Mobile Marketing: 12 Powerful Strategies & the Ultimate Guide [2022]

Mobile marketing is a powerful component of digital marketing and businesses of all sizes, across all industries, can benefit from a great mobile marketing strategy!

Mobile devices are everywhere – more than 90% of the global population uses mobile phones, and more than 83.72% of the global population owns a smartphone. When it comes to internet access, more than 70% of users access the internet on a mobile device, increasing to over 90% in some regions.

Marketing campaigns that are optimized specifically for mobile devices offer unique advantages. They’re cost-effective, easy to execute, and can fit seamlessly into your existing marketing efforts.

Mobile marketing strategies like text message marketing also boast incredibly high open and click-through rates, and location-based mobile marketing provides a level of contextual relevance that few other marketing channels can match.  

So, what are the best mobile marketing strategies to use and how do you create a successful mobile marketing plan for your business?

Today, we’re going to cover what mobile marketing means, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and then show you some of the best mobile marketing strategies, examples, and expert tips to create a successful mobile marketing plan for your business!

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    What is Mobile Marketing?

    Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses multiple channels to engage consumers on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The channels used in mobile marketing include SMS, MMS, email, social media, content marketing, mobile responsive websites, apps and push notifications.

    Mobile marketing is one of the most effective methods to use. It offers unique advantages in that messaging is immediate, precisely timed and targeted, and can be location-specific and highly personalized.

    In terms of reach, there are more than 6.5 million smartphone users globally, and by 2025 three quarters (72.6%) of all internet users will be accessing the internet via smartphone. In the USA, 85% of consumers own a smartphone, which they check more than 50 times a day!

    TLDR – MOBILE MARKETING IS:

    Mobile marketing is a form of multi-channel digital marketing aimed at connecting with consumers via their mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Main channels include SMS, MMS, email, social media, content marketing, mobile responsive websites, apps, and push notifications.

    Mobile Marketing Channels

    Any channel that a consumer can access from their phone or tablet can be used for mobile marketing, however, the main channels used specifically in mobile marketing are:

    SMS or Text Messages

    SMS or text message marketing is a quick and easy way for consumers to receive notifications, updates, personalized promotional offers, and time-sensitive deals.

    Text/SMS marketing reaches consumers wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing, and the open rates are incredibly high – close to 100% within the first 20 minutes!

    Push Notifications and In-app Messaging 

    For businesses with an app, when users opt-in to receive notifications you can send them offers, suggestions, notifications, and reminders to their home/lock screen, whether they’re currently using the app or not. Done right, push notifications can be a powerful mobile marketing strategy!  

    In-app messages do not require an opt-in from users, so messaging can reach your entire user base. This makes in-app messaging great for gathering information, establishing preferences, and letting users know about additional offers available to them.  

    If your app has an inbox, you can use it like you would use email marketing for longer and more in-depth communication. App inboxes provide a wealth of analytics data while allowing you to control the content in messages even after they land in the inbox. That means you can further personalize offers and improve the user experience.

    Mobile Optimized Email Marketing

    Email marketing is not mobile-specific, but as the majority of smartphone users access their email from their phones, it’s essential that your email marketing is optimized for mobile. Content created with mobile in mind, mobile responsive website design, and branded mobile apps make it super easy for email recipients to go directly to your site and take the desired action!

    TLDR: 3 MAIN MOBILE MARKETING CHANNELS

    Most digital marketing channels can be optimized for mobile but the main mobile-specific channels are:

    1. Text Messages or SMS Marketing
    2. Push Notifications and In-app Messaging
    3. Mobile Optimized Email Marketing

    Mobile Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages 

    Advantages of Mobile Marketing

    Mobile marketing offers some unique advantages that make it a highly effective component of digital marketing:

    1.Easily Accessible to a Large Audience

    Reaching your audience via their phones is an immediate, real-time form of contact, which reaches the majority of all internet users, instantly.

    As of 2022, globally there are more than 6.5 million smartphone users, which is projected to rise to over 7.6 million by 2027. In terms of mobile access to the internet, 72.6 % of all internet access will via smartphone by 2025 – that is three-quarters of all internet users!  

    And that is just smartphones. It does not include those using tablets and other mobile devices.

    In terms of SMS or text marketing, a uniquely mobile marketing channel, the open rates are as high as 98%, which is another reason mobile marketing is such an effective marketing method.  

    2.Highly Cost-effective Marketing

    Mobile marketing is one of the most diverse and cost-effective ways to reach your audience. This comes down to several factors:

    • Your existing content and messaging can easily be re-purposed and optimized for mobile
    • Screen sizes are smaller, which means the new content you create for mobile is inherently smaller and simpler, which takes less time and costs less money
    • Precise targeting and location-based marketing allow you to focus your marketing efforts on the right segments of your audience, reducing wasted ad spend
    • Mobile-only channels like push notifications, in-app ads, and SMS or text marketing are some of the cheapest channels available

    The bottom line is that mobile marketing is both effective and cost-effective compared to other marketing techniques in terms of ROI.

    3.Mobile Marketing Allows You to Make the Most of Location and Personalization

    People carry their phones with them all the time, wherever they go. One of the biggest benefits of mobile marketing is that you can reach your audience with relevant communication, no matter where they are.

    Location-based marketing lets you gather a great deal of information about your audience, including their habits, preferences, purchase history, and current location.

    This information is hugely valuable for precise targeting, and highly personalized marketing. You can then reach the right segments of your audience, with the right offers, at the right time and in the right place!

    4.Mobile Marketing is Immediate and Allows for Instant, Impulse Transactions

    People use their phones when they’re bored or killing time, which presents a great opportunity for sellers. In the same way that items on the side of the check-out line at the grocery store catch your attention while you wait, mobile marketing can reach people when they’re looking for something of interest and have nothing else on their minds.

    In a sense, it capitalizes on boredom and entices people to make impulse purchases almost as a form of entertainment. Aside from maybe social media marketing, there are precious few marketing channels that let you do this!

    5.Sharing, Referrals, and the Potential for Viral Campaigns

    Everyone loves to share things with their contacts, especially if they’re interesting/entertaining or offer something of value.

    Mobile marketing makes everything highly shareable, which increases the odds of informal referrals between customers.

    It also creates the potential for your content to go viral, gaining attention and spreading brand awareness at zero cost to you.

    IN SHORT, THE UNIQUE ADVANTAGES OF MOBILE MARKETING ARE:

    • It is easy to reach a very large number of people because almost everyone uses a mobile phone, smartphone, or tablet.
    • Many mobile marketing channels are free or low-cost and easy to deploy.
    • It is ideal for leveraging location-based marketing techniques to their full advantage.
    • Mobile marketing allows for fine-grained targeting and a high level of personalization.
    • Communication is immediate so it can be precisely timed.
    • Mobile marketing reaches people on the go, in situations where they’re looking for entertainment or something of interest, which drives impulse purchasing.
    • Content viewed on mobile devices is highly shareable, which increases the chances of referrals and customer advocacy, as well as the odds of your campaign going viral.

    Disadvantages of Mobile Marketing

    While mobile marketing offers great advantages, there are also some pitfalls to be aware of when you’re planning your mobile marketing campaigns:

    1.Immediacy Means There is No Wiggle Room to Fix Errors

    Mobile marketing is by nature an immediate/real-time method of communication. If you make a mistake in your message, there is no time to fix it before the recipients see it, and sending out an error followed by a correction notice is hardly the first impression you want to make!

    2.Easy Sharing and Viral Potential Can Backfire

    The potential for your content to be shared far and wide very quickly is great in the right context. In the wrong context, however, it can be a huge liability. If your content is being shared and circulated for reasons that reflect poorly on your brand, it can do a lot of damage to your brand reputation, which is difficult and expensive to remedy. Make sure all your content is carefully thought through and will land as intended before you send it to anyone’s mobile phone! 

    3.Costs to the User

    While some mobile marketing channels, like email and SMS marketing, can be some of the most cost-effective marketing for you, they might be costing your audience in terms of data or text message charges. This is something to keep in mind when you formulate your mobile marketing plan and choose the strategies you will use to reach different segments of your target market.

    4.Limited Accessibility for Non-Smartphone Mobile Users

    The majority of your target audience will be using smartphones but there will still be a segment that is not using smartphones and won’t be reached via mobile marketing channels that require internet or data usage. In the USA, it is estimated that 80% of mobile phone users have a smartphone, while 20% do not. Remember to factor this into your strategy and focus on SMS/text marketing for those without smartphones. 

    IN SHORT, THE UNIQUE DISADVANTAGES OF MOBILE MARKETING ARE:

    • Instant messaging means there is no wiggle room to fix mistakes so every piece of content and every message needs to be on point, every time.
    • Easy sharing and viral potential can backfire if your audience is sharing your content for reasons that reflect badly on your business.
    • Unlike most other digital marketing methods, mobile marketing can carry a cost for your audience in the form of mobile data or text message charges.
    • Not everyone who owns a mobile phone owns a smartphone so some mobile marketing channels will not reach those users, even if they’re in your target audience.

    Right, now that you have an idea of the unique opportunities mobile marketing offers, and the potential pitfalls to look out for, let’s take a look at some of the best mobile marketing strategies to consider:

    12 Mobile Marketing Strategies & Examples in 2022

    1.Responsive Website Design that is Optimized for Mobile

    Your website, marketing content, and ads all need to be optimized for mobile. That is a step further than just ‘mobile friendly’ and it means having a highly responsive website, that is designed with mobile use in mind.

    A mobile-optimized website ensures a great customer experience for those browsing on their phones and any other mobile device. It also increases conversion rates and lowers bounce rates.

    There are several ways to optimize your website, such as using mobile-specific platforms, using HTML5, and ensuring that the site is adaptive and responsive. Your content also needs to be created with mobile in mind and made to be easily digested, as well as scale easily and load quickly.

    Take a look at this short video by HostGator for a quick breakdown of what it means to optimize your website for mobile:

    While this can be a little too much on the technical side for many, some great mobile marketing agencies offer everything you need, including web development and design for mobile, and creative content production.

    2.Mobile-friendly Content and Copy

    As we noted above, mobile optimization is not limited to your website infrastructure. Using content that is mobile-friendly is important too!

    Here are some tips to ensure that your content is mobile-friendly:

    • Use high-quality images, videos, and GIFs. Mobile content needs to be visually engaging and interesting.
    • Copy needs to be short, concise, and to the point. Use short sentences, break up paragraphs with headings and sub-headings, and use ordered and unordered lists for any content that can be skimmed.
    • Use large fonts (size 14px or bigger), as small font sizes are hard to read on a small screen.
    • Add alt text, image names, and captions to all media so that viewers can see what it is if it’s taking a while to download on a slow data connection, or if their browser does not automatically load media.
    • Most people watch videos on mute, so adding subtitles is essential to get your message across even with the sound off!   

    3.Opt-In (and Opt-Out) Forms

    In digital marketing, especially email marketing, it is best practice to get permission from recipients and make sure that they have a way to opt out too. Mobile marketing is no different!

    Opt-in forms on your website, emails, and any other form of communication you use will grant you permission to contact people AND help you grow your email and SMS lists.

    You can use a simple pop-up or you can use something more complex, like a lead-magnet offer with a free resource download in exchange for an email address or phone number.  

    Mobile Marketing Strategy - Example of a pop-up with an opt-in form for a phone number
    Image Source

    Similarly, having an opt-out option is critical. If someone knows they can opt-out, they’re more likely to give you their contact info. They’re also more likely to remove themselves from your email or SMS lists, which saves you doing it for them when they’re no longer responsive.

    Regularly purged contact lists have higher open rates and CTR, which improves things like email reputation and deliverability.

    4.SMS/Text Message Marketing

    When it comes to mobile marketing campaigns, SMS marketing, and text blasts are really effective. They’re highly cost-effective, and SMS has close to a 100% open rate!

    Text messages are great for time-sensitive offers and leveraging a sense of urgency. According to Tatango, 90% of marketing text messages are opened within just 3 minutes, and 99% are opened within the first 20 minutes.

    To make the most of your text/SMS marketing, include opt-ins and opt-outs and use coupons – digital coupons, like a discount code or a link to an exclusive offer, are used more than coupons from any other marketing channel.

    Mobile Marketing Strategy - Example of a a text message with a link to a sale and a screenshot of where the link went to - a 70% off Abercrombie and Fitch Sale
    Image Source

    5.Paid Social Media Ads

    Social media marketing has become a leading marketing channel and it’s great for mobile marketing, with 76% of users accessing social media using a mobile device.

    Include social media ads in your social media and mobile marketing plans, and do some A/B tests to determine which platforms perform the best for your brand.

    Ads are simple way to target specific segments of your audience with highly relevant offers. They’re also effective for spreading awareness of your brand and gain followers for your social media profiles.

    6.GIFs and Video Content

    Mobile marketing strategies work best when they’re coupled with interactive visual content like GIFs and videos. People expect mobile content to be easy to digest and entertaining. No one wants to read pages and pages of text on a small screen!

    Video marketing has become a cornerstone of almost all forms of digital marketing, especially on social media.

    Video is especially useful for reviews and educational content on products and services. Almost 75% of people prefer watching a video over reading a guide when learning about a new product.

    Incorporating video and GIFs into your mobile marketing plan and social media strategy increases engagement, holds attention for longer and makes your content more memorable. It also makes it easier to digest and more entertaining for your audience.

    7.Location-based Marketing Techniques

    Location-based marketing techniques, such as mobile targeting, geofencing, and geotargeting, are invaluable mobile marketing strategies.

    Check out this short video by John Arnott for more on the basics of geofencing and other location-based marketing techniques:

    Leveraging real-time location data provides insights into customer behavior and preferences that you can use to fine-tune your targeting and provide highly personalized offers.  

    For brick-and-mortar businesses and businesses with apps, location-specific search results help you reach people close by and make the most of the convenience factor.

    For mobile marketing in e-commerce, brands that provide location-based offers, like free delivery within a specific area or products that need to be delivered quickly like food, will benefit from location-based marketing.

    8.Voice Search Optimization

    In addition to voice searches on mobile phones, as of 2022, it is projected that more than 50% of homes use a voice smart speaker, and the trend is increasing rapidly.

    This is important for marketing because, according to Invoca, 43% of the people who own a voice-enabled device use it to shop. Of those, 51% use voice search to research products, 22% make purchases directly through the voice search and 17% use it to reorder items.

    People also use voice search for location-specific recommendations, like local restaurants, store locations, and services. Most voice searches lead to a phone call to the business they found, website visits, and in-store visits, which makes voice search an important driver of actual sales, not just traffic.

    Mobile Marketing Strategy - Voice Search Statistics Graphic
    Voice Search Statistics (Image Source)

    9.In-app Support to Improve Customer Experience

    Customer experience is everything. Providing great customer service, support, and an effortless experience doing business with you will improve customer retention, drive repeat purchases, and increase customer lifetime value.

    It will also increase the chances of customers referring their friends and family to you, advocating for you online, and sharing their positive experiences with your brand on social media.

    A lot goes into providing a great customer experience but when it comes to mobile marketing strategies, you can use in-app messaging and support to make each customer’s experience that much better.

    In-app support through live chat on your website or in your business’s mobile app is a convenient and immediate way to communicate with your customers. The easier it is for them to contact you and get a quick answer and an easy solution to their problems, the better!  

    10.Push Notifications

    For businesses with a mobile app, push notifications are a great way to send notifications, and time-sensitive offers and keep users updated on your latest promotions. When users opt-in to push notifications, those notifications will appear on their home screen and not only when they’re in the app itself.

    Mobile Marketing Strategy - Example of a push notification
    Image Source

    Push notifications are also useful for cart abandonment and re-engagement messaging. To make the most of your push notifications, use quick and easy elements like buttons and quick links, and keep messaging short, fun, and engaging with emojis and other visual elements.    

    11.In-App Messaging

    Unlike push notifications, users do not need to opt-in to receiving messages to your app’s message inbox. This means every user will automatically get these messages and you can use them for automated communications like onboarding, setting preferences, marketing promotions, and upselling additional products or features.

    12.Personalized Mobile Marketing Campaigns

    Personalization is key in digital marketing, especially in email and mobile marketing. In fact, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that uses their name and makes recommendations based on their purchase history.

    One of the best things about mobile marketing is just how personalized and precisely targeted your marketing can be!

    Mobile user data can help you to create highly personalized offers, using location data, interaction/purchase history, and some basic demographic information that is easy enough to gather when people opt-in to your mobile marketing channels.

    Mobile Marketing Plan: 3 Steps to Get it Right

    While the mobile marketing strategies we listed above are all highly effective, not every strategy will be appropriate or practical for your specific business.

    That is where your mobile marketing plan comes in. A good mobile marketing plan sets out the roadmap and overall strategy for your mobile marketing, including the channels and strategies you will use, and how you will tie mobile-specific marketing into your overall marketing mix.

    When you’re putting your mobile marketing plan together, these three steps will set you up for success:

    1.Select and Prioritize the best Mobile Marketing Strategies to Use

    Choosing the right combination of strategies to use comes down to your business model, and where and when you want to reach your audience.

    Consider your marketing goals and objectives and how mobile marketing can help you reach them.

    Look at the marketing channels you’re already using and see where you can use mobile marketing to strengthen different channels, like social media, or fill gaps, like location-based marketing, to round out your overall marketing efforts.  

    Create robust customer personas and identify where and when they’re using mobile devices, and how best you can meet their needs. Are they bored and scrolling on social media? Are they looking for the nearest solution to an urgent need? Are they driving or are they at home?

    From there, you can determine which strategies will be the most effective and which ones will be the easiest to implement. Start with those, and you can add on more (and cut back on any that do not show results!) as you progress.

    2.Consider Your Budget and Make the Most of Free or Low-cost Mobile Marketing Strategies

    One of mobile marketing’s biggest advantages is how cost-effective it is! Make the most of that by choosing free strategies, like claiming your location on Google and other location-specific listings, or low-cost strategies like text message marketing.

    You should also leverage all the information available to you to hone in on personalization and precise targeting to reduce any wasted ad-spend and increase your ROI.

    Factoring the costs, and potential savings, into your mobile marketing plan will help you develop a plan that is sustainable and makes the most of whatever budget you have available.

    3.Optimize Your Current Marketing Channels for Mobile

    Take all your existing marketing channels and optimize them for mobile – especially your website, search ads, email, and social media marketing.

    You can leverage the benefits of mobile marketing simply by making what you’re doing already mobile-friendly. This is the simplest, easiest way to get going with mobile marketing, even if you do not have the resources to start new campaigns specifically for mobile.

    In addition to making your website responsive and mobile-optimized, look at your content and messaging and finesse them to work for mobile and small screens.

    Starting small and building up slowly also allows you to gather information and populate lists before you branch out into new mobile marketing strategies.

    Even simple things like adding an opt-in for an SMS list to your marketing emails and on your website can get the ball rolling.

    TLDR – 3 KEY STEPS TO TAKE IN A GREAT MOBILE MARKETING PLAN:

    • Step 1: Choose the best mobile marketing strategies to use and prioritize them
    • Step 2: Focus on free and low-cost mobile marketing strategies to begin with
    • Step 3: Optimize all your existing marketing channels for mobile

    Final Thoughts on Mobile Marketing Strategies

    Mobile marketing is a powerful component of digital marketing, which cannot be overlooked. It is inexpensive, can easily be incorporated into your overall marketing strategy, and is highly effective.

    When you use the right combination of mobile marketing strategies and formulate a good mobile marketing plan, you can reach your target audience, anywhere, at any time, with highly relevant, contextual, and personalized marketing content.

    Today, we have covered some of the best mobile marketing strategies and examples, as well as three essential steps to take when you’re creating your mobile marketing plan.

    Which strategies will you use first?  

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a mobile marketing strategy?

    Mobile marketing strategy refers to multi-channel methods used in digital marketing to engage consumers on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Mobile marketing channels include websites and ecommerce stores, email, SMS/text marketing, MMS, social media, and mobile apps. Check out the full guide for more on the best mobile marketing strategies to use in your mobile marketing plan.

    How do I start a mobile marketing strategy?

    Start by developing a comprehensive mobile marketing plan, which includes the most relevant and accessible mobile marketing strategies for your business. Start by optimizing all your existing marketing channels for mobile, and then branch out into free and low-cost strategies like location-based marketing and SMS or text marketing. Read the full guide to learn more about mobile marketing strategies and where to begin.

    What is a mobile marketing plan?

    A mobile marketing plan is the roadmap and overall strategy you will use to guide your various mobile marketing campaigns. It sets out the different strategies or techniques you will use, the order in which to deploy them and how they tie into your overall marketing plan. A good mobile marketing plan emphasizes targeting, personalization and location-based information. Read the full guide for tips on how to develop a successful mobile marketing plan.

    References

    Act.On: 5 Ways Mobile Marketing is Affecting Social Media

    Bankmycell: May 2022 Mobile User Statistics

    Crazy Egg: How Mobile Optimization Affects your Conversions

    CNBC: Nearly Three-Quarters of the World Will Use Just Their Smartphones to Access the Internet By 2025

    G2 Learn Hub: 46 SMS Marketing Statistics Your Customers Wish You Knew

    Invoca Blog: 34 Voice Search Stats Marketers Need to Know

    Marketo: Mobile Marketing Strategy Pdf

    Plexure: The Power of Location-Based Marketing

    Statista: Number of Smartphone Subscriptions Worldwide 2016 – 2027

    Tatango: SMS Marketing Statistics

    Techjury: 67+ Revealing Smartphone Statistics for 2022

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