Not so long ago, many marketers insisted that a successful business couldn’t exist without a good digital strategy. “Build a great site” we said. “Talk with your customers on Facebook” we advised. “Learn some SEO, for Christ’s sake!” we shouted in frustration. But now that all of those tips are already common sense, there’s another more relevant message for small businesses owners out there – go mobile.
It’s not precisely an original suggestion. We’ve seen mobile devices go from new toys for a few to ubiquitous tech. Now we all share our photos, check the news and watch videos from the palm of our hands. Basically, everything’s going mobile and the things that don’t are soon forgotten. It’s pretty obvious that small businesses should be there too! That’s precisely why you should mobilize your business. But what the heck does that mean?
Basically, that your site has to look amazing when visiting it on mobile. Perhaps you didn’t notice it, but there are notorious differences between “normal” sites and mobile sites. The user experience for your PC is vastly different from the one you get from your smartphone. Screens are different, the way we navigate is different and even the “acceptable” contents are different for both.
That’s why you need to get into action and make your site mobile-friendly – NOW! In other words, you definitely have to consider doing all of the following:
- Test your site: don’t know if your site is already mobile-friendly? Test it. Visit it from your smartphone or open it in your PC and resize your browser’s window to look like the screen of a smartphone. If you can see that images and texts resize automatically, then you’re already there. If, on the other hand, you see that your site breaks into incoherence, then it’s time to make your site responsive.
- Study your competition: see what your competitors are up to is a must almost always, so you’d better do it when mobilizing your site. Basically, you need to see how they use mobile in their favor and learn anything you can from it. Perhaps it’s a mobile app or a specific feature (like a check-in or something) but one thing’s for sure – your small business’ mobile experience shouldn’t end in a good mobile site. Which leads us to the next point.
- Think of a mobile ad strategy: having your business popping up in the smartphones of your potential customers even when they aren’t looking for you specifically is the way you get them to know you. People in your area looking for the products or services you offer can bump into your ad when looking for them. And since more and more people are using their mobile devices to do their searches, not developing a mobile ad strategy is marketing suicide.
- Don’t be too pushy!: though many businesses use push notifications and annoying ads to get people to notice them, that’s not so advisable when thinking about mobile strategies. Remember, phones and tablets are like personal spaces for most and an ad or an app that keeps bothering them to remind them of a business will quickly become an annoyance. Learn when to market and when to make your offers but don’t overstay your welcome.
Mobile devices have multiplied the opportunities for small businesses. Now it’s time for the owners to learn how to seize them and imagine clever ways to engage in a multiconnected world that’s always on the go. Going mobile is now a suggestion you should definitely follow but do it right now, as it will quickly be common sense and digital marketing will move on to new trends and challenges.