Guest post by Christian Arno In part one of this two-part series, I looked at some of the opportunities and challenges of small screen marketing for small businesses. Here are some more tips for grabbing the attention of smartphone users and turning them into customers.
Don’t make life difficult for mobile visitors
Many of us already face an information overload in our daily lives, juggling overflowing inboxes, social media updates, and incoming phone calls. Don’t add to these problems by squeezing too much information on your own site. Google found that most smartphone users expect to find the information they want within two clicks. They’re unlikely to be interested in your company history or staff biographies, so keep it simple and remove the surplus details. If you’ve got a special offer or seasonal promotion, then you might want to display this on your first page, together with your contact details.
Do make navigation easy
When it comes to product search, an “infinite scrolling” option reduces the need to click through pages of results. Cut down the number of options in your menus, and use pre-populated fields to minimize the amount of typing required. And while it might seem obvious, large “finger friendly” buttons can reduce frustration for users!
Do think local
While most small businesses are active on Facebook and Twitter, many still neglect location-based marketing. That’s a big mistake: a large proportion of mobile searchers are looking for a local restaurant, garage, or dry cleaner. It’s one area where small companies can have an advantage over larger competitors. As a start, make sure your details are correct on Google Places and Facebook Nearby. Encourage customers to check in on Facebook or Foursquare and leave reviews. If you’ve already got an SEO strategy in place, make sure you optimize your site for your location. This can be hyper-local — for example, you might want to optimize for your neighborhood or region of the city. Include a mapping facility so users can find your business.
Don’t ignore PPC and SMS marketing
You might already be using pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to boost your site’s visibility. These can be much more effective on a smaller screen. Mobile users are much more likely to click on one of the top three (paid) results than desktop users, according to a study by the analytics firm Amethon, simply due to the size of the screen. On the other hand, they’re also more likely to lose attention once they’ve clicked through. The key: create an eye-catching ad, and make sure you have a concise, attractive site that meets their expectations. Once again, it pays to think local, so consider including location keywords in your campaign. SMS campaigns are a way to build customer loyalty. A typical email marketing campaign will only achieve a 10 to 20 percent open rate, while 97 percent of text messages are opened and read (according to Nielsen Mobile).
Use your imagination to grab customers’ attention, and tailor the message to the time of year. For example, a florist might send customers a last-minute reminder before Mother’s Day, while a sports store could take advantage of a sunny day to promote tennis or golf equipment. Our love affair with our smartphones shows no signs of slowing down. Taking time to give customers what they want can put your business a step ahead of the crowd. Follow the lead of Infusionsoft with their first mobile app, Snap.
Christian Arno is founder and CEO of the global translation agency, Lingo24. Originally a home-based start-up, it now has hubs on four continents, a network of 4000 translators, and translates 65 million words a year. Clients include American Express, the UN, Bloomberg, MTV, and a wealth of small businesses. Lingo24 made The Times International Track 100 in 2011. Christian has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and HSBC International Trade Awards (2010). He advises numerous companies on all aspects of overseas marketing, including social media, and contributes to leading industry publications.