passengers mobile on bus

Going Mobile: Information on Mobile Marketing

Still think traditional marketing is enough?

Mobile marketing is still relatively new when it comes to most business’s marketing mix. Nevertheless, based on consumer reaction and user adoption mobile marketing is a sensation that has become a must-have amongst any size business’s marketing strategy.  Just to prove my point: there are 7.45 BILLION unique mobile connections in the world, but only 7.2 Billion people on the planet. Ignore the significant percentage of the population that doesn’t have proper internet connection, mobile service, or the means to afford either, and that means that an even more significant portion of the population has more than one device.

Stats don’t lie.

To further drive home the point of how widespread mobile use is, and how effective mobile marketing can be for your business, consider these stats: 75% of US citizens over the age of 13 own a smartphone. 2014 saw a 28% increase in mobile commerce. And 83% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 say their smart phone plays an integral role in their lives.

What else makes mobile marketing so important?

Using the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 as the starting point for the mobile revolution, mobile has absolutely caught fire. From smartphones to tablets; people have an almost insatiable ability to adopt mobile technology into their lives and welcome mobile marketing into their buying decisions.

Just think for a second about how quickly mobile has progressed over time. Remember your first cell phone? It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you were playing snake on a black pixelated screen and sending rudimentary text messages to friends!

In just a short amount of time, mobile has evolved to be a central mode of communication for consumers. 75% percent of people say they do product research on their phones before making a purchase. Being tied to a mobile device is now the norm and not the exception. The standard mobile phone’s capabilities have expanded to replace almost every other peripheral device—from maps, to calendars, to desktop computers. And, mobile continues to grow – now including devices that help consumers monitor and streamline aspects of their lives from fitness, to smart cars & homes, to appliances.

But how can marketers effectively market on mobile devices?

Because mobile devices are very personal—44% of cellphone owners sleep with their phones next to their bed so they don’t miss a message, call, or update—marketers need to be thoughtful about how they deliver marketing messages. Consumers are looking for communication that is personalized, and marketers must deliver tastefully or risk being seen as an interruption or simply deleted. Still, successful mobile marketing is about the same thing traditional marketing is about: trust and relevance. But to build that, marketers must look beyond mobile devices and create long-term, personal conversations with their customers across all available channels. There is no substitute for being genuine.

Statistic Sources: Marketo Mobile Benchmark Survey | Pew Research | census.gov/popclock | gsmaintelligence.com

Questions about how best to reach your audience via mobile marketing? Give us a shout!

i-phone used for mobile search

Mobile Search Matters

The presence of mobile search is undeniable.

When you head out into the world each day, how many people do you see on their smartphone in the first few hours? Your answer to this question is most likely in the hundreds. When most people leave the house they double check to make sure they have their keys, wallet and their beloved phone. Personally, if for some reason I forget my phone, there is an initial panic that cools down to a worry filled with irrational fears flowing through my head like is it lost in the woods alone and hungry? Or is it cold and wet in a sewer somewhere possibly? This is just how much our mobile devices are becoming a part of our life. If we want to look something up, check our calendars or call someone we reach for our phones automatically. We are even to the point now that most of us choose to surf the web on our smartphones and tablets even when we are home on the couch, just a few feet away from the computer.

What is your business doing to address mobile search?

This is why it is so important for brands to have mobile sites and pay attention to their target market’s behavior. These changes are just making it easier to get stuck in time and are worth investing effort in and staying relevant as the trends shift. When your brand has a mobile site, your brand is right in everyone’s pocket at his or her disposal and convenience wherever they are and whenever they want. In other words, if you have not done so already, it is time to get your company online, particularly the mobile side of things.

“Mobile-Friendly” vs “Responsive” Design

Before we dig deeper into this topic, I need to make sure you are familiar with the difference between a mobile-friendly site and a responsive site. When the term mobile-friendly is used, we are talking about a site that looks the same on mobile as it does on a desktop and the links are designed to be clickable with a thumb if it’s a mobile device or a mouse if it’s a traditional computer. Essentially it looks identical on a mobile device but it has simply shrunk to a smaller size for the screen. This is mobile-friendly as the name entails, but it is not a preferred way to view a site on mobile devices anymore. As you can probably imagine when everything shrinks it becomes hard to read without taking the extra step of zooming. On the other side when we talk about a responsive site, this is a single website designed to reorganize itself and all of its content automatically to properly fit the screen size of whatever device is being used. A responsive site will look different between devices and right away you will easily notice that it is much easier to read text and navigate to the information you are looking for.

What this means for Mobile Friendly Search…

Now that we are on the same page between these two website structures, we can dive into the issues and maintenance of this new phenomenon. As a result of so many people searching on the go, Google has started sending warning messages recently to websites that are not mobile-friendly. Before you panic remember our definitions, if you have a mobile-friendly site or a responsive site there is no need to worry about these messages. Google has also announced that as of April 21, 2015 they will label your site mobile-friendly or unfriendly and rank your site accordingly on local search results, meaning that if your customer is searching from a mobile device your site will show higher in the results if you have a mobile-friendly site and lower if you do not. This is a clear sign that Google sees the mobile change as a way of the future and is adjusting to stay ahead of the curve by including mobile-friendly design as a must have ranking factor.

If your site is not currently mobile-friendly, it is time to start thinking about your options to make sure you stay ahead of the changing trends. There are multiple solutions to this problem but the most common, and recommended, is creating a responsive site. Once you have designed your responsive site you will need to then optimize your site for search results. When optimizing, you will need to reference Google’s best practices for mobile devices to ensure you are keeping all of the current ranking factors in mind. I know what your thinking now, “Google just wants to confuse everybody” or “another Google update for them to take more money!” But these changes are really for people to continue to receive better search results. Rarely do you ever have to go past page one to find what your looking for when using Google and that is how they have managed to stay the #1 search engine for so long. As technology and search behavior changes, these algorithms will adapt and new ranking factors added to the list. To avoid the hassle of this tedious process and instead enjoy a lemonade and a lawn chair, it is recommended that you consult a Search Engine optimizer.  An SEO will make it their day job, literally, to pay attention to the changes in the algorithms and optimize your site accordingly to get you as close to the top of page one as your site, as is, allows. Once your site has reached its peak, The SEO will then help you continue to improve beyond that point by making recommendations or changes to your site to ensure it is the best it can be.

With the changes being prominent and Giants like Google taking initiative, it is more important than ever to get your website optimized for tablets and smartphones as they become a more staple screen in our tech-filled lives.

Take the Mobile Friendly Test

As always, If you have any questions or comments about your mobile site, feel free to reach out to us here at Paramount. We would be glad to help you get ready for the reign of the multi-screen era!

integrated marketing display on an iPad

The Importance of Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing:

“a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”

Have you ever sat down at your computer and saw an advertisement from your favorite brand then shortly after turned on the television to see that same brand with the same message but now formatted to your TV? Well, if your answer was yes then you have been exposed to an integrated marketing message.

Having an Integrated Marketing message is what gives small businesses a big impact on consumers and also helps to provide an increase in ROI from marketing and advertising efforts. An integrated message is vital in today’s fast moving world where consumers are advertised to almost everywhere they go. It now takes even more to crack into their minds and actually have them acknowledge your brand and the message you are trying to communicate with all of the advertising clutter around them.

Including the digital landscape in your integrated marketing campaign is a must today. With digital now becoming a way of life and millennials at the forefront of consumers, having a strong digital presence and reaching these consumers is a necessity. To be where your customer is and communicating with them in their realm, helps to pass the message along more successfully and will help you earn a position on the brand ladder in their minds. It is important to understand that in this digital age, most consumers choose digital in one form or another.

Within the digital space itself, integration should also occur between digital mediums. For example, your Facebook Page should not only look and feel like your twitter page, but they should also have similar ways and times that they are being posted on. That way your page is easily recognizable at a glance, but also the voice being used online feels consistent between all of the channels. This will help reinforce your brand and your message in the viewers mind.

If your brand can integrate digital into your efforts and integrate a single, concise message within all of your efforts, you will set yourself up for success. This is the direction advertising is headed to battle the clutter and the brands that don’t keep up will fall behind in the long run. The digital age is here and by the looks of it, it is here to stay!

Read more about IMC at:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-integrated-marketing-communications-73248.html

holding model home in hands to show real estate marketing

7 Real Estate Marketing Tips For Agents

Real estate marketing, unlike almost any other industry, is extremely competitive. In this day and age, there are a lot of independent agents as well as corporate giants out there, and each one is doing whatever they can to dominate the market. With accelerated corporate funded marketing efforts from giants like ReMax, Greenridge Realty and more; this means that for you to excel in an independent world, you have to be innovative. You have to find ways to market that don’t break your budget but that get you visibility both in your geographical location and online – others have done it and so can you.

Here are 7 of the best real estate marketing ideas that you can implement right away to help your business grow:

1. Use social media…correctly.

If you ask most real estate agents they will tell you that they have Facebook and Twitter accounts but not many of them use them correctly to grow their business. Set up a Facebook business page and then invite your email list and friends to join. These pages, however, have a stigma with some real estate agents as being useless. Truth be told they are useless if you cannot get your audience to “Like” things that you have posted. This means that you have to post interesting content on a regular basis. Mix things up – it becomes boring when all people read about from you is real estate information. Find interesting links from time to time – community news, tips on maintaining your home or boosting curb appeal, etc. Combine efforts to share relevant information, while continuing to affirm your expertise in the industry.

Also, don’t ignore the potential virality of posting your listings on social media. People want people they know to live in their neighborhood. If they see a listing down the street from them, many are likely to share and re-post.

2. Get your SEO right.

Ok so you have a good website. So does every other real estate agent competing with you. The trick is to make your website visible and the only way to do that is through Search Engine Optimization. We wouldn’t recommend trying to do it yourself – it is complicated and it can take a significant amount of time – even for an professional – and requires expert precision. Instead, look into hiring an SEO expert who has the experience and time to get the job done right. Find and focus your SEO on niches you specialize in – I.E. Luxury Homes or Vacation Homes. If they’re unique enough categories, the competition will be lower, and that will mean a more expedited advancement to the top of search results.

3. Give people the kind of information that they are looking for.

Real estate agents are in the business of selling a property as quickly as possible. Often it can be difficult to explain to clients that it is more than your skills that get a property sold.  When it comes to property, clients actually do want to know how they can stage their homes for sale, how they can get homes to sell faster, who the best valuers are and so on. Organize this kind of information into blog posts or an email newsletter that you release once a month and you will find that more and more people come to you to buy or sell properties for them. Not to mention, those blog posts will show up for search engine results if you optimize them.

4. Take advantage of real estate seminars, conferences, expos.

These are gatherings of the top minds in the industry and for you they will not just be a great learning opportunity – they are an excellent way for you to network. You will meet lots of people and although you are all trying to do the same thing – sell the most real estate – you will also learn how the best in the industry get it done. What’s even better, when you become a familiar face you start to build trust and you may soon find yourself invited to partner in bigger deals.

5. Participate in local events.

Showing properties is good but if you want your community to know that you exist, you’re going to have to do more. Attend local events frequently – high school football games, charity events, neighborhood clean-ups, parades and so on. The more your community sees you the more they trust you and the easier they find it to do business with you. At the end of the day, people still buy people.

6. Get proper testimonials.

Most real estate agents have testimonials that go something like this: “He was great. He helped us sell our house.” That is all well and good but what perspective does that give a prospective client: that you did your job? Kudos to you, you’re now on par every other real estate agent, ever. Do everything you can to help your clients give detailed testimonials. They need to be able to give the kind of information that would persuade a new client to seek you out. Prepare a short questionnaire that you give clients when you ask them for a testimonial. Ask the questions like how they feel about how long you took, how much you charged, the quality of the property and so on. About 5 questions should flesh out enough detail for a good testimonial. Don’t forget to ask them if they mind you publishing their feedback on your website or in other marketing efforts…a detailed, classy testimonial will be the difference maker.

7. Be memorable.

Find that something about you that is unique enough for people to remember you. It can be as simple as something that you hand out when you meet new people to something about you – maybe you dress in a particular style. Have a personal brand on social media, and post things you find interesting – help potential clients get to know you personally. By branding yourself this way people see you as confident and self assured and someone that they would be willing to hire when they need their next real estate agent.

These 7 ideas are just the beginning; we have way more. Contact us today to find out more…