The term “mobile marketing” typically refers the use of mobile apps and text advertising to promote a business. Once considered a passing trend, mobile marketing is now considered the best way to advertise these days, since the best way to reach any person, almost anywhere, with any information, is through his or her cell phone. Not to mention, we use our DVRs to forward through commercials, prefer our iPods to the radio and hardly read newspapers anymore. Outside of our cell phones, we are virtually “ad-proof.”

 

These are precisely the reasons why your small business should be working hard to capture customers’ interests using mobile marketing rather than more dated forms of advertising. Listed below are a few strategies that your small business can incorporate to turn your first mobile campaign into a runaway success!

 

1. Develop A Mobile App Before Anything Else
All small to medium-sized businesses would truly benefit from developing a mobile app. Many small business owners do not realize the potential, and feel that apps are only for larger corporations like Target and Starbucks, but nothing can be further from the truth. Having a mobile app helps you to stand out in an overcrowded niche, and aids in the building of brand loyalty. While a mobile-friendly site is often thought of as a passable alternative, nothing can beat the fact that your logo will be seen daily by all the customers that downloaded your app every time they browse their phones.

 

2. Provide Unique Content
Provide value to anyone who installs your app by offering unique content every few days. Try not to send content daily or several times a day because you may annoy your customer and lead them to uninstalling your app. Remember, content can be articles, slideshows, pictures, audio podcasts or even videos. Always vary your output to stay relevant.

 

Make sure that your app always provides push notifications when your content is released. On an Android, push notifications will show your app’s icon and the fact that the customer has a message, and on an iPhone, a new push notification menu will be added to the customer’s settings screen once the app is downloaded.

 

3. Integrate Your App With Social Media
Another way to get customers to download your app and even advertise your business on a different platform is through social media-interactive content. For example, if you have a restaurant, have customers review your food and service on your app and post it to Facebook in exchange for coupons or loyalty points. Or, if your business is a gym, have your customers use the app to tweet how many calories they burned during their workout. Vanity is always a strong motivator for random social media postings. Be sure to take advantage of it!

 

4. Create A Mobile Text Campaign
First, you will need to find an SMS service online to obtain a short code for your company. These five digit numbers for sending and receiving texts are great for maintaining your privacy since you won’t have to give out your cell phone number. You will have two options when it comes to codes. You can get a dedicated code, which is yours alone, but it may take a while, and can be very expensive, or you can get a shared code through a SMS shared code provider service.

 

You will then need to build a hefty text subscriber list. How do you attract subscribers? You need to provide incentives. For example, if you own a brick-and-mortar business, simply display signs stating, “text subscribers will receive a 25% coupon,” or any other hook that will entice customers to subscribe, such as loyalty rewards or freebies. If you have a clothing store, place the signs in the dressing rooms, or if you own a restaurant, place them on each table.

 

Once you build a large enough subscriber list, you have, in essence, created a captive audience to send your current ads, coupons and promotions to. Make sure you send text ads at a moderate pace so you do not push once-loyal customers to unsubscribe!

 

5. Send Mass Texts With Software
If your subscriber list is quite long, then it may be advantageous to you to purchase a software package for your computer that is capable of sending mass texts. You may think that it is more cost-effective to send them from your phone one-by-one, but the time taken away from your regular business duties is really not worth the frustration.

 

6. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Honestly, the best mobile ad tip for small companies to follow is to make sure to use both mobile apps and text marketing together. After all, unlike letters and emails, almost 90% of texts are answered within 5 minutes of receipt, and mobile apps keep your brand consistently visible to your loyal customers. Therefore, both forms of mobile marketing have their distinct advantages, and you get the best of both worlds when they are used in conjunction with each other.