What You Need to Know About Search & Beacons for Your Marketing Plan
As the leader of a small business, you want to take advantage of the opportunities that technology gives you, but it is overwhelming to stay on top of new trends. Your best bet is to start small and take actions that are less time-intensive but offer significant rewards. For example, improve your search marketing and benefit from beacon technology to keep your business top-of-mind for your target audience. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know to employ these two marketing trends:
Give Your Website a Reboot
Many small businesses believe their websites are mobile-optimized without understanding what this means. Simply put, your site should be responsively designed, so its formatting changes to suit the device on which someone is viewing it.
You also should consider what keywords you should be using for mobile users. When people search on mobile phones, they tend to write shorter phrases and include a location keyword. You should mirror this in your content. Shorten your phrases and make sure you have sufficient, location-based keywords. Instead of going with “handmade treasures for every member of your family,” go for something like “Gifts in Phoenix, Arizona.” This will get you improved results in search.
Tap Into Advertising and Social
Google found that location-related mobile searches are growing 50 percent faster than all other mobile searches. This means there’s a good chance that someone searching for the products or services you offer, is likely to be physically nearby while performing the search. For this reason, you want your brand to appear via mobile ads and social media. AdMob is a great place to start because it’s a high-performing service and integrates with Google Analytics. However, there are numerous ad networks available, so it’s important to do your research and decide which one fits your company best.
Also, it might be time to buy ads on social media networks. Marketing Land reports that 80 percent of time spent on social media occurs from mobile devices. This means there is a good chance that prospects in your area will be scrolling their social channels, giving you an opportunity to target them. Facebook and Instagram ads are the most popular, so start your efforts on those platforms. Remember to ask satisfied customers to leave you a review on Yelp and similar sites to help bump up your ranking in local and social searches.
Implement Beacon Technology
Beacons are one of the newer types of technology that many brands are capitalizing upon, but they’re also one of the least understood. In a nutshell, beacon technology provides business owners with real-time notifications about who is walking into their store (or in the nearby vicinity). This helps them deliver personalized and highly relevant ads or offers, thereby giving people in the area an incentive to walk into their store and make a purchase. Carrefour is an example of a company that experienced great results by using beacon technology. The company saw a 400 percent increase in app engagement and a 600 percent increase in its number of app users in seven months.
One of the challenges with beacons, however, is that they require your company to have an app or operate on Wi-Fi. Mesh beacons are a newer version of this technology that makes it easier for your business and your customers to tap into this marketing potential. They don’t require Wi-Fi or cellular data for the customer, and they receive dynamic information via Bluetooth. If a customer has a newer phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note5, they will automatically be equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 and have this capability.
For the time being, your business should watch the beacon space and plan to integrate the technology into your marketing plan. Consider the actions you want nearby prospects to take, and then devise your beacon strategy around that. While a coupon might incentivize customers walking through your doors to make a big purchase, maybe this isn’t the area you struggle with the most. Perhaps your customers lack the proper education they need to make buying decisions about your products. In this case, you should create an alert that informs shoppers about your products or services. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy with beacon technology, so make it fit into your larger marketing plan.