I know it’s a bummer but as the say in business, “you have to spend money to make money” … but as we say in marketing is, “when you have to spend money, spend it on marketing.” Doesn’t that sound self-serving? The rules have shifted a bit over the past few years – Traditional marketing (print, outdoor, television, radio) budgets are being phased out as agencies concentrate all their recent and future efforts on all-digital campaigns, with a specific focus on mobile platforms (tablets, smartphones, GoogleGlass).
A recent local-marketing industry survey revealed that 91% of the top 400 brand executives have started devoting sizable portions of their 2013 marketing budgets to location-based mobile ads. Another report notes that the closer users are to a local business physically, the higher the click-through and conversion rates. This is why it is becoming more important to spend your time and money developing a mobile ad strategy and then budget for it accordingly. Don’t go overboard, but don’t cut too many corners either. The launch of the mobile ad campaign will be the make-or-break point in terms of overhead, but if the geo-targeted ads work for your small business, it will be well worth the investment.
The Future of Mobile Ads for Small Businesses
As the Internet becomes smarter, it will provide users with the information they want without even asking for it. It is a concept that is finally coming into its own as the Internet is evolving toward voice- and gesture-recognition, like Apple’s Siri, but with better contextual understanding and even a bit of clairvoyance. What does this mean for the future of mobile advertising?
Small businesses using localized, geo-targeted mobile ads to push their brand will see a second Renaissance in mobile ads if wearable technology like GoogleGlass and Apple’s iWatch catch on. Future applications will manage your mobile ad experience – a more efficient way to produce and provide better relevancy and closer brand intimacy – all with the hope of carrying more users from the ad directly to the cashier.
Mobile technology has opened the floodgates on mobile marketing, providing the opportunity to further reach mobile audiences in new and unprecedented ways. If your small business is starting a geo-targeted mobile ad campaign, here is a five-point check-list:
- Have your mobile site up and running. It can be a native mobile site or a conversion of your existing site, but it must be optimized for mobile compatibility. Your landing page should be simple and fast (in other words, wow them in eight seconds or less or you’re toast!)
- Register with mobile directories like GooglePlaces. This will increase your businesses mobile presence and its worth as a future keyword used in anticipatory search engines. Synch up with mobile directories to be quickly and easily found by users.
- Register with check-in services like FourSquare and Yelp. Part of a location-based mobile ad service is having the check-in process. Users can earn and redeem promotions by checking in multiple times, leave reviews (a good review is worth a thousand customers).
- Purchase your mobile ads wisely. Also, do not be afraid to change midstream if the strategy isn’t working. Your mobile marketing budget should be flexible to accommodate the lightning-fast pace of the mobile market.
- Use geo-targeted mobile ads in conjunction with QR codes to maximize the use of coupons and other promos. These are sometimes used at points-of-purchase in-store, or can result in a digital reward that can be redeemed online.
Overall, if you are a small business owner and you have aspirations for a mobile ad campaign, the numbers pretty much speak for themselves—geo-targeted mobile ads have proven that this is the future of advertising and your small business.