find the information that they want, when they want it – especially when they’re on the go. As a business owner, it’s important to create an effective mobile presence to build your brand and nurture lasting customer relationships. With that in mind, let’s look at the basics of building a mobile presence that resonates with today’s consumer.

Developing a basic mobile marketing strategy
Defining your mobile marketing strategy is the most important component for success and should never be overlooked or rushed. The first step to any mobile strategy is defining your goals, so be sure to clearly identify what you hope to achieve. For example, you may want to increase mobile purchases, find sales leads, or increase newsletter signups. Research your market, decide what online medium to use (e.g. LinkedInTwitterFacebook) and think of creative ways to enable sharing opportunities between each respective online property.

For example, a small coffee shop could use social media to redirect customers to their mobile website to redeem a coupon by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter with a unified hashtag.  Decide how you plan to consistently update campaigns to encourage renewed interest.

As you put together your mobile strategy, you’ll have to decide between building a mobile website or a native, custom app for mobile platforms. To help decide which one is right for you, have a look at a few of the many benefits of each option:

Mobile-ready website
– Multi-platform compatibility (AndroidiOSBlackberry and Windows 8)

– Easier and quicker to build, can be easily updated

– Can be found easily and crawled by search engines to improve organic search rankings

Native mobile app
– Takes advantage of smartphone functionality (e.g. camera, GPS, scanning capabilities)

– Can be personalized easily for regular usage

– Offline access to content or perform some functions without wireless connection

Designing for smaller screens
Developing a strong user experience should be the backbone of any mobile strategy. Get to know your mobile audience and how they would want to navigate your site to find the information they are looking for.

Since you’re designing with smaller screens in mind, break up web pages into small portions, as lengthy sections of text can be hard to read. And stick to single columns of text so users don’t have to scroll horizontally. Keeping everything clean and simple increases usability and allows users to navigate on-the-go with little difficulty.

You’ll have to trim down the amount of content shown on your mobile site, so focus on essential information like your contact information and make it easy to access. Be sure to provide a link or option to view your full website so users can still view content and features that are only available on the desktop version. But overall, your mobile content should give user what they want, when they want it.

The bottom line
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association predicts that Canada will achieve 100 percent mobile device penetration over the next few years — that is, there will be at least one smartphone or tablet for every man, woman and child in the country. Without a mobile-friendly site you’ll be losing users to your competition. In fact, 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, so if that site’s not yours, you’ll be missing out in a big way.

Do you have a mobile presence online? How did you pick between a mobile website and a custom app? Let us know via the comments section below.

By Andy Baryer
The Bell Blog team

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