Author - teamabode

Mobile Marketing’s Impact

Mobile Marketing: The Future Is Here

 

mobile marketing future

Mobile marketing has created an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to target consumers.  Over 80% of all smartphone users search for local businesses on mobile devices.  Furthermore, Google reports that 88% of all “near me” searches are done on mobile phones.

Mobile phones create an opportunity to engage consumers in-store and turn lookers into actual buyers.  In a separate study, Google reports that 82% of smartphone users consult their mobile phones while in-store before finalizing a buying decision.

An effective mobile marketing campaign will hyper-target a radius around your brick-and-mortar location.  Start by targeting your current marketing lists such as email subscribers and previous buyers.  Once an effective strategy has been developed, you’ll want to expand your campaign to a broader audience.

Secondary Conversions

The primary goal of mobile marketing conversion is to get the user to take a specific action.  But achieving the primary goal is not always possible.  He or she simply may not be ready to purchase.  Or they may feel uneasy about completing the process over the phone.  In that case, always try to achieve a secondary conversion.

The secondary conversion should offer the consumer something of value and build additional interest in your brand. And it should give you an opportunity to get something of value in return – such as an email address.

The ultimate goal the secondary conversion is to keep the conversation going with your customer.

Make Conversions Seamless and Easy

Converting on a mobile phone can be cumbersome.  Be aware of the number of pages that users must load, the placement of your CTA’s (calls to action), the ease of navigation and difficulty of using buttons.  

Make allowance for the unique features of the mobile phone.  Badly designed forms can have a devastating effect on page optimization.

Special attention must be given to the logistics involved in filling out mobile forms.For example, are the fields visible when typing and not hidden by the keyboard?

Adjust to Customer’s Preferences

It’s important that you determine which conversion methods your customers prefer.

Not every business can handle every conversion types well.  It’s important to adjust if needed.  For example, you may need to create the infrastructure for handling calls – hiring additional staff possibly partnering with an external call center.

Don’t fall into the trap of pushing customers to a certain conversion method because it’s convenient for you.  Align your mobile marketing strategy to customer preferences.  It potentially could lead to impressive ROI gains.

Cross-Device Conversions

Google reports that 40% of consumers who do research on a smartphone will later make a purchase a desktop or laptop.  This highlights the increased importance in cross-device conversions.  Plus it shows the importance of engaging consumers as they enter the sales funnel.   

Enter mobile contacts into your CRM as soon as possible.  It helps facilitate conversions and makes future engagement more convenient for both you and the consumer.

Your efforts might not result in an immediate sale, but sales are not always immediate.  Your goal is to build a long-term relationship.

Analytics

Tracking your mobile consumers’ actions is a must!  Analytics will help you determine which of your mobile strategies are effective and which ones underperform.

Tracking consumer engagements will help you determine your ROI and other important metrics – allowing you to prioritize limited resources and create the most effective mobile strategies going forward.

Measuring your mobile marketing efforts should not be left to chance and it doesn’t need to be difficult or mysterious.

Metrics let you refine your site, application or strategy and create a superior user experience.  Better user experience translate into more engagement and ultimately more sales.

Tracking indicators such as store locations, directions and business hours can provide some context around intent.  Coupon downloads and redemptions can be used to connect your online and offline sales.

Tracking in-store visits through software and beacons are valuable options for retailers that drive a significant volume of traffic through stores.

Growth in Mobile

It’s inevitable that consumers use of mobile devices will continue to grow at an astounding rate.  As result, it’s inevitable that mobile marketing budgets will increase to keep pace.  Businesses that develop effective marketing strategies to include mobile with intelligent campaigns will capture the future.

Mobile Wallets: Changing Consumer Spending Habits

Mobile Wallets Continue to Gain Consumer Acceptance

mobile wallets and consumers

Mobile wallets in some form have existed for nearly as long as smartphones. Recently there has been a tremendous increase in the number of mobile wallets available to the consumers as the payment technologies has heated up.

Confusion about mobile wallets and how they work abounds. Here is a quick guide to help you navigate the maze.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

A mobile wallet is a mobile-based virtual wallet. Money is preloaded into an account that the consumer created with a service provider. It can then be spent online or offline at any merchant listed with the mobile wallet service provider.

Transactions You Can Make

You can use a mobile wallet to pay for just about anything – from utility bills to offline retail payments. In today’s world, most of your daily financial transactions can now be performed using a mobile wallet.

Mobile Wallet Technologies

There are two primary technologies being used to create mobile wallets. They are:

Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) are two-dimensional machine-readable codes usually consisting of a matrix of black and white squares. The matrix that can store short pieces of information such as text or a link to a web address. The data can be read and displayed by a smartphone.

A QR code must be printed on each product. An app is required on the mobile phone in order to read the code. Users link the app to their bank account or load a certain amount of money onto the app.

Near Field Communication (NFC) exchanges data between devices using close-proximity radio communication. Tags can be scanned without a direct line of sight and therefore can be integrated within products and/or hidden from view.

NFC-enabled mobile phones do not require any additional software and can work be a substitutes for payment cards. Applications securely store the consumer’s payment information from a credit card, PayPal, debit card, etc. in a certified environment.

NFC technology offers an unprecedented opportunity for brands to convey a tech-savvy image while delivering valuable offers and collecting vital consumer insights.

Both NFC and QR codes link the physical with the digital worlds and trigger the payment process by identifying the shopper and his/her payment information, a certain product or application. Although using different approaches, both technologies can be used in similar settings.

NFC technology was slower to catch on than QR codes. But many analysts believe that NFC technology is poised to replace QR codes as the mobile wallet tool of choice because of their ease of use. QR codes can require several steps by the user. NFC codes only require any that the user bring the device into close proximity to the tag.

QR codes got a huge head-start over NFC, mainly due to the fact that Apple not embraced NFC technology and continues to use QR technology.

But other tech giants like Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, Paypal, CurrentC, and SoftCard have opted to use NFC technology in their mobile wallets.

Pros and Cons for Your Business

Adapting a mobile POS payment system may come with upfront expenses to your business. Older system hardware and/or software may not accommodate near-field communication or QR codes. Fortunately, there are low-cost cloud-based POS systems available that can reduce the impact.

But now for the positives for your business:

  1. Consumers want more convenient ways to spend money
  2. Reduced fraud as mobile wallets are hard to steal or duplicate
  3. Decreased payment times
  4. Lower processing than fees traditional cards
  5. Builds customer loyalty through sales & incentives sent directly to smartphones
  6. Provide additional ways for customer payments
  7. Makes payment process more convenient
  8. Gives additional payment choices
  9. Makes your business more welcoming than the competition
  10. Transfer additional info to customers in real time

Is This The Year?

Is 2016 the year you adopt a mobile wallet system for your business? Industry analysts predict that by 2017 over 1.5 billion smartphones will be sold globally by 2017 and mobile payments in US to be $90B. So what’s the hold up? Shouldn’t we be rushing into this brave new world?

iBeacon technology

Retailers and iBeacon Technology

Engage customers with the revolutionary iBeacon experience

iBeacon technology

Apple recently launched its new iBeacon technology, which tracks customers’ in-store movements in order to offer information such as sales announcements, product specifications, order status, price comparisons and more.

iBeacons or “proximity transmitters” are a new micro-location technology for mobile devices that use the Bluetooth Low Energy standard (BLE or Bluetooth Smart) to help these devices determine a user’s location without GPS or cell tower triangulation. In addition, iBeacons accomplish this rich data exchange with a high degree of accuracy and low battery power consumption. Apple’s brand of iBeacon support, which is built into iOS 7, uses BLE along with Wi-Fi and push notifications to deliver content.

iBeacon’s true potential is to revolutionize location services with its low power requirements and ability to precisely pinpoint users’ locations inside buildings. Mobile apps can then take advantage of this location data in a variety of ways, such as providing indoor mapping and navigation or customizing the app’s behavior based on a user’s proximity to a specific object.

Retailers looking for ways to enhance the shopping experience for customers need to explore Apple’s new iBeacon technology. With iBeacon’s ability to deliver targeted information and offers based on a customer’s location within your store, you are now given the opportunity to interact with your customers in a new, more engaging way.

retail customer using iBeacon technologyThis new technology could be the boost that the retail industry needs. With iBeacon, you have ability to provide your customers with relevant marketing and messaging as they browse and shop through your store, even before they come into your store! An example of proximity marketing would be this, let’s say you are a general retail or convenience store and you sell umbrellas and the forecast calls for rain today. You can send a message like: “Need an umbrella? We have umbrellas at half price today on aisle 2. It’s a good buy and stay dry!”

In addition, these features can be customized as well for each retail location, effectively making each location a one-of-a-kind operation. By using micro-locations within the store, customizable to each retail location, you can give the customer a multitude of engaging and unique experiences.

Furthermore, retailers should consider creating a customized mobile app (or updating your current app). Customers will find their visit to your store more convenient and interactive with a mobile app in hand, and at the same time, you can take advantage of this micro-location technology enabled by these iBeacons.

With the help of these iBeacon transmitters placed throughout your store, a customer’s activity can be tracked, thus allowing you to serve up relevant offers, price comparisons, product information and more based on the location or department the shopper is in. The current price of each in-store transmitter is approximately $40.

Both retail and non-retail organizations have embraced iBeacon technology. Apple has already installed iBeacons in all 254 of its U.S. retail stores; Macy’s department stores in New York and San Francisco have been experimenting with delivering users information about the products that they are browsing, ads for additional and potentially competing products, targeted deals and specials. The New York Mets have announced plans to use iBeacons to enhance fan involvement by creating a highly tailored digital experience at Citi Field, their home ballpark.

Here’s a sampling of some other uses for iBeacon currently being explored and implemented by various industries:

  1. Restaurants, sandwich and coffee shops, etc: Offer a virtual menu with specific details about each item: calorie counts, nutritional info, local farms where produce was grown, even suggest a wine pairing for each meal.
  2. Hotels and resorts: Provide a virtual concierge accessible from anywhere on the property, offer expedited check-in and check-out, deliver information on amenities, provide a local forecast and educate guests about points of interest around town.
  3. Museums (zoos, exhibitions, gallery shows): Provide basic information about what the visitor is seeing. iBeacons at each stopping point could offer additional information and content in a way that still allows visitors to take their own path and/or linger at a specific display. iBeacon content could be linked to websites, apps, discussion forums, and so on.
  4. Hospitals: Provide maps and navigation for patients and their families to navigate through the hospital, including guides of each floor showing the nearest elevators and entrances; broadcast information and guidance to patients or visitors such as guidelines when visiting a patient, visiting hours, expected wait times to be attended to.

Up to now, most activity surrounding iBeacon technology has been in the world of retail, where both big name retailers and small shops have recognized the iBeacon’s potential.

In-store navigation and dynamic pricing is just the beginning. The other area of great potential is in payments. While the problem of digital wallets using near-field communication (NFC) has proved tricky, it appears that Bluetooth technology is poised to finally bring mobile payments to the mainstream.

Whereas NFC technology works only with a small percentage of Android devices that actually have NFC chips installed in them and only in close proximity to sensors used for payments. iBeacon, on the other hand, can broadcast up to 200 feet which could allow for customers to simply leave their phones in their pockets and automatically pay as they walk out of the store.

How could this new technology be used to create a unique shopping experience for the customer and a profitable one for your business?

Begin by integrating iBeacon into your already successful sales process – specifically part of your direct mail and other marketing campaigns. The process is simple, straightforward, cost effective and potentially very profitable.

  1. In your next direct mail or other marketing campaign, include a QR code on the mail piece that links to a digital coupon for a special, targeted promotion. Customers simply scan the QR code to get the coupon stored onto his/her phone.
  2. Once the coupon is stored on their phone, a notification appears directly to the customer’s phone reminding them of the offer each time they drive by or are nearby your store.
  3. Retail locations can be sectioned off into any number of distinct sections – each with its own iBeacon transmitter and each transmitter serving up a unique message (or offer) within areas of that location.

The iBeacon experience will enhance the in-store experience for your customers and could lead to purchases that he/she may not have even considered before.

Google Plus 1 Your Way to Higher Local Rankings

Google’s latest big shake up in the search ranking algorithm looks at social media clues — specifically through its own social network Google +. In short, Google + users who do a search while logged into their Google account may see some results from pages that people in their network have shared in Google + or have clicked on a +1 button for that page. Those pages will now rank more favorably for that searcher. And the searcher will see icons of the people in their network who have +1′d that page. In other words, people they know and trust have already vouched for that page.

Google search has been going through a lot of recent changes. A search ranking position is no longer a number as much as it is a probability within a range. Factors such as localization, personalization, the user’s search history, whether the user is a Google user and whether he/she is logged in, and whether the user is using a mobile device to search, all effect position in the search results. And means your business’s next position in the rankings can vary considerably.

This could be big for local businesses as Google + use continues to grow. As Google injects + 1’’s into its search results, Google Plus will get more exposure and see more growth. The average user will have networks consisting mainly of friends and family and those networks will be predominantly local.

And as a local business, you want to encourage locals to Plus 1 vote on your pages. This will help your search results to be favored for more and more local searches by local people logged into their Google accounts.

Here are some ways to encourage users to +1 your small business website.

· Place Google +1 buttons on every page of your website

Place the +1 button in a prominent place on all your web pages, much like you’ve probably already done with Facebook and Twitter icons.

· Include a message about sharing your link in “Thank You” emails

On emails you send thanking customers for doing business with you, place links to your social media profiles and ask for the +1. Also include links to your Google Places listing, Yelp listing and maybe a couple other local review websites.

· Include the Google +1 button with a message in your contact form “Thank You” pages

If you have a “Thank You” page after a customer submits a form (or makes an ecommerce purchase), customers are often are more likely to take an extra action. Show them a special message on that “Thank You” page about + 1’ing you.

· Create a Google Plus + profile for your business

Google has now opened up Google + to businesses. Set up your business profile then build circles by adding locals.

· Link to your social profiles in your email signature

Create an email signature (if you haven’t already). In addition to your name, phone number and website address (at a minimum), your email signature should include links to your Google + profile, Facebook page and Twitter pages.

According to Google, 100 million people are using Google+ each month — numbers that your small business can’t afford to ignore.

optimized keywords for seo

Correct Keyword Placement in Your Blog Posts Will Boost Your Search Rankings

Improve SEO Search Rankings with Strategic Keyword Placement

optimized keywords and keyword placement for seo

The correct keyword placement in your blog posts can be as important as the keywords themselves. So what are the most effective ways to use optimized keywords in your blog posts to achieve the highest search rankings possible? Here are some tips for placing your keywords and achieving higher search ranking.

  1. Your most important keywords should be placed in your blog title. It’s the first thing people will see in search results. If possible, place your most important SEO keywords early-on in your blog post title. Google generally assumes the words that appear first are the most important. That’s why the title is the most important part of your blog post when it comes to SEO.  
  2. Videos are working nicely! Make sure your interviews or narration use the optimal keywords. YouTube and Google index all the closed-captions. You could even upload transcriptions. So try that and embed a video on your post!
  3. Search engines, especially Google, love internal and external links in the body of your blog posts so use your best keywords as text links. Link to other articles onkeyword placement can increase seo your site or you can link to other authority sites.
  4. You should add images to your posts and use your best keywords as alt tags for your images. Search engines don’t see the images when scanning your site, but they do read the alt tags.
  5. Use the best and broadest keywords as your categories. Each one of your blog post should feature one of your best SEO keywords that fit into at least one of these categories.
  6. Tags are another way of saying keywords. “Blog specific” keywords should be used in your tags for each blog post. 

Finally, as important as the correct use of keywords in your blog posts are, you should write for readability. Reading the same keyword phrases over and over is not only poor writing – keyword stuffing is also bad SEO strategy. Search engines deliver people who are actively searching for what you have. Unless you employ strategies like keyword placement, your site may never be found by those who need what you offer.