How to Strike Gold in the Mobile Gold Rush

So not many people know this, but I am a huge crafts person;  I actually just got back from Aki-Con where I sold some of my beaded crafts with my family. In preparation, I had to frequent JoAnn’s a lot and by a crap ton of supplies. I almost never have coupons with me, but thanks to my JoAnn’s app, I can simply use that to scan all the coupons I have through my JoAnn’s account, and be on my merry way. It’s quick, easy, and has me choosing JoAnn’s over any other craft store, because I have everything on my phone.

That’s simple mobile advertising right there. Easy right? Yea, 33% of businesses today think so too. Mobile marketing has become the new ‘internet’ gold mine. Having some type of mobile strategy will get you better engagement with your customers, supplement your business’s current marketing strategy, and can generate new revenue streams for your business. But where should you start?

Having a Mobile Site Is Bare Necessity

I didn’t find the JoAnn’s app just by browsing my app store. I found it because it was on their mobile site when I was looking up fabrics. It was easy to find because the site was optimized for mobile, so I was able to find the information I needed, and find an app to get a few coupons for myself. Was I surprised by the site? No, I have come to expect mobile sites now in order for me to navigate the web a bit better. 72% of consumers expect you have a mobile site; don’t be one of the few who don’t. Think of it this way: we don’t carry laptops or PCs with us 24/7, we do, however, carry phones. Being able to do almost anything digital on our phones as we do with computers, you will want to have some type of mobile friendly site in order for people to still do business with you, even on the go.

Why Mobile Apps Help your Business Out

Let’s talk about why you should have an app. On average, we spend  23 days a year on our phones, with 90% of 18-29 year olds people sleeping with their phones, according to Business Insider. You know what a majority of those people are doing on their phones? Using apps. This study shows that 80% of the time people are on their phone, they are on some type of phone app. The other 20% consists of browser usage and other phone capabilities. Did you catch that? 80% of the time people are on apps, NOT the mobile web. My roommate uses the Domino’s Pizza App, which allows you to order pizza, connect with the Facebook page, or even ‘encourage’ your pizza maker as they track they progress of your pizza. It’s very interactive, and is always her first choice when we get an urge for pizza. it’s not just her either. Forbes says that Domino’s had set a new standard for apps with it’s successful downloads and online orders. The Iphone app itself generated $1.3 million in sales!

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Well wait? What about ads?

Now I understand why everyone can’t have an app. Our app market places are so overrun, having every business create an distribute an app would be too saturated. This is where ads come in. According to eMarketer, Facebook accounted for $339 million dollars in ad dollars back in 2012, and are expected to generate more as they continue to grow their mobile ad share. Ads are great for promoting your mobile site, app, coupon, etc, and being able to get in front of the customers constantly.

However, I caution that you use mobile ads sparingly. You remember what it was like opening up a web browser and having pop up ads bombard your screen, or seeing some flashy banner out of the corner of your eye as you surf the net. No one likes that, and it’s because of ads like that, that mobile ads have been given a bad rep. Looking at it from a consumer’s perspective, unless you have some type of mobile data where you can pinpoint which ads will be relevant to me, I am clicking out of those ads faster than they can load. The thing with ads is that you have to grab my attention, and tell me how they are going to be of benefit to me without being ‘intrusive’, then it is of no use to me. I agree with some of the opinions mentioned in this article on the Harvard Business Review. Mobile ads are either too small to really see what it’s about, take too long to load on your phone, or simply aren’t relevant and look like spam.When new media emerges, we like to clutter it with old marketing tactics, where it will be less effective. That’s not to say ads don’t have their place.

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With 18% of mobile time being spent on Facebook alone (and I think that number has grown),  native ads are great for staying relevant to the user. But to stay in the constant eye of your user and not be tuned out,  I say it’s better to have an app or mobile site out on the market that people can engage with.

Tips for Creating a Successful Mobile Campaign

As great as this mobile revolution is, you aren’t the first to jump on this bandwagon.  I have already mentioned the annoyance of mobile ads, mobile ads that are measured by CPM would be nearly impossible to measure due to the amount of times open them by accident. There are over 1 million apps in the iOs app store alone, and  26% of apps are only opened once. So how does one stand out? Here are some tips to help you get started: 

Tip 1. Have a Mobile Site. I didn’t talk about it much in this article, but having a mobile site is basically a necessity in this day and age. Nearly 1/3 of consumers cited mobile as a preferred shopping method. If you don’t have a site optimized for mobile, they will get frustrated and just move on to your competitor. Don’t get pushed aside. Optimize your site for mobile.

Tip 2.  If you are creating an app, be sure to market it both within and outside the app marketplace.  Remember back when I talked about Google being your best friend? That’s kind of how ranking in the mobile marketplace works. With App Store Optimization (ASO), you are able to get to the fore front of mobile users eyes as they open their app store. One major part of ASO is getting the word out.  Optimization in the mobile marketplace, is the same as web optimization: you want to make sure people know you exist. Using native ads on Facebook and Twitter, promotion within your own company, and yes, mobile ads, can help your app get in front of more people, and get you more searches. Also within the app store, you want to make sure you use a few keywords so that you show up in searches. Does that sound familiar?

Tip 3. Use location based advertising. It’s only barely started to emerge, but being able to tailor your ads based on location would help them be a lot more relevant. Since everyone 9 times out of 10 has a phone on them throughout the day, their GPS is being updated in real time, so that your ads can be relevant to that.

Tip 4.  Make sure your app has an ongoing value. If your app isn’t relevant to the person, it’s booted out of their system faster than you can figure out why. Update your app, engage with them with a coupon or discount, do what you need to do to stay relevant and on their phone! You also don’t want to make an app, just to have one, it needs to be of some worth to your customers, or they won’t bother installing it. Phones are a very personal item, so people won’t just download anything onto them. You want to do some serious researching to make sure you are adding the best amount of value to your customer. Ask for feedback within the app in order to know what your consumers are thinking, and look at reviews so that you can be giving the best value to your customer.

Having a mobile strategy that incorporates ads, a mobile website, and a potential app will help you find strike it rich in this mobile gold mine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to head over to JoAnn’s; I just got an additional 40% off coupon.

Do you have an app you can’t live without? How do you feel about using apps and ads for marketing? Do you thinks mobile ads work better than apps? Let me know in the comments below!

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