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Mobilize Your Business

Three steps to mobilize your business now. (And why you need to...)

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Kim Dushinski

So does mobile marketing keep you up at night? Either figuring it out or being excited by the opportunities? Me too.

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Last week in my e-zine, Mobile Marketing News Brief, I issued a mobile marketing challenge to my readers. (You can see the News Brief here and sign up to receive it here.) Today I’m reporting my results and giving you the chance to share how the challenge went for you.

The Challenge:

This week I’d like to issue a challenge to you. It is to participate in mobile marketing from the consumer side. If you are going to work in mobile marketing, you need to CONSUME mobile marketing.

I challenge you to sign up for at least 2 text message campaigns and visit at least 2 mobile websites (from your mobile browser) this week. These should be new campaigns to you.

If you don’t have a text message plan or a data plan on your phone yet, go get them. There is no excuse for being in mobile marketing and not having a text and data plan.

As you do this I’d like you to stay aware of what caused you to sign up for campaigns. What were the factors that you had to see present to feel safe to give over your mobile number? What made you excited to get a message?


My Challenge Report:

To be honest I have to say that I was only able to accomplish half of the challenge – I used one text messaging campaign and visited one new mobile site. On a brighter note I did upgrade my mobile plan to Sprint’s Everything Data Family Plan. Turns out we get 100 extra minutes and unlimited texting and unlimited data on all three phones for $2 LESS per month. Check your plan – it might be cheaper to have unlimited now.

New MexicoAnyway, there we were on a road trip driving across New Mexico. For those of you who don’t live out West, or even in the US at all, here is a visual image. It looks like this for hours at a time.

I had just about given up on being able to execute the challenge when we were wondering how to get to the restaurant we heard had awesome green chili in Santa Fe.

We were too far out in the middle of nowhere to get the mobile web to come up, but then I remembered I could text Google for the info. I didn’t have the Google short code memorized or programmed into my contacts so I had to bring up my on screen key pad to figure out the numerical equivalent to GOOGLE which turns out to be 466453.

I bring this up so that you know when you ask people with smartphones to spell out the short code, it doesn’t work. The number pad we use on our QWERTY keyboard doesn’t match the phone dialing numbers and letters combo. Just use the numbers.

Since I knew the name of the restaurant and that we were going to Santa Fe, I texted “Tomasito’s Santa Fe” to 46645. Yes, I accidentally left off the last 3 and it worked anyway. It sent me back the correct name (Tomasita’s) and the address with a click to call phone number.

Once I had phone call level cell service I clicked to call the restaurant and got directions off the freeway from the hostess. Worked like a charm. The best part was that my friend who was driving thought I was just brilliant and a Techno Goddess. Turns out that texting Google can impress your friends AND get you where you want to go.

Now about that mobile site…

I had decided that I wanted to be marketed a mobile site in the real world and not search for one on my mobile or find out about it from a mobile marketing oriented source. The only site that I saw with this criteria this week was the Disney mobile site, specifically one for the show called Phineas and Ferb. (Don’t get me started on the show itself. Suffice it to say that this is not one of the shows on Disney that I actually like.)

A full mobile site review is not in order here as I’m not sure if anyone reading this, myself included, actually cares how the Phineas and Ferb mobile site worked – which it did. Let me just point out a couple of things that were great about this mobile campaign.

First, the domain name was great. I saw the site promoted on the Disney Channel while we were getting ready to head to the competition. I was literally tying my shoes when the commercial aired. It caught my attention because I was trying to find a mobile site and I worried that I might not be able to remember the domain name. Not to fear. It was www.disney.mobi/pf which I successfully remembered without writing it down or using it for 4 days.

My daughter also got excited initially but then remembered she doesn’t have internet access on her phone so she turned away from the TV and kept getting ready. Now that we have that new unlimited plan she can check it out for herself.

The other great thing about this campaign was that it was being marketed to the right audience (Phineas and Ferb viewers) from a trusted source – the Disney Channel. Keep these concepts in mind when you start marketing your mobile site. Start with your current customers who already know and trust you. Build from there.

OK, what about you? Did you accept the challenge? What text campaigns did you participate in and what mobile sites did you visit? What did you find interesting and/or noteworthy?

MINIATURIZERS / MOBILE SITE BUILDERS

You need a mobile-friendly site NOW. The fastest way to get that it is to miniaturize your site. This makes your site easily accessible via mobile but does not change the content. Just makes it smaller to fit on a mobile screen. While it is not the ideal solution, at least it is a start.

If you start here you should monitor your mobile site traffic and begin your mobile site development for the long term. If you are already at that stage, skip to the Mobile Platform Providers.

The miniaturizing solution often includes an advertising revenue model. If you are looking to create a business model around generating revenue with advertising these are great options.


FeedM8

Takes your RSS feed and builds a mobile site with your posts. Includes a text alert option so that your site visitors can be alerted via SMS text message whenever you update your blog. FeedM8 is an advertising supported service and advertising will appear automatically on your mobile site. You can get 60% of the revenue generated from the ads, but you must verify your site to be eligible. There is also an affiliate program whereby you can earn money by suggesting FeedM8 to others and get paid when they start generating ad revenue.

The interface is very easy to work with and the mobile site that is created works well. There is a nice selection of mobile banners / widgets you can embed on your site to alert your readers that you have a mobile site. Reports show visitor count only.

There is no capacity for building a mobile site from scratch within FeedM8.
More Info

MoFuse
You can use MoFuse to miniaturize your blog or you can use it as a mobile site builder. MoFuse also offers a piece of script that you can put on your blog that will allow it to serve the proper version of the site based on how any particular visitor is browsing. Mobile browsers will trigger the mobile site to show and a desktop browser will be served the full sized site. (This is a great feature!)

Using MoFuse is very easy and the site builder is fairly robust. You can do a lot with it, creating different types of pages and reordering them easily. The stats program built into MoFuse is basic but it works well. With MoFuse you can create up to 5 mobile sites on one account.

The advertising revenue split on MoFuse is 50/50 and they support AdMob and Google Adsense. You can choose either one. You can also specify whether you want your advertising to show up at the top of your site or the bottom.

More Info

Winksite
WinkSite is a mobile web builder with the ability to build in a community aspect around the mobile site. Although I haven’t been able to see that many folks are actually using the community feature effectively. That said, WinkSite has a lot of cool features you can use to build a mobile site quickly.

Winksite offers its publishers the ability to monetize their mobile sites using Google Adsense, AdMob, mKhoj, BuzzCity, GetMobile, Admoda, Adshandy or Mo’Jiva. Your Revenue Share is 100%. Winksite does not take a share of your revenue that your mobile site generates.

With WinkSite you can also generate your own self-service ads. You can create a landing page, click to call option, link to a video, survey or another mobile site. This opens up the option of selling ads for a fixed price to sponsors or creating your own ads for you own products.

More Info


GetMobile Juicer

This Works for sites, not just blogs. It is not an exact science and your site will not be perfect, but it may be better than doing nothing. The best thing to do is head over to Get Mobile and input your site URL into the Publishers section where you can submit your site to be “juiced.” It will do its best to mobilize your site and let you preview it.

Once you see if the mobile version is acceptable, you can sign up for an account (its free) and then add advertising to your site if you wish. Or just launch your mobile version.

Get Mobile also has a mobile site builder available with templates you can use to jumpstart your site building. As with all mobile site builders you will likely find you want it to do more than it can. That’s normal right now.

More Info

MOBILE PLATFORM PROVIDERS

If you are looking to develop a mobile site on your own domain that is a true mobile media property, you will need a mobile platform. These are services provided to businesses with at least $10,000 available to invest in their mobile site. You do get what you pay for as the mobile sites produced by these companies are fabulous.

iLoop Mobile
iLoopMobile’s mFinity platform is a multi-channel platform that builds mobile sites and has an integrated text messaging component as well. The iLoop platform can also build out a mobile content storefront allowing you to build a mobile site to sell ringtones. iLoopMobile is a very strong option for your needs.

More Info

Crisp Wireless
CrispWireless specializes in mobile sites for media companies – newspapers, magazines and television. Their robust mobile sites are top notch and perform well. If you choose to work with Crisp Wireless you are in good hands.

More Info

MOBILE WEB DESIGNERS

If you don’t want to do it yourself with a mobile site builder or go with a platform builder, then you are building your site from scratch. In that case I recommend working with a web designer with mobile experience. Here are a couple designers I can recommend.

Fling Media
Brian and Cyndi Fling are the mobile design team at Fling Media. They do excellent work and have great creativity. They also do iPhone app work as well. You can’t go wrong with Fling.

More Info

Little Springs Design

Barbara Ballard and her team in Lawrence, Kansas are top mobile web designers. Barbara has even written books about mobile design and they host a Mobile Design conference. They know their stuff.

More Info

Need Mobile Website Help?
Need help with your mobile website strategy? Do you need to figure out how to drive traffic to your mobile site once it is built? Check out my Mobile Marketing Launch Kit which includes a module about creating a successful text messaging campaign.

Not Listed Here?
If you are a mobile site designer, have a mobile platform or have a mobile site builder and would like to be listed, please contact me so I can find out more about what you offer. I am open to reviewing companies worldwide even though right now I only list U.S. companies.

If you want your blog readers to be able to quickly and easily read your blog from their mobile devices there is a really easy way to make that possible. When you’ve followed the steps I’ve outlined below your readers can simply go to your blog URL from their mobile browser and the mobile version of your site will appear. If they go to your blog from their desktop computer they will see the full-sized version. You’ll also have a specific mobile URL that you can use as well.

Here are the steps to follow (with screenshots). Don’t worry, you don’t even need to take a deep breath or anything, it is so simple.

Step 1
Find your blog’s RSS feed URL and copy it. You will be pasting it in just minute.

If you have any trouble with that, try looking for the RSS icon on your blog or go to Feedburner to create a feed. It shouldn’t be hard to find or create.

Step 2
Go to www.MoFuse.com
As shown in this screen shot, paste your blog’s RSS feed URL into the box where it says Mobilize your blog now. Click on the Mobilize button.

Step 3
Set up your mobile site on MoFuse.

In this step MoFuse will create a mobile web address for you. You will want to use this feature because later you can allow your site visitors to have the mobile URL sent to their phone via SMS text message if you want.

The other thing this step accomplishes for you is creating a listing in the MoFuse mobile site directory. And this will also create your free MoFuse account.

Step 4
Launch a New Mobile Site

This step will seem a bit redundant because you’ll need to input your RSS feed URL in again. But you are also naming your blog as it will show up on your mobile site. I advise going with as short a name as you can. You will put that in where it says Site Name and RSS Feed Title.

At the part on this screen where it asks for you to agree to the Revenue Sharing Policy you will need to check the box and be sure to read the policy because it tells what will happen to advertising revenue from ads on the site. (More on this later.)

Step 5
Set up Automatic Detect & Redirect

This is the step that creates the magic. When this screen pops up, choose the Automatic Detect and Redirect option. You can do the other options later but this is the one you want to get onto your site ASAP so mobile visitors see your mobile site and not your full site through a screen the size of a postage stamp.

Step 6
This page will show you options for working with your WordPress, Blogger or other kind of website. The screenshots below walk you through the WordPress option, but the other choices will be similar.

The general idea is you will grab some code and paste it into your blog’s code. This will allow your site to recognize which kind of browser each individual reader is using when they get there. Your mobile visitors will see the mobile version and the folks using a desktop computer will see the big version. Please don’t worry about this, as it very easy.

On this screen you will copy the code as described for your kind of blog platform.

IMPORTANT:
Before you copy the code, go ahead and open up your blogging admin panel. For WordPress this is where you login at yougblogname.com/wp-admin.

Once there locate where you are supposed to copy the code. In WordPress that will be in the Theme Editor. You’ll be looking for the header.php file. When you find it, copy it and paste it into Notepad as a back up. Not that anything is likely to go wrong, but it is always a good idea to back up your code before you do anything with it.

Step 7
Paste the Automatic Detect & Redirect Code into Your Blog

Following the direction that MoFuse gave you in Step 6, carefully paste the code you copied from there and paste it where directed. In WordPress that is at the very top of your header.php file. Be sure to save your changes.

After you have done this, go to your blog on your desktop browser and hit refresh. Make sure it looks exactly the same. If anything messed up, grab that code you copied into Notepad and repaste it in the header.php file. Save and recheck.

If your blog looks fine, then grab your mobile browser and go directly to your blog site. You should see your mobile site.

WARNING: This might not work. When working with mobile web stuff you are not dealing with an exact science. Some themes work a bit differently than others. Mobile phones work differently as well. But hopefully it will work for you. It is OK to leave the code there. Maybe other people are seeing the mobile site.

For me, it worked perfectly for this blog (MobileMarketingProfits) and I had a bit of trouble with MobiBlueprint Blog which I am still working on.

Now you can work your way through MoFuse and find more exciting things to do with your mobile blog. Have fun.

A Note About Revenue Sharing:
If you select the Revenue Sharing / Monetize option on MoFuse and want to display ads on your blog, be sure to sign up for your own Google Adwords and/or AdMob account. That way you will get to keep 50% of the ad revenues from your site. MoFuse makes it really easy to just pste in your publisher IDs and it will work automatically.

Please let me know how this worked for you. Did you run into any snags? Did you understand my directions? If you need someone to test out your mobile blog, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll check it for you to see how it looks.