Browsing all articles from December, 2015

How Food Trucks Use SMS Marketing

Build Food Truck Profits through SMS marketing

When you own a food vendor truck, you worry about the design of your truck: where your logo will be displayed, your most occupied locations, and your phone number. Soon, you start to think there won’t be enough room for your actual menu. But you’re forgetting one key marketing information: your keyword.  It’s time to start thinking about where your text message marketing keyword and short codes will go.

SMS marketing can help advertise all the things needed to in order to get new customers for truck vendors, and keep them have coming back. Just like an immobile restaurant, it is important to keep customers up to date on everything that is changing. For a restaurant that could mean things in the kitchen as well as in the dining room, but for a food truck it could mean in the kitchen, most recent locations as well as future ones, special coupons, as well as event and seasonal appearances. As a kitchen that is constantly on the move, text message marketing can help reach customers while they’re on the move  too.

Social Media is an simple, not to mention free, way to update customers on food trucks’ whereabouts and specials. All it takes is a simple post or a tweet and following customers are in the know. This option allows real-time communicati’on between consumer and company, while also diminishing confusion and increasing demand. 57% of food truck owners had more Twitter followers than they did likes on Facebook, but with Twitter comes uncertainty of exposure.

SMS Marketing for Food Trucks

SMS marketing is an opportunity to personally engage with customers

SMS marketing has the ability to increase this exposure. 95 – 98% of text messages are read within minutes of receipt, which means that upon delivery the marketing material is received and processed by hungry consumers. Not only does text message marketing allow food vendors to control what is marketed and who receives it, but this marketing tool also builds a customer database. With each customer who opts-in to receive marketed text messages a mobile phone number is saved and stored for future subscriber data. SMS marketing creates an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with customers.

If customers opted-in to learn more about your vegetarian menu, their phone number can be categorized for future changes or specials on the vegetarian menu. If someone uses a keyword to learn about when a food truck will be in a specific neighborhood that number is categorized along with all the other customers from that neighborhood. This allows the option for a broadcast text alert to be sent to all subscribers in that neighborhood when it is appropriate.

If a truck relocates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, the owners can let their customers know by social media post or direct to their mobile phone. How? All customers have to do is text a keyword to the shortcode and receive a list of dates and locations that they’ll be occupying. This way they have a calendar to refer to when they want their favorite hot dog or pretzel.

The possibilities are endless for marketing products. Promote a coupon code through SMS marketing and the code is saved in hundreds of inboxes for easy access. Market specials and new menu items through a broadcast message and know that customer received your information. In the city and on the street, vendors are already up-close and personal with their customers, so get more personal by texting straight to their mobile phones. Customers will never forget their favorite food truck.

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How to Use SMS Marketing to Reach Radio Listeners

SMS Marketing for Radio Broadcasting

Radio stations are learning about the many advantages that SMS marketing has to offer. Text message marketing is a useful tool for radio stations to incorporate into their routines due to its effectiveness in terms of sweepstake deals, database building, consumer communication, and marketing.  With a marketing tool such as this at their disposal, radio broadcasters are learning how simple it is to use and how it can boost their own marketing tactics.

When a radio network hosts a sweepstakes, they are not only celebrating their listeners, but also building their database of listeners. Normally, a random caller is chosen as the winner, and while they win their prize the network saves their number to create their database. This database is important for stations to know who is listening, and how many people are listening, as well as allowing an opportunity to communicate and build a relationship with listeners.

Another way to build this database is with SMS marketing. Text messaging is still the largest mobile marketing channel by revenue. SMS Marketing allows a radio station to save every subscriber, or sweepstakes participant, in large quantities. Advertising the keyword on the air allows listeners opt-in to the sweepstakes, and database, by texting that keyword to the shortcode.  Each opt-in listener is now stored and saved for future deals, promotions, news, and has become a customer for life.

If a radio station promotes a sweepstakes for a rock concert then the numbers that opted-in to win those tickets can be stored in a rock music genre. A new list can be created and saved according to the time of day they opted-in (when were they listening to your station), and why they opted-in (concert tickets, advertisement details, breaking news reports). SMS marketing tools are simple and easy to use by creating a keyword to coincide with whatever information is being presented, whether it is a sweepstakes, a store advertisement, or the own radio station’s event.

SMS Marketing for Radio

SMS marketing allows radio stations to reach their listeners even when they’re not listening to the radio.

Text message marketing can increase and further the communication that takes place between station and listener.Some listeners love calling in and having the opportunity to speak with their favorite DJs, but others simply like to listen and participate in the conversation on a quieter level. About 30% of consumers choose to interact with a brand via text message rather than a phone call. SMS marketing can help broaden the prospects to all listeners without excluding any options.

As a marketing tool, SMS marketing is helpful to promote the station and any special news or shows that will be airing. Broadcast texting allows stations to utilize their subscriber data in order to reach every single listener that has opted-in to the station’s database before. This is an option for the station to market any station news, as well as increase forced listenership.

Every day, radio stations market their sponsors or advertise a company or product on the air. Radio commercials and DJ scripts advertise for paying customers, and listeners can be just as compelled by a radio commercial as they can a television one.  SMS marketing can also be a helpful advertising tool for the stations to utilize for other companies. A text-based advertisement will keep listeners engaged and interested even when they’re not listening to the radio. Sponsors who are unable to find a satisfying amount of time on the air, can find it in the a text message that can be customized to be delivered to subscribers who show the most potential for interest.

SMS marketing is the opportunity to market, inform, and engage with radio network listeners.


How to Market Your App

Tips on How to Market an App

You’ve developed an app.  Now, what are you going to do to get people to use it?




While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.


29 Tips for Mobile Website Design

How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

website design Hawaii

MOBILE BALLET: Responsive design creates websites suitable for all devices.

It is actually more difficult to create a designing for mobile than it is to create a desktop version.  That’s because there is simply so much less real estate to work with.  Following these guidelines will help provide your mobile customers with a satisfying user experience.


  • Call to Action — This is the single most important element of your website.  It is the action that you want the consumer to take.  Therefore, make sure that it’s easy for your users to find them.  Put the call to action graphics and buttons in an obvious place where they cannot be missed.
  • Menus — Mobile users have a lot less patience than desktop users do.  They do not want to scroll through a long list of options to find what they want.  Present the fewest number of menu options possible and make the categories obvious and distinct to make it easier for mobile visitors to navigate.
  • Navigation — Users should be able to access the most important content in one click from the home page.  This usually involves using the three line “hamburger” button in the upper right.  A back button should be at both the top and the bottom of each page.
  • Homepage Access — Be sure that it is always easy to get back to the homepage without having to hit the back button multiple times.  Be sure that the top banner logo allows users to retreat back to the home page.
  • Video — A lot of text on the home page of a mobile site is not a great first impression.  Better to include a video to engage users right away.
  • Sale Promotions — it is tempting to hit users with prominent display of sale items on the home page and this is fine so long as the short term promotions do not interfere with the navigation or most important call to action.

Site Search

  • Site Search Boxes — If your site is a large ecommerce or information site, visitors will want to be able to search within your site search box.  Make sure it is prominent, visible, and at the top of the page.
  • Misspellings — it is certainly more difficult to type in a search item in a search box on a mobile phone.  Make it easier on your customers by adding misspellings and auto-complete.
  • Guide Users — To get better search results, ask as many questions upfront as possible.  For instance, a shoe site might ask for sizes since showing shoes that are not available in a particular size probably is not going to do the customer much good.


  • Let them Visit First — it is often kind of annoying when you walk into a retail store and the clerks are immediately asking you what you are looking for.  In most cases, you just want to look around first.  Same with your website.  Don’t ask them to register before looking for the product they are interested in.  Registration is a turnoff.  Engage them with an interesting product first.
  • Guest — Permit guests on the site.  As much as you might want the user’s information, some simply do not want to give it to you and if you demand it, you’ll likely get false information anyway.  Let them purchase without registering.  After using the guest registration and making the purchase, ask them again to register, but this time give the user a good reason why they should register such as receiving email discounts.
  • Convenience — If it’s a return visitor, remember their information to make it more convenient when checking out.
  • Use Tap to Call — Some aspects of the checkout process might be confusing to some users.  Others may be nervous about providing their personal data online.  Therefore, you should always allow for a tap to call help button during the checkout process.  If your business is too small to allow for 24/7 live operators, at least provide a recorded IVR program to get leads to call back the next business day.
  • Use Tap to Text — Same as tap to call, although simply touching a button will enable the customer to send a text message to the business.
  • Use Tap to Chat — Initiate an interactive chat service with the business.
  • Convert on Another Device — It can be difficult to fill out long forms on the small screen of the mobile phone.  Allow the customer to be sent information via email to convert the process when they are on a desktop.


  • Short Forms — Just ask for the information that is absolutely needed and nothing more.  You can collect more details later.
  • Information Entry — If the field requires numbers, such as a phone number or zip code, automatically shift the user’s mobile phone to the numeric section.
  • Use Toggles — A toggle is easier to navigate than a dropdown.  Users will prefer using them.
  • Calendar — People often do not know what date it is, but they usually know what day of the week it is.  Offering a visual calendar for events and travel sites make it a lot easier on the mobile user and will help them make less mistakes on date selections.  It also solves the problem where much of the rest of the world puts the date first and the month second as opposed to North America where the month always comes before the date.
  • Label within Text Boxes — Your site will be dealing with many different sizes of mobile devices and screen sizes.  A mobile user can easily get confused, often not knowing whether they should use the input copy at the top or bottom of the box, for instance.  That’s why you cannot fail if you have the labels inside of the boxes.
  • Efficient Forms — When entered, the zip code, for instance, should auto-fill the city and state to reduce the amount of fields required.  Put the zip code form before the city and state to save time.  Do the same in Canada, but remember that Canadians use alphanumeric postal codes instead.
  • Skip Ahead — When the form is filled, automatically have the cursor jump to the next field box.  Of course, you cannot do this for a name or address, but you can do it for phone numbers and zip codes where there are always a standard number of digits.


  • Test — it is critical to test, test, and test more.  Don’t just use the people in your office; they are probably too close to the product to find errors that outsiders may find.  There are online services that will enable you to test on a range of devices without having to purchase all of the devices.
  • Pinch and Zoom — A good mobile site should never require the user to pinch and zoom to see items.
  • Expandable — While a good site will avoid pinch and zoom, it’s great to offer expandable images, especially on ecommerce sites.
  • Portrait & Landscape — Whatever is used on your homepage should be used throughout the site.  Don’t make users turn their phones between portrait and landscape!
  • Windows — Users should never have to open new windows on mobile.  it is a pain for them and will help you lose the sale.
  • Desktop Site — Some users may prefer using the desktop site to the mobile site for whatever reason.  Do not deny them the ability to use the desktop site.  But, do not label it “full site” either.  If you do label it “full site,” users tend to choose it, fearing that they miss out on something, and then they get frustrated, because it does not look great on mobile.  Use the term “desktop site” in the footer to denote the site instead of “full site.”  And, do not always link back to the home page of the desktop site; it’s better to link back to the most relevant page on the desktop.

Technical Checklist

  • Configuration — Make sure that your configurations are correct and you are taking mobile users to the mobile site and desktop users to the desktop version.  This sounds basic, but it happens.
  • Landing Pages — Landing pages often work best on mobile where the theme can be exactly based on the mobile advertisement or source of the click through.
  • Analytic — Ensure that your analytic tools are tracking both mobile and desktop separately.

How to Reach Passive Candidates with Social Mobile Advertising

shutterstock_230273494Social Mobile ads for recruiting are a unique and effective way to get your opportunity in front of people who would be good candidates for your positions. Fundamentally different from SEO and PPC, the key to this approach is that these potential candidates don’t have to be out actively searching for your position. Instead, our strategic targeting allows us to go out and find the best highly qualified candidates and then we virtually tap them on the shoulder by delivering targeted ads and say “Hello there. You may be JUST the person we are looking for. We have an opportunity here that we think you’ll be interested in learning more about.”  We direct them to a landing page where they can learn more about the opportunity and then we capture their key information for follow up.

This approach is entirely different from PPC (Pay Per Click) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which require someone to be actively searching for something, i.e. Registered Nurse ICU Dallas or Truck Driver Jobs in Mobile, AL. If Pete is using a search engine (Google, Bing, Safari etc.) to look for a specific job in a specific location, he will likely see results from one of the many job boards and perhaps your company’s website career page IF your site has terrific ongoing SEO and/or pays for search engine key words. There is typically a great deal of competition as companies pay top dollar for the most popular key words so their information will be on page 1 of a Google Search.

Social Mobile ads are highly targeted to specific geographic locations, specific demographics, interests, job titles etc. We are able to create a number of different profiles of interests, job titles, industries etc. of who would be the best type of candidate. Utilizing the power of big data collected by Facebook, mobile apps and other online providers, ads can be delivered to the right people at the right time, in the right place and on the right device – their mobile phones, tablets and computers.

To summarize:

  • People with jobs are often better candidates than people without jobs. Social Mobile Ads are a great way to get your opportunity in front of passive candidates who might not be looking for a job but would be open to learning more about your position if they knew about it.
  • Technical speak: the backend system can hook up to your ATS via API (the gizmo that hooks up our data to your data)
  • And finally – there is NO WASTE! Your ads are only delivered to the people who would be the right target. If you’re looking for truck drivers, your ads won’t be delivered to soccer moms.

To learn more about using Social Mobile ads for recruiting or to get a campaign started call or text us at 515-850-1162


When Was the Year of Mobile?

It’s almost the end of another year and with the end of the year, people in the business of mobile marketing often reflect on whether the upcoming year will be the Year of Mobile?  My contention is that the year of mobile has already come and gone.  We are now instead, living in the AGE OF MOBILE.


The Year of Mobile

Nobody knows for sure when the “Year of Mobile” was, but it has surely already happened.

You do not hear much anymore about when was the “Year of Mobile,” but it used to be the title of numerous articles that one saw towards the end of the year in the late 2000’s.  Of course, the premise that one particular year could be the turning point for an industry that has evolved incredibly quickly is ludicrous in the first place.

But, let’s take a shot at this one anyway.   And, to discuss mobile, it simply makes sense to discuss the two most influential companies in the business—Apple and Google.

In 2007, Apple developed the first iPhone.  It was a game changer.  The iPhone would change the way we thought of mobile, because mobile was no longer just about making a cellular phone call.  Apple’s new creation changed all that as the mobile phone evolved into what it is today—a multi-dimensional communications tool.

But, of course, smartphone penetration by age group took a while to really catch on and have enough mass appeal to be a significant factor.

In 2010, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google (now called “Alphabet Inc.”) announced, at the Mobile World Congress, that its company would develop for mobile devices first and everything else, including the then ubiquitous desktop computer, would be secondary.  This was the start of the buzzword “mobile-first” as a philosophy of doing business.  Today, mobile is the single most important medium of communication in the world.  Mobile has gone from a nice thing to have to a must have for forward thinking businesses.

So when was the “Year of Mobile?”  In my mind, it is 2010, because it was the introduction of the moniker “mobile-first.”  Today, sagacious businesses know that a mobile-first strategy is the single best way to succeed long term.

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