Potent Trends for Small Business Mobile Marketing

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by on December 27, 2011

With 2 billions Internet users, and an incredible 5 billion mobile devices world wide, small business mobile marketing programs will be profitable, the only questions are when and how. Should your small business be an early adopter, or push the pause button? The answer largely depends on your business, audience and goals.

Sizing the Mobile Opportunity

In the U.S., one out of three mobile searches have local intent, and mobile searches have been growing at 400% over the last year, according to Google. Restaurants receive the highest number of mobile searches, almost 30% of queries are from mobile devices. Other industries, like insurance and finance, personal and beauty, consumer electronics and automobile, receive about 15% of queries from mobile users.

How does this compare to the traffic your website attracts? It is easy to discover how many mobile visitors your business receives, the answers are in your Google Analytics or webmaster tool accounts. (If not already set up, both are free services that reports website data, or contact a small business SEO services company.)

According to The Kelsey Group, Google User Behavior Study 2010:

After looking up a local business on their smart phone,
61% of users called the business and 59% visited.

Is your business website giving mobile users a satisfying small screen experience? If not, can your business afford to continue overlooking its mobile visitors?

Aside from mobile visitors already arriving, a business can maximize its visibility by reaching out to all relevant mobile searchers. An estimate of the number of mobile searches can be assessed from keywords germane to your business, using keyword tools.

Significant Mobile Usage Trends

There are two other important trends: 85% of mobile devices are web enabled, and over 50% of phones are now smart phones. These devices bring continuous web access to people on the move, at home or in the office.

Users are applying these rich capabilities on their peripatetic journeys: 60% of their time is spent with web, web apps (applications), maps, games, social networking and utilities, as compared to 40% of their time with conventional uses, phone calls, text messaging and e-mail (from Appsfire, 01/2011).

Mobile users are showing unique usage patterns compared to desktop computer users. While mobile devices are used throughout the day, usage is highest after work and typically peaks around 9PM, whereas desktop computer users have peaks during lunch and in the late afternoon (from Google presentation, Mobile is Now).

How to Satisfy Mobile Users

A good way for local businesses to adapt to their mobile audience is by understanding and solving their immediate problems: quick access to phone numbers, addresses, directions and hours of operation are obvious and simple needs to satisfy.

For mobile shopping, small businesses can provide descriptions of product and services, making them quick to find and comfortable to read, a special challenge on pocket-sized screens. Best Buy, Inc. has become a mobile leader in responding to these transient needs, as well as offering a ‘Deal of the Day’ and prices that may not exist in stores.

Smart businesses are thinking about ways to build relationships across the entire mobile experience: from research and comparison shopping to buying decisions to support services.

For example, an automobile parts manufacturer offers installation instructions on mobile devices, so rather than a customer running between desktop computer and driveway, the customer can look up installation issues and even identify missing parts on their smart phone.

These continuously connected devices are merging local, social and mobile trends, so whether providing business or product related information, tools or entertainment, consider how to simplify and encourage sharing through email, social media and text messages.

You can experience a mobile user in action and discover ways that small business mobile marketing can attract new prospects and customers, by clicking the video – in top, right corner above (use its ‘four arrow icon’, in lower right, for full screen viewing).

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