You have a great website, SEO strategy, social media accounts, and a local page on Google. Fantastic!

But just when you thought it was time to sleep, there’s another technology and marketing opportunity too good to pass up. Mobile. It’s here and growing fast. With over 300 million cellphones in the US, mobile marketing for small businesses is a big win. We’ll help you get started with just a few easy steps (by the way, you can subscribe to the free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter for more mobile marketing news and insights).

What is mobile marketing?

The Mobile Marketing Association defines mobile marketing as:

Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.

To demystify, it’s simply another marketing channel like  TV vs Radio vs Print. It’s reaching people on their hand-held mobile devices and offers a variety of marketing options:

  • SMS texting
  • Banner ads
  • Mobile apps
  • Barcodes
  • Mobile email (most of your customers check email on the phone — you may already be mobile marketing to them and didn’t know it!)

Mobile Marketing on the Rise

In a recent mobile survey by Web.com, they reported that 84% of small businesses saw an increase in business when using mobile technology. Wow! The infographic with more data can be found here. Statistics tell us there are more mobile devices in the US than both computers and TVs combined. People use their phone to access special deals, locations, customers reviews. Especially if you’re a local small business, customers need to find you on-the-go. Can they?

Five easy tips to get started:

  1. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile.This doesn’t mean you have to have  a separate mobile site (it helps, see tip 4) but do your best to adjust website graphics and links so it’s easy for a mobile user to navigate. Your contact information should be easily found and maps integrated on your site. Move your phone number to the top left of the screen or make other tweaks to your site as needed.Test your site on your own phone and your friend’s devices. It’s the non-scientific way to see how your site renders. Your own experience is as good as research and in-depth analysis plus it’s way cheaper!Mobify.me is one of the many platforms available to easily rework your existing site on the fly. It allows you to select elements on your site and incorporate them into your mobile version. Responsive design is available on many CMS platforms, the site graphics adjust to the device that’s being used — computer, mobile, or tablet. Many platforms, like WordPress, now have plug-ins that make your site mobilized such as WordPress Mobile Pack.
  2. Remember that users are mobile. People are moving when using their phone. Integrate maps and have directions to your store. If they can’t quickly pin down your location, they’ll move to somewhere else where information is easy-to-find.
  3. Claim your local business. Make sure you have claimed your business listings on sites such as Foursquare, Google+ Local, Yelp as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. As a local business, search engines and customers want to find you so use it to your advantage.
  4. Create a separate mobile site. If you are a local business with a large base of mobile customers, it makes sense to create your own mobile site. You can integrate mobile shopping and other mobile specific functions your current website might not offer.
  5. Start a mobile marketing campaign. Build a mobile cell phone list just like you would email. Gather numbers so you can reach customers through all touch points. Start a separate marketing campaign encouraging your customers to provide their number so they can receive ‘mobile-only’ offers.  NOTE:  you MUST comply with mobile marketing regulations in order to contact customers via mobile.

If you’re a local business, you need mobile in your marketing plans. Keep it simple, make sure your site is mobile-friendly and implement a few other easy marketing tasks to get started. Before you know it, you’ll be one of the 84% of business owners that sees their business grow just by making it a little more mobile.