7 Ways Startups Can Benefit From Mobile Marketing - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio
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7 Ways Startups Can Benefit From Mobile Marketing

In this second installment of a series of articles on mobile marketing for small businesses, the focus will shift from independent retailers to startup businesses. Startup businesses are unique in that most of their funding is limited and is reserved for the absolute necessities, such as investment in the development of their product or service. Startup business owners are also very resourceful, independent thinkers and driven. They are committed to solving the needs of customers and filling a void in the marketplace with their unique approach. That’s why mobile marketing is an excellent marketing tool for these business owners. It’s innovative, cost effective and helps businesses stand out from their competition.

In my conversations with small business owners, I get plenty of questions on how mobile marketing can benefit their businesses. In this article, my goal is to address some of the main questions I hear as they specifically relate to startup business owners. See if any of your questions are answered, if not, shoot me an email or respond on the site and we will continue the conversation.

The financial resources for my business are limited, is it an absolute necessity to have a mobile presence?

Yes, for several reasons:

  • You want to set yourself apart from competition.
  • Google will ignore your internet presence if you are not mobile
  • Your customers will expect you to be mobile.

Can I afford it?

Fortunately, there are various ways to create a mobile presence in an economical way and you can always scale up when the time is right. Here are some steps you can take to mobilize your business.

1. Take a NAP – for free. Many small businesses neglect this one – including your competition. NAP stands for name, address and phone number that should be listed in online directories. There are over 300 but you only need to focus on the top 10, and any related to your specific industry. Your search engine rankings are enhanced when the directories are completed. Critical information to include as it relates to your business is:

  • Name of business, address, phone, website and social media accounts
  • Images of your products, physical location, logo
  • General product or service information
  • Forms of payment you accept and hours of operation
  • Prices
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Credentials
  • Brands or trademarks

The top 10 directories to get listed in are: Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo!, Merchant Circle, City Search, FourSquare, Local.com, Yellowpages.com and Whitepages.com

2. Build a mobile and standard website.

When building their company’s website, many small business owners are going for the mobile responsive type. Although it may seem to be the best approach – it doesn’t give your viewers an exemplary mobile viewing experience. Nor does it set you apart of your competition. As addressed in a previous post “Does a Mobile Website Get the Job Done?”, “The content and design on a desktop website may need to be completely different than on a mobile site. Furthermore, when designing your mobile site, you have to ask questions such as “Will this technology work with touch and a mouse?” or “What happens when a user turns this sideways”? These and other questions need to be answered if you opt for the mobile responsive approach.

3. If I go mobile, how can I keep up with the fast pace of technology and mobile marketing?

Maintain a customer focus. Mobile marketing is a new frontier with a continual stream of innovative developments to help businesses reach and stay connected with their target audience. By staying in tune with the needs of your customers, you’ll be equipped to choose the right types of marketing activities – including mobile marketing.

4. Can I manage my own mobile website?

Absolutely. My advice is to get a professional to initially setup your mobile presence. A mobile marketing professional will be able to assess your needs and create a plan based on your budget. Once your business is mobilized, you have the option to continue to utilize a mobile marketing professional or maintain it yourself. Most mobile marketing professionals build a DIY offering and will provide training and next steps.

5. Do I need a mobile website, mobile app or both?

  • You definitely need a mobile website because Google will penalize you if you aren’t mobile friendly. As previously stated, a mobile website is preferred, but at least create a mobile responsive website. You want the viewing experience on smartphones to be readable and enjoyable.
  • If your prospects and customers can benefit from accessing your app on a daily or weekly basis, then you might want to consider a mobile app. Examples of ways to utilize the app are: calculators (financial, real estate, etc.); push notifications; camera uploads; appointment setting; embedded music and much more.
    • Having both will set you apart from your competition. Your prospects and customers will appreciate your forward thinking and innovativeness. Will it set me apart from my competition?

6. Is text message marketing right for my business? I don’t offer discounts or coupons.

SMS or text message marketing can be highly effective for any type of business. Many small business owners are under the impression that only retail businesses can utilize SMS marketing. Here are a few examples of how startups can use SMS marketing:

  • Develop a plan to send messages announcing new developments in your business. Perhaps once a month will keep your new developments top of mind with interested parties.
  • Periodically send informational texts. For example, every quarter send a link to a pdf outlining changes in your particular industry and how they affect your customers.
  • Send images of your new office setting. This may sound superficial but as a startup you probably have many people who are interested in your success. Maybe every 3 to 4 months, send images and information on how your business has reached milestones, attained new customers and your general success.

7. If you’re sending an e-newsletter – make sure it’s mobile friendly.

Newsletter platforms such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact offer mobile friendly delivery of newsletters. When you engage in this type of marketing, make sure to double check that it’s mobile friendly so that your audience is able to easily read and navigate your content.

Though startup businesses may have limited funds to utilize to market and promote their business, mobile marketing offers ways of entry that are cost effective, customized and beneficial. As with any business, paying attention to customer’s needs is the secret to successful marketing and that includes mobile marketing.

Note: In my last article, I mentioned that this article would be focused on speakers, authors and trainers. I received several request to focus on startups so that is the focus for this article, but the next one will definitely be focused on speakers, authors and trainers.

Sonya Ramsey is the founder and owner of Modigital, LLC. Her company focuses on Mobile and On-Line Reputation Marketing.  She graduated from National University in San Diego and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.   As a dedicated professional, Sonya understands the value of building relationships and serving others.  She served in the Marines for 4 years and currently is a Docent at the Columbus Museum of Art, where she has given 200+ Speaking Engagements through their Speakers Bureau and Docent in the Schools programs. She is strong believer that by using innovative mobile marketing strategies, small businesses can be competitive with larger companies using strategies that are manageable and effective. She provides non-traditional marketing solutions in a rational and approachable manner while giving customized support every step of the way. Sonya is happy to have a conversation about mobile marketing for your business. She can be reached at:  sonya@modigitale.com

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