INDUSTRY INSIGHTS, TIPS & STRATEGY
The Value of Online Reviews and Social Sharing
There is no denying that increasing use of mobile devices poses new challenges for marketers. A proactive mobile strategy, implemented using the right tools, can turn those challenges into opportunities to generate leads and connect with customers.
Connect with a Responsive Website
Your website provides the foundation for your online brand. The shift to mobile internet use with the popularity of smartphones has been a game changer for website design. One standard layout cannot accommodate the myriad of screen formats your visitors may be using to access your content. Old fashioned, pared down, mobile versions often force viewers to choose between the mobile and “full” website. Why force them to choose?
Responsive Web Design is more than a mobile version. A responsive website presents content in segments that automatically adjust to optimally appear on whatever device the visitor is using. Visitors enjoy a more frictionless experience with your brand without sacrificing crucial content. Brands and consumers alike are enjoying the advantages of responsive website design today.
Inform with Automated and Responsive Emails
Still one of the best ways to educate customers, as well as generate referral business through “send to a friend” and sharing, opt-in email is an exceptional, often underutilized tool. If you aren’t using eMail now, you should since the majority of emails are being opened on phones as well. With simple automation tools, you can follow-up with prospects who request more information. You can also use this tool to strengthen ties with existing customers. For best results, take the extra step to ensure that your emails will appear appropriately and be well received on mobile devices.
Engage with Social Media
Engaging your customers and prospects on social media is one way for you to meet them right where they are. In the third quarter of 2013 (as reported by TechCrunch), Facebook announced that that 48 percent of daily users are mobile and nearly half of the company’s advertising revenues now come from mobile ads. LinkedIn reports similar numbers. If you are advertising on social media, be sure that your ads are formatted and specifically targeted to mobile users.
Be Accessible with a Mobile App
Your customers and prospects expect to be able to find and engage with your brand on the primary social media channels. They are tremendously valuable components of your online strategy but developing your own app, an asset that you own and control, may provide a better way to connect and engage with your customers.
With a responsive website, however, you may find that your content is so easily accessible to mobile users that a stand-alone app is just not necessary. This is a great example of how one tool may be tremendously successful for some brands but simply a waste of resources for another. It requires careful consideration and often a third-party perspective to devise the marketing strategy and mix of tools that are best for your brand.
Intrigue them with Quick Response and Augmented Reality Tools
With the internet now at your customers’ fingertips, you may consider trying a QR code or augmented reality campaign. This tool requires end users to have a reader app installed on their phone. When they see your QR code or scannable image, they are only a scan and at most, a few clicks away from connecting with your content in the most opportune moment, often right at the critical purchase decision point.
While QR and similar technologies have not yet been widely accepted, new augmented reality tools being developed every day provide creative new ways to reach consumers.
Catch them with SMS (Text) Auto-Responders
Many businesses have begun to use SMS Auto-Responders with a short code to make it easy for smartphone users to easily engage with the brand on the fly. Asking users to text a key word to a short code is a low-barrier, effective way for businesses to gain opt-ins, register users for contests, and to share information, instructions, even coupons.
Businesses are just beginning to understand how they can use these tools to reach more prospects, build more leads, and increase sales. Of course, depending on the unique situation of your business, some or all of these tools may be appropriate, though it is unlikely you will find that any one is a silver bullet. The integration of these tools with powerful options for things like geo-targeting provide virtually endless applications.