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Mobile Marketing For Your Business

By Barbara Beauregard   |    July 6, 2015   |    10:05 AM

Everything thing you need to know about mobile marketing in Canada, from how to get started to understanding Canada's anti-spam laws.

Mobile technology has completely transformed the way we do business. Mobile marketing strategies, whether it be marketing via text messages or developing a mobile friendly web platform, constitute a key means of attracting today's smartphone and tablet-wielding consumers.

Firstly make sure you have a website that is mobile-ready. The best approach is typically ensure your site has a responsive web design. This allows for an optimal viewing experience of a website, no matter what type of device the user is seeing it on, mobile, tablet or pc. By using fluid grids, your website will change to fit perfectly into any screen size. Another option is to use one of the many plug-and-play platforms offered online. These companies set up a separate mobile website for you that is completely independent from your regular website.

Remember that when consumers visit your mobile site, it is vital that you provide links that give them the ability to connect with you on social media platforms from their mobile device. If you haven't done so already, you'll need to create Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest accounts with your business name, details and post regular updates on these sites.

Secondly, claim your business on location-based platforms like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, especially if you have a physical location. Claiming your business is just like calling up the phone company to get a free listing in the Yellow Pages. Once you're all set up, you can use these as well as your other social media platforms to offer mobile promotions. Offering digital coupons for freebies and more is a great way to start marketing your business to mobile users.

Thirdly, to ensure your mobile marketing scheme is successful you should launch a mobile ad campaign. This is a great means of promotion for all businesses, but in particular it is a fantastic tool for companies with an actual physical location. Mobile ad campaigns can easily be purchased on-line in a variety of ways: on a cost-per-click basis, a cost-per-thousand basis or a cost-per-acquisition basis. How do they work? Well if for example, you own a coffee shop and someone searches for 'coffee shops in my area' a pop-up ad will appear on their screen and alert them to your business. It may sound tricky to set up, but in fact it is very simple, just visit the pages of advertising platforms, such as iAd from Apple Millennial Media, or AdMob from Google. These sites will guide you step-by-step through the process.

Fourthly, you need to create a Quick Response (QR) code. This is a crucial part of mobile marketing. QR codes are 2 dimensional barcodes that people can scan with their smart phones. They link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; plus connect the mobile device to a web browser. You can use them to send your potential customers to mobile sites that offer discount coupons and other special offers plus, bonus content, news snippets or any other content of your choice. To learn how to download a QR Code reader to your smart phone visit a site like BeeTagg.com or Sparq.it.

There are many options when it comes to mobile marketing but remember spam laws in Canada must be respected. In 2014 the new Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) came into effect. CASL is one of the most draconian anti-spam regulations in the world. So if you are sending out text messages to consumers remember to follow the rules. CASL requires that all consumer electronic messages must include both a valid unsubscribe mechanism, as well as a physical mailing address and one additional way to contact the sender, which may be a phone number, an email address or other contact method. There are challenges in sending limited text messages as in Canada, text messages are restricted to 136 characters, but you can overcome this problem easily, as it is legal to provide contact and unsubscribe information via a web link, at the bottom of your message. There are many other elements you can add to mobile marketing strategy, for example you can launch polls and surveys to get to know your customers better and then use that information to improve your mobile marketing schemes. You can find many articles and websites that will help you to begin the process but you might want to hire a virtual assistant who is well versed in mobile marketing to save time working it all out.