LOCAL BUSINESS SUCCESS CENTER

Tips, trends and marketing advice to help you grow your business.

Mobile marketing is on the rise for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and it’s primed to take off in a big way for SMBs in 2014. Consumers are more and more frequently turning to mobile devices to search for local businesses—which means that small business marketing spending and efforts should shift accordingly. Here are a few ways you can market your business on mobile and reach new customers in 2014:

1. Host a Mobile Site or App

The easiest way to help consumers find your business on mobile is to have a mobile-friendly website or dedicated app. Your goal should be to provide the information that mobile users are looking for in a format that loads quickly and is easy to read on a small screen.

2. Text / SMS Marketing

Reaching customers by text or SMS is an effective way to deliver just-in-time messages on a periodic basis (once or twice a month is usually the most that consumers can handle). Create a sign-up list either in your store or online, and make sure to sweeten the deal with exclusive offers, discounts, and tips to incentivize participation.

3. Mobile Search Advertising

Just as there are many paid search options for desktop advertising, there are also an array of mobile paid search options. From text ads to location-based ads to click-to-call ads, you have a variety of formats to choose from when it comes to mobile search campaigns. Given that 75% of mobile searches are conducted to obtain location-based information, advertising on mobile is a great option to consider for your small business.

4. Mobile-Friendly Business Listings

Having a mobile-friendly website or app is important, but it's also vital to make sure your business listings are mobile-friendly as well. If you haven’t already, be sure to claim your listings on the mobile apps where consumers are performing local searches for your industry, and include a mobile-friendly version of your menu or list of products and services so consumers can find the information they need to make a purchase decision.

5. Mobile Social Media Advertising

More than half of consumers are turning to mobile devices to access social networks these days. Running mobile-specific ads on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other platforms will get your business in front of local consumers as they network on mobile. Retargeting and location-based messaging capabilities on social networks makes these ad formats especially appealing for small businesses.

The Bottom Line

Consumers will be relying on mobile more than ever in 2014. Make sure to meet local patrons where they’re at as you market your products and services in the new year.

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