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5 Types of Mobile Marketing (+How to Create a Strategy)

July 9, 2019

Pay attention to how you’re marketing to smartphone users.

Smartphones and other mobile devices are changing the way people interact with their favorite brands. Consumers are no longer limited to desktop computers when it comes to searching for information, the news, or certain products and services.

Everything from reading email, messaging family and friends, or shopping online can be done from the convenience of a smartphone. Being able to reach your customers from wherever they are is paramount to your business’ success – and that’s where mobile marketing comes into play.

Mobile marketing is an important part of a larger inbound marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll outline the different types of mobile marketing, review how to create a mobile marketing strategy, and explain why a mobile responsive website is key.

Looking for specific information about mobile marketing? Click the links below to jump ahead:

What are the different types of mobile marketing?

The variety of options available to build your mobile marketing strategy makes mobile marketing perfect for any business. Whether you’re an enterprise business with enough funds to use all of these options or a small business just starting out, there’s a mobile marketing strategy that will work for you.

Types of mobile marketing

We’ll spend the next section diving into each of these and explaining how you can use them in your mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile apps

Mobile app marketing focuses primarily on app promotion and customer engagement. If someone has downloaded your company’s app, chances are they are already a paying customer of yours. If you’re planning to market to your customers using a mobile app, your focus should be on retention and rewarding customer loyalty.

This can be achieved through a number of ways. Push notifications can be used to send alerts to your consumers directly on their phone screen, even if they don’t have the app open. You can also offer special coupons or deals through your mobile app using in-app messaging.

Apps are a great place to start your mobile marketing journey because you have access to your customer directly. Mobile app marketing is less about converting new customers and more about turning existing ones into brand ambassadors.

Learn more: How much does it cost to make an app? →

Location-based marketing

If you’ve ever opened Google and searched for a restaurant near your house, you’ve experienced location-based marketing. Location-based marketing involves both online and in-person marketing tactics that are designed to attract customers located within the same geographic location as your business.

It’s perfect for small businesses that operate in a single location within a specific community. It can help you stand out against direct competitors and attract new customers that live close to your business.

As related to mobile marketing, location-based marketing uses geotargeting, SEO optimization, location tags, and targeted PPC clicks to get your business in front of the people closest to it. It’s another layer of mobile marketing that ensures you’re spending your ad dollars effectively.


Much like location-based marketing, search marketing comes into play when a customer is looking for something on a search engine. Search marketing can be used in conjunction with location-based marketing, but it’s not required.

Search marketing is divided into two categories:

  • SEO, which is defined as earning traffic through organic search
  • SEM, which is defined as buying traffic through paid search listings

SEO focuses on optimizing your website and content for organic search results. When a customer searches “dog boarding in Los Angeles,” your SEO strength will determine whether or not you organically rank for those keywords. The websites listed on the first page of Google for any search have optimized their search marketing efforts using SEO. When using this strategy, be sure to test everything – A/B testing copy, headlines, and meta descriptions to see what sticks might end up making all the difference for you. 

SEM is different because more often than not, it centers around paid search efforts. When you plug a search into Google, you might notice the first several listings have a box that marks them as ads. These are SEM search results and don’t appear on the first page organically.

Tip: Still confused? Don’t worry, we have a complete resource on the difference between SEO vs. SEM.


PPC, also known as pay-per-click, technically falls under SEM marketing. However, it’s such a complex topic that we’ve broken it out into a separate section in order to fully dive into it.

Paid search or PPC is the process of advertising on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. When you utilize PPC marketing, you’re paying the search engines to allow you to by-pass organic search results and your competitors in order to reach the customer directly. PPC ads can be more than just text listings at the top of a search result. You can also create ads that appear as a product listing ad (PLA).

Tip: Read up on the 4 ways to enhance your PPC system with artificial intelligence!

Companies bid on certain keywords through Google Adwords to rank for those top search results. This tactic is especially attractive if your business has a lot of fierce competition. It can take a lot of time to rank organically for a keyword, but ranking with SEM only takes a budget and some creativity with your keyword targeting.

The benefit of using PPC in your mobile marketing strategy is simple. If you’re willing to spend the money, your products and services can appear first in the results of any term your customers search. And with more than 3.5 billion Google searches happening a day, not utilizing PPC in your mobile marketing strategy could hurt you.

Haven’t worked PPC into your marketing strategy yet? Check out the best PPC service providers according to G2 user-reviews.

Find the highest-rated PPC Service Providers →

SMS marketing

SMS marketing is better understood as text-messaging marketing. This is probably the most obvious way to utilize mobile marketing.

With SMS marketing, businesses can send direct texts to consumers who have opted in to receive messages from them about upcoming sales, new product information, and more. The benefit is that you can by-pass the more nuanced marketing strategies and reach your customer right where they are.

Marketers should be wary of leaning too heavily on SMS marketing. Some consumers find the practice invasive and spammy, while others might assume your message is coming from a scammer looking to make a quick buck. As with every other marketing strategy, be sure to implement best-practices when creating your SMS marketing plan.

How to create a mobile marketing strategy

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the different types of mobile marketing strategies, it’s time to create a mobile marketing plan. The great news is that creating a mobile marketing strategy isn’t much different than a regular marketing strategy.

Just like a traditional marketing strategy, your mobile marketing strategy will require you to:

  1. Create buyer personas
  2. Set goals
  3. Optimize for your location
  4. Experiment with new strategies
  5. Establish KPI’s
  6. Monitor your metrics

Don’t lose focus on the basics just because the platform has changed. Creating a well thought out marketing strategy for mobile is the same as anything else with one big exception: Google calls them micro-moments.

What are micro-moments?

Micro-moments occur when a consumer needs the answer to something immediately and turns to a device, usually their smartphone, to purchase, learn, do , watch, or discover something.

What makes micro-moments so powerful is that the user is looking for a specific answer or solution. If your spouse books a surprise last-minute vacation and you Google “rental cars in Tampa,” chances are you’re looking to rent a car in that exact moment.

If you can tailor your mobile marketing strategy to prepare for these micro-moments before they happen, you’ll likely see more website traffic and higher conversion rates.

Why does your website need to be mobile responsive?

Similar to mobile marketing, mobile responsive websites are something that have only come into play within the last 20 years. The rise of new technology and popularization of e-commerce have paved the way for new best practices when it comes to crafting a site: the most popular among them being responsive web design.

Creating a mobile marketing campaign without first ensuring your website is mobile responsive is like trying to make s'mores without graham crackers. Sure, you could still roast the marshmallow and melt the chocolate, but without the solid foundation of the graham cracker, you’re going to wind up with a big mess on your hands.

The high cost of redesigning a website can deter people from investing in a new, mobile responsive design. But the upfront costs outweigh the long-term lost revenue.

Why is mobile responsiveness important? Here are the facts:

  • When people have a negative brand experience on mobile, they are 62% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future than if they had a positive experience (Google, 2017)
  • 51% of customers say that they use mobile devices to discover new brands and products (BrightEdge, 2017)
  • More than 60% of B2B buyers report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase (Boston Consulting Group, 2017)

Your customers are online and making purchases from their smartphones, whether your website can keep up or not. Investing in a mobile responsive website creates a more pleasant user experience and converts more prospects into paying customers.

Mobile responsive websites make that happen by doing the following:

  1. Functioning on all devices
  2. Creating a cleaner and more user-friendly interface
  3. Adapting to screen size depending on the device
  4. Creating one universal URL for your website
  5. Improving load time and site speed
  6. Ranking higher with SEO rankings

Creating an easy-to-use experience for your consumer is paramount to whether or not they will complete a purchase. Ignoring something as important as mobile responsiveness in your mobile marketing campaign will cost you in the long run.

Ready to upgrade your non-responsiveness website? Find the easiest to use website building software on the market.

See the Easiest-to-Use Website Builders →

Ready to mobilize?

Mobile marketing isn’t a passing phase, it’s here to stay. Hopefully this guide has provided you a more in-depth look at the importance of mobile marketing and how it can play into your overall marketing strategy.

Get qualified leads using real-time buyer intent data. Learn more → 



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