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Ian Blair

The Definitive Guide To Mobile Marketing For B2B Marketers

In many parts of the world, including the U.S., more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop computers.

Irrespective of the market you’re in, you need to develop a mobile marketing strategy. Because your target audience are mobile. You must be where they are, or go home.

Of course it begins with you having a site that’s optimized for mobile devices. Your competition already has mobile friendly sites. According to a research currently released by the Regalix, “nearly two-thirds of B2B companies have mobile websites and apps.”

The next step is to use the mobile friendly site to build a strong brand with mobile users. But that’s easy to say.

Do you often think you can’t get along with mobile marketing?

Well, think again. When you consider all the benefits of a well deployed mobile marketing campaign, you’ll invest your time, money, and intellect in order to ensure that mobile consumers aren’t left behind.

Yes I know how it feels. As a B2B company, we’ve been there. The ceaseless struggle to generate targeted mobile prospects, and turning them into happy customers is not an easy adventure.

It may look simple at the surface, but going all out to get the work involved done is a lot difficult. This scares the hell out of B2B marketers, agencies, online entrepreneurs, and consultant.

In today’s marketing world, you need to embrace mobile marketing with all you’ve got. Because there is an upward trend in the use of smartphones and other mobile devices for decision making & shopping.

Recent statistics found that smartphone users are spending a lot of time on social media. They want to get firsthand information about products, people, places, services, and concepts before spending their hard earned money.

In fact, there are 1.68 billion active mobile social accounts in the world – as there are smartphones. This number is led by global phenomenon WeChat, followed by Facebook.

These statistics are exciting, right?

But excitement doesn’t last long unless you make it a personal experience. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this exclusive content.

After reading this article, you’ll become persuaded to give mobile marketing a chance, and hopefully grow your B2B leads and revenue.

Mobile marketing overview

Listen up: the B2B industry needs to integrate mobile marketing as fast as now. Because the ROI can be encouraging. In fact, 90% of marketers say mobile produces a better ROI in some way.

You already know that customers are always with their phones. People engage in several web-based activities, like surfing the web, searching for information, participating on social media discussions, reading news, researching products and engaging with brands.

In order to successfully take advantage of the invaluable opportunities that mobile channel provides, B2B companies must be able to create and document a strategy that best utilizes all available mediums.

A winning content strategy is the key to unlocking the mobile profit vault. Don’t think creating a strategy is easy. If it was so, why is it that 14% of B2B marketers lack a content strategy, and 48% couldn’t document theirs?

No channel is evolving as fast as mobile. The earlier you join the mobile chariot, the better for your business.

Every other week, when I consult with clients on how to attract more mobile customers, I usually ask them a simple question, “are you passionate about your target audience?

And that’s my question to you.

If you are, then you should/must be aware of the mobile explosion. Don’t just stand at the fence and whine over failed attempts at lead generation, plug into mobile.

Have a mobile marketing budget

Smart business owners have a set budget for mobile marketing. In the US alone, mobile advertising is estimated to top $30 billion in 2015.

According to Ad Age, “66% of B2B marketers now use their mobile devices for business. Are you one of them?

Yes, you can leverage mobile marketing to drive avalanche of free targeted visitors to your site, acquire the right leads, and expand your business.

The truth is that mobile campaigns are easier to create and execute than that of desktop campaigns.

Nothing annoys potential customers than a delayed gratification. As humans, we want answers now. We want to take that vacation now. Not tomorrow.

Sure, we may not have the resources to get all that we desire now, but it’s a deep-seated thirst.

That’s where mobile campaigns come in. With the click of a button, messages are delivered to recipients within seconds. That means you can start communicating with clients in a few minutes from now. The surfing time of mobile users is faster than PC users.


However, your campaigns have to be unique, persuasive, relevant, and above all useful.

Perhaps the biggest evolution so far is that marketing has gone mobile. In an online world where people search for useful information using different devices, it’s your responsibility as a B2B marketer to make your voice heard.

It’s critical to know that if your business site is not mobile responsive, sooner or later you’re going to be out of business.

Mobile usage has surpassed desktop PCs usage. The growth of mobile search is growing rapidly than anticipated.

In fact, in 2014, searches on mobile platforms were more than that of desktop. According to BIA/Kelsey, “mobile search is expected to exceed desktop by 27.8 billion queries in 2016.

This definitive guide to mobile marketing for B2B marketers is aimed at helping you see the green lights in this new marketing evolution – mobile.

 

Optimize for local mobile search

As a marketer, you need to optimize for local mobile search. It’s high time your pages begin to rank highly in Google organic results.

Because searches with local intent more than likely will lead ideal customers to the store. According to Search Engine Land, “56% of ‘On The Go’ searches have local intent.”

Mobile is the go-to channel for these local searches, because a mobile inquiry, product search, or content consumption usually happens further down the purchase funnel, compared with desktop search that attracts prospects who aren’t motivated.


And consumers act quickly after their local search. In fact, 1 in 3 searches on smartphone occur right before consumers visit a store, and 50% of smartphone consumers visit a store within 24 hours after conducting a local search.

Mobile consumers are usually more targeted than desktop consumers. Most B2B companies have increased visibility on mobile, by capitalizing on the local query volume to increase an important performance metric – clickthrough rate.

Whether it’s through text messages, mobile text-link advertising, sponsored posts, pay per click, etc., mobile marketing works.

For example, Seattle Sun Tan, a 35-location tanning set up a mobile campaign to target their consumers on smartphones and tablets. Specifically, they sent a custom text message offers and discounts to their customers.


Within a 30-day period, the company had generated 4,750 customers who opted in to receive promotional text message offers.

Guess what? These text message campaigns generated $196,000 in new sales from customers redeeming the initial offer.

That said, here are 4 strategies to make mobile marketing work for your business:

 

1.      Define your core goals

It’s pathetic.

But the truth is that most businesses set out without a definite goal. If you ask most small business owners why they’re running a mobile campaign, don’t be surprised to hear, “we want to “grow” our business.

“Growing a business” is not a goal. And never will be.

What are the things that must be in place before a business can experience growth? Those are the core goals your business should have.

A study by the Marketing World shows that 28% of businesses advertise to mobile users in order to generate leads or get people to complete a registration. As expected, increasing site traffic is at the bottom of the chart.

At this point, it’s critical to define what your core goal is. Because a clear goal guides you on every step. When you run into muddy waters, it’s not your marketing budget that will deliver you, but the core goals you have set.

Not all goals are created equal. The ones that will make a difference are the “core” ones. The word “core” means, “the part of something that is central to its existence or character.”

In other words, what is that one thing you can achieve through mobile marketing that will take your revenue to another level?

Is it more traffic to your site? I don’t think so.

Could it be more brand awareness?

These are all important, though, but they’re not as important as “leads generation.”

What your business truly needs now to grow its profit is targeted leads. Because qualified leads become customers. Site visitors, pageviews, etc., are vanity metrics. They don’t count as much as a business that attracts qualified leads continually.

I know a lot of B2B marketers who drive less than 1,000 visitors to their site per month, yet they generate six figure income annually.

An effective B2B mobile marketing strategy is hinged on your core goals. Remember that a strategy is something you can replicate. It works irrespective of the season or market changes. Because it’s developed based on user’s behavior, which doesn’t change.


Over the years, I’ve read countless success stories of how brands capitalized on their core goals and achieved tremendous results.

For example, with consumers in key regions of rural India, Hindustan Unilever needed to get creative to earn more share of voice.

Goal: To earn more share of voice. In a nutshell, to attract more customers.

At the surface, that goal may not make sense. But let’s look at it critically. Before Unilever launched this campaign, rural India lacked access to Television and uninterrupted electricity.

Obviously, every company was strategising. Innovation was at its peak. It’s true that companies around the environs had great products, but how will they get it across to the buyers.

[thrive_lead_lock id=’15037′]Hidden Content[/thrive_lead_lock]

Running a TV commercial would have been the order of the day, but since the people can’t watch Television as much as they wanted to, it was a big challenge.

Strategy: There is no effective campaign without a strategy. Whether you’re targeting desktop PC users or mobile users, a strategy will put you over the competition. Unilever didn’t fail to deliver.

In order to penetrate the hearts of rural India, the company launched a mobile entertainment channel accessible through a toll-free number. This invaluable service offered movie news, music, and ads for select products.

This was a unique initiative because it gave people the opportunity to listen to favorite music, and buy products right from the comfort of their homes.

Results: Unilever’s mobile campaign was a relief for rural Indians at the time. Within 6 months, the radio channel gained more than 8 million active subscribers.

More important, the brand grew beyond leaps and bounds of the rural communities, making it easier for the company to sell new products.

But Unilever is not the only brand that is benefiting from a well-defined mobile strategy. Before the Sony Electronics launched their 4k Ultra HD TV, they decided to do something different.

After conducting series of market research, they found that most of their consumers really like the Sony brand, but don’t even know how to use the great features available in High Definition TV.

Goal: Sony Electronics set a core objective to build awareness, then educate and energize consumers.

At a glance, you can see how definite and smart the objective is. Education is the only industry that never grows old. As long as you put education first, you’ll win customers. Here’s the Sony 4K Ultra HD TV commercial.

According to Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, “Teaching Sells.” If you can teach people how to do something and get results, they’ll fall in love with your brand (**not you).

Strategy: Sony knows that an overwhelming number of consumers read reviews on Amazon and other shopping sites before purchasing an electronic product.

Data from Boast shows that, “90% of consumers admit their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.”

With this understanding, Sony integrated user reviews into its mobile advertising. They used a cross-screen execution feature to explain the new Sony 4K Ultra TV to consumers, and increased their desire to purchase the product.

Results: The strategy yield a dramatic return on investment. Over 40 million unique buyers were reached.

 

2.      Research your target market

Question: How do you know your mobile audience?

Answer: Research your target market. That’s the only way.

When it comes to B2B mobile marketing, you don’t have to neglect anything. Recent study from MarketingSherpa found that 50% of businesses want to increase lead nurturing.

Generating leads and neglecting to nurture them is a trap of failure. It’s through market research that you’ll know what a select group of people want. For example, before you create a product, find out if people are already searching for it.

First, use your instinct. What do you think your ideal customer wants? If you put yourself in their shoes, what type of product would you like to see in the marketplace at this time?

a).   Develop a buyer persona: Do you know your ideal customer very well? Developing a buyer persona can help eliminate the hurdles of marketing to the wrong people.

A buyer persona is a visual representation of your ideal customer based on data collected through market research.

It’s important to include customer demographics, pain points, values, motivations, goals, behavioral patterns, etc., when representing your ideal customer visually. The more detailed your persona profile is, the better.

As a B2B marketer, understand that you’re not marketing to “companies” or “businesses” but people. Better yet, customers don’t buy products or services – “they buy experiences,” says Ross Beard.

Use a buyer persona to structure your mobile campaigns. Let it show you where to focus your time, and money.

If you’re going to run a mobile text-link ad or target mobile users with your PPC ads, a buyer persona will most likely help you attract valuable visitors, leads, and motivated customers.

Here’s Max’s persona – what important information can you pinpoint?

Depending on your industry, Max’s persona may not align with your interest. However, if you’re ready to create your own buyer persona, the first thing you’ve to do is check your audience demographics.

Follow these simple steps:

First step: Go to Alexa.com. Input your site URL (make sure it’s mobile friendly) into the search bar at the top right side. Then click the “Find” button:

Second step: Check your audience demographics. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see this:

At a glance, you can see that the audience demographics for Buildfire.com are mostly men who have graduated school, and they browse from home and work. None of the site users browse from School.

With this basic audience demographics, you can create a buyer persona. Since the audience are working class, it means they already have an annual income.

b).   Pick commercial intent keywords: A simple and effective way to research your audience is to find the keywords they input into the search engines when they’re looking for information.

Although majority of B2B marketers don’t measure their mobile marketing ROI, but those who do say it’s worth it.

Search engine is the starting point for mobile experiences. Smart Insights noted that 48% of mobile search begins on search engines, and 26% on branded apps.

Mobile consumers are usually motivated to buy. Target the right keywords in your content, and make sure they have commercial intents.

That way, the chances of converting clicks, phone calls, in-store inquiries into sales will be high. You need to research keywords because:

  • keywords show you how big your market is
  • it gives insights about your target audience
  • it also shows the demand for your product

Let’s quickly find keywords with commercial intents that you can use to create a mobile content campaign:

First step: Go to Google Keywords Planner. Input your main keyword (e.g., social media tool). Then click the “Get Ideas” button:

Second step: Click on the “keyword ideas” tab to reveal all the keywords.

Third step: Pick commercial keywords. From the keywords list, pick search terms that show a buying intent.

Note: These keywords are only useful when you’re creating content for your site. You can do it yourself, or hire a professional freelance writer to create an in-depth, useful, and long-form article that will rank highly in Google.

Bloomberg’s data showed that time spent on mobile phones have surpassed the time people spend watching TV. Sounds unbelievable, right?

So it doesn’t matter how long the content you create is, as long as it’s informative and easy to read (which means your site has to be mobile responsive), users will read it on their mobile devices.

To ensure that the content you’ll create with the commercial keywords rank highly in mobile search results, you need to make it a long-form content.

It might sound unbelievable, but Google doesn’t rank thin content or 300-word post in their first page anymore.

SerpIQ conducted a study on the perfect article length that Google prefers, and found that the average content length of the top 10 results contain 2000 words.

c).   Dig Quora for related questions: You’re not done with market research yet. Apart from picking the right keywords, what about questions that your audience is asking?

96% of the time, these all-important questions are not included in the Google keywords data bank. Because people who ask these questions don’t use search engines, but Quora.


Yes, Quora is a popular Q&A social network. If you have not been actively using it to get topics, research your audience, and get expert answers you need to get started right away.

So how do you use Quora to find related questions that will be helpful in your mobile content campaigns?

Trust me, it’s very simple. Follow these simple steps:

First step: Go to Quora. On the text area, input your question or keyword (make sure to include a question mark at the end).

Second step: Check for related questions at the right sidebar.

These related questions are what you should drive your mobile content with. When you create blog posts, articles, videos, ebooks, or interactive content (e.g., quizzes, polls, calculator, currency converter), integrate these questions.

Mind you, they’re search terms and therefore have the potential to rank in Google top 10 if you create high-value content – and market it.

You’re finally through with market research. Of course, you can also learn about your audience from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media network. Get to know the language that your audience is using.

Then speak the same language when creating your content, or communicating with them.

 

3.      Make your site mobile responsive

This definitive guide to mobile marketing for B2B marketers will be incomplete until you make your site mobile compatible.

I have shown you several statistics on the future of social, search, and email. On 21 April, 2015 Google released the mobile friendliness update.

Before this time, Google had announced in their Official Webmaster Central Blog that the update will affect sites that ignored mobile users. To be specific, the update…

  • affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • affects search results in all languages (every country of the world)
  • affects individual web pages, not entire site

When it finally launched, millions of sites were penalized. Some of the sites that were glued to the top listing pages were pushed to page 77 or de-indexed. How sad?

Google is rewarding mobile responsive sites. They’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

Searchers can now find high-quality and relevant results were text is readable.

Searchers can scroll on desktop PCs and Laptops, but they shouldn’t do that in mobile screens. Mobile screen sizes vary. Apple iPad for example has a wider screen than Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

Mobile optimization ensures that irrespective of the screen size, your content displays well for users. It all boils down to creating a memorable experience for your site visitors so they can come back again and again.

Is your site mobile friendly?

Let’s find out:

First step: Go to Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool. Input your site URL into the search bar. Then click the “ANALYZE” button:


Second step: Check your site status.

Finally, see how the site I analyzed displays on a mobile device:

However, if your site is not mobile friendly, here are the simple things you can do to optimize it:

a).  Use a third-party plugin: If you’re a WordPress user, there are so many WordPress plugins designed to make your pages mobile friendly. But the one I have used in the past is WPtouch.

It’s free. Just install it like you would other plugins, activate and that’s it. It’ll render your pages and make them display properly on mobile devices.

b).  Use a mobile responsive design: If you’re not on WordPress, then you can simply redesign your site by deploying a mobile-first strategy.

You have to plan it from the get-go, putting mobile users at the forefront. Choose one of the responsive templates to simplify the design process. Here’s an example of a responsive design:

A responsive design can provide a permanent solution. Because your site will respond and display perfectly on all available mobile devices, including the ones that will be designed in the future (bring it on Apple).

Though it’s good to have a mobile friendly site, but there is something so dear to mobile users – “page speed.”

Because of hardware and connectivity issues mobile users sometimes experience when browsing the web using their smartphones and tablets, page speed is more important to mobile users than desktop users.

A few of the effective ways I’ve increased my page speed is to optimize images, minify code, utilize browser caching, and minimize redirects. Implement these strategies and you’ll make your site load insanely fast for mobile users.

 

4.      Integrate social with your mobile campaigns

Mobile devices are used primarily for building social relationships.

A study from e-Strategy found that 39% of millennials who own a smartphone expect your business to have a presence in social media, and 38% wants you to provide instant communication with customer service.


Whether you’re a researching a brand, chatting with friends, sending text messages or searching for information online, you’re in one way or the other socializing. Because you’ll come in contact with others virtually.

If you work with a team, you’ll notice that many of them if not all has a personal attachment to their phones.

You’ll likely see someone texting on their smartphone or checking Facebook notifications on their tablets.

According to First Data, an online payment solutions company, 81% of smartphone users check social media regularly in order to read reviews before deciding on which products to purchase. And mobile is used throughout the purchase process.

One of the things you can do to tap into the benefits of mobile is to integrate customer reviews, social sharing buttons for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.

Developing robust apps for your mobile program is another efficient way to leverage social media.

But Apps on their own can be a boring piece of software if they’re not integrated with social media capabilities. The true power of an app lies in its usability and shareability.

The trend in social-mobile integration has just picked up, and brands doing this have reported an improvement in user engagement over different verticals.

Here are some of the reasons why social media is needful in your mobile campaigns:

i).   Improved functionality: Like I said earlier, your ability to use a piece of software effectively is what makes it useful. The usefulness isn’t in the name of the software, but in its functionality.

Whether you’re going to run a mobile PPC ads campaign, a simple social media integration will help amplify your reach.

In other words, you’ll no longer rely on your budget alone. Because more people will have the opportunity to see your ads and hopefully click on them.

Instagram is an example of a site that understands seamless integration.

Users are able to not only login through their Facebook account, but they can also share their instagram-filtered images on social media portals like Facebook, Foursquare, Flickr, and Tumblr.

The new Pinterest App allows you to send Pinterest and all its awesome features to your phone, so that you can have the same or better experience  ever.

ii).   Quick mobile apps download: Social media makes it a lot easier to access and download mobile apps. You can advertise mobile apps, and show your fans how to use it.

Social media is a channel where the right people can engage with your brand. People want to read latest news, product updates, and get informative content to improve their lives.

All of these and many more can be actualized when you integrate social media with your mobile program.

Asking people to call you on phone so that you can give them the download link to your app is boring. You should come up with innovative ways to promote your app where you ideal customers can find it easily.

Find out where which social media network they spend more time online. That’s where you want to advertise your apps, content, and resources with clever promotions suitable to your target audience.

 

iii).   In-content sharing: To get the most out of your mobile campaigns when targeting mobile users, you should include social share buttons inside your content (e.g., video, articles, blog posts, podcast).

In-content sharing means that sharing happens within your page. This prevents your customers from leaving your site when reading from a smartphone or tablet. This type of content sharing boosts engagement and trust with your customers.

Through social media, you can convince your team and employees to share your content, news, and products with their social fans right on their mobile devices.

They don’t have to login to Twitter all the time to do this – just by hitting the share button, the content will be added to their timelines instantly.

When it comes to integrating customer reviews, star ratings, and testimonials on mobile campaigns, Amazon and Etsy are two brands you can learn from.

5.      Tap into geo-location services

What is your mobile message?

The earlier you define your mobile audience, the better. Because you’re not going to target all mobile consumers. That’s why you need to tap into geo-location services. This was similar to what Subway and Best Buy did in 2014.

Truly, geo-targeted mobile campaigns yield dramatic results no matter the industry. Even if you’re in a boring niche, you can use customer insights to drive your message to the right audience. And increase sales.

In a bid to understand who their ideal customers were, and the level of trust these customers have for their brand, Best Buy used a geo-location technology to deliver targeted and high-value messages.

Time-sensitive offers was included in the campaign to win the hearts of consumers who have subscribed to the program.

Through this initiative, Google found that almost half of the women who responded to the survey questionnaires would share their location and other personal information if offered a $5 store credit. More so, if a $25 credit was offered, 83% of respondents would opt-in.

Best Buy mobile campaigns are successful because of the deep customer insights the management had gained. Their Engagement Model propels the company to iterate the benefits of purchasing from their online store, instead of the competition.

A closer look at the illustration above shows that Best Buy mobile and desktop promotions pass 4 important stages. Let’s consider them:

a).   Listen: The initial phase in building relationship with prospects and customers is by listening to them. The more you listen, the more insights you’ll gain. In turn, this helps to define your message clearer.

b).   Define: Going from Point A to Point B requires a clear definition of your core goals. What do you want to achieve with your business site?

If customers start to demand for your product on social media, how do you ensure they’re satisfied in the midst of the noise?

Define what your ultimate pursuit is in business, and you’ll always fly above the adverse circumstances that your competition fall into.

c).   Engage: The reason for writing content, building an app, or Facebook page is to engage users. Because if they’re not engaged, they can’t buy your product.

Engagement breeds trust. It nudges people to act on what they have read. The easiest way to engage mobile users is to create the right content for them – based on the insights you have collected about them.

d).   Measure: When you invest $1 into email marketing, data from reliable source (Small Biz Trends) estimates that you can earn $39.40 in return. But remember that marketing statistics are boring unless you personalize them.

That is, measure your campaigns to find out what results you’re getting. A lot of mobile marketers failed at mobile marketing, but it doesn’t mean you’ll fail. Test everything, and report your findings.

What is the industry standard ROI of mobile marketing? It’s really hard to tell.

But by measuring your mobile content campaigns using actionable metrics (e.g., user sign ups, leads generated, free trial sign ups, sales, revenue), you’ll become unshakable in your quest to profit from mobile users.

 

Conclusion

Mobile marketing for B2B companies is evolving. The common trend in 2015 and beyond is multichannel integrations. Use social media to streamline multichannel marketing.

After all, you need to use different channels when growing your leads – while using mobile to innovate and engage with your customers.

Long gone are the days of unsolicited emails, banner advertising, PPC ads, and door-to-door marketing.

These methods no longer deliver great results as they used to, because today’s consumers are mobile, and they have all the information they need right in their palms.

They’re smarter than you think. Any attempt to manipulate people’s mind will boomerang. But you can persuade your ideal customers by identifying their needs, and providing solutions.

Are you currently reaching your customers via mobile devices? If no, what are your challenges?

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Ian Blair

BuildFire Co-Founder. I'm a digital marketer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I'm here to help businesses go mobile and build apps more efficiently than before.