By Alec Sears

In 2016, mobile surpassed desktop as the preferred method for browsing the web—up to 60% preferred using mobile devices, while around 40% chose desktops. So what does that mean for you as a small-business owner and marketer? Mobile is the way your customers prefer to consume content these days, so your marketing should follow them wherever—and however—they are online.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into mobile marketing for the first time or you are optimizing your mobile marketing strategy, the following five tips can help you master this popular medium.

Make Everything About Mobile

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, doesn’t have a mobile-accessible checkout, or loads slowly, it can’t reach as many customers as effectively. But don’t fret! You can fix your website by adopting a responsive design. This kind of design means your website automatically adjusts across laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, and every other mobile device. That way, you can ensure your customers receive your message easily, quickly, and perfectly no matter which platform they’re using to engage with your company, services, and products.

One study found that 86% of streamed ads are viewed to completion on smartphones, so smartphone-friendly content is more likely to be fully consumed than content on a desktop.

Accomplish this simple mobile optimization by using a website template. Also, optimize all images so they load more quickly. If users have to wait even two seconds for an image to load, they’ll be more likely to leave your website.

Text Your Customers

Mobile marketing is extremely cost effective—especially when that marketing is done through texting. About 97% of smartphone users text, and those messages are opened around 98% of the time. Compare that to email marketing’s open rate of around 20%. When you text your customers instead of emailing them, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and there’s a higher chance that they’ll read your text within a few minutes.

Also known as Short Message Service (SMS) marketing, text message marketing is a hugely beneficial tactic to implement for your small business’s overall mobile strategy. But how can you text your customers successfully? Keep each message around 160 characters long and use every word, character, and emoji wisely. Give the customer the payoff immediately, include your site’s link, and keep the message short and sweet.

Use Deals and Coupons

Everyone loves a deal—especially when it comes through a mobile device via text. In fact, about 96% of Americans use coupons, and over 80% say they prefer digital offers to physical ones. As mentioned above, the open rate of text messages is almost 100%, so it makes sense to start sending your promotions through SMS.

Create an SMS coupon campaign with different deals and wording to attract more customers. Track your conversions and response rates to optimize for the best performing promotion, and keep that deal going for as long as you like to keep your customers coming back to you. This cost-effective means of advertising can help your sales tremendously.

Make an App

One study found that consumers spend an average of 87 hours a month surfing the web on their smartphones. Additionally, of all the time spent on mobile phones, 85% is spent in apps. To further enhance your marketing strategy, consider making an app for your customers. On average, apps can cost between $50,000 and $1 million to create, so make sure your app is relevant and valuable to the user, well designed, and easy to use so it’s absolutely worth the cost to you.

When making an app, also consider creating push notifications. When done right, these notifications can help you up conversion rates. In fact, it’s been found that push notifications motivate users to open an app fifteen times per month, compared to five times monthly without a reminder.

Get Social

Social media is a big part of mobile marketing. It’s also a huge part of people’s lives. One study predicts that people will spend roughly five years of their lives on social media platforms—use this time to your advantage. Create social accounts for mobile-only apps like Instagram and desktop- and mobile-based apps like Pinterest and Facebook.

How do you do mobile social media right? Create content that’s engaging, fun, relevant, and purposeful for your customer. Also ensure it’s made for mobile devices—it should load quickly, fit the specs perfectly, and be seen easily. The more you diversify your accounts across multiple social media channels, the better. Customers are always changing their preferences and where their attentions lie, and using multiple social platforms helps your company stay visible to your audience.

Mobile marketing is part of the here and now—it’s what customers want and what small businesses need to deliver and make sales. While this advice is just the tip of the mobile marketing iceberg, it’ll get you prepared and thinking in the right direction as far as your mobile marketing strategy goes.

Alec Sears graduated from Brigham Young University in public relations and business management. He is a digital marketing expert who has written for publications such as Venture Beat, KSL Tech, Lucidpress, and, among others. He currently lives in the Silicon Slopes of Utah with his wife.