4 Mobile Trends for Small Business Success in 2014

As your business reviews the past year and evaluates strategies for surpassing goals in 2014, think mobile. The mobile landscape is constantly evolving, and adopting a hot mobile trend may just skyrocket your business into success.

Mobile Advertising: Social Video Marketing

To engage with your customers, you have to go where your customers are, and they’re on their smartphones and tablets.

Mobile must be part of your advertising strategy.

Mobile video is swiftly growing as a popularized (and free) mobile marketing tool that small businesses can’t afford to not capitalize on.

Cisco predicts video will account for 66 percent of mobile traffic by 2017, according to SmartInsights.com. Mobile video audiences have increased by 77 percent (15 million viewers) between 2010 and 2012. Marketers can deliver a message and reach those audiences through social microvideos on Instagram and Vine, and then share the content on other social platforms.

Shareability and two-way engagement are at the core of advertising for 2014, and “innovative rich media formats” and “creative advertising solutions” will replace standardized ad formatting and banner ads. Optimizing mobile advertising is all about tightening the brand and consumer relationship with social ad models and personable video content.

Mobile Payment Systems: Virtual Wallets

A Local Commerce Monitor study found that more than 40 percent of SMBs accept payments using mobile credit card readers on a smartphone or tablet, according to a BIA/Kelsey press release. Sixteen-percent of SMBs plan to adopt mobile payment capabilities within the next year to improve operations, efficiency and promotion.

Mobile payment systems, such as mobile card readers (e.g. Square and PayPal Here), apps and Near Field Communications (NFC) (e.g. Google Wallet), optimize the transaction experience. NFC works by transferring data between a POS terminal and mobile device using wireless data and user identification. Mobile devices also serve as virtual wallets that have instant access to store coupons, voucher codes and loyalty cards, as online business blog Yola.com describes.

BYOD: Mobile + The Cloud

The trend is called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and the policy of bringing personal mobile devices to the workplace is trending toward enterprise permanence. For employers, BYOD is a cost-effective policy that can improve productivity. More than one-third of organizations will stop providing employees with devices by 2016, which is evidence that employees are depending on and prefer their own devices for work, inside and outside of the office.

For example, an average of 65 percent of employees named smartphones as their most relied-upon devices, according to an Egnyte infographic on SocialMediaToday.com. As a result, personally owned smartphones and tablets merging into the workplace and being used for business-related tasks is a seemingly natural integration, full of bottom-line benefits.

A BYOD environment that embraces personal mobile devices and small business cloud storage, also known as cloud computing, brings along productivity and cost savings gains. Company data is securely stored in the cloud where employees can easily and securely access and share information from any type of device. With cloud-based services and the BYOD companion, small businesses and startups don’t have to compromise company data while working remotely.

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Cathy Earle