“Mobile is the glue” that binds a person’s online life to their real-world activities, argued Tim Hayden, chief marketing officer and co-founder of 44Doors, at a recent BlogWorld and New Media Expo session. Your customers are on the go, and your marketing needs to reflect that reality.

But before a business can take advantage of the power of mobile, it needs to optimize its marketing efforts to reach customers on the move, Hayden said. Having an integrated mobile strategy allows customers to easily share brand experiences, lets companies tailor content and gives both sides a way to keep conversations alive following real-world interactions, he argued.

Here are some of ways Hayden suggested businesses work to integrate mobile into their marketing strategy:

  • Know that simple is best. Everyone knows that social content and Web content are two different animals — and that distinction goes double for mobile content, he argued. Don’t just make that QR code link to your Web page or your Facebook page. Even if those pages are optimized for mobile, chances are the content isn’t. Mobile content needs to be easy to access, to appreciate and to share. If it fails the user on any one of those counts, it won’t create the reaction you’re hoping for, Hayden said.
  • Think “glance and go.” Hayden explains that he’s bullish on QR codes because taking a picture of something is faster and more natural than looking up a Twitter handle, searching for a Web page or finding a venue to check into on a location-based social network. Other technologies may someday provide users with faster ways to make their mobile devices interact with their surroundings, but for now, QR codes are the fastest and most widely available connection tools.
  • Let context dictate content. Make sure your mobile content is useful to consumers in the same location you expect them to experience it in, Hayden recommended. Don’t offer them videos in a location where they won’t be able to watch them right away, for example. On the flip side, you can use location as a way to tweak content to make it more applicable. If you’re offering customers recipes to go with their purchases at the grocery store, make them region specific so that your offerings match local tastes and ingredients, he suggested.
  • Remember that it’s just the beginning. You aren’t going to get a user to buy something or fill out a complicated form via your mobile site, Hayden noted. Your mobile site is just one touch point in a (hopefully) long line of interactions you’ll be having with that user. A great mobile microsite gives a user a tasty piece of content and creates the opportunity for them to connect with a brand in a more substantial way through another channel at some later time. “Wow the hell out of them, then get them to take action,” he said.

How are you working to integrate mobile and social media marketing?

Image credit: Thomas_EyeDesign via iStockPhoto.com

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18 Responses to “How to blend mobile marketing with social media”

  1. Kristin says:

    Great post! Especially like the thoughts on creating content in the context of where the user will access it. That's a really smart insight that I've noticed most QR code "campaigns" completely ignore. Most just send the user to the main website, which in most cases doesn't offer the user anything valuable.
    My recent post Why Content Matters in Social Media Strategy

    • I agree! Many ignore sites that simply take them directly to the main page. They need an incentive to further continue on your site. With a QR code, you can send them to a contest, upcoming event, etc. not just to the main page.

  2. Using location to tweak content. How original and how incredibly difficult!

    I'm getting a headache just thinking about the code that has to be written. It is fun. My site is now mobile and I like the way it looks on my Android.
    My recent post Facebook Wedding Pages Pink Engagements Video

  3. Andy Lynn says:

    Very insightful post. Blending mobile marketing with social media is extremely important and I like how you highlighted that mobile content needs to be easy to access, appreciate and share. Keeping these tips in mind has helped us integrate a unified strategy in our social media campaign for our company, Kickanotch Mobile.
    My recent post Rise and App! Mobile Phone Users Download Mobile Applications before the Sun Rises

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  5. txt4ever says:

    I particularly like the 'glue' analogy, but I'm less convinced than Tim about QR. Sure it seems to be easier, but certainly in the UK a combination of a lack of understanding and reliability (it doesn't work that well) – I've blogged about it here (if it's OK to add my link): http://txt4ever.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/the-prob

    • I respect your reluctance to get excited about QR codes. Yet, this where the lag in American adoption of smartphones actually gives QR codes an advantage on this side of the pond. By the time "we" adopt best practices for mobile websites, native scanning apps and widespread use of QR codes in retail should develop into a confident usual behavior.

      • txt4ever says:

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, good point about the QR codes. Only a few years ago it seemed like the US was lagging behind Europe in mobile marketing, but I don't see that any more. Many of the most exciting campaigns are coming out of the US and similarly QR certainly seems to be working well there.

  6. Mike says:

    Good points, but I disagree with "You aren’t going to get a user to buy something…via your mobile site." Give me an easy to use mobile site or app, and yes I will buy via mobile. But I agree it's one "touchpoint" and the process is ongoing among all your channels.

    • Mike – I'm as thrilled about mobile commerce as anyone. The context of that particular statement was meant to characterize contemporary mass audience behavior. Americans are still apt to shop physically or through trusted e-commerce destinations where they frequently purchase products/services. We're still a year away from the majority of Americans carrying a smartphone, where mobile shopping will become a popular comfort…and 2-3 years away before we give up our analog wallets!

      • bonn says:

        Agreed – offering your products and services behind the comfort bringing walls of amazon, paypal, and ebay are still only real safe spots for mobile commerce on the mobile web (assuming "contemporary mass audience behavior").

        As m-commerce gateways become more popular in the media, more people will become comfortable.

  7. Tony says:

    I actually tried advertising on android phones. It works basically the same a pay-per-click on the web. The big advantage is that unlike a computer screen your ad is the only thing appearing on that cell phone screen at that particular moment and people can instantly respond. But you definitely need a budget that you are willing to spend because everything happens extremely fast. Within a matter of minutes all the clicks you purchased have been made and your account is at zero. You can schedule a maximum daily limits like $5, $10, or $20, etc. and everything will stop for that day once you hit it. That allows you to review, analyze, adjust, or edit ads if necessary. But I think overall mobile marketing is very good , especially for local business. I found a lot of helpful information about android advertising at androidadvertisingmoney.com

  8. Kenn Robillard says:

    The mobile apps we develop are a point of sale tool. It doesn't make sense to consider a mobile site as merely a link to a landing page where someone can make a purchase. The custom apps we develop for clients have an on-app store with built in merchant account. The sale is made with a touch of the button right there on the app. And, it's no longer necessary to spend 10 grand on a full-feature, dynamic mobile app. They're no available for under $1000 (plus $50/mo hosting). I love where this new technology is taking us.

  9. Bonn says:

    Its extremely refreshing to have big names in the mobile space discussing with everyone the value of diversification — the blog and webinar that Dave Lawson posted in the comments is a great source of information as well.

    We're a Mobile Web Marketing platform that preaches the same stuff that Tim hayden preaches. Mobile web is not as complicated as everyone might think. Focus on creating individual micro experiences for your customers and visitors… loosly connected by your brand. Each mobile experience should be one in its own.

    having to the tools to create multiple experiences easily is critical – check out our platform over at http://gomo.io

  10. Kenn Robillard says:

    We integrate social media marketing with the apps we build. Whenever someone comments or submits a video/photo to their app, it's automatically sent to their FB page and twitter. Realtors in particular like this because by merely clicking a photo or video or writing a very short comment on their app, the social media marketing is done with no extra effort. They love it. And, it produces results!

  11. Facebook might be the way most are introduced tot he concepts of an alternate currency, but now I'm even more convinced that we'll be seeing much more about Bitcoin digital currency going forward.

  12. dual saw says:

    They either give us a choice or I am staying with Windows 7 just like I stayed with Windows XP and skipped Vista entirely. Oh and I just tried Ubuntu 11.10…equally pathetic.

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