The Christmas season is well and truly here, and with 2015 being touted as the year of mobile marketing, the question remains if your online marketing strategy mirrors this claim. Mobile devices are always there with you, so your opportunities to market to your targeted audience are endless. To make sure you’re headed in the right direction, I have compiled my top five mobile holiday must-haves for small to medium businesses across Australia and New Zealand.
Consistent Data Collection
Ask any online marketing professional what their most vital and necessary piece of advice is for an effective marketing campaign and it is consistent data collection. Without it, you can wave goodbye any chance of being able to target (or re-target) your customers, analyse useful data to help you make informed strategy and business decisions and honestly know how your online marketing campaigns are performing. Firstly, decide what data you need to collect which will allow you to work towards your goals. You can then go about the best method of collecting the data which is most important to you. Next, review your engagement ‘touch-points’ with your customers to increase your audience knowledge. If you can try and validate your data as you collect you won’t have to try and fix it later. For example, that all email addresses collected have an @ symbol included. Plus, don’t try and collect all the data you need up front. A steady, consistent approach will help you to discern patterns and behaviours which will inform your business choices.
image source: http://portma.com/the-importance-of-data-consistency
Mobile is not a broadcast solution to your marketing needs. If you are putting your message in front of the wrong people, it will ultimately cost you money. Employing a mobile strategy is necessary if you are serious about using the technology to its full potential. Typically, attention spans of users are shorter when they are interacting with mobile devices, so your chance to make the most of it is as slim as ever. Mobile is also commonly used for local searches, so ensure your keywords are tailored to this need. If you can think of ways to drive user engagement to encourage self-expression, you will capture an abundance of new, engaged customers who are not only becoming acquainted with your brand, but generating user content too. This non-verbal word-of-mouth style of content is gold for your business and a key aspect to growth.
When businesses first started using social media platforms such as Facebook, they did so with the idea that they ‘owned’ their business profiles. More recently though we have come to the realisation that this is not the case as the platforms further impress their control on the content being exposed to users. You now need to utilise paid advertising to be able to reach the people you could once engage for free. Instead of digging in your heels, which will only slow down your eventual uptake of paid advertising on the social media giant, use paid advertising as an opportunity to put your marketing message in front of the people who want to engage with you; your target audience! With paid advertising comes greater control over the delivery of your marketing, which if used intelligently, means more leads and conversions. Search on mobile devices is up on last year as well. The Mobile Marketing Association in partnership with Warc have released their ‘State of the Industry 2015: Mobile Marketing in Asia Pacific’ report and state that online search is at 60% this year in comparison with 48% in 2014. It means that utilising advertising space in search engines such as Google and their Google AdWords platform is another phenomenal opportunity to capture customers in the moments they are looking for your products or services.
Mobile device optimisation for websites and e-Commerce stores
Smart Insights reported in early September this year that a whopping 62% of smartphone users, in the last 6 months, have made a mobile purchase. eMarketer also reported that mobile optimised sites experience a boost in interactions and conversions. Mobile optimisation is about enhancing your customers experience so that when they interact with your site, they are welcomed with an intuitive layout and logical design which makes what they want to obtain easier than ever before. Smartphones are about convenience, so your customers’ mobile website experience with your business needs to mirror this.
Visual social media platforms
App platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are designed whole-heartedly for mobile devices. It’s a form of self-expression which allows users to convey a mood, experience or event with the touch of a few screen points. For the holiday season, particularly for those who are in retail, utilising these apps will allow your business to engage with a whole new audience. Get creative and let your sense of humour shine, too. People want to be entertained. Video content is increasing in popularity too, so don’t be afraid to hit record and create a mini video clip showcasing your latest seasonal range of products.