7 Things Small Businesses Need To Do To Prepare For A Mobile World

Mobile marketing mix
Mobile marketing mix

I’m sure you have heard by now. Mobile is a big deal.

Everybody is talking about how big of an impact mobile is starting to make on marketing and business, but what they aren’t necessairly talking about is how we can prepare for it.

Mobile is here. All the statistics say so. Now what?

If you haven’t quite figured out how to prepare your small business to thrive in this new age of mobile communication, you’re not alone.

Here are 7 things your small business can do to prepare for a mobile world.

1) Develop A Mobile Strategy

Of course, as we mention often on this blog, you need to have a plan. You have to know where you currently are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.

You need to develop a strategy to take on this new marketing channel, and this all starts with setting the right goals.

Do you want to:

– Increase brand awareness?
– Drive more traffic to your website?
– Improve customer service?

How will a mobile channel help you meet your business objectives?

One of the worst mistakes a company can make is to develop a mobile marketing strategy that doesn’t address consumer needs or have a specific purpose. These are the types of questions you can ask that will help you identify what needs you can address and what purpose your mobile strategy will have.

Once your objectives are in place and you understand your strategic purpose, you then need to define an audience. While everyone is on a mobile device, you can’t possibly appeal to everyone.

Are you trying to appeal to existing customers? Are you trying to attract new customers? Do your products appeal to a specific generation?

Your mobile content and formatting are going to differ depending upon your audience.

Action Steps:

– Identify the purpose of your campaign that differentiates your brand from the competition. For example, Walmart and P&G launched a joint mobile marketing effort that allowed customers to scan products and have them delivered. They didn’t go mobile just to go mobile. There was a purpose.

– Hammer down objectives and goals that will allow you to fulfill the purpose of your campaign.

– Define your target audience and keep in mind that it could be different than your current non-mobile audience.


2) Consider Your Customers

Teen Texting

To understand how you can best reach your target audience with mobile, you first have to know how your customers are adopting to the technology.

Basically, how are they using mobile?

They aren’t just searching the web on their smart phones. That much I can nearly guarantee. Every day, users spend an average of 9 minutes on email via a mobile device, and 189 million Facebook users are “mobile only.”

There are different channels within the mobile channel that you can use to spread your message. Customer profiles are useful tools you can use to identify key characteristics of your target audience and to better pinpoint the most effective channels.

Another thing to consider: users aren’t searching keywords as much as they used to. With the help of Siri and other “voice only” options, users are now more likely to ask a question into a mobile device.

Step back and consider what your customers might be asking themselves. Your mobile content should be able to answer questions like, “Where do I find a good SEO services?” or “What’s the best hotel near the airport?”

Action Steps:

– Leverage Google Analytics to get to know your customers’ mobile habits. This article outlines how to use data to see how customers are interacting with your mobile website and applications.

– Design a customer profile for your target audience that includes these elements:

1) Demographic data – age, income, marital status, etc.
2) Product data – what types of products are they buying?
3) Psychographic data – what are common pain points for your customers?
4) Behavioral data – how are consumers interacting with your site and on social media?
5) Location data – from where are your customers accessing the site?

– Use A/B mobile testing with Mobify to optimise your site’s interface and navigation for your target audience. This article outlines a handful of tests to start with.

3) Update Your Business Listings

When was the last time you updated your basic contact information on the web?

It’s easy to forget about.

Research tells us that 49% of local businesses say they have never updated their online listing information, in spite of the fact that 50% say they’ve seen inaccurate listings.

Are you one of them?

Whether it’s on a search engine, a review site, or a mobile app, you have to have up-to-date information so customers know where to go.

Include a simple description of your services, hours of operation, phone number, email address, physical address (if you have one), and a link to your website. Make it easy for customers to visit.

If you’re brick and mortar, it is also recommended that you update your listings on Google Maps. Customers searching for a location on Google Maps are likely looking to find that business immediately. To make sure your listing is accurate, optimise a Google + Local page for your business.

Action Steps:

– Use services like SinglePlatform to make updating an overwhelming number of listings less painful.

– Use directory lists to can keep track of listings that need updating.

– Start with the easiest, most popular directories like Merchant Circle, Yelp, and YellowPages.com.

– You can also visit other common review sites like Product Review to make sure your contact information is correct.

4) Share The Right Content


What kind of mobile content will attract your customers’ attention?

Here are a few types of content that work well with mobile devices.

Ebooks: Especially for tablets, ebooks let you dive deeply into a topic to really give your audience value. If you’re already a blogger, an ebook is probably right up your alley. With a little design help, you could have a new ebook circulating in no time. Here are a few ebook basics.

Cartoon or Meme: It’s no secret that blocky text doesn’t perform well on mobile devices. The fewer the words you can use to get your message across the better, and if you can make it funny, that’s an added bonus. Both cartoons and memes are highly shareable because people find them entertaining. Learn how to use them to benefit your business.

Video: The small screen hasn’t stopped people from watching videos. Video streaming now makes up 39% of all mobile traffic. Consider adding video to your content mix, especially if you’re targeting a social audience.

Action Steps:

– If your audience is craving an ebook, the quickest way to put one together is to curate your best content from the past few months. You can center it on a certain theme or create a “Best of” book (i.e., The Best of Louder.Online 2014).

– Create memes and cartoons that are relevant to your audience, recognisable, and clean. And don’t blatantly promote your company.

– Produce videos that are simple, high-quality, and entertaining to account for the smaller screens and shrinking consumer attention spans.

– Experiment with these different types of content to see which draws the best response from customers.

5) Integrate Mobile Social Media

Instagram, Pinterst, Vine, Snapchat . . . what do these four social media platforms have in common?

They’re mainly mobile-first channels, and they’re highly visual.

We already talked about how many people use Facebook on a mobile device, and Twitter is no different. Mobile Twitter users are 79% more likely to be on Twitter several times a day.

Social media is a great tool you can use to help mobile customers find and interact with you. The trick is to make an effort to target these mobile social media users, not just the desktop users.

Take the time to test the content to see how it looks on a mobile device, and make sharing that content easy by having the available buttons. Mobile users are 66% more likely to retweet a tweet and 39% more engaging on Facebook. Take advantage of that.

Action Steps:

– Understand how your social media pages look on a mobile device (specifically Facebook). It won’t always be the same as on the desktop, so make sure you’re highlighting the right words and images.

– Complete and maintain the information on your profiles. 91% of local searchers use Facebook to find local business online.

– Create accounts for the “visual” social networks mentioned above, and develop high-quality videos/images that stand out. Link back to your mobile site from these images, so if one goes viral, you’ll see an influx in mobile web traffic.

6) Measure Mobile Metrics

Tracking your normal analytics is hard enough, and while mobile metrics add another layer of complexity, you can’t know how your strategy is progressing without having a measuring system in place.

Google Analytics is great, but it’s not the only option. Plenty of other tools are available to make measuring your mobile metrics easier. Here are a few of my favorites.

Localytics: Probably one of the most well-known mobile analytics apps out there, Localytics has worked with big names like Ebay and the World Wildlife Fund to help optimise their mobile app performance.

TestFlight: Use this app’s analytics package to beta test, follow your mobile traffic, and track your overall success.

Geckoboard: Among the many other features of Geckoboard, one of the most useful is the ability to monitor mobile sign-up conversation rates. This is another highly recommended mobile analytics service.

Action Steps:

– Let Adam Singler, a Google Analytics guru, walk you through some of the most important metrics to watch to make your mobile app successful.

– Have a mobile measuring system in place from the start so you can begin tracking your progress from day one.

– Understand how to use Google Analytics’ Mobile App Analytics.

7) Beef Up Security

If you’re not at all worried about mobile security, you should be. At least a little bit, because the threat of a possible cyber attack is real. Small and medium-sised businesses aren’t exempt.

In early 2012, small businesses accounted for 36% of all targeted cyber attacks resulting from a lack of defenses.

Now is the time to develop a solid mobile policy . . . before the security headaches start appearing. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Anticipate growth: When you first sit down to write a policy, it’s okay to start with basics like setting passwords and downloading apps. Just understand that the policy is going to grow as your company does. It doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Involve Management: A security policy shouldn’t just involve IT. Management needs to be included in the process because a mobile policy affects how the business operates. It’s not solely a technology problem.

Consider App Safety: People take for granted the safety of app downloads. Make sure your employees understand to only download apps from trusted marketplaces. Mobile malware is typically transmitted through the unregulated app stores.

Action Steps:

– Encrypt everything. Having password protection on your phone and tablet is a must. While you can protect your Android devices, Apple products have many built in security features.

– For Android, invest in quality malware protection like Avast, F-Secure, and TrustGo.

– Don’t underestimate the risks of cyber attacks. It may never happen, but if it does and you’re unprepared, it will cause a headache that won’t go away for a while.

Final Thoughts

It’s about time we stop being stunned at how mobile is taking over. Instead, it’s time to start planning how we can take advantage of this trend to better reach our customers and grow our businesses.

This new mobile landscape is opening a lot of different doors for marketers, and I am looking forward to seeing how companies use this new communication channel.

Have you started preparing for mobile yet?

Let us know in the comments. 

Image: Flickr
Image: Customer
Image: eBook