5 Tips for Creating a Mobile Contest

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Marketers are continually looking for ways to engage visitors and draw in new clients. One innovative way to do this is with a cool mobile contest. However, all too many fail to “go viral” and barely make a ripple in the vast pond of the social media world. A mobile contest requires optimal planning, good management and close follow-up. These five steps can help you create a successful mobile contest.

Choose Goals, Time Frame, and Budget

Are you looking for more reach, better branding, Facebook Likes, or new product sales? Choose specific goals for the contest and decide on a time frame and budget that fits. Your contest should make sense for your company and contribute to specific business goals.

Dream Up a Shareable Contest


Here’s the fun part! Design a contest that complements your brand, business, and goals. Some ideas might include a trivia contest (put clues or answers on your website to drive traffic there), offering prizes for sharing your content, or a photo or meme-creation contest. Allow users to vote on other contributions – it could generate a lot of buzz and even “go viral.” Grow your Facebook community by only allowing those who “Like” your page to have access. Overall, the key is to keep things fairly simple, attention-grabbing, fun, and with an incentive to share the contest via social media.

Build Your Contest


Once your contest is designed, you’ll have to build it. If you’re adept at programming, you can build an application from scratch; you can also use a customizable tool, or outsource the entire process to a developer. Whatever choice you make, make sure that the end result is a contest that users can readily understand and will want to share.

Test on Mobile Devices


Since this is a mobile contest, compatibility across a range of mobile devices is key. Test and re-test your contest on a variety of smartphone and tablet platforms to ensure it works great on each.

Spread the Word


Once it’s polished and tested, it’s time to launch your contest. From there, you should publish new posts about it via e-newsletters and social media at least three times per week for its duration. Talk about the prize(s) and generate buzz by showing current or previous winners. Include calls to action and make it easily “shareable” to get maximum users involved.

When the contest is over, crunch the numbers, assess your results, learn from the experience – then get ready to plan your next mobile contest!

You Should Be Offering Mobile Surveys

Donna Vieira
Posted on in General

Marketing is a huge part of a business’s success. Without quality marketing, even a business offering superb products or services can have difficulty succeeding. Thankfully, there are many innovations in marketing that have made successful marketing easier on business owners and even marketing companies. One of these changes is the implementation of mobile surveys. Read below to learn why mobile surveys can improve your marketing scope:

Increased Audience Interaction

Mobile surveys allow you to interact or engage your audience. This means that you can essentially build a relationship with your clients, causing the creation of a long-term relationship. Through mobile surveys, customers are able to give you specific feedback on certain products or services in real-time, thus enabling interaction. In addition, some mobile surveys can include aspects such as allowing clients to have a hands-on approach to the building of a brand through their feedback.

Increased Feedback

Because virtually everyone uses mobile devices, business owners will notice an increased rate of feedback from their clients or customers when utilizing mobile surveys. The mobile survey is easy to accomplish and convenient, making it more likely for clients and customers to take the time to give their opinion on your business or specific products.

Increased Speed of Acquiring Data

Unlike other types of surveys, which have to be mailed back in or tabulated by hand, mobile surveys provide you as a business owner instant data in regards to how your customers are feeling. This means you can make immediate changes if you notice a problem or you can pull a product that is not well liked by your customers. The data you acquire so quickly through this platform is vast and it allows you instant access to the opinions and spending habits of your clients.

Mobile surveying is a marketing strategy fit for today’s mobile society. With the increased popularity of tablets and the infiltration of smartphones, it is a wise business owner who utilizes this technology to their advantage through mobile surveying.

Establishing a Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in General, Inspiration

With more and more people having smart phones, or essentially little, powerful computers, in their pockets and dominating their attention these days, it only makes sense that companies large and small would begin to target these devices for marketing campaigns. These mobile marketing campaigns are a new focus in the marketing business, but they are already proving quite successful. QR codes bursted onto the tech scene a few years ago and have only grown in popularity since, slowly but surely integrating into how we choose to view adds, promotions and various other messages from all the marketers out there who want a piece of our attention. However, there is more to a successful mobile marketing campaign than simply linking a site to a QR code. Below are some steps for setting up a successful mobile marketing campaign.

Have Objectives and Rules

Before any technical application is done for your mobile marketing campaign, define the campaign’s objectives and rules. Will this be a contest? Will coupons or prizes be awarded? How many new registrations or mobile opt-ins is the campaign aiming for? All of these things need to be considered and settled upon. There also need to be official rules, legal compliance, alternative means of entry other than the mobile marketing campaign and age verification, if necessary.

Create an Opt-In / Opt-Out Feature

This is critical to any successful mobile marketing campaign as it allows new users to connect with your company or brand. It also builds trust with current contacts.

Tracking

Tracking how many people use the QR code or visit the mobile marketing landing page is obviously critical, but one of the other important pieces of meta data that should be tracked is how long they stay on that landing page. That often means more than high numbers on the page itself.

How’s the Creativity?

If you’re not smart or funny or unique in some way, your mobile marketing campaign probably won’t be terribly sticky or popular. There are more and more of these out there, so the better the creative is executed, the more successful the campaign usually is.

4 Common Mobile Marketing Mistakes

Donna Vieira
Posted on in General

Mobile marketing is now more popular than ever for a few very specific reasons. In this day and age, nearly everyone as a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device upon which they access the Internet and other advertising sources. That being said, there are a few mistakes that companies can make when creating mobile marketing campaigns and keeping these in mind can help advertisers avoid a world of trouble.

Too Mobile Focused

Though mobile marketing is in fact focused completely in the world of the mobile device, it still needs to be accessible through other means. Sure creating a stellar campaign that can only be viewed on a tablet may seem like a great idea, however, it can be incredibly damaging to the overall campaign of the company. It is far better to create a diverse campaign that works with multiple platforms.

Measurement

Another issue that many advertisers run into is of course that they do not know how to deal with measurements when it comes to mobile devices. Either they shoot too far and create a huge campaign that does not work well with smaller mobile devices, or they create an advertisement that is not really useful on anything larger than a cell phone. It is important when working with mobile advertising that measurement be kept in mind at all times.

Poor Execution

Still another issue that advertisers run into is the problem of poor execution. Mobile advertising campaigns can be incredibly expensive, that being said, you should not scrimp and cheat when it comes to cost because it can result in a campaign that at best simply look shoddy and half attempted. It is important that the campaign be clean, clear cut, and interesting in order to draw in new customers.

Poor Promotion

The last truly common issue is promoting your campaign. It is exceedingly hard to promote a mobile campaign without some extensive foot work. It is always best to take the time to research what you are marketing, to work hard to advertise and spread the word, and not to depend on the marketing to do all the work for you.

All of these mistakes can be avoided with the proper caution and time. Taking a few moments to make sure you have the right information and the right mobile marketing campaign is the first step to making sure you avoid these common mobile marketing mistakes.

Keep Your Emails Mobile Friendly

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

With the increasing usage of mobile technology, it is now crucial that emails are mobile friendly. Email is one of the communication methods that gets checked often by recipients as it is used to communicate for both work and social reasons. Email is one of the most commonly used methods of communication for mobile device owners along with texting. With such a high level of usage, you can understand why mobile-friendly email is so important.

Issues that plague mobile users are not that different than those on standard computers. However, the issues are magnified. For instance, load times can be a problem when accessing the Internet on any type of device, yet mobile devices are meant to be used in short-interval situations. When you are waiting in line at the dry cleaner checking recent emails, you don’t have time to deal with ridiculously slow load times. If emails do not load, you may not read them for hours when you are back at the office. For people who travel constantly for work, this might mean days.

Another issue is readability. Mobile device users are reading on a smaller screen with limited time. This situation creates a need for shorter, more direct emails that are easy to see on a small screen. Keep in mind that a reader will scan the email unless it is of uber importance. Therefore, short and sweet is the best bet.

Limited features on some smartphones mean that owners cannot view all of the emails they receive. This is especially true with attachments. Attachments take a very long time to load on a smartphone, and even longer if there is no Wi-Fi available. Smartphones can receive data via cell-phone connections, but it generally takes longer. And if the phone is used in an area with poor cell reception, long emails and attachments may not open at all.

Readability and ease-of-use should be your primary concern when sending emails. With user-friendliness as a priority, configure your emails with the mobile user in mind.

Keeping Your Mobile Website Simple and Relevant

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

While you are setting up a mobile website, whether it is for a special event or your normal visitors who may be using a smartphone or tablet instead of a computer, it is easy to get distracted by the small details. Even though a variety of details may be useful on a normal website, you want to avoid cluttering up your mobile website.

Identify Your Customer’s Goals

The best mobile websites are straightforward and to-the-point. You do not want to distract your potential customers with unnecessary facts, figures or details that will only confuse or annoy them. Your visitors are looking at your website for a specific reason, so you want to make it as relevant as possible to your customer’s goals. For example, if you own a restaurant, then you may want to include the menu and location details, but you can avoid the historical data or about-us details.

Focus a mobile website design around the goals that your customers are setting. If your customers are looking for a restaurant to stop for lunch, then the most important data is the menu and location.

Keep it Simple

Nothing is more irritating to your customers than struggling to find the information that is most relevant. If your mobile website is announcing an upcoming event, then develop a mobile website that focuses on the most important details.

The Harvard Business Review suggests that an easy navigational set-up on your website can actually result in a greater number of sales and improved customer conversion rates. That is because the decision making process is easier when your customers are not wasting time trying to find out information that is relevant to their search and goals. Creating a simple website will make it easier to navigate and find data.

Building a mobile website is not necessarily as difficult as it might sound. By evaluating your goals and the goals of your customers, it is easier to remove unnecessary clutter and set up a simple mobile website that will bring your customers back in the future and encourage better conversion rates.

Mobile Payments – Everything You Need to Know

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Pop Quiz: You are at the game and you’re getting hungry, so you go get some food. They don’t take credit cards, you don’t have cash, and the volunteer suggests you use the PayPal app. What do you do?

Grab Your Mobile Wallet

Sooner or later, if you have a smartphone or tablet, there will be an opportunity to pay for something using an app instead of pulling out your wallet. It might be at the Snack Shack on the local playing fields during a game, or at an art market you’ve been strolling through. Paying with your phone can be as convenient as pulling out a card. “Mobile wallets” are so popular that the Federal Trade Commission had a workshop on mobile payments in an attempt to catch regulations up to the technology exploding around us. Many people are unsure about using this potential perk but it is worth learning how to use your mobile wallet.

Know What Your Mobile Wallet Can’t Do

Using your phone to make a payment securely means you need to understand how the process works. You can load a cloud-based app that links to your bank or credit account and follow the app’s protocol to make your payment. This can be a code to scan at checkout or a button you hit or accessing PayPal at the retailer’s terminal if they have it set up. Square Wallet and LevelUp are examples of this type of mobile payment.

Other apps rely on near field communication (NFC), a compatible phone, and a special NFC payment terminal. Google Wallet and Isis Mobile Wallet use this technology. As Kiplinger.com explains, the phone is touched to the terminal and the information is transferred.

Every type of mobile payment app will be slightly different and you need to know four things:

1. Will it work on your phone?
2. Will it work with your data plan? (Look into what your data offers- For example, compare 3G vs 4G on T-Mobile, or whichever service provider you use)
3. Will it work with your accounts?
4. Will it work for places you hope to use it?

Answering those questions will help you choose the best app for your situation.

Keep Your Money Safe

According to the Federal Communications Commission, consumers should protect their smartphones, data, mobile wallet apps and services from theft and cyber attacks. That means you are the final safeguard for your financial security.

- Treat your phone like the precious asset it is, and don’t leave it lying around
- Set up separate PINs for your phone and the mobile wallet app, and use them
- Have your contact information displayed on the “lock” screen so it can be returned to you if lost
- Have the procedure for reporting a stolen device available and follow it if your phone is stolen
- Install and maintain security software
- Monitor your financial accounts
- Don’t conduct financial transactions over a non-secure network like public wi-fi

The Future Of Paying With Your Phone

Mobile payment options are growing and the future looks like it will definitely include the ability to use your phone to pay your bill. Pay attention, and you can pay safely with your phone.

Is Your Business Blog Putting Readers to Sleep?

guestposter
Posted on in Inspiration

There is no single correct way to create a business blog; however there are definitely less effective methods which are used frequently by all types of companies.
Business blogs are started by the dozens and it is important to do something which will set yours apart from the crowd and draw the reader in. Solid content will take you a long way, but it is important to spice things up and make sure that readers are enjoying themselves while they spend time on your site.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure that readers will be riveted by your business blog.

Utilize Images

Readers, especially those on the internet, are drawn to visuals more than text. Breaking up informative information with relevant photos or images can help you keep your readers engaged. Variety is one of the best ways to make sure that your business blog is not putting readers to sleep and a carefully placed picture or image will be sure to provide the variety that you are looking for.

Graphs

Graphs are a great way to make large sets of data more easily understandable. Readers are looking for the conclusions of data sets, not the individual details. By including graphical representations of your data set along with commentary regarding the results you will be able to connect with readers better. This will provide more value to your reader and keep them interested in reading the rest of the blog in order to learn the details of your conclusions.

Calls to Action

Engaging content is one of the best ways to keep readers coming back however it does fall into the passive reading category. Ideally your reader will feel as though they are involved in the process of learning from your business blog. By inserting calls to action you will be able to create a certain amount of interaction with the reader which will cause them to invest more in the blog they are reading. Asking for their opinion on a piece or having them participate in a survey can be excellent ways to keep readers engaged.
If you feel as though your business blog may be on the verge of putting your readers to sleep try adding in some of these techniques to make it more interesting.

Increase Brand Awareness

Having an engaging business blog will help increase your brand awareness among your customers and can help build a community around your business. Customer loyalty can be affected by their involvement with your blog as well which can help your company financially in the long run.
The great part about a business blog is that you are regularly creating content for your readers and can implement these changes at any time.
Whether you spend many dollars or few dollars on your business blog, be sure to re-examine your personal budget software in order to make sure necessary financial resources are allocated for your blog. In the end, it can be some of the best money you will ever spend.
By following these simple strategies you will be able to create a robust following for your business blog that will benefit your company overall.

About the Author: Thomas Verdone is an author who covers a wide range of topics, including finance, fitness, personal development, and social media.

Why Are the Social Sites Your Business Chooses Important?

guestposter
Posted on in Inspiration

A key tenet to successful marketing is to put your message where your audience is. When it comes to social media, the rule is the same: Put your message on the sites your audience frequents.
But how do you know which sites your customers spend their time on — and what kind of content is right for each?

Facebook

Boasting more than 1.5 billion users and millions of new signups every day, Facebook is the undisputed leader in terms of sheer number of members.

It also provides several handy tools for businesses, including analytics that let you see who’s visiting and talking about your business, separated by age, gender and other key demographics.

Even better, you have a range of choices for the type of content you post to your Facebook page. Unlike some more limited networks, Facebook makes it easy for you to add photos, video, polls, and other content to boost audience interest and engagement.

This network is best for business to consumer marketing. If you plan to use only one social network to promote your B2C business, Facebook is an excellent choice.

Twitter

Another social media juggernaut, Twitter has grown quickly in the past couple of years thanks to the rise of smartphones.
With its free app, smartphone users can post quick, 140-character messages from anywhere they happen to be.

Twitter provides an excellent way to share your content with a wide audience of people. And with its built-in search tools, you can build your network with a targeted group in mind.

Google Plus

Google+ has been quieter about its growth than other networks, but it’s built up a user base of more than 400 million in its two years of existence.

Owned by search giant Google, this network can give your business a major boost in search engine results. Claiming your Google Authorship will earn you a photo next to your byline in search results, improving click-through rates. And Google’s Joshua Berg has said social signals — such as those from G+ — will become more important in determining search results. These social signals give the search engines a way to filter content by what users really want.

Pinterest

Do you have a product or service that is particularly photogenic (such as fashion, shoes, or food)? Are women your target market?

Then Pinterest might be the right place for your business.

This network charged onto the scene in 2010 and is now the third most popular social media site in the world. Made up of 65% women, the audience on Pinterest is perfect for retail businesses, since it’s highly attuned to commerce and products.

In an infographic by Shopify, the ecommerce platform reported that buyers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than those referred by other social media sites — and 70% more likely than those referred by a website.

Shopify also reported that orders from customers referred by Pinterest were double the size of orders from customers referred by Facebook — making Pinterest a serious contender when choosing the sites you build your business presence on.

The social sites you choose for your business will determine the effectiveness of your social marketing strategy.
By studying the demographics of each site’s users, and posting content appropriate to the platform, you may see a major boost to your sales.

About the Author

Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers a variety of subjects for small business owners. From business growth to marketing to business reputation, her work will give you tips to keep your business running smoothly.

Using Mobile Websites for Event Promotion

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

When you are drawing people to your event, you want them to be able to find out the latest news from wherever they are. These days, people are rarely far from their phones. Mobile websites are the perfect vehicle for event promotion. A few ways to use them to maximize interest:

Integrated Maps

Make it easy for guests to find you by integrating maps and directions into your mobile site. The site’s user-friendly and helpful nature creates a positive relationship before they ever arrive, setting the stage for an exciting event. You can even use custom QR codes that conveniently send people directly to your event map. iFlyMobi makes it easy, even if you have no coding experience.

Mobile-Only Deals

Everyone likes to feel like they have the inside scoop. Offer discounts and perks that are only available through your mobile site. As guests share these deals with their friends, you increase interest in your upcoming event.

A bar, for instance, can offer a drink special that can only be accessed through a special mobile deal. Concert venues can offer automatic ticket upgrades or free promotional items to visitors who show that they’ve connected with the site through their mobile phone.

Live Blogging of Events

Promoting a multi-day event? Build interest and anticipation by updating your blog or RSS feed and delivering it right to your mobile site. Frequent pictures, announcements of new acts and short videos will make everyone wish that they were there.

You can even allow visitors to submit their own event pictures. It is easy to enable social sharing so that your visitors can instantly make their event photos and updates available on their favorite social networks and your mobile site. They’ll love the chance to get involved and you’ll have your own passionate street team at your service.

Mobile gives you the chance to reach out to your audience whenever you want and wherever they are. Use this powerful connection to amp up the excitement for your events and make them a success.