Should Your Small Business Consider Mobile Marketing?

By Dan Janal, Small Business PR Expert

Just when you thought your website was the perfect marketing tool to attract and interact with your online customers, there’s another factor to consider: Mobile Marketing.

Simply defined, mobile marketing is the way businesses interact with prospects and customers via their mobile phones. For small businesses, it’s not a question of whether to adopt a mobile marketing strategy but when. Time is of the essence.

After all, look around. Doesn’t it look like everyone has a mobile phone? From teens to seniors, it seems as if everyone has a mobile device that can browse the web, get email and provide traffic directions – and much more.

Mobile devices generate more than 1/3 of all web page views, according to PR Industry analyst and author Shel Holtz. The number will grow as more people use mobile devices.

  • If someone is on the road looking for a quick place to eat, will they find your restaurant?
  • If someone is driving around town looking for a new dining room set, will they find you?

 

You’d probably say, “Of course. My company has a website, they can read it on their screens.” But that’s where a big problem could occur.

Mobile phone screens are small and computer screens are large. You designed your website to look great on the big screen, but on a six-inch screen, it might be hard to see.

Consider the limitations of the small screen on mobile phones:

  • They might not display the images properly.
  • Large pictures might scroll off the side of the screen and force people to move the screen left-to-right, which is awkward.
  • Files saved as PDF – like restaurant menus, might take a long time to load and could be very hard to read.
  • Simple information, like your phone number or address might not be clearly visible.

 

There’s one simple way to find out if your mobile site is making these mistakes. You need to check how your website looks on the most popular mobile phones. You might be shocked at what you see – or don’t see.

I’ve noticed that websites built with WordPress appear quite nicely on mobile phones. They appear to translate well. I’ve also seen restaurant sites that were impossible to navigate on a mobile phone.

Last year, I attended a mobile marketing conference and saw how some companies are taking the next step and are embracing a new look and feel for their mobile websites. Those sites seemed to use a horizontal layout with big icons so key features were easy to spot. Then the user could drill down to find more information. It was clearly a different visual metaphor than a web page. It was specially designed for the mobile phone.

Take these first two steps to make sure your customers can find you with their phones and find the information they are looking for. If they can do so easily, you’ll retain the customer. If your mobile site can’t do this, then you might lose a sale.

Make no mistake about it: mobile marketing is here to stay.

Dan Janal, author of "Reporters Are Looking for YOU!" helps small businesses get publicity so they can sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, consulting, done-for-you services and do-it-yourself tools. For info, go to www.prleadsplus.com.

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