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  • 25 Sep 2017
    A few years ago, digital marketing was a nice-to-have but many small businesses got by without it by relying on word-of-mouth and traditional forms of advertising. Today, that no longer works because consumers go straight so a search engine on their mobile phone when they need to find something. Small businesses that haven’t invested in digital marketing won’t get seen and their competitors will get all the business. Here are five digital marketing tips that small business owners need to know.Focus on localIf you’re a local business (not online) that depends on people in the community visiting your store, then you really need to make sure that your business is being found by locals. That means your website’s title tags and meta descriptions should include the name of the city or town you’re located in. That way, when people search for a type of business in your city, your site will be more likely to show up on the first page of the search results. Also make sure you’re on any relevant directories like Google My Business and Yelp. They’re free and they’ll help you get more business since people often use these directories to find local businesses and read reviews.Optimize for mobileMore than half of your web traffic will originate from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. You want to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices and that mobile load times are fast as well. A negative experience trying to load or navigate a site not optimized for mobile will send potential customers to your competition. Try SMS marketingYou don’t have to be a big company to invest in SMS marketing. Bulk SMS platforms are easily scalable so it can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Register a shortcode and keyword to simplify the opt-in process. Find ways to get permission from regular customers to send them text messages. You can do this at the point of sale in-store or at online checkout. You can also use SMS to send appointment reminders and shipment notifications. SMS is a great way to set up a loyalty club where your regular customers can be notified of exclusive deals just for them.Start building a social media presenceSocial media marketing is free to get started with but you also have the option to invest money if you want to sponsor posts so that people who don’t follow you on a given platform can still see your content. If you regularly post interesting content and if you’re quick to respond to customers who engage with your content or message you on the social media platform, you’ll eventually establish a good social media following who will do some of your marketing for you for free by sharing your page with their friends.Keep track of ROI and other metricsKey performance indicators can help you measure the effectiveness of your various mobile marketing efforts. There are plenty of tools that help you keep track of important metrics. Of course the most important metric regardless of channel is going to be your return on investment. Keep track of what you’re spending and what you’re making in return to determine how you want to allocate your marketing budget in the future across different channels. As you test new strategies and pay attention to the results, you can continuously fine tune your digital marketing strategy to make it more effective for your small business.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    68 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 28 Nov 2017
    SMS is one of the easiest marketing channels to get started with but a difficult one to master. The 160-character limit means every single word counts and crafting that perfect text message will take a lot of trial and error. The following four tips, however, are aimed at first-time SMS marketers just getting started with the channel. If you follow them, you’ll be well on your way to SMS marketing success.Choosing a bulk SMS serviceTrying to launch and run an SMS campaign all by yourself is a recipe for disaster. Bulk SMS services are platforms that allow you to automate much of the SMS campaign so you can focus on other things. Bulk SMS services have a lot to offer. They help automate opt-ins and opt-outs so your subscriber list is always up to date. You can write texts in advance and schedule the day and time for them to be sent. You can monitor open rates and click-through rates to see which messages are most effective and which ones are falling short.Some services will offer more features than others. Some are better for smaller campaigns while others are better suited for larger campaigns. Once you have your objectives in mind you can compare price points for different package deals and select one that is going to be the most cost effective for your needs.Building your SMS subscriber listWhen you’re getting started with SMS marketing, building a subscriber list needs to be a top priority. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires you to gain permission before sending any text messages so even if you already have customer’s mobile phone numbers, you can text them, not even to ask them for permission to send future text messages. They have to sign up. Through your bulk SMS service, you can register a shortcode (a five- or six-digit phone number that will be easier for consumers to remember than a ten-digit one) and a keyword. To opt-in, people need only text that keyword to your registered shortcode.The best way to jumpstart your subscriber list is to start with your most loyal customers since they’re the most likely to sign up. In-store signage, especially at the point-of-sale, will inform your frequent customers about your SMS channel and your employees should be trained to encourage regular customers to sign up. Customers who follow you on social media are also likely candidates so regularly post instructions for signing up for SMS messages there as well. If you have an email list, include a push for your SMS channel in your weekly newsletter. Use your company blog and website to advertise your new SMS channel as well. An incentive for first-time sign-ups isn’t a bad idea either.Providing valueMany people sign up for the introductory offer or just to check it out because they’re curious but they’ll quickly opt-out if they don’t continue to perceive value in staying opted in. You can’t use SMS like you would traditional marketing channels--to push products or services on potential customers. Your SMS subscribers see enough advertisements as it is. Instead focus on sending texts that make their lives better. These can be SMS exclusive offers, VIP perks, special birthday offers, restock notifications, order confirmations or shipment updates, and appointment reminders.Not abusing your powerWhen customers share their mobile number with you and give you permission to send texts to it, they’re granting you a lot of power--after all, people typically guard their mobile number and access to it. And like Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker in Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Customers can just as easily revoke permission to text them by simply texting the word “STOP” to your shortcode. The most common way to abuse SMS powers is to text too often or at inconvenient times so make sure you’re not overdoing it.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    67 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 08 Nov 2017
    Chatbots are one of the most underutilized pieces of technology out there. You can do so many things with them, yet few businesses are actually using them on a regular basis. By using a chatbot, you can reduce wasted time in the office and increase productivity among your employees. Let a computer do all the mundane stuff, so the humans can focus on the most complex tasks. Using chatbots can be as simple as talking to an artificial intelligence company to get set up and ready to go. In case you needed a few ideas, here are some of the many uses of chatbots.1. Personal AssistantOne of the most easily recognizable ways a chatbot can help your business is through acting as a personal assistant. Most people don’t even realize that Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are chatbots that can organize your calendar, prepare meetings, read recipes, and much more. It’s amazing how much a personal assistant can really do for your business, as it allows people to more easily schedule meetings, ask questions relevant to work, collect performance reviews, and even send information to everyone that needs it.2. Customer Service ChatYou probably don’t even realize that most businesses that allow you to chat a representative use Chatbots for much of that conversation. Only when the conversation becomes too complex does it actually go to a live customer service agent to resolve the issue. It is the reason why most businesses are able to have 24/7 hours for customers service now. Whenever one of those little chat boxes shows up while you are browsing a web page to try and communicate with you, you can bet that’s a chatbot.3. Meeting schedulerIt takes 17 minutes on average to schedule a meeting between sending out invitations, checking all the calendars, etc. What if a chatbot could do that for you? The chatbot could even be responsible for collecting all the data needed for each meeting and providing it to you and everyone else at the meeting. What an amazing time saver in the office!4. Bots with specific purposes v.s. InformationalWhen creating a bot, you can choose one that is purely information, similar to a personal assistant that provides you with information whenever you need it. However, you can also create bots with specific purposes in mind. It’s always better for someone to be really good at one thing instead of just being okay at everything. This same logic applies to a bot. If your goal is to make it good at everything, you may have less success in the area where you actually need it than if you focus solely on that area. For example, if you need your bot to help you prepare meals, then it would be better to focus on the ability to break down, read, and explain recipe instructions.  5. Humanize botsThe most important thing to remember when getting a chatbot ready and preparing for your business is that while chatbots are helpful because they are computers, nobody really wants to interact with a computer. If you can make the chatbot feel like part of the team, then everyone in the office can feel comfortable with it and will be more willing to use the chatbot on a regular basis.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    43 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 12 Oct 2017
    Of the dozens of mobile marketing channels to choose from, SMS might be the only absolute must. Some channels may work for some and not others depending on their mobile strategy but an SMS marketing campaign needs to be a central part of every company’s mobile strategy. SMS has been around since the early 90s, well before smartphones, mobile applications, QR codes, push notifications, and banner ads were even thought of. But even though it’s ancient compared to other channels, it’s not outdated. It’s still the most cost effective way to reach consumers through their mobile devices and there’s no reason that every brand shouldn’t be investing in SMS. Here are four reasons why.ImmediacyConsider this incredible statistic: 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes of being sent. That can’t be said about any other marketing channel. About 80% of emails are deleted unread, and for the 20% that are opened, less than 10% of those will be opened within an hour of being received. How about a mobile channel like push notifications from a mobile app. Less than half of people will agree to receive push notifications from the app in the first place. Of those that do receive push notifications, they ignore 90% of them.To understand the incredible open rate and average time between message sent and message read, look no further than how text messages work. Unless recipients’ phones are on silent, there will be an audible or tactile notification that’s hard to ignore. With most phones, this notification will repeat several more times until the text message is opened. There’s no better way to send time sensitive information than through SMS.IntimacyThere’s a great deal more trust in giving out your cell phone number than your email address. Unwanted emails are easily ignored or sent in bulk to the spam folder either by the user or by spam filters. People are a lot more selective about who they give their phone number to. It’s usually reserved for friends and family and perhaps a few professional contacts. When businesses are granted permission to send texts directly to a customer’s cell phone, it’s a big deal. All of this means two things: it’s harder to gain access to customers through this channel but there’s much to gain when you are able to gain access to it.LoyaltySMS marketing is a very regulated channel. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) sets forth strict guidelines for businesses sending text messages to customers. While this presents mobile marketers with a challenge, it also means that the audience for this particular channel are going to be very loyal. Every time you send out a text message to your SMS subscribers, every single recipient will have given you their phone number and permission to send them texts. And every recipient will have refrained from opting out, when all it takes is replying to a text with a single word: “stop.”SimplicityCrafting a text message to send out via SMS is far easier than writing and shooting a TV or radio commercial. It’s easier than designing a print ad or publishing a blog article. Text messages have a 160 character limit. It’s this simplicity that makes it so effective. A one- or two-sentence text concisely worded and complete with a direct call-to-action is all it takes to drive results. Getting started with SMS marketing is also a breeze. It’s just a matter of choosing a bulk SMS provider, registering a shortcode for your business, and selecting the keyword that customers will need to text to opt-in. Finally, just advertise the keyword and shortcode in-store and across other channels to start building your SMS subscriber list. Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    32 Posted by Emma McDermott
Business 76 views Sep 12, 2017
How to Create the Perfect Landing Page: Six Tips

You’ve already built a loyal fan base through an SMS campaign. You’ve got a perfectly crafted text message complete with a link to your new website and you’re ready to send it to your mobile subscribers. It’s the ideal channel for driving web traffic since SMS boasts a 36% click-through rate (roughly ten times better than the click-through rate for email). But there is still one thing you need to take care of. You need to make sure that the landing page on your website is ready for all the mobile web traffic you’ll be getting. A poorly designed landing page won’t get you the conversion rate you’re hoping for so consider the following six tips for creating the perfect landing page.

Blazing fast load times

Load times have a huge impact on bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your page without clicking on anything after they arrive there). How fast your page loads is important for all website visitors but especially your mobile ones since they have less patience than their non-mobile counterparts. Since this is an SMS campaign you’re running, everyone reaching this landing page is a mobile visitor. There are several things you can do to keep load times as short as possible to minimize the chance of visitors giving up before the page loads.

Mobile friendly design

Mobile friendly websites aren’t just traditional websites scaled down for smaller screens. The way information is displayed and the ease of navigation have to be completely different. The cheaper option is a responsive design layout which most website building platforms already use. This allows your website to adapt according to the device being used to access it. An even better option, though, if you can afford it, is a dedicated mobile version of your site that is designed top to bottom for mobile users. Either option is better than sending mobile users to a desktop website they can’t read or navigate easily.

Make use of heatmaps

Heatmaps are an analytics tool that help you track the mouse cursor or finger on your landing page. Since website visitors’ eyes typically follow their cursor (or finger), heatmaps tell you where visitors are spending most of their time looking. We already know that website visitors’ eyes typically follow an “E” shape. They scan the title at the top of the page, then skim down the left margin until they find a line that’s interesting, which they’ll skim across, then down, then across, etc… But heatmaps can tell you more specifically if they’re looking in the place you want them to look. If there eyes aren’t finding their way to your call to action easily, it can tell you what elements of your landing page might be distracting.

Don’t ask for too much

Your call to action, whatever it is, shouldn’t ask too much of your site visitors. The more you ask, the less likely they are to do it. Get them to do one very simple task, like, enter their birthdate or email address and leave it at that. You’ll get a much better response this way.

Use visuals wisely

Mobile users are unlikely to read huge chunks of copy on a webpage. Your page will need some kind of visual elements whether it’s an infographic, an embedded video, an image, an interactive map or slideshow, or something else. Ask yourself if you’re throwing in the visual element just to have one or if it’s something that really complements the text on the page. Your landing page needs visual elements, but they also need to contribute something beyond just checking a box.

Include one or two testimonials

The landing page is an ideal spot for testimonials even if you have a page dedicated to them elsewhere on your website. Including just one or two, especially if they’re video testimonials can sway website visitors more than just about anything else since they see other real-life people sharing their positive experience with your brand.

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