The holiday shopping season is upon us, but it’s not too late to leverage mobile advertising to win new customers in time for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Yahoo Small Business spoke with Greg Garrick, VP of Mobile Marketing at UpSnap, about how small businesses can compete with big brands by targeting consumers with locally targeted mobile banner ads—at the holidays in particular.
"Last year we saw some heavy traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday from mobile shoppers, and mobile is definitely going to be a very instrumental tool in these upcoming holidays,” Garrick says. His data indicate that mobile sales accounted for nearly 40 percent of online traffic on Black Friday and one-third of Cyber Monday traffic in 2013.
"Small businesses need to take advantage of mobile advertising," he says. "It’s the strongest and quickest vehicle to get in the mix."
Free apps such as Pandora, Salon, and CBS News all run mobile banner ads. Not sure if you’ve ever noticed one? Not surprising. Garrick says he hears that from consumers all the time. But, he argues that while big brands’ logos appearing at the bottom of your phone screen might get glazed over, ads for local merchants catch mobile users’ attention.
You might think mobile advertising would be of little interest to community-based businesses, but Garrick says targeted local mobile ads are seeing far better than average secondary action rates—that is, the percentage of users who take an action such as phoning the business after the initial ad click. UpSnap’s data reveals that dentists, attorneys, and heating & air conditioning businesses are getting great returns on their mobile ad investment.
Here’s UpSnap’s advice for leveraging mobile to fight the big brands this holiday season:
- Put Mobile in Your Toolbox: Combining mobile with digital tools, public relations, and social media outreach provides a surround-sound effect. Powerful synergies create a dramatic increase in awareness.
- Mobile is a Big Opportunity for Small Biz: Local businesses are seeing some of the best returns on mobile advertising efforts. With the move to “shop local,” the holidays are a perfect time for community merchants to leverage mobile to make an impact that can last beyond the season.
- Forget the Clicks, Count the Calls: Focusing on the click-through-rate can be deceiving. Businesses that have moved the needle through mobile advertising are putting efforts into the secondary action, which means the consumer takes an extra step to engage with your business after clicking the banner ad to reach your landing page. They can click to call, get directions, or simply visit your website. That’s what brings in business.
- ‘Tis the Season: Define the characteristics of your best customers and target them versus generically targeting vertical markets. And develop seasonal campaigns to target those specific segments to ensure higher engagement and better results.