Tools for Taking your Online Business Mobile
A business today needs to be mobile. Your customers are using their cell phones to access business information. If you aren’t easily accessible on their mobile phones then they’re going to start overlooking you in favor of businesses that are.
Here are the tools that you need in order to go mobile with your business:
Reinvent your website for the mobile platform. You may have a really amazing Flash website with a lot of interactive features that looks terrific on a desktop computer. However, that’s not going to work correctly on most mobile phones. You need to also have a mobile version of your site. (Lakeshore Branding has a list of really sweet tools here.) Each different mobile platform offers a browser WebKit to help optimize sites for the web. It’s worth it to work with a professional who is knowledgeable about making your website ready for mobile devices.
Do local search engine optimization. Doing SEO for your website means taking steps to guarantee that your website is going to turn up in search engine searches related to your business. However, it’s increasingly important to make sure that you do local SEO as well. This means making sure that your site shows up in relevant searches for specific local areas. This is tough when you have a nationwide online business. Doing special promotions related to specific areas or promoting your collaboration with local businesses are good ways to get started.
Consider doing an SMS marketing campaign. A text message marketing campaign is a great way to get your brand in front of people who are out and about on their phones. This is targeted advertising that sends text messages alerts and announcements to your existing customers and / or potential new customers.
Create an app. The way that people are navigating the mobile web these days is through the use of apps. Create an app that reflects what your business does and use traditional online marketing strategies to promote that app. This is a great way to spread the word about your brand and grow your online business. Android apps are the most common option for young online businesses.
Use video advertising. This is an important marketing tool in today’s online world. More and more phones are capable of playing videos through sites like YouTube. If you have a strong video presence online then you will naturally do well as the mobile web develops as well. (Check out LSB’s “Lessons from Lady Gaga on Viral Video Success”.)
Ditto with social media marketing. You absolutely must be using social media today to market your online business. Social media is often accessed via the mobile web so the more effort you put into social media the better you’re going to do in terms of going mobile.
Begin offering mobile payment solutions. This is truly the way of the future when it comes to banking. People want to be able to easily transfer money using their mobile phones. If you offer a mobile payment option for making purchases on your site then you’ll be on the cusp of what’s happening right now in the mobile world.
Offer deals with mobile coupons. This is a popular subsection of mobile payments that is becoming increasingly popular with shoppers of all types. Businesses have several options for creating and distributing mobile coupons to a diverse group of targeted users. Explore your options carefully.
Get on board with Quick Response codes. Have you seen those black-and-white patterns that look a bit like graphic bar codes and are printed in magazine ads and even hung outside of restaurants? These codes have information embedded in them that people can read when they scan them with their mobile phones. This interactive opportunity to provide potential customers with information is something that has the possibility of being a very powerful tool.
Ask your customers to review your business. Customers who spread the word about your business through review sites like Yelp and tools like FourSquare are very useful to you. These sites are often accessed by people using mobile search tools.
About the author: Brian Samuels has been a consultant for online marketing for four years. He currently blogs over at freeinsurancequotes.org, a great online resource to compare fully customized insurance rates quickly and confidentially.
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