You see it all the time. Hipsters, businesspeople, and grandparents alike are embarking on a new and useful trend: shopping on cell phones.
Smartphones—including Androids, BlackBerrys, and iPhones—have become all the rage among various age groups because of easy Internet navigation and numerous applications available for download. So as more and more people start shopping mobile, it’s clear that more and more Internet marketers will be embracing the trend.
A recent article on ClickZ notes the high adoption rate of smartphones and the increasing number of mobile-only households. As a result of these developments, research firm Forrester forecasts that “over 75 percent of marketers plan to include mobile in their marketing mix.”
So what does this mean for the pay-per-click (PPC) world?
PPC specialists should begin to expand their accounts slowly, taking their best-performing eCommerce campaigns and targeting them specifically to mobile devices. It’s easy to do through both Google AdWords and the Microsoft adCenter (which encompasses both Yahoo! Search PPC and Bing PPC).
In AdWords, for example, select a strong campaign that’s targeting only desktop and laptop computers, and then create a new campaign that targets only mobile devices. From there, you should:
Copy the keywords, ad groups, and ads from the selected campaign and add them to the new mobile campaign. Then keep a close eye on it, just as you would any other new marketing strategy.
Keep a low daily budget at first, as mobile-targeted campaigns can spend quickly, like many desktop and laptop campaigns can.
Tweak the ad copy to read something like “Shop by Phone Today” or “Order Easily from Your Fingertips!”
I’m lucky to have several clients for whom creating mobile campaigns seemed to be a no-brainer. Here are two examples:
One of my clients sells college clothing and merchandise—a perfect fit for college kids and recent graduates who are shopping “on the fly.”
Another client, QualityShells.com, saw a $200 return on a mobile-targeted campaign that it spent only $1 on! I’ve recently helped to expand the account by marketing the store’s crafty and decorative starfish and sand dollars to mobile users. As a result, the client recognized the importance of mobile marketing and recently signed up for a newly designed website just for mobile shoppers.
Here’s another important point: During the busy 2010 holiday season, QualityShells.com received a number of phone orders from customers who were shopping on their smartphones. Now, those same shoppers can just as easily order from the new mobile website, which has been developed specifically for cell phone screens.
A word of caution: Because mobile marketing is a relatively new way to promote products, don’t go crazy in the beginning by placing really high daily budgets on campaigns. In the two examples I’ve provided, I began by targeting low-spending trademark campaigns (which include company names and domain names) for mobile devices. Once I started to see some success, then I expanded the efforts with additional mobile campaigns.
Here are a couple more tips for creating winning PPC campaigns:
Separate desktop and laptop campaigns from mobile and content network campaigns so that the results can be judged based on the related device and network targeting.
Enable “phone extensions” (located under the Ad Extensions tab in AdWords) on a mobile-targeted campaign. Why? Because it allows customers who are browsing from their cell phones to call your store directly from the strategically placed PPC ad—and you pay the same amount that you would for a standard click. In addition, phone extensions in a mobile campaign allow for “click-to-call” ordering, which is becoming very popular.
It’s also important to note that a limited number of U.S. advertisers are able to set up special phone numbers that can be traced back to the PPC ad that the user clicked, making it even easier to track conversions and leads. Here’s more help on implementing Google AdWords phone extensions.
So now that you’re a bit more versed on the ins and outs of mobile marketing, you can begin experimenting with some mobile-targeted campaigns that can expand your store’s reach to new—and returning—customers.
Good luck with your efforts!
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