Most entrepreneurs at small and large companies would agree that without a Web site and blog to promote their companies, they're dead in the water. They don't have a digital presence on the Internet. As a result, few people will ever know they exist.
Yet, most companies have yet to "mobilize" their existing blogs and Web sites for the thousands of mobile handsets and browsers in the hands of 3.6 billion cell phone users (4.6 billion handsets). Compare the number of handsets to the one billion personal computers on rarth and it becomes clear your Web site or blog will never been seen by the majority of people on this planet unless you "mobilize" it.
This is especially true in developing nations and continents such as Africa, Asia and Latin America where mobile phones are the only means of Internet access for huge populations.
Each mobile handset is a potential portal to the mobile Internet. While many mobile users, especially in developing countries, only have mobile voice service, this is changing rapidly as 3G/4G wireless networks proliferate and Internet-enabled mobile phones become available.
India's mobile operators, for example, add 15 million new customers EVERY DAY and customers with mobile Internet access now exceeds 60 million people. In the United States and developed economies, mobile phone Internet access has become a standard feature on virtually all feature phones, while smart phones with larger screens and more powerful browsers deliver a richer, more engaging mobile Internet experience.
ComScore, a research firm, estimates that smart phone penetration in the U.S is now 15%+ with over 1,000 handsets capable of accessing the mobile Web.
Mobilizing your Web site or blog, which makes it possible for mobile users to view your Web site on their cell phones with small screens, requires re-sizing and content evaluation.Trying to "squeeze" all the content in your non-mobile blog or website is generally not advisable.
They're a number of services online--some free--to mobilize your blog or website. Wapple, MoFuse and MobiSiteGalore are three services you should check out. If you only want to mobilize your WordPress blog, I highly recommend Wapple's free plugin. Mobilebeyond and IM-Mobile, my two blogs, use it. The plugin offers extensive configuration features, including adding your logo or header. With the Wapple plugin, you can mobilize your site in less than five minutes. (Wapple also offers a website mobilizing tool that's easy to use.)
MoFuse Premium provides complete hosting and easy configuration of your website for as little as $7.95 per month, while MobiSiteGalore has a free service. Both services also let you monetize your mobile website by inserting Google Adsense and AdMob text ads.
Mobile commerce is also growing quickly. During the holiday season, mobile e-commerce revenues were up significantly while brick-and-mortar retailers struggled for business. So if you're an e-tailer--or want to be--now is the time to think about selling products and services on the mobile Internet. Mobile Store Maker is one source to check out, although I haven't as yet personally reviewed the service.
Keep in mind that maintaining your brand image, setting goals and and budgeting for promotion of your mobile site are important considerations before launching. Before moving into mobile, consider your goals for your mobile website. Do you want to drive traffic to your non-mobile site? Sell products and services? Improve your brand image? Expand your blog's reach internationally? Thinking about what you want to accomplish with your mobile blog or website will help you develop an effective site more quickly at the lowest cost.
Promoting your mobilized site to attract visitors is also essential. Like your desktop blog or Web site, Google and the other search engines now index both mobile and non-mobile sites. To increase traffic to your site, however, requires additional publicity. A newsletter, for example, announcing your new mobile site to your customers is very effective. If you're a retailer, counter stands are great. Mentioning on your business cards that your site is up ("now on your mobile phone") is an inexpensive way to inform customers, prospects, associates and friends. Online search ads can also help promote your site drawing more visitors.
Taking a multi-channel approach to promote your site is essential to draw visitors. By cross-promoting your mobile site with other channels--print, online and broadcast, for example--creates synergy, drawing more people to your mobile website. If your promotion budget is limited, figure out what's not working in one channel and use those dollars for promoting your mobile site.
Positive results and good ROI takes time. So don't get discouraged if your early promotion campaigns don't draw huge crowds. Keep trying a different media mix. If mobile users aren't coming to your website's landing page in droves, try something else. As you experiment with your marketing mix, you'll discover which works best to accomplish your objectives.
This is an excellent time to evaluate your company's mobile options. With Google's acquisition of AdMob and Apple's purchase of Quattro Wireless, both large mobile advertising networks, it's clear that mobile is becoming an important for company marketing and advertising programs. Careful planning, however, is necessary to ensure success.
Good luck building your mobile Web site or blog!
(Image source: blog.admob)