Category Archives: Technology

What Drives Social Media Searches and Engagement? [INFOGRAPHIC]

As it turns out, social media and search go hand-in-hand.

From Facebook and Twitter, to Pinterest and MySpace (yes, it still exists), social media users are often on the search for… something.

For marketers, understanding the searches that lead to improved engagement is critical. To that end, Azntaiji Multimedia and SocialRadius have produced a new infographic highlighting exactly what so many of us are searching for.

top social media passions infographic 11 Infographic: What Drives Social Media Searches and Engagement?

Article Source: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/infographic-what-drives-social-media-searches-and-engagement-32547/

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Using Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Business’s Visibility

Mobile marketing is a new way to reach a massive audience. Take some time to get to know more about how you can use mobile marketing by reading the pointers below.

When you consider what to include on your mobile page, remember that it’s important to say as much as you can with as little copy as possible. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. Mobile marketing requires you to stick rigidly to the focus of the topic in a concise, yet thorough, manner.

TIP! Put your customers first. Understanding the wants and goals of your customers is the basic premise of mobile marketing.

Create a mission statement in tune to your purpose on how you can stay on track when doing social mobile marketing. If you have a clear definition of your principles, it’s easier to create a marketing plan that fits them.

You can gain an advantage by keeping an eye on what your competitors have been doing. You need to be discernible from the competition.

You need to have a home base if you are developing a mobile platform that will stand alone. You should want people to visit your webpage or keep them coming back to it. Do not ever base everything completely on a mobile marketing campaign.

TIP! Keep mobile marketing content messages brief and to the point. Make sure the messages you send can be absorbed quickly and understood by your customers.

Keep in mind that there can be different levels of mobile customers because of various outside influences; also note that once the entire market changes then customer base changes as well. Changes in technology can have a dramatic effect on your business, so stay up to date on all of the latest advances in technology.

Almost everyone is familiar with the idea of offering free apps, but not everyone understands just how easy it can be to develop one that meets the needs of your business. By offering visitors your own custom-made apps, you could significantly increase the success of your mobile marketing plan. There are many choices to make about app features; the possibilities are endless.

The most successful mobile marketers at some point started small, and over time implemented bigger and better strategies. This should be your strategy as well. Begin with simple texts and calls, then expand your campaign to include things like video content and social networking. Try everything you can to reach potential customers.

TIP! Use a mobile marketing strategy that keeps you visible and relevant. If you wish to stay competitive then be up to date with new technology and releases on a daily or weekly basis.

Although lots of people use their phones for Internet text, not all know the different kinds of abbreviations used online. If a person can’t understand your ad, you might lose a customer.

Allow message recipients to leave feedback about your mobile marketing communications. This offers an excellent opportunity to connect more effectively and interact with your customers. You may have people not being as receptive as you would like, but keep in mind that any information from a consumer should be treated as valuable input.

Cross-platform compatibility is essential in attracting more customers when taking on a mobile marketing campaign. If not, you risk losing customers due to technical problems.

TIP! Avoid sending messages to people at inconvenient hours of the day. Even though a person may like what you have to offer, nobody wants to hear about it at ridiculous hours.

Keep in mind that mobile users have a more difficult time navigating webpages. Your mobile marketing proposal should be simple, and if it is simple on a computer, those using a mobile device will have an easy time viewing it.

Split test the mobile capabilities your site. Testing is as essential to the mobile world as it is on traditional websites because this lets you see what works. The better of the two trial pages you create, as deemed by its success, should be your final choice, no matter how emotionally invested you may be in the other. Then use the one that gets the most conversions.

If texting is part of your mobile marketing plan, clearly disclose how often you intend to text your subscribers before they subscribe. It is very easy to screw up an SMS strategy because of how it notifies consumers. It can seem like you are being pushy. Therefore, make sure that only your opt-in customers receive your SMS texts, and never send more than the maximum number of messages specified in the opt-in terms. This is a great way to build up your brand loyalty.

Mobile Devices

Your mobile website should include maps and directions that are easy to use with a mobile device. There are a lot of people that rely on mobile devices for getting navigational directions. Create an easy way for your customers to reach you. Check that the maps and directions you provide display well on different mobile devices and work properly with mobile searches. Consider using an external link to a known site, like Google maps, for your customers.

As a method of enticing customers and expanding your branding, try QR codes. Your customers can use your QR codes to instantly access special promotions and discounts. All they need to use your QR codes is a cell phone. QR codes make it easier to market your products to your customers in a quick way with information they can use.

TIP! When delving in mobile marketing, you need to understand the basics of mobile devices in order to have your site and ads set up correctly. Conduct extensive research on the most popular mobile devices; this allows you to see things from your target market’s point of view.

Have relevant content. It’s easy to go overboard when entering the mobile marketing arena. Be sure your messages have a purpose. Approach things from your customers’ perspective and send out messages they would judge as interesting. Fill the needs and wants of your customers to ensure that they stick with you and continue to buy your products.

Promote your new mobile marketing campaign as a means of gaining access to exclusive offers and special savings. Advertise your deals on a host of different platforms to reach a wider audience. If people truly believe that your mobile campaign will help them, there is a good chance they’ll sign up. Let them know it will be fun and they will be better informed.

You can always improve your advertising. Be sure to look at the competition and see what is proving effective for them. Use the advertising tips discussed here to gain a competitive edge in your market arena.

Article source: http://bobsmlmblog.com/index.php/using-mobile-marketing-to-improve-your-businesss-visibility-5/

The State of Mobile Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

With all the technology that is now available, content is being consumed in many different ways and on many different devices. While desktops and tablets are big players in the game, mobile devices seem to have a big influence on click through rates and browsing. In 2013, mobile content marketing will generate a large return on investment if done properly.

We gathered research from our corporate blogging platform client, Compendium, and email marketing software client, ExactTarget, to show the impact of mobile marketing over the past couple of years and what is yet to come. When all the data was put together, there were some startling findings:

  • Open rates on mobile devices have increased by 300% from October 2010 to October 2012.
  • Mobile email creates twice as many conversions as social activities or search.
  • Mobile may not mean “on the go.” 51% of US mobile users browse, search, and purchase on mobile devices at home.
  • Web visits on a mobile or tablet device are highest on Thursday at 15.7%.
  • SMS marketing messaging is becoming more popular, with 31.2% of agencies using this tactic to increase click through.

What is the state of mobile content marketing? Get in the game, or lose the opportunity for click throughs, conversions, and engagement.

Mobile Content Marketing Infographic

How Mobile Marketing Can Help Your Business

You may have seen the statistics – one study claims that more than 80% of small businesses that invest in mobile marketing see increased business as a result – but how can you go about capturing some of those gains yourself?

Small Business Computing recently looked at a few companies that are engaged in mobile marketing to find out.

Ron’s Auto Repair Center of Ames, Iowa, uses Yodle, a service that helps small businesses with mobile-optimized websites, listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing maps, and paid-search services across multiple desktop and mobile outlets. The service doesn’t require much sophistication to use. Using a unique tracking number, Ron’s Auto Repair can tell where calls come from and see how many of them are a direct result of online and mobile marketing spending. The service has so far been worth about $9,000 in new sales a month, the business estimates.

Rok Bistro of Sunnyvale, Calif., uses FanMinder to send out marketing messages to all channels, including Twitter, email, texts and Facebook. Mobile coupons have turned out to be a good marketing tool for Rok Bistro. The coupons, which are trackable through FanMinder, allow the restaurant to see how many people click on the offer and redeem it at the restaurant. When a customer shows the server a coupon on his or her mobile device, the server simply clicks a button to redeem it.  In the restaurant, customers can also scan QR codes or send a text message to get an immediate discount and sign up for the Rok Bistro mailing list.

At a minimum, all businesses should have a mobile-optimized website, and make your website mobile-friendly by placing your location and contact information in a prominent place. Clarity, simplicity and speed matter most for mobile users, so make sure it’s clear what you do and how you can help customers. And monitor mentions of your business on Yelp and other sites that can influence consumers.

Adapted from Small Business Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work by Vangie Beal at Small Business Computing. Follow Small Business Computing on Twitter.

Mobile & Loyalty Programs [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic from Chadwick Martin Bailey illustrates the potential of loyalty programs coupled with mobile wallets.

loyalty and mobile 5148cf5434603 Mobile & Loyalty Programs [INFOGRAPHIC]Article Source: http://trends.e-strategyblog.com/2013/03/20/mobile-loyalty-programs-infographic/9607

Why is SMS Not Playing a Bigger Role in Brands’ Marketing Efforts?

Macy's SMS

When it comes to mobile marketing, SMS is a trusted old friend – it has been around longer than other mobile marketing techniques, has a broad reach and, for a well-executed campaign, the results can be impressive. So why do many marketers still overlook SMS?

Part of the problem is image – SMS is often closely associated with feature phones and, therefore, bypassed when brands start thinking about smartphones. There are other issues such as difficulties getting short codes and the need to work with carriers, but with open rates of nearly 100 percent, some big marketers such as Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are beginning to take notice.

“SMS is an overlooked channel,” said Julie Roth Novack, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Vibes. “It went out of favor a year or two ago with the growth in smartphones.

“In people’s minds, SMS is connected with feature phones but the fact of the matter is SMS is the No. 1 app on smartphones,” she said. “There is this idea that because you are going after smartphone users, you don’t need SMS.

“We have really seen a shift in the past six months, with our retail partners saying that SMS is a critical part of their strategy.”

Short codes a challenge
SMS service providers agree that it has not reached its potential as a marketing technique, often because marketers get so excited about the richer experiences they can deliver via apps and the mobile Web.

There are other challenges, too, such as that marketers need to have a better understanding of how SMS can fit into a broad mobile strategy. Additionally, a certain level of expertise is required to set up an SMS program to insure that the permissions are structured properly and to understand how to work with the wireless carriers.

Perhaps of the biggest challenges are the short codes used in SMS campaigns. Typically, a mobile phone user is asked to text a keyword to a short code initiate a dialogue of some kind with a marketer.

“One of the largest hurdles for brands wanting to leverage SMS marketing is understanding and dealing with the short code process,” said Jared Reitzin, CEO of mobileStorm, Los Angeles. “Since SMS relies on the use of shared or dedicated short codes, brands have to wade through the confusion, ambiguity and complication of short code setup, provisioning, regulation and best practices.

“Until these processes are simplified and made much more affordable, brands will continue to skip SMS as a viable marketing channel,” he said. “Broader use of SMS marketing will come when the barrier of entry is lowered substantially in terms of acquiring and using short codes, in addition to regulatory scrutiny for not only large organizations, but small businesses as well.”

SMS success
In addition to these challenges, marketers often do not know how to market via SMS because of the limited character count and lack of rich media. However, increasingly marketers are understanding that SMS, with its immediacy, broad reach and high open rates, can be an important way to drive users to richer app and mobile Web experiences.

“Through its inherent limitations with character-count and lack of rich media, SMS is better used as a contact point to drive engagement to other relevant channels, rather than being used exclusively to drive a specific action,” Mr. Reitzin said. “The primary benefits of SMS are the immediacy, the nearly ubiquitous reach, and the nearly 100 percent open rate.

“Using these attributes to drive traffic to more engaging channels like the mobile Web or mobile apps is where it’s true power lies,” he said. “Until marketers understand this formula, its full potential will never be fully realized.

The examples of SMS’ success are numerous and growing.

For example, Dunkin Donuts recently sent 7,500 mobile coupons via SMS that offered a latte for $.99, per Mr. Reiztin. The brand supported the SMS call-to-action through local radio mentions and WAP targeting on local-interest sites.

The promotion increased in-store traffic 21 percent and a full 17 percent of participants forwarded or showed the message to a friend for the all-important viral effect.

“The potential for SMS growth has still not reached its apex,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA.

“Companies need to have an understanding of their customers’ desires and needs from a marketing perspective,” he said. “SMS isn’t for every brand and that baseline user knowledge is the first step to a successful mobile campaign.

“SMS campaigns are an excellent way to engage with consumers, offering a call-to-action that they can’t pass up. Marketers that can go the next step by making their SMS campaigns relevant and local will see a greater response and return on investment.”

Article Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/13218.html

In a Relationship: College Students and Their Smartphones [INFOGRAPHIC]

College students aren’t just concerned with getting good grades and finding the best parties. More than ever, they’re using their smartphones to navigate life on campus.

On the bus, waiting in line, in bed, on the treadmill and even while driving, college students can’t seem to put their phones down. Fifty-two percent say they often check their phones before getting out of bed in the morning, according to one study. Nearly half do so while in bed at night before they fall asleep.

Thirty-five percent say they sometimes use their phones while driving but stopped at a red light, and nearly 20% say they sometimes use them while the wheels are even moving. But it’s not all addiction and danger. Forty-five percent of college students say smartphones frequently help with school assignments, and 46% say they’re often helpful for work-related tasks.

The Internet education portal OnlineColleges pulled this data and more from sources including the Pew Internet & American Life Project, University of Colorado and Nielsen to produce the infographic below.

Among other notable findings: More colleges students use iPhones than any other device, email has nearly caught text messaging as the most popular use for smartphones among college students and nearly half of students use their phones to check the weather.

Check out the full infographic below for more information and let us know in the comments — do you think smartphones are doing more to distract or help college students?

Article Source: http://mashable.com/2012/06/30/smartphones-college-students-infographic/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29

Reaching the Right Audience with Mobile

Today, smartphones allow businesses to better reach their target audiences. The ubiquitous nature of mobile helps brand engage with consumers in real-time, unlike any other marketing channel before.

But reaching your audience on mobile requires a different strategy than reaching your audience through other mediums, so it’s important to recognize the differences and plan your campaigns accordingly.

Businesses can reach their mobile audience through a number of ways, including standalone mobile apps, text messaging, mobile-optimized websites, mobile display ads and more.

I recently participated in a Mobile Marketing Association webinar titled, Reaching the Right Audience Through Mobile & Social Media. The webinar panel featured Michael Becker, Managing Director, North America, MMA and speaker representatives from airG, one of the world’s largest mobile social media products.

As noted by the airG executives, some of the core advantage of mobile are relevancy, scale and the ability to control the who, what, when and how of their message.

Mobile is relevant because it’s about capturing the right audience with the right message at the right time. Providing consumers with relevancy in terms of content or location is very powerful.

The scale is impeccable. There are 1.2 billion mobile Web users and 5.9 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.  The global penetration of mobile devices continues to skyrocket, and thus the opportunity is constantly growing for marketers.

Another benefit of mobile is the ability to control your message content, the recipients, the time and the method. You can target mobile users by demographic, location and interests, and control their engagement and interaction.

With that being said, to reach the right audience through mobile there are a few things your brand should do. First, know your campaign goal. What is the desired outcome of your marketing or advertising efforts? Identify the audience you are trying to reach!

Next, target core prospects—not everyone. Don’t waste your time throwing your message out to everyone when, in reality, you only want certain ones to see it.

Lastly, run your campaign and measure the results. The only way you will know if it worked is to analyze the metrics. Know what success looks like and don’t accept anything less.

Do the SoLoMo-tion

Have you ever heard of the term “SoLoMo”?

It’s the playful acronym for the marketing triple threat: Social, Local and Mobile.

The concept emerged in response to the world’s obsession with social media, the smartphone and tablet boom, and the increasing adoption of geo-location technology. Why use just one of these channels, when you can take advantage of all THREE at the same time?

SoLoMo is about getting local information on demand and staying connected to your social network, no matter where you are on the globe. Small-to-medium-sized businesses need to learn how to make the SoLo-Most out of their marketing efforts.

Location-based engagement (LBE) is defined by MomentFeed as “any action a consumer takes to engage with a place.”  This type of engagement can include local search, checking in, leaving reviews, redeeming coupons and offers, tagging and more. Social engagements like check-ins are valuable because the business is being exposed to hundreds and thousands of people across the social sphere.

One of the core strengths of SoLoMo is its ability to drive loyalty by revolutionizing coupons and deals.

Location-based mobile platforms allow businesses to create location-specific offers, and can reward those customers who come in and check in. Many consumers are using applications such as Foursquare, Groupon and Pushpins to find relevant local deals.

At SMS Masterminds, we have developed a piece of technology that embodies the core functions of SoLoMo. Our Loyalty Rewards Kiosk perfectly integrates social, local and mobile to create a loyalty program like none other before.

The Loyalty Rewards Kiosk is a touch pad installed at the point of sale to allow consumers to opt in to an advertiser’s marketing program simply by entering their phone number into that pad. When consumers opt in, they are then signed up to receive text message offers directly to their mobile device. They will also earn rewards for coming back into the store and checking in on the Kiosk. Our system even integrates with Facebook, so consumers are sent a text message with a link to “Like” the business’ Facebook Pageright there from their phone.

There you have ita perfect example of SoLoMo in action.

The combined marketing channels present a new way for consumers to engage with brands and products in real time. With social, brands have visibility. With mobile, brands have the reach. With local, brands have the immediacy needed to effectively communicate with consumers.

The combination of social, local, and mobile is an incredibly powerful mix. Do the SoLoMo-tion by tapping into consumers’ social habits, geographic location and the technology of smartphones to bolster your business’ marketing efforts.

Groupon Tinkering with Mobile Payment Solution

Groupon may be ready to take on the likes of Intuit and Square with its next offering – a mobile payments platform that could shake up this growing industry and its leading players today.

Speaking in confidence to Reuters, two unnamed sources confirm that the daily deals giant is now actively testing in the field a new mobile payments platform with a select few Groupon merchants.

Groupon’s nascent payment service comes with an Apple iPod Touch, and a case that wraps around the back of the device, which allows merchants to swipe credit cards, the people said. They did not want to be identified because the service has not been officially announced, and is in an early testing phase with some Groupon merchants.

If the offering successfully makes it out of testing with the company’s blessing for national launch, the service will likely be competitively priced and perhaps significantly undercut the transaction fees charged by Intuit and Square.

Would you be inclined to use a Groupon-branded mobile payments service?

Article Source

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