Everyone involved in marketing has been lectured about the importance of social media, mobile marketing, and local marketing. We all know there are substantial benefits to all three of these marketing tactics, but trying to implement them all at once takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and knowledge. So the question is: which avenue is most important for your business now?
Now, let’s explore the three tactics to see how they can benefit you, their processes, and when to best utilize such tactics.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook has over 550 million users. There are 140 million tweets posted on Twitter every single day. There are countless success stories about how social media has helped businesses exponentially grow their profits and successes. And the best part is, opening Facebook and Twitter accounts is free!
Even if it seems far-reaching for your business to get 1 million Twitter followers or Facebook ‘likes’, there is still an enormous benefit to getting your businesses on these social media sites. If you have useful knowledge to give to potential customers, you can utilize this knowledge to drive interest to your business through informational tweets and Facebook comments.
Social media marketing does, however, take time. In order to effectively utilize social media marketing, you must first create a fan base and a level of trust with your followers and fans. It is only after these two things have been established that you should even start thinking about utilizing promotions. And once you reach this stage, you must first conceive concrete goals to evaluate the social media program (for example to drive sales, or build brand awareness), and build effective ways to measure these goals.
Recommendations: If your business hasn’t opened a Twitter or Facebook account, do it TODAY. However, don’t expect to see any immediate or drastic results. If you are looking for a quicker way to market a specific promotion, you may want to utilize a different marketing tactic.
Mobile marketing is growing at an exponential rate. In the United States alone, while only 164 million people have PCs, over 293 million have mobile phones! This begs the question: how do we reach all these consumers?
Since the term “mobile marketing” refers to marketing targeted at cell phones, smartphones and tablets, there are many different “mobile mediums” in which one can reach customers. Some of the main avenues used in mobile marketing include:
- SMS & MMS Messaging: Contacting your customers through text messaging is a convenient way to promote your business and increase brand awareness.
- Implementation: Text message software.
- Marketing in Applications & on Mobile Search: Paying for advertisements that will be displayed on mobile applications, or alongside search results for searches conducted on mobile phones.
- Implementation: Google Adwords, AdMob, Cellit.
- Creating a Mobile Website: According to recent statistics, smartphones and tablet computers will increase mobile web traffic by 26 times during the next four years, and mobile is predicted to be bigger than the internet within 5 years. This means that if you are trying to do any kind of online marketing, creating a mobile-friendly website is essential!
- Implementation: building a mobile website isn’t necessarily easy, but there are several different approaches you can take including hiring a web developer or utilizing a web hosting tool. Read more about these tactics here.
Recommendation: Mobile marketing is great for fast exposure for promotions and for brand awareness. Although you are more likely to get a negative response from, say, text message marketing than from advertising a promotion on Facebook, mobile marketing gets the word out to more people faster, which is especially beneficial for if you don’t yet have a solid social media fan base.
If a local customer base is the largest contributor to your business, being listed locally online is incredibly important. Statistics show that “70% of activity online is in one way or another ‘related to local content’”, which means that if your business is not listed on directories like Google Places, you are missing out on 70% of internet users.
Local marketing is also closely tied to mobile marketing because people often search for local businesses on their mobile devices. Google is even experimenting with “mobile offers ads” that can be used to drive foot traffic to offline businesses through discounts and coupons.
Recommendation: This tactic is important for your business if you are located in a metropolitan area, and you are looking to get more traffic to the physical location of your business. Also, submitting your business to Google Places takes about 10 minutes, so even if you don’t currently have the time or resources to get listed on all major local listing sites, this can be a good start.
I just want to leave you with one last statistic: “There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.” – Facebook Official Statistics. Now, the looming question is: when is Facebook going to start letting businesses advertise on their mobile app?