5 Ways to Reach Customers with Mobile

After ramping up in recent years, thanks to the popularity of smartphones like the iPhone, the buzz around mobile has hit the mainstream in 2011. And no wonder, as usage only continues to grow; according to Cisco, for example, AT&T reported its traffic grew by 30 times between Q3 of 2009 and Q3 of 2010. So how do you reach customers with mobile, with phones both web-enabled and not?

SMS campaign

Short for Short Message Service, SMS is essentially a fancy name for text messaging. Have you ever seen one of those campaigns where an advertiser says “text the word ‘SAVE’ to 010101?” That’s an SMS campaign, and it works for any text-enabled mobile device, not just smartphones. This means it can reach more customers. Because text messages are often short (140 characters or less), these campaigns are typically best for simple promotions, like coupons. Learn more about SMS campaigns from Socialbrite.

QR codes

Short for Quick Response, QR codes are those strange-looking square bar code images that have started popping up in print ads, on business cards, and other physical locations. Users who have smartphones with cameras and QR reader software can snap a photo of a QR code and instantly be taken to a corresponding URL for more information. A QR code is a great add-on to offline campaigns to quickly direct users to videos, a landing page, or other details about your business. Learn more about QR code campaigns from Social Media Examiner.

Mobile search ads

Just like on your desktop, when you use a search engine on your phone, text-only ads are delivered at the top of the search results. The large search advertising platforms, such as Google’s AdMob and Microsoft’s Bing, can display different ads to customers on mobile devices than those displayed to regular search visitors. This allows you to customize your message to mobile customers; your phone number becomes a click-to-dial link, and your address can be pulled up in a maps app. You can even target ads to users by device (all iPhones) or phone network (Verizon only). Learn more about best practices for mobile search ads from Google.

Mobile text ads

Formatted just like search ads, these text-only ad messages are published not within search results, but in an advertiser’s network of either its own sites (Yahoo! Mobile) or participating publishers (Google AdMob’s content network). This can be a cost-effective way to expand a high-performing search ad campaign to a wider audience. Get mobile advertising network Millennial Media’s Top 11 for ’11 mobile ad predictions.

Mobile banner ads

Arguably the most glamorous of the mobile channels, display (banner) ads are the graphic ads you see on mobile sites or apps, both for smartphones and tablets. This category includes Apple’s iAds, as well as display advertising on the search networks and smaller mobile-only ad networks. It’s also the most expensive. While search and text ads are typically cost-per-click, banner ad campaigns are more likely to be traditional CPM—cost-per-thousand impressions. And of course you should factor in the cost of creative concepts and development. In return, you get one of the strongest branding opportunities in mobile. Check out Innate’s own iAd campaign  for GEICO, one of the first on this exclusive platform.

And one more: Before you dive into paid mobile marketing, make sure you have a mobile-friendly landing page—or, ideally, your entire site—to send them to. Even if you don’t plan to do any paid advertising just yet, creating a mobile version of your site is a great place to start.

Further reading

Ready to get started in mobile advertising? Here are the top ad networks, plus a site that encompasses news and information about all things mobile marketing.

Innate is always happy to help you kick-start your next mobile marketing campaign; contact us to find out what we can do for you.

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