5 Essential Mobile Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses

SMS messaging and other mobile marketing tactics are an invaluable asset for any local business. Cheap, fast, regionally targetable and highly effective, a mobile marketing campaign can help you compete for custom in your area without the need for a huge budget.

As exciting as this brave new world is, many small businesses are hesitant to step into the future. By their very nature, local businesses are often small, serving a limited geographical area, and proprietors may have limited knowledge of marketing campaigns that go much beyond a website and local directory listings. They may not have thought about the possibilities of new technology simply because it hasn’t been necessary.

But instead of allowing your lack of knowledge to overwhelm you, do some research on how to take your marketing strategy to the next level. It could ensure your long-term survival.

The first step towards creating a vital, effective mobile marketing campaign is to optimize your website for mobile. Go back to your web developer to see if they can do this, or find someone who can. A mobile optimized site is easily navigable and viewable on a small screen, and improves the user experience compared with a desktop design, ultimately resulting in more traffic and conversions.

Once you have a mobile-friendly website, there are myriad options at your disposal for promoting your business to mobile users. The positive effects will be obvious, but more importantly, they are easily tracked and analyzed so you can see what works best for you. It’s been predicted by industry analysts that small business spending on local mobile marketing tactics will double every consecutive year for the next five years. Indeed, 41% of small business in the United States are already planning to increase their mobile marketing spend. If you want to join their ranks, consider some of the following essential mobile marketing tactics:

1) Email

Email is a great place to start. Everyone now uses email intuitively – all you need to do is adjust your messages so they are mobile-friendly:

  • Use a single column layout
  • Use 14 size font for body text and 20-24 for headings
  • Keep the headline character count to less than 40 characters
  • Make calls-to-action easily clickable (without zooming) for small screens
  • Ensure content is concise and readable without scrolling 

2) SMS

After successfully dominating social communications during the 90s and 00s, text messaging is flourishing as a commercial channel. Conservative estimates put the open-and-read rate of SMS at 90% - and that’s within a few minutes of the message being received. A few tips for effective SMS messaging campaigns:

  • Strike a professional but friendly tone
  • Keep content brief
  • Offer something of value, such as discounts and time-limited deals
  • Include a link to your website so recipients can easily access more detailed information 

3) Social Media

According to one recent study, some 40% of Facebook’s revenue now comes from mobile. If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention over the past few years, you’ll already have a Facebook page (if not – get one!). Now, look at it in ‘public mode’ on your smartphone. Is it easy to read and navigate? Is the most important information displayed prominently? There are multiple things you can do to improve the mobile user experience:

  • Encourage visitors to your store to take pictures of themselves and tag the photos with your location
  • Keep updates limited to a few words. The shorter the post, the more attention-grabbing it will be
  • Download the Pages Manager app to help your adjust your settings and view activity on your page
  • Make sure your listing on Facebook Local Pages is accurate

4) Directories

Listing your company with online business directories is a crucial part of boosting your web presence. You can post multiple listings within the space of a few hours and trust us: it will be a day well spent. Start with major directories like Yelp, Yahoo and Foursquare. If you’re in the food industry, get your business listed on GrubHub and other popular user-oriented sites. Encourage customers to leave reviews – the value of positive online comments cannot be overstated.

5) SEO

Hire a competent, plugged-in SEO consultant who is up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile marketing. Your mobile site should feature rich content like videos, and be kitted out with the proper redirect codes so that users are seeing what you want them to see. A proper SEO strategy is plays a significant role in boosting web and foot traffic, so ignore it at your peril.