4 Reasons Local Businesses Should Prioritize Mobile Now
Originally published on LSA MarketingBitz on November 30, 2016. The connectivity and reach of mobile marketing make it a powerful tool for local businesses. Unfortunately, many local business owners are still hesitant about making mobile a priority in their overall marketing strategy. Some think it will take too much time. Others are worried it will cost too much money. And then there are those less tech-inclined who may claim it's too confusing. While these may all seem like valid concerns, local business owners still on the fence about making the leap into mobile should know that it is worth your time, money and any learning curves you may face (and eventually overcome!). Here's why:
1. Consumers Live and Breathe Mobile
The statistics surrounding the use of mobile devices are telling: more than two-thirds of Americans have smartphones, and the average person spends about 1.5 hours on mobile devices daily. Reaching consumers via mobile — when they're going to be using it anyway — is a smart, convenient and cost-effective move for both businesses and their customers.
2. Mobile Enables Location-Based Targeting
Location-based targeting (otherwise known as geo-targeting) allows businesses to reach customers who are nearby, enticing them to step foot in-store by offering special promotions, loyalty program incentives or coupons on-the-spot. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="596"] Source: Mobile Marketing Association-Mobile: The Great Connector, Vol. 2[/caption] Even better, consumers seem to welcome this type of in-the-moment advertising. In fact, 44 percent of consumers report that they'd like brands to deliver coupons or other deals to their mobile devices more often. Clearly, there's something to be said about the value of these surprise and delight moments.
3. Customers Shop (and Pay) Using Mobile
The Mobile Marketing Association found that mobile shopping has significantly increased globally year over year, signaling an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on this shift in shopping behavior. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="649"] Source: Mobile Marketing Association-Mobile: The Great Connector, Vol. 2[/caption] In addition, it's becoming more and more important for small businesses to begin accepting payments from mobile payment platforms, like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, which 25 percent of consumers say they're likely to adopt in the very near future. This is especially important for consumers who like the convenience of mobile payments, but still like visiting their favorite brick and mortar stores to do their shopping. Needless to say, the convenience of not having to carry a wallet around all the time is a trend that's not likely to go away anytime soon. (Learn how mobile payments can be used for small business growth here.)
4. It's Easy to Weave Mobile Into Existing Marketing Efforts
Jumping into the world of mobile may sound daunting, but it surprisingly integrates well with many of the marketing tactics and strategies you already use to promote and grow your business. Here are a couple ways to make sure your shift towards mobile is as smooth and seamless as possible:
Integrate mobile as a part of your overall marketing strategy.Siloing mobile from the rest of your marketing efforts may seem like an organized approach, but it's the wrong way to go. You need to build it in as part of a cohesive digital strategy. Connecting mobile to your email marketing campaigns, for example, is a good place to start. Based a recent Pew survey on mobile usage, 88 percent of respondents reported using email at least once over the course of the study period, ranking it higher than social media, video viewing, and web browsing.
Make sure your online presence is optimized for local search.A mobile-ready site and a focus on local search is a must for small businesses, as it affects rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Equally as important, it enables customers searching on their smartphones to find your business regardless of whether they're looking for your online presence or your physical location.
As you can see, the world of mobile marketing isn't as scary or daunting as it may seem. By making mobile a priority in your overall marketing strategy, you'll not only uncover more opportunities to target, reach, engage and convert potential customers into long-term patrons, but you'll also ensure your business is well-positioned to harness the ever-changing nature of today's digital-first world. So take the leap — you only have everything to gain. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock (standard license)