You’ve probably read recently about online publications (Wall Street Journal, New York Times) charging for digital versions of their publications. With the growth of tablet computers and smartphones, publishers and advertisers are searching for new revenue streams through mobile media content.
But you’re a business professional marketing software, financial services or commercial real estate. I’m not in the business of making money on my mobile websites. Besides, how do I know my customers will pay for exclusive online information, private newsletters and subscriptions?
Before saying you can’t, get started with your non-mobile website and move on from there. Check out Brian Clark’s How to Profit from the Digital Revolution: Free Seminars from Premise 2.1. This new tool not only helps you develop professional landing pages, it supplies a strategy for making money, keeping track of your leads and customers and much more. Premise 2.0 will greatly surprise you.
All Businesses are Media Companies
Unless you’re a publisher, you probably think you’re not a media company. Not true. If you have a website, blog, wiki or forum, you’re in media. Marketing via email lists? The same. Does your company integrate webinars, teleseminars or other interactive marketing? You’re a publisher generating media content.
Think of it. For years, you thought you were a hospital, grain company, hair salon or funeral parlor. Despite providing different services, however, your newsletters, emails and online content are MEDIA. While online media dominated the past 20 years, mobile and wireless media are becoming dominant.
Paid Mobile Media Content with Wireless Devices
When everyone carried flip phones with barely readable screens, no one in their right mind thought of wireless devices as media. Sure, you occasionally saw text message promotions at the bottom of the screen. But until more powerful smartphones with great looking screens, cameras, MP3 players and Web access emerged, ring tones and wall paper were the only “media” on mobile phones.
That’s changed. Higher resolution browsers and fast 3G/4G wireless networks have turned feature phones into exciting, dynamic media devices. The iPad and assorted Android tablet computers offer innovative ways for businesses to communicate with customers, prospects, non-profit volunteers, house-bound patients and others.
Growing Your Business with Paid Mobile Media Content
As Michael Becker said in our podcast interview, mobile phones are “multi-modal” devices. Many channels, many mediums.
- SMS text messages. Easy to implement, you can start generating leads through direct response or share mobile media content. Use MMS for short videos.Premium SMS messages with exclusive content generate revenue
- Mobile websites. Numerous online companies now offer affordable mobile website development linked to your company website. Insert “click-to-call,” an attached mobilized blog or forum, mobile coupons, ads. Then link to your YouTube or Facebook sites.
- Mobile Apps. Once you have a mobile website, consider developing a mobile app for iOS and Android platforms. If you’re rolling in money, try BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows 7 mobile too. Mobile applications engage your audiences as part of your media campaigns.
- Online and mobile blogs. I’m still amazed companies don’t offer blogs attached to their websites. Blog media is the easiest to produce. Add photos of your business, video promotions and product training. Entice new audiences with multimedia.
- QR codes. Make it easy for your customers and prospects to reach your website or promotional landing pages by inserting QR barcodes in print, online and broadcast promotions.
I now what you’re asking. How can I charge for content when consumers and business customers think everything on the Web is free. How do you convince people who paid mobile media content is worth it?
For years, stock brokers, lawyers and management consultants have sold premium newsletter content for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. You can too.
Consider these strategies:
- Offer a free version and a premium, paid version. This is especially true for software and other technology companies. Give customers a free 10 page PDF and a 100 page version for $50. Include service or product discounts in your PDF’s that drive traffic to other mobile-friendly landing pages.
- Create a contest that generates lots of leads by offering prizes. This works equally well with consumers and business customers. And remember with mobile that business customers ARE consumers too. Marketing managers want an iPad 2 just as much as a college student. Try SMS, MMS and your mobile website to launch.
- Use your imagination. Leverage all the benefits of your products and services. Then brainstorm how to create mobile campaigns that carry out your marketing goals.
Determine what your customers and prospects want. Then deliver desired mobile media content.