What You Need to Know about B2B Mobile Marketing in 2012

Blog Categories:  Internet Marketing  

In today’s business world, mobile use is quickly changing the way professionals interact with each other and B2B brands. According to GoMo, the Google initiative designed to teach people how to make their websites more mobile-friendly, mobile use is ever on the rise—already four times higher than it was in 2010—and set to grow further. “By 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online,” GoMo predicts, and by 2015, “there will be one mobile device for every person on earth.”

Such staggering statistics make one thing clear to B2B marketers: this mobile realm is too important a marketplace to overlook, especially when statistics show “nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.),” according to TopRank. The more that business professionals rely on mobile devices to search and find information, the more valuable mobile marketing becomes.

1. What Exactly Is Mobile Marketing?

Simply put, mobile marketing is marketing that’s designed to be seen on mobile devices. It’s online advertising—whether displayed in emails or on websites—that’s made for the small screens of mobile phones and tablets.

2. How Will B2B Buyers Use Mobile Devices to Do Business?

One of the strongest benefits of the mobile Internet is that users can accomplish virtually any kind of Internet research, communication or interaction, all while on the go, in the middle of commutes or otherwise away from the office—and according to one B2B blogger, this is particularly true in the business realm.

“In the case of business professionals, their mobile devices keep them informed of industry developments and allow them to be constantly accessible to their teams,” blogger Christina Kerley writes. “Therefore, professionals use their mobile devices to fulfill business needs (vs. personal wants) that keep their companies running at optimal levels of productivity, performance, and profitability.”

Increasingly becoming the main way people search online, mobile devices allow professionals to shop, buy products or services, engage with companies, ask questions via websites, make connections on social media pages and more. What does this mean for your business? It means you need to take your marketing to the mobile marketplace—-transferring the marketing you’re used to doing on desktops to the realm of smartphones.

3. What Is Mobile SEO?

Mobile search engine optimization (SEO) is search optimization aimed at searches performed on mobile devices. Like traditional SEO, it’s all about getting your website noticed—both by search engines and by the companies you can do business with—but in the mobile marketplace, it involves different tactics: not only are mobile users different than desktop users, but mobile search engine behaviors are different than desktop. According to mobiThinking, this means not just keywords but also “newer dimensions such as location, device types and content formats are more critical to and indicative of the mobile web experience.”

4. How Can We Make Our Web Presence More Mobile-Friendly?

Creating a mobile-friendly Web presence is more than a trend; it’s smart marketing. Adapting your marketing tactics to smartphones and tablets means increasing your ability to reach professionals where they are, on the go or away from the office.

Here are six tips for getting started:

  • Tip #1: Use QR codes

Quick response (QR) codes are increasingly popular bar codes made for smartphones—used by as many as 14 million Americans in June 2011, according to digital measurement company comScore. For businesses, QR codes can be a powerful way to encourage customer engagement and participation with your product or service.

For example, Starbucks recently incorporated QR codes into a marketing campaign whereby users received in-store bookmarks with coupons and QR codes allowing them to vote for their favorite roasts and has also previously used QR codes to promote its fall line of coffee products. This year’s Super Bowl included an ad from domain-name hosting site GoDaddy.com, in which on-screen QR codes allowed viewers to hold up their smartphones and go to the company’s website.”This is a first for a Super Bowl ad,” writes The Washington Post.

  • Tip #2: Focus on Strategic, Fewer Keywords

Mobile search queries are typically short, made up of a few words and typed in less than a minute. For this reason, mobile search engines from Google and others have started using predictive search—a tool that assists users by suggesting popular search queries as they type in their terms. A user may begin typing “Chicago ba,” for example, and dropdown options will appear for “Chicago band,” “Chicago ballet,” etc. This has major ramifications for mobile SEO, says mobiThinking , because “Just as you might try to identify a set of keyword categories to align yourself with in the desktop web, it's now extremely important to place yourself in the most common 'predictive search phrases' that are related to your business and location.” For a good mobile keyword research tool, there’s Google: its keyword tool provides a mobile filtering option with stats that are specific to the device you select.

  • Tip #3: Build a Mobile-Friendly Version of Your Website

Making your website mobile-friendly can make all the difference in maintaining the continually increasing numbers of mobile users accessing your site. You can make your website faster and more effective on mobile devices through several key steps, says Copyblogger. Ideas include installing a mobile plugin to Wordpress sites, creating smart site navigation, focusing on attention-grabbing content, minimizing images and not depending on Flash or Javascript technologies, which often aren’t compatible with mobile devices.

  • Tip #4: Make the Most of Social Media

Social media pages give customers and prospects better ways to connect with your brand—and this is especially important on mobile devices. “91% of mobile Internet access is to socialize, compared to 79% on desktops,” writes Duncan Heath at Forbes. “If [Internet marketers] still cannot engage with individuals and groups on a social level they will be missing out on a massive proportion of mobile Internet usage.” Click here for more information on social media marketing.

  • Tip #5: Utilize Local Search Optimization

Mobile searches are typically made by users looking for fast answers where they are—so if your business caters to a particular geographic region, local search optimization should be one of your top mobile marketing priorities. Because mobile devices can be used in different locations, search results adjust to be relevant to where a user is located.

  • Tip #6: Create iPhone/Smartphone Apps

“If you want something that is really native to a device, an app is definitely the way to go,” says Ryan Jones, SEO marketer for Ford, in Search Engine Journal. “Apps can access multi-touch features, rich media, in app purchases, gps, camera, and other aspects to provide a truly unique experience that a website cannot.”

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