Mobile marketing is a form of digital marketing that targets prospective customers through their mobile devices. In 2018, mobile marketing is expected to account for 75 percent of all digital advertising spending. Competing in this channel requires an effective strategy, so we asked the experts to share their best.
Here are 25 of the best tips for an effective mobile marketing strategy from the pros.
1. Have a Mobile-Friendly Signup Page
TJ Kelly, Founder & Principal, Mxt Media
When it’s time to convert social media users into leads or sales for your business, keep the mobile UX in mind: the conversion better be quick and easy. Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, uses a real-world analogy to make this point: if they can’t fill out your lead form while they’re standing in line at Starbucks, they probably won’t do it at all. That means your opt-in action should be only one or two thumb taps. “Tap here to sign up,” etc. Make use of social sign-on buttons like Facebook, Google, or Twitter. If you do have a form to fill out, use as few fields as possible, and present the fields one or two at a time. Typeform does this beautifully.
2. Design Your Site for Mobile Users First
Jeremy Noronha, SEO Manager, Foundr
Ever since 2015, more searches have been done on mobile devices than on desktop computers. Also, with Google placing an emphasis on user interactions on the site, it’s incredibly key to design your site so the experience of the user on the smaller screen is better than ever. Keeping conversions in mind, as well as user experience, is going to be very important in the next few years.
3. Explore Channels That Work Best for Your Content
Sunny Kumar, SEO & SMM Expert, TheGuideX
With the increase in mobile users worldwide, it’s better to market your business through the different mobile channels. There are a lot of mobile marketing tools out there that one can use to promote businesses. You can even use social media to drive targeted customers to your business. Remember to bring something unique and add a personal touch in your mobile marketing campaigns. Use content that is well optimized for mobile users, because user experience matters a lot. Also remember that text messages are not dead and you can still use them for marketing your business.
4. Don’t Forget Your On-Site Marketing Game
Jessica Thiele, Director of Marketing, VL OMNI
Mobile marketing encompasses two elements: offsite marketing, and on-site marketing and preparedness. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming mobile marketing equates to only off-site, but if your on-site experience is not up to par, no amount of spend in the world will allow you to keep the traffic you direct to your digital properties, as both people and search engines alike will penalize you for a non-mobile experience.
5. Use Facebook Tools to Target Facebook Mobile Users
Justin Whitaker, Marketing Director, Trellis
Facebook is a data machine that can help you learn about your customer’s every move. Facebook Business Manager is a free tool that allows any company, both large and small, to manage paid ads, customer lists and valuable data to learn more about how to better serve their customer. Facebook Blueprint is a free training system that helps any person learn the ins and outs about Facebook Business Manager.
For someone who is not technical or doesn’t have the time to take the courses, I recommend hiring a qualified company to implement or consult your business in the right direction. Facebook doesn’t just deliver ads, they also provide user flow for your website, sales funnels, lead generation and the data to make informed decisions to provide success for any budget.
6. Deliver In-App Value
Stephen Seifert, VP of Marketing, Your Doctors Online
One of our highest converting mobile marketing strategies is to deliver in-app value. After our members get the information they need via our online doctor chat, we deliver recent blog posts and supplemental information on the medical question they came to us for. This keeps our members engaged and increases the customer lifetime value, increasing our return members exponentially. We also follow-up with email marketing campaigns giving helpful health advice from our Chief Medical Advisor. It is all about value.
7. Make Mobile Design a Priority
Ayodeji Awosika, Director of Digital Marketing, MLT Group – Creative Solutions
Business owners should pay careful attention to mobile design as a marketing technique because of Google’s mobile first-indexing priority. In March of 2018, Google announced that it would prioritize mobile versions of websites in their algorithm. SEO is a critical piece of the marketing pie for most businesses and new algorithm updates like Rank Brain are focused on user experience. Making your user experience a priority, especially on mobile, will become more important in the future because search engines are moving away from ranking pages based on typical SEO techniques and are focusing on serving up the best results—period.
Core parts of user experience on mobile include load speed (accelerated mobile pages can be used for pages without the need for heavy HTML), navigation, and use of media. You want the user experience on your mobile site to be as good as, if not better than, your desktop version.
8. Engage in Geo-Fencing
Ameet Khabra, Pay-Per-Click Specialist, Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc
My favorite tip when it comes to mobile advertising is geo-fencing, or ZIP/postal code targeting. I love this tactic because it’s so effective and can be very funny, creating a lasting impression on your target audience. All you do is:
- Create a campaign around a specific area you would like to target; I like to choose competitor locations for this.
- Of course, create your ad, which should be something about the benefits of your service/product.
- Launch your campaign ad and reap the rewards!
9. Engage Your Customers with SMS
Matt Baglia, Co-Founder, SlickText
The key to a winning SMS marketing strategy, besides providing value, is to grow your list as much as possible. You want to make the opt-in process as quick and easy as possible. Acquiring new subscribers isn’t as hard as it may seem, either. The easiest way is to have them text to join. Each text messaging list has what’s known as a keyword that your customers can text to a short phone number, called a short code. When people send that keyword to the short code, they are immediately opted into your SMS list and sent back a confirmation message. This is all very simple to set up, and any SMS marketing service today has the tools to get you up and running quickly. Make sure that you ask each one of your customers if they’ve joined your VIP text list yet, and give them an opportunity and incentive to do so.
10. Set Up Automated Text Message Campaigns
Alfredo Salkeld, Marketing Manager, SimpleTexting
Most marketers are familiar with drip campaigns, but few think to utilize the strategy in channels other than email—yet email has an average open rate of less than 22 percent. The average CTR of emails is less than three percent. Don’t get me wrong—email is without a doubt an important mobile channel—but research shows it isn’t the most effective one.
Businesses that don’t want their messages getting buried in an inbox should try text messaging. Texts have an average open rate of nearly 100 percent, and the CTR is around 17 percent. Just like email, they can be used to send personalized special offers and cart abandonment reminders. And for small businesses looking to provide better customer service, texts are a cost-effective way to respond to inquiries instantly. Each message only costs pennies to send and all incoming texts are free.
11. Provide Customer Support from Their Mobile Device
Ian Aronovich, Co-Founder and CEO, GovernmentAuctions.org
One major tip I can give is to create a social media-based dedicated support page on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, where problems can be reported and tickets assigned. Those platforms have their owns apps that you can let your customers use to seek support from you via social media, whether it be from direct messages, tweets, or comments on post. It’s a quick and easy way to get feedback from mobile users without having to do a whole lot to your mobile website.
Another useful way you can provide customer support for your mobile user is by creating an email ticketing system. Ticketing systems make providing support easier when several staff members are involved, because you’re able to see whether a request is being responded to and who’s working on it, not to mention that it makes it much easier to keep track of how much time is being spent on the incoming tickets.
12. Don’t Make Everything Sales-Related in Your Text Messaging
Bob Bentz, President, Purplegator
Text message marketing is opt-in marketing, meaning you can’t send somebody a text until they have given you permission. While that may seem like a daunting task, it’s precisely why text message marketing is so darn effective—consumers have indicated that they want to receive your advertising. One of the mistakes that we see from small retail businesses is that all of their text messages are sales related. While some certainly should be, you need to find other reasons to contact your consumers that are worthwhile as well. Insider information that makes them feel like they are part of your VIP Club is best.
13. Be Specific with Your Ad Size
John Max Bolling, Head of Marketing and Sales, Engine
One of the things we focus on is understanding how to take up real estate on mobile devices. A little trick that we use, that on average gets us a one to two percent higher click-through rate and more relevancy with the end user themselves, is pushing ads at a 9×16 ratio instead of a square 1:1 like Facebook recommends. This takes up more real estate in the news feed itself and allows you to better capture the consumer’s attention.
Another thing we do on mobile is utilize swipe-up features. With the advent of Facebook and Instagram stories, we are able to run paid media or influencer campaigns using swipe-up features to land directly onto our website. This is incredibly useful and causes much less friction. Swipe-up campaigns have also shown a significant decrease in cost, and the full-screen vertical imagery/videos have over-indexed in the market well. Those would be the top two tips we look at when marketing on mobile specifically for ecommerce companies.
14. Focus on Social Media in Your Mobile Marketing Strategy
Daniela Andreevska, Marketing Director, Mashvisor
Remember that mobile marketing is targeted at users and customers who are on the go and sometimes do not have the time to sit down and read lengthy texts (such as blogs or emails). When on their phone, most people spend time on various social media. Build a solid strategy to engage your users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media outlets. Because different users prefer different outlets, make sure that you cover the whole spectrum. Make sure that you share your content and updates on social media, not just on your website and through emails. Moreover, use attention-grabbing images, including photos, infographics, or graphs/tables, to get the attention of your users right away and make them want to click on the links. At the same time, make your posts short, concise, and to the point. No need for lengthy introductions—start right away.
15. Use Mobile Videos
Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing, YourParkingSpace.co.uk
An important mobile marketing strategy is to use mobile videos. Videos are incredibly popular on mobile, and nearly half of millennials only watch videos on their mobile device. Videos get shared a lot, and a web page with videos is much more attractive than text-only content. When smartphone users are bored or waiting for the bus, they like to watch videos. It’s a great opportunity for you to reach new people with your video content.
16. Have a Fully Responsive and Mobile-Optimized Platform
Will Craig, Managing Director, LeaseFetcher
More often that not with a mobile marketing campaign, you’ll be directing people through to an app or your website, so it makes sense to ensure that your platform is up to the task! That means making sure it’s fully responsive. First impressions are everything, and if your target customer clicks on your ad and gets directed to a platform that is poorly designed for being viewed on a mobile, your business is going to come across as not fit for the purpose.
Key takeaway: If you’re going to be developing a mobile marketing campaign, always make sure that the platform you’ll be directing click-throughs to is fully responsive and can be read on a smartphone or tablet.
17. Disrupt Attention, Not the Experience
Bernard May, CEO, National Positions
One of the most important areas to consider when marketing on mobile is the experience of the user on a mobile device compared to a standard desktop. Our time commitment, attention span, content preference, information seeking needs—all of this is different on mobile. One example would be Facebook ads. We ran a test on a Facebook campaign, in which one campaign used a form on Facebook and the other redirected users to a landing page. We found that the campaign that used a Facebook form performed far better than the outside landing page. Why? Our hypothesis is that when the user was taken to a landing page, it interrupted their experience on Facebook—it was intrusive—more intrusive than if they were using a desktop computer. This was an important overall lesson: in order to successfully market on mobile, you “can” disrupt attention, but if you disrupt the experience, your results may suffer.
18. Run a Selfie Campaign
Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist, DontPayFull
Your small business definitely has business profiles in popular social media networks like every other business. Commence a campaign through all your social media profiles informing your audience to share their special selfies in the business profiles of your business. These selfies must clearly display any of your business products, front of your business locations, any sort of your visual ad campaigns, or anything that shows your business name along with the audience himself or herself.
Anyone who shares this selfie in your business profiles will get a special discount coupon that will be directly sent to his or her mobile phone by SMS. Recipients of that SMS can redeem the discount coupon in certain stores within a limited period. To win this discount coupon, almost every of your social media audience will be interested to take part in this selfie campaign and your business will instantly get a big exposure.
19. Optimize Your Google Business Listing
David Hunter, CEO, ASAPmaps.com
One of the biggest—and most overlooked—opportunities in mobile marketing for local businesses is Google My Business. Google wants to serve its users the fastest and best possible results on their devices, and in 2019, they’ll almost prefer to have users bypass the traditional website visit and display relevant content directly on the search engine results page.
If you’ve looked up a recipe or a sports score any time over the past two years (especially via a voice search using the OK Google command), you’ve likely noticed that you’re getting this information without leaving Google. But many local businesses have been slow to adapt to this change, which means they’re missing opportunities to connect with potential customers. There’s a simple remedy, though. You just need to secure a free Google My Business listing for your organization and take the time to maintain your company’s profile.
20. Offer More Payment Options on Your Mobile Store
Jeff Moriarty, Marketing & Website Development, Mother’s Family Rings
Our biggest mobile marketing mistake was not offering PayPal and Amazon in the checkout. We initially went live with only the default credit card options. But after seeing the mobile traffic at 65 percent and the conversion rate much lower than desktop, we had to do something. Having these options available at checkout has led to a one percent increase in conversion rates. We did a poll with our customers and discovered they liked using these options because it was much quicker than going through the entire checkout process. All they had to do was enter their user/pass for either Amazon or PayPal and they could complete their purchase much more quickly. The added benefit is we get increased fraud prevention with these options as well, so it takes less time on our end to process and approve an order.
21. Always Check Your Page Load Speed
Danielle Kunkle, Co-Founder, Boomer Benefits
The best advice I got as the shift to mobile began was to think mobile first. The idea behind thinking mobile first is to make every page, blog, and marketing campaign friendly for mobile first and then match your desktop versions to follow suit. We revised our theme to a mobile-responsive design as well, and that has paid off, as we now get more mobile visitors than desktop.
One mistake to avoid is not checking the page load speed. Studies indicate that mobile users expect pages to load in two seconds or less. If your pages aren’t doing that, you will inevitably lose customers along the way. Be sure to check your page load speed often.
22. Don’t Confuse Mobile-Friendly for Mobile-Optimized
Bill Fukui, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Page 1 Solutions, LLC
Your website is the primary hub and destination for all of your digital marketing activities. Therefore, you need to ensure that the design and functionality of the website is optimized for a mobile-first audience. This means designing websites with short, straightforward menus; enabling site search so visitors can type in what they’re looking for and find it with a minimum of scrolling and clicking; optimizing the font and size of the text so it’s easy to read on a smaller screen; and creating a clean design that engages users’ attention in a small space. To ensure that the website design, content, and calls-to-action resonate with users, it is important to adopt a data-driven approach that allows you to test engagement with your website and make corrections accordingly.
Tools like Google Analytics and Crazy Egg allow you to implement mobile heat mapping and scroll tracking that display how far down users scroll on a page and what they click on. “Hot” areas of interaction signal menus, links, and design elements that catch the attention and drive action by visitors on mobile devices, while “cold” areas of the page are less accessed and may require refinement in order to connect with mobile viewers’ needs.
23. Segment Your User Base
Ketan Pandit, Head of Growth, CleverTap
Machine learning is a critical tool that can help business understand user behavior to maximize engagement and reduce app uninstalls and customer churn. However being over-enthusiastic about customer reach-out can also be fatal. It is no secret that personalization is key to having your users come back for more. Segmenting app users results in higher engagement, conversion rates and revenue. A segmented, personalized push notification gets 800 percent more opens, according to data presented by Econsultancy. User segmentation can be done along many lines—simple segments such as geography and demography to more complex segmentation such as psychographic segmentation or intent-based segment.
24. Avoid Using Tables When Editing Content
Evan Futterman, Director of Web Development, SmartBug Media
Often, when a content creator is trying to make multiple columns on a web page or blog, they will use a text editor and add a table. However, as a general rule of thumb, tables are not mobile-responsive, causing the content in the table cells to go off screen and the table columns to become skinny and unreadable.
25. Use Click-to-Call and Text-to-Chat Features
Dmitri Tymos, Owner, LearnZilla
Making a mobile-friendly website is essential, but its creators are often unaware of the major pain points that mobile visitors will express: not having the time to submit a form or struggling to copy over a phone number to get in touch. Not every mobile user will have the time to submit a form on the go or may not know how to copy and paste a phone number on mobile. A simple, yet overlooked solution to this is creating a Click-to-Call button with a simple piece of code on top of your page. This sends the mobile visitor to their call or text app that they can use to get in contact with your business.
A call and a text tag create a simple and painless solution for mobile users to act quickly and create leads in record time.
BONUS: Remember Mobile Isn’t Just One Device Size
Isaiah Bollinger, CEO and Co-Founder, Trellis
When it comes to mobile I would focus on building a clean and responsive site that really simplifies things on the smaller screens. You can actually remove items on mobile so that there is less to see on the smaller screen than on a desktop view. This can go a long way towards making it easy for the user to get to where they want. Most modern responsive sites should be able to accomplish this. Remember, mobile isn’t just one device size, its an infinite number of small screen sizes like tablet, larger phones, and smaller phones.
Over to You
Providing the best user experience is the key to a winning mobile marketing strategy. Watch out for these tips from the pros to help you become more visible to your targeted mobile audience.
Want to share your own mobile marketing strategy? Add your thoughts in the comments.