Tim Hayden from 44 Doors always gets me thinking. In his most recent presentation at the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco, he walked us through how he's helped Kendall Jackson wines by putting QR codes on the labels of wine, and then tying those codes to interesting, regionalized content that draws a consumer from the offline world (standing there in the store) to a quick online interaction (scanning the code pops you over to a location-specific site that gives recipes or other treats based on the region). That bridge, from offline to online, is missing in a lot of the experiences we're creating as businesses, and it's very important.
If you haven't yet built a mobile version of your site, you're missing the chance to get people to interact with you wherever they are. For my own site, there's a nifty mobile version that required nothing more than installing a premium blog theme (for all of $39), that translates my site to something really easy to view on any smartphone or iPad. If you aren't rocking a blog as a main site—and most small businesses aren't—you can pay someone to develop a mobile version of your site for fairly low dollars, and it will go really far for you, if you think through what you want it to do for you.
What I mean on that last part is this: what someone does with your site while situated at their desk is quite different than what information or transactions they want when they're looking via their phone. If you're a dance studio, people probably want great directions, hours, and an emergency contact number more than they want to know what the studio offers for classes. Or maybe they want a calendar more than anything else. It's up to you to know what you think they want, but hint: It's not the same as what they want when they're in research mode. When someone has switched to a mobile device to view your site, they want something very different. Make sense?
Some quick tips for thinking about these bridges
- Get your site translated for mobile viewing, period. If you haven't yet tried navigating your site from a smartphone, do it, and I won't even have to tell you this one.
- Consider optimizing the mobile experience for making specific pages very easy to access when viewed by a mobile browser.
- Investigate whether and where QR codes will make a difference.
- Don't forget thinking of ways to deliver content via SMS as well. More phones text than browse.
- Ask yourself what else you could do with your mobile customer that you can't with someone browsing from a distance, and think about offerings that might appeal in that circumstance.
That strikes me as plenty to cover in one shot.
Oh, and if you want to see a mobile rendition of my LinkedIn profile, as another example of how to use mobile marketing, read this article and see if that gives you ideas.
Chris Brogan launched Kitchen Table Companies with Joe Sorge to provide small businesses with their own advisory board. He creates interviews, tutorials, and workshops to help small businesses grow. Chris blogs at chrisbrogan.com