Thus far, we have offered up some food for thought on how the early adopters of mobile media are connecting with their target audiences in relevant, yet simple ways. Prior to that, we provided you with the basics on mobile marketing methods. Now that you’ve graduated from neophyte status, our team here at the 60 Second Marketer, feels that the time is right in your mobile “education” to get intimately familiar with a very powerful, but straightforward mobile marketing tactic — mobile paid search.
What better time of the year to talk about mobile search than right after the Super Bowl, where the big brands were paying somewhere around $3,000,000 for thirty seconds of air time and probably just as much in production costs. Sure we all had fun watching the commercials during the big game and re-watching our favorites on Youtube (we loved VW’s “The Force”), but the questions you should be asking yourself is this: How effective were the commercials at driving revenue, store traffic or some other metric?
That is why we want to talk with you today about mobile search. Because, as you will soon found out, mobile search does not require a budget approaching the GDP of a small country, it does not require a big name Hollywood producer and/or director and it most certainly does not require you to guess at how impactful it is.
What The Experts Are Saying About Mobile Search
Depending on which source you go to, you will find different projections on the amount of mobile searches that will be performed or the amount of dollars that will be spent on mobile search ads over the next three to five years. What you will find in common though, is that all of the sources agree that because of the growth in the adoption of smartphones and advances in all mobile phone technologies, mobile search is going to be an increasingly important part of any business’ communication plan, mobile or otherwise.
Here are some of the stats we found that we think you should be aware of:
- An eMarketer survey from August 2010 indicated that 64% of the respondents preferred to arrive at a mobile website by entering search terms into a search engine
- A similarly targeted survey from Credit Suisse shows that “search” was the most popular mobile internet activity for all mobile users, surpassed only by communications (emailing and texting)
- Forrester Research Inc., projects that mobile search spending in the US will reach $1.26 Billion by 2014; eMarketer is a bit more conservative at only $858 Million over the same time period
- Business Insights predict that by 2012, mobile search will receive the largest percentage of any mobile marketing segment with 36.5%, worldwide
- Another eMarketer survey, suggests that mobile search is one of the top three most accepted types of mobile marketing by consumers
The statistics can be a bit overwhelming, we know. It took us hours to arrive at the five bullet points above with all of the information and research out there just on mobile search alone. You should be excited though as this breadth and depth of data serves to further validate mobile marketing in general, and mobile search specifically.
What You Need to Know About Mobile Search
All of the typical capabilities that are available to marketers via desktop search engine marketing (SEM) are also available in mobile search. Mobile search campaigns can be geo-targeted to only show your ads to people performing a search within a designated distance from your store. Dayparting can be used so that your ads are only displayed when your offices are open for business. And of course, you can craft specific ad copy for your mobile ads to set them apart from your competition and your own desktop SEM.
The cost basis for mobile search varies slightly from traditional SEM in that the cost per click is typically much cheaper, sometimes as much as 50%, for the same keyword. Marketers can also keep a tight leash on their mobile search spending by using Pay-per-Call. This means that you only pay Google or Yahoo a fee when a customer calls the number listed in their mobile search ad. Further still, parameters can be put in place to mobile search campaigns such that they only display ads on certain phone operating systems or certain mobile carriers. This feature is great if you have separate iPhone and Android applications you are trying to get users to download or if you want to create a customized experience for smartphone vs. non-smartphone users.
From a management standpoint, it should be noted that mobile search campaigns can be managed side by side with all of your regular SEM via the same user interface. You do not need a dedicated mobile search marketing vendor. Most importantly, all mobile search campaigns have the same level of detailed analytics and reporting that we have come to grow and love about regular SEM. You can drill down the success of each mobile keyword by geography, phone type, time of day, action took, etc.;
5 Rules for Launching a Mobile Search Campaign
- Tracking – This should be one of your first concerns with any search marketing effort, desktop or mobile. Without tracking you will have no idea what kind of return you are getting on your mobile marketing dollars. Work with your technology department to make sure that you have the proper tracking tags in place so that you can determine the success of your campaign. Google Analytics is an extremely powerful (and free) tracking tool. Better yet, they provide step by step instructions on how to setup and report on your campaign.
- Landing Page - Make sure that the landing page people will be sent to when they click on your mobile search ad is relevant. This means that, not only should the landing page relate to the keyword being search for, but where possible, users should be taken to the mobile version of your website.
- Get Local – Unless you are a big retailer like Starbucks or Target, you customers are most likely close by and in concentrated areas. Use the geo-targeting capabilities to make sure that your mobile search ads are being displayed to the right audiences. Have multiple locations? You can setup dedicated and separate campaigns, targeting a tight 20 mile radius around each store, so that customers can be directed to the closest one to them.
- Have a Goal in Mind – Before you spend any marketing dollars on mobile search, make sure you know what you want your customers to do. Some possible goals are: drive foot traffic to a new location, have potential customers call your store, generate revenue on your mobile site or get people to download your mobile app. Your business goal should dictate your mobile marketing tactics and never other way around.
- Be Realistic – Although mobile search is closely related to desktop search, they are two very different beasts. The same user will demonstrate very different mobile versus desktop search behaviors and patterns. For example, mobile search is often used to complete a task like getting directions or finding a phone number whereas desktop search is used for more extensive research and fact finding. Manage mobile search on its own and judge its results against itself.
As you know, we’re focusing a lot of attention on Mobile Marketing here at the 60 Second Marketer. We hope you like the information above. Please feel free to forward it to a friend. Or, better still, subscribe to our blog to receive more updates like these!
Posted by Matt Luber, Mobile Media Manager at the 60 Second Marketer and MBA candidate at Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.