Gini Dietrich

Mobile Marketing: Use the Four Media Types in Promotion

By: Gini Dietrich | October 7, 2013 | 

Mobile Marketing: Use the Four Media Types in PromotionBy Gini Dietrich

In the agency world, we talk a lot about the four media types: Paid, earned, owned, and shared. There is lots of content written about how to use each of the four, how to integrate them, and what they mean for increased revenue.

But, unless you live and breath mobile marketing, it’s rare for that conversation to leave an organization’s website and reach it’s mobile site (assuming, of course, there is a mobile site).

Do I Need a Mobile Site?

During a Marketing Over Coffee episode this summer, Christopher Penn and John Wall talked about how to know when it’s time to build a mobile site.

Go into Google analytics and click on audience, mobile, overview. Set your date range for the past month. If less than 10 percent of people are visiting your site on their phones or tablets, you’re still okay not to have a mobile site…yet. Though you should consider responsive design, at the very least.  

If more than 10 percent are using their mobile devices to visit your site, you’re behind the curve ball and need to consider a site specific to those visitors.

The Spin Sucks mobile visitors are nearly 30 percent, which is why you have a different experience there than on your computer (see image above; the mobile site is on the left and the website is on the right).

Marketing Your Mobile Site

As you build your mobile site, you have to think about advertising options that introduce your app, product, service, or organization to a wider audience. You have to think about ways you can improve what you’re selling through content you create to increase awareness, and usage, trials, and/or sales. You have to think about how to engage current customers or users in social spaces to help you spread the word. And you have to think about what will interest journalists and bloggers to help you tell your story.

The key, of course, is to strike the right balance to achieve your goals.

Use Paid Media Cost Efficiently

In many cases, paid media is out of reach for organizations. Let’s say, for example, you have an app and you want to get it into the top one or two pages of your key category. A display media blitz might be too expensive on iTunes.

What do you do?

Look for more affordable paid media options where people might look for what you’re selling online such as review sites, forums, discussion groups, and communities.

Buy ads on review sites, on YouTube channels that have something to do with your industry, and sponsor Facebook or Twitter posts.

Integrate with Owned Media

If you have an app, you want to optimize your landing page with iTunes. This, of course, isn’t technically owned media because iTunes owns it…not you. But an estimate 80 percent of app search happens within the app store so be sure your landing page is up to snuff.

If you don’t have an app, you can do something similar with your mobile site. Consider the following:

  • Use the same keywords you use in your paid media on your mobile site
  • Create a landing page that is specific to your product or service
  • Have contextual calls-to-action that drive people back to the landing pages
  • Create content that is interesting, valuable, and engaging for your visitors…and is something different than they can get on your website

Use Earned Media

There are right ways and wrong ways to work with influential bloggers and journalists.

The wrong way is to go online, Google “how to write a news release,” create one, and then send it to everyone you can find who might write about what you do.

The right way is to build relationships with the people who can help you. Just like you wouldn’t go to a networking event, introduce yourself to someone new, and ask them to buy your product, the same goes with earned media.

Figure out who you think can help you, comment on their content, share it, find something in common, and build a relationship. They’ll be much more willing to help you if they consider you a friend (even an online friend) than if you pitch them blindly.

When stories and blog posts do run, make sure there are links to your app landing page or to your mobile website.

Follow-Up with Shared Media

It’s likely not a surprise the most effective shared media tactic is to integrate social tools into your mobile website. This turns every visitor into a brand ambassador and every social share into an endorsement.

You’d think this would go without saying in 2013, but do a test on your own. Look at 10 mobile websites. How many have social share buttons? I’m willing to guess not even half.

Of course, you have to orchestrate all of this to work together and at once. It will look like – to the outside world – you came out of nowhere. To make it look that way takes a good six to nine months of preparation.

Give yourself enough time, plan, and execute flawlessly.

A very loose version of this first appeared on the Mobile Retail blog.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Great tips Gini!
    I would add stay away from apps unless you are a media company or game maker. Think really hard why an app vs mobile web. Mobile web is connected with google and apps are not. And if you make an App that won’t be used often by customers it doesn’t make sense.

    Like why would I want your restaurant app? But a mobile web formatted menu and hours and directions works fine. Connect with a Yelp! profile you are good to go.
    But for newspapers and some shopping sites it often is necessary to bring a reasonable shopping or reading experience vs the web on a tiny screen.

    • Howie Goldfarb We have a client who built an app before they started working with us. It delivers content. I have to say, it’s not something we would have recommended, but I really love it.

      • ginidietrich yes they fall into the media category. I get the Economist print and App and I read 90% of the time on the App. In fact 90% of my news/media I now view on my phone via apps.

    • sydcon

      Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich There is a great misconception that apps are just for games and such. There are a lot of reasons to create an “app”. You can access device specific functionality that you wouldn’t be able to on a mobile website. For example, we created a app that uses a scanner to scan barcodes to retrieve item information from an online database. You couldn’t do this on a mobile app. You can also incorporate GPS functionally with greater accuracy if it’s an app vs mobile site. These are just a few reasons to create business apps.

      • sydcon Howie Goldfarb I wish I could create an app that tells jasonkonopinski when I’m hungry so he will make me food.

        • EricPudalov

          ginidietrich sydcon Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski I like the sound of that too…maybe if I we all “like” it he’ll make a meal for the whole Spin Sucks crowd.

  • When it comes to apps, I keep coming back to the Youtility litmus test that jaybaer (and mitchjoel) reference in their recent work. It has to be useful beyond the transactional to keep people engaging with it.  
    Too many organizations get dazzled by the cool and sexy aspect of mobile apps without thinking through the content delivery and functionality on the back end, and they wind up wasting a hefty pile of cash. App development ain’t cheap, that’s for sure. We’re talking 5 figures, easily.

    • jasonkonopinski I clearly didn’t write this very well because you and Howie both picked up on the apps portion of the piece. I was trying to get mobile sites across, not just apps.

      • Howie and I just hone in on the most ordinary details. It’s cool, ginidietrich.
        Mobile-friendly sites are *absolutely* essential. The days of developing two versions of your site are long over, thanks to either 3rd plugins or (my preference) responsive design.

        • jasonkonopinski ginidietrich I had a great conversation with the founder of Charity Miles once when I was hoping to write about its development (for a piece that didn’t pan out for various reasons). But I think this (from @genegurkoff ) helped even this layperson understand a fundamental difference:  Seriously, most things don’t need to be an app. You can just make a website in responsive design that will look good on mobile phones and tablets.
          “The only reason that you should make an app, is if you need to tie into the phone’s hardware— like the camera, GPS, accelerometer— in a unique way that can’t be done as a mobile website. And even then you should think hard about whether or not to develop it as an app or mobile website.”

      • ginidietrich jasonkonopinski Howie Goldfarb Actually as developers of both mobile & apps. I think you did write it well.  In our experience the issue is that most companies dont really understand the difference between the 2.
        We actually blog about the differences in the 2 a few weeks back due to questions we were fielding from new, perspective clients. It can be found here if interested:

      • ginidietrich jasonkonopinski I’m glad you said that Gini, because I was all “Why is everyone talking about apps…I thought this was about mobile??” LOL

  • Gini, the usability of the mobile site (m site) is just as important as the app.
    We are focusing as much on this for a simple reason: for us the “m site” is less expensive to develop than a full-blown app. Yet it provides plenty of functionality for those who might want to view our content on a smart phone without downloading an app.
    Looking at my papers numbers, the mobile site had an increase in page views of 21 percent over the last quarter. iPhone apps had an increase of 9 percent in page views and Andriod app page views increased 7 percent. 
    The thing is the “m site” also had the largest raw numbers.
    In our case, we keep sites that are desktop, mobile and tablet optimized. We also have apps for our CORE products. Due to development costs, there are certain returns that must be realized before we’ll develop an app for a product.

    • ClayMorgan Your business is primed for a mobile site…and even an app. I read all of my news through the publication’s apps on my iPad. And clearly I am the aggregate.

      • ginidietrich I agree totally. We have to have the full slate of platforms so if you want to access on your iPad, iPhone, Android, mobile site or desktop (and yes, even the rolled up paper version), we have to be able to deliver it to you the way you want it.
        There’s a lesson in there for businesses.

        • EricPudalov

          ClayMorgan ginidietrich Does the type of business matter as to whether you want to develop a mobile site/app or not?  I ask because our business doesn’t have a lot of funding to begin with, and while we have a website, we don’t have a mobile app.

        • EricPudalov ginidietrich The beauty is an “m site” is usually a small adjustment that does not cost anywhere near as much as developing a full-blown app, but it allows your website to be viewed on smart phones and/or tablet. 
           That makes a mobile optimized website a great option.
          If you have a website, I’d get it optimized for mobile. Period.
          The main focus after that, I believe, should be on quality content.  You have many ways (social, SEO, etc.) to get that content in the hands of the right people without developing an actual app.

        • EricPudalov ClayMorgan ginidietrich Our small liberal arts college decided a mobile site was the best choice for us. And as Clay mentions, optimizing your current site is crucial. For me, that involved rewriting web copy to be even more concise, active and easy to scan.

        • EricPudalov

          ClayMorgan EricPudalov ginidietrich Thanks very much!  That is something we’re working on, although it seems to be an arduous process. 🙂

  • ginidietrich this is a great reminder: When stories and blog posts do run, make sure there are links to your app landing page or to your mobile website.

  • ChristinaPRinDC

    biggreenpen woohoo! My work here is done (today)…. SpinSucks

  • ginidietrich

    coffeewithjulie LOL! Yesterday is a great answer!

    • coffeewithjulie

      ginidietrich 🙂

  • Hi Gini, as always great and useful post! I am amazed how many companies do not have a mobile site. I wonder, what exactly they are waiting for??? A study on UK mobile users shows that more than 30% of the companies that do have a mobile site, lack functionality, are slow to load or have navigation problems. I wrote about it here:
    We are all mobile users and I am quite sure we read news, look for companies, etc on our mobile or tablets. Again, what are companies waiting for?

  • EricPudalov

    On a side note, I’m learning so much just from reading this blog every day.  I’m taking notes!!

    • EricPudalov That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you. Now to think about what to write for tomorrow so you have to take notes.

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