Mobile Marketing

A good social media marketing plan takes into account where your customers are. What types of social media is your target market using? Are they more involved in Twitter or Facebook? Maybe, for your brand, Pinterest is the popular place.

We’ve been enjoying the parades here in New Orleans leading up to Mardi Gras. The crowds are huge and a large majority of them are using mobile for a variety of reasons. Some are checking out what the upcoming parades are on the local parade apps. Some are texting friends to try to meet up somewhere. Many are posting updates and pictures of their adventures to their favorite social media sites.

Now, if you are a bar or restaurant along the parade route in New Orleans, you probably have all the business you can handle right now (if you don’t, there is something seriously wrong). However, how about businesses outside the parade route, or even outside of New Orleans. Lots of people, all over the country are watching the New Orleans parades online and getting updates through Twitter. If you have a business that could benefit from some of the Mardi Gras excitement, maybe you should start taking part in that conversation, if that is where your customers are spending their time.

This is just one example of how your business can benefit by finding out where your customers are spending their time online and joining the conversation. Get some tips on how to kick up your internet marketing strategy by downloading the free ebook: Essential Guide to Internet Marketing today!

Happy Lundi Gras!

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Are You Mobile Friendly?

by Christi on February 15, 2012

Having a mobile friendly website is essential to a successful internet marketing strategy. mobile strategySmart phones have changed the way people shop, communicate and live. According to a survey by telecommunications equipment vendor Ericsson, 35 percent of Android and iPhone owners in the U.S. use apps such as Facebook before getting out of bed. In 2010, over 50% of internet access was done via a handheld device. Many of the under 30 crowd don’t have a land line and never use yellow pages.

We used to say if you aren’t on the web, you are invisible to much of your market. Now, you have to think about being found and seen on mobile or you will be invisible to much of your market.

  • Try it out and see. Look at how your website shows up on a mobile device (or if it can even be rendered by mobile). Does it need some work? Think about adding a mobile friendly version of your site that will render when it is being viewed on mobile.
  • Check out your social media presence. Are you building your network on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? If someone asks, “Does anyone know someone who _______________?” (fill in the blank), will anyone think of you and your business? If you have social media accounts that you don’t use to engage and inform, you may not be on the radar for a recommendation.
  • Consider offering mobile coupons and running mobile ads to drive traffic to your location. Studies show that mobile ads are five times more effective than internet ads.

Get some great tips and advice for being not just mobile friendly but for using mobile as part of a successful internet marketing strategy from the Free ebook: Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. Download it today!



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If you are not using mobile in your marketing efforts, you are really invisible to what could be a major part of your market. We recently moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. The city has been flooded with tourists for the past few weeks for events ranging from New Year’s Eve to tonight’s BCS Championship Game. For a new locals, like us and tourists alike, mobile helps us get around and find new places to visit.

Here are some things that businesses are doing that have gotten my attention:

  • Specials for mobile customers. When I see my friends “check in” to places and post about specials I take notice. Not only has the business provided social proof (my friends, acquaintances, etc. are there), they have also provided me with incentive to visit there as well.
  • Providing remarkable service and products. When what you provide is so outstanding that people post/tweet/text about it, you are doing it right!
  • Being very visible on mobile. If you have a mobile presence, I’m going to see you. If you don’t I won’t. It is as simple as that.

Being mobile friendly is the first step but it is not, by any means, the only step. Getting noticed on mobile requires that you create a great experience for your customers so that they will “share” you with their social network.

This is not only a lesson for people in New Orleans, it is important for you wherever you are. What are your experiences with mobile marketing? Would love to hear about them.

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New Orleans Web Design | Marketing Lessons

by Christi on November 7, 2011

new orleans web designWhat can New Orleans web design tell us about marketing? Recently, we traveled to New Orleans for both business and pleasure, and found many examples, some good, some bad of website design/internet marketing and how businesses are using (or in some cases not) the internet to connect with their customers.

First, some background: According to a story by NOLA.com:

  • Forbes Magazine recently named New Orleans the best city for information and technology jobs and New Orleans’ number of business start-ups per capita was 30 percent higher than the national average in 2010.
  • New Orleans is experiencing more investment in more diverse industries than we ever have in the history of the city.
  • The doldrums are there, but successful entrepreneurs are swimming against the current, It just gives a good example of what can be done.

Obviously, New Orleans has had to recover from some major setbacks but the city is thriving. However, in the area of website design for internet marketing, there is still much work to be done. One of the biggest needs we saw for improvement was in mobile marketing and search engine optimization. In what is called the “city that care forgot,” local businesses cannot afford to be forgotten or never found in the first place!

The same principles apply whether you are in New Orleans or anywhere else, in order to succeed online you must:

  • Get found – that means that you must be found where people are looking for you. More and more, these days, that means mobile and tablets. This also means social media. If you are not visible where people are looking, you are invisible.
  • Convert – once you are found, you need to have a strategy that converts you visitors into leads for your business.
  • Analyze – look at your results and see what works and what doesn’t work. What calls to action are the most effective and what brings the most qualified visitors to your site?

I look forward to hearing more good news about the wonderful city of New Orleans and its thriving entrepreneurial business community. What are the opportunities for growth using internet marketing in your city?




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Mobile Marketing Resources

by Christi on August 26, 2011

The Mobile Marketing Seminar this past Tuesday was a lot of fun (at least for me). We talked about mobile marketing strategy, what you can do today to get involved with mobile marketing (like using QR Codes), mobile site considerations and lots more.

As I mentioned in the seminar, I have prepared a Mobile Marketing Resource Sheet. The resource sheet has links to QR code generators, a free online picture optimizer, location based marketing sites and where you can find more information.

Download the Mobile Marketing Resource Sheet.

If you missed the seminar and would like more information, feel free to download the resource sheet and also feel free to contact us at Wharton Marketing.

Thought for the day:

If we did all the things we 
are capable of doing, we would 
literally astound ourselves.
~Thomas Edison




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QR Code Scavenger Hunt

by Joe B on August 23, 2011

There are many clever ways to use QR codes to promote your business. Just the other day I saw a bank using QR codes for a scavenger hunt to win an iPad.

Here is a post from their Facebook page:

Would you like to own an Apple iPad? You have a chance to win one, when you enter Citizens Bank QR Scavenger Hunt!! Go into any of our 5 branches, and use your smart phone to scan the QR Code. It will give you a clue, and tell you which bank to go to next! You submit your final answer online, and there will be a drawing for the winner on September 30th. BE A WINNER…SCAN A QR CODE TODAY AT CITIZENS BANK! Call Sandy at xxx-xxxx if you have a question.

They also have a QR code on their Facebook page. If you read it, it takes you to a page that says the following:

Welcome to our Scavenger Hunt!

To Compete in this contest you must follow the scavenger hunt to each location. At each location, there will be a new QR Code for you to scan. Each time you scan one of our QR Codes, you will get a piece of the phrase required to enter for a chance to win a free iPad.

 You will also get a clue as to where the next code is. At the last location, you will be given instructions for submitting your phrase to enter the contest.

 To find the first QR Code, visit our New Accounts Department at our

Cradduck Branch
1400 S. Cradduck

 Only one entry per person.
GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, AND BE SAFE!!!

 

How are you using QR codes to promote your business? Let us know.




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Mobile Marketing for Small Business

by Christi on August 22, 2011

mobile marketing for small business

Mobile marketing for small businesses is a hot topic. Do small businesses even need mobile marketing? If you are a small business owner who markets mainly to baby boomers, you may not think you need mobile marketing. Did you know that at the end of 2010, 13% of baby boomers no longer have a land line and use mobile only? The number of baby boomers that have a land line and also mobile as well is obviously higher; and, in fact, the fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55 to 65 year old women. Facebook is one of the most popular apps on mobile devices.

Embrace the future!

Holding back technology to preserve broken business models is like allowing blacksmiths to veto the internal combustion engine in order to protect their horseshoes.
DON TAPSCOTT & ANTHONY D. WILLIAMS AUTHORS OF WIKINOMICS

The amount of technical knowledge is doubling every 2 years. Things are moving pretty fast and small businesses can’t afford to be left behind! You may or may not need a mobile website. There are certainly ways you can get involved in mobile marketing without a mobile site such as location based marketing and by using QR codes.

There are lots of options available to small businesses who want to reach the ever growing mobile market. Like every other marketing campaign, you need to start with a plan. Think about how your efforts will impact your target market. What do you want to accomplish?

The Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center is offering a Mobile Marketing for Small Business Seminar on Tuesday, August 23rd from 1 -4 at the Donald W. Reynolds library in Mountain Home. We’ll talk about who is using mobile, how they are using it and what you can do to reach them. You’ll learn easy first steps that you can use immediately and what you can do going forward to build your presence to people who are looking for you on mobile. Register now and come join us for a great, informative seminar that will help you grow your business.




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Chicken or Egg? Technology or Market?

by Joe B on August 16, 2011

Which comes first, a technology or a market for that technology? Sometimes the market drives the innovation of a technology. Other times the discovery of a new technology will create new markets. A similar cause and effect can sometime be seen with you and your customers (clients).

An example would be the mobile real estate app that we have been using for our real estate clients. It has a map of your current location with little flags of all the homes for sale around you. You scroll over a flag and it tells you the address and price of the house. You click on the flag and the entire listing appears on your phone.

Let’s say you have Realtor A who provides this app to her clients and you have Realtor B who doesn’t.  When you ask Realtor B why he doesn’t use this technology, he says because none of his clients use it. Could it be that he is missing all of those potential clients who are using it because they are going to Realtor A?

In this economy, where every customer is important, don’t drive potential customers to your competition just because you are reluctant to adopt new technology that you think your current customers aren’t using.




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Mobile Marketing and Buggy Whips

by Christi on August 15, 2011

mobile marketingIs Mobile Marketing part of your business strategy? Businesses throughout history have struggled with seeing what is coming before it has arrived and passed them by. My husband always used the story about the buggy whip salesman who didn’t change his business strategy because he always said, “that car-thing will never catch on.”

Just recently, I have heard people in business say they aren’t that interested in mobile marketing because they don’t think their market is really using mobile. On the other hand, there is an entire generation that does not have, want or need a land line because they do everything on their mobile/smart phone. Consider this:

  • As of May 2011, 38% of mobile phone users were using smart phones.
  • It is predicted that by 2016, 50% of mobile phone users will be using smart phones.

Obviously, the number of smart phone users is increasing. The number of apps and uses for the cell phone will also be increasing, which makes them more and more attractive to a wider audience. Are you planning on still being in business in 5 years? Chances are, even if your market is not actively using mobile today, they will be soon. Now the question is: do you wait on your market to change and risk them passing you by for someone who was better prepared?

Mobile Marketing is where your customers are going so you should be there too.

Register for the Mobile Marketing Seminar that will be held on August 23rd from 1 – 4 at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home, Arkansas and find out how you can leverage mobile marketing for your business!

 

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5 Tips For A Mobile Friendly Site

by Christi on July 20, 2011

mobile friendly websiteYesterday, Apple released a quarterly sales report. iPhone sales were up 142% year over year and according to the report, “91% of Fortune 500 are using or testing the iPhone as a primary device, including major corporations like Nestle, Dow Chemical, Glaxo Smith Kline, and Comcast. In addition, 57% of all Fortune 500 are similarly deploying or testing the iPhone.”  Apple continued to sell every single iPad they could build.

This is just the Apple report. If you were to add sales of other smart phones and tablets to this report, you can see that smart phones and tablets are a hot market. That means as businesses that market to the smart phone and tablet users, we have to adapt. Some tips for making your site mobile friendly seem to be in order:

  1. Automatically detect mobile. Mainstream dynamic, database driven content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress have plugins that can do this for you. If you are still using a static HTML type of site, you can use user agent detection. Use cascading style sheets (CSS) to render the mobile version of your site when a mobile browser is detected.
  2. Get rid of Flash and Flash elements. Even though Flash elements will show up on non iPhone types of devices, they are still not mobile friendly. They tend to be resource hogs that can slow things down and eat up memory. Of course, they are not friendly at all for iPhone devices. Apple made the decision to not render Flash because it does eat up resources. Not rendering Flash makes the smart phone battery last longer and makes the use of the smart phone more efficient.
  3. Optimize your pictures to make them load fast. You can use photo editing programs to shrink the file size of your photos so they will load faster. If you don’t have a photo editing program that will do this for you, you can use free online programs like imageoptimzer.net. Mobile users tend to have short attention spans. Don’t make them wait for picture loads! This is a good tip for your desktop site as well.
  4. Rethink your navigation. If you have header, footer and sidebar links that may not be high priority links for your mobile users, remove them for your mobile version. Mobile users often come to your site to look at one page, perhaps to get a phone number or map. Make your navigation simple and lean.
  5. Give mobile users a clear way to get to the full site. Occasionally, visitors may be looking for something that is not included on your mobile site, for those users, a path to the full site is helpful. Make sure that your full site is also simple to navigate and loads as quickly as possible as well.

Mobile has become a major part of the web instead of a small niche market. Make sure that you address those users. Measure your results to see where your visitors are coming from, what devices they are using and what types of content they are looking for, and adjust. Your full site users and your mobile users may be looking for different types of content. Find out what they are looking for and deliver!




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