» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 2

 

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

In part 1 ofThe Mobile Revolution is Upon Us,” we focused on smartphone’s rapid growth, and how mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. In part 2, we will examine how to mobilize your business!

Get Started with Mobile

Now that you know the impact that mobile will have on your business today and in the future, are you ready to mobilize your website?

Good news! Despite what you may think, mobilizing a website does not have to be expensive or time consuming. Our goal at WeddingWire is for local business’ to stay on top of the latest technology, and we aim to ensure your business will run as efficiently as possible across every type of mobile device. Recently, WeddingWire launched a new Go Mobile tool, allowing businesses to create a custom mobile site in seconds!

Go Mobile Features:

  • Creates a mobilized version of your site with all your business information
  • Automatically identifies traffic coming from mobile devices
  • Fully customizable pictures and styling
  • One tap to contact, call or map your business
  • Optimized across iPhone, Android and other mobile devices and tablets
  • Automatic synchronization of your business information
  • Separate tablet version also customizable and automatically synced

As you can see, mobile is the future! Clients are viewing your website, conducting local searches, and planning their special day on-the-go.  Add “going mobile” to your business’ to do list this year, or let WeddingWire help you Go Mobile in just a few minutes. Either way, it is important to make sure your business considers a mobile friendly website and marketing strategy soon!

The last five years have been the social revolution.  We like to say that the next five years will be the mobile revolution!

» The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us: Part 1

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

By 2014, more people will access the web from mobile devices than from all desktops and laptops combined. Consumers are turning to mobile devices for everything from searching for businesses and reviews, to processing payments and contacting vendors directly. Now is the time to mobilize all aspects of your business, from your website to your emails.  You have to make sure to create a great mobile experience for potential clients when they are on-the-go!

How often have you been out of arms reach of your phone in the past day? Likely, not at all!  Mobile devices are unique as they constantly tether us to technology. To effectively run your business, you must be “online” all hours of the day to respond to inbound requests about your services, manage current clients, and stay in touch with employees and other vendors. With constant access to Internet, consumers are searching for local services on their mobile devices in increasing numbers, yet shockingly, only 1% of small businesses have optimized their websites for mobile viewingIt is time to mobilize all aspects of your business, but let’s first examine how quickly mobile is growing.

Smartphone Growth

Impact on the Web and Search

Mobile is becoming the top search driver for many small businesses. However, over 61% of small businesses don’t have a mobile search strategy and are therefore missing out on consumers trying to find them via a mobile device. Don’t let your business fall behind!

Check back soon for the second part of the series, focusing on how to get started with mobilizing your business website, and WeddingWire’s Go Mobile feature!

» Fuse Online and Offline Marketing Techniques

In order to make the most of your business’ marketing reach, it can be helpful to fuse traditional marketing techniques with some of today’s online tools. With the exponential growth of websites being accessed through mobile and tablet devices, it is more important than ever before to manage your online accounts and usability. Now is a great time to incorporate more unique marketing techniques to make your business stand out!

See the examples below of fusing online and offline marketing techniques to improve your business’ visibility, and read more about the topic on Hubspot.

Create a Call-To-Action

Give your client a reason to interact with your business with a compelling call-to-action. A great tool to connect from print or an in-person interaction at industry events to your web presence is the use of QR (Quick Response) codes. QR codes give mobile users instant access to your business and client reviews.

QR Codes

Clients and the public can learn more about your business through QR codes. Easily scan QR codes by using a downloaded QR code Reader App for your mobile phone, and taking a screenshot of the QR code image. It will then lead directly to the website or information linked to the QR code.

WeddingWire creates a free, personalized QR code for all vendors, located on the My Dashboard and My Reviews section of your WeddingWire account.  This personalized QR Code lets potential customers instantly learn more about your business and read your reviews by visiting a mobile version of your WeddingWire Storefront using their mobile phone.

Display this QR code on your website or blog so customers can use their phones to quickly access your Storefront and read your reviews!  To access your QR code:

  • Log In to your WeddingWire account
  • Locate your personalized QR code on the My Dashboard or My Reviews section of your WeddingWire account
  • Right click on your personalized bar code and save the image to your computer
  • Place the image in the desired location of your blog or website

Additionally, you can print your personalized QR code poster to display at your business and special events for an easily scan-able display piece!

Continue reading

» Top 5 Free Online Tools to Help Run Your Business

At WeddingWire, we are always looking for new and effective tools to help companies run as smoothly as possible. From finances to surveys, see below for some of our favorite free tools to help you stay organized, engaged with your audience and on top of your business!

Mint.com

Mint.com is a great online tool for financial management. You can sync your expenses, bank accounts, credit cards, loans and more to keep track of your spending, funds and budgets. Mint automatically categorizes your transactions and keeps you updated on how you are spending, as well as providing assistance to set your budget and savings goals.

Evernote

Evernote is a virtual notepad service that enables you to save, organize and share notes, images and ideas for future use. You can keep your notes in organized categories,  and they can be shared  with others. You quickly and easily can access Evernote from your computer, internet browser, and mobile application from your smartphone or tablet.

HootSuite

HootSuite is a tool designed to help you manage your social networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Simultaneously, you can track your followers, mentions and personal accounts all in one place, in real time. Multiple team members can manage the social media accounts, without having to share passwords and login information. You can also tweet and post directly from HootSuite, so no need to go back and forth between your accounts or miss any important mentions! HootSuite conveniently allows you to schedule outgoing messages, so you don’t always have to be online to be posting relevant information and connecting with your audience.

Prezi

Prezi is a dynamic web-based powerpoint presentation tool designed to create a more engaging presentation experience. Self described as “a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides,” this tool is perfect for a creative presentation. You are able to add in multimedia features to highlight your business or show video from a recent event which adds color and personality to your presentation. Prezi is an “idea” based blank canvas, so you are not limited to traditional slides. The tool compiles all your ideas, which enables you to organize and control the direction of the slideshow.

SurveyMonkey

Looking for quick feedback on a recent event or interested in conducting business research from your clients? SurveyMonkey is an easy to use tool that enables you to create quick, customized surveys online that you can distribute and track results in real time. SurveyMonkey also provides convenient tools to help you analyze your results such as charts and filters.

 

Have you used any of these tools for your business? Are there any other free online tools that you would suggest? We would love to hear from you!

» What’s Next in Tech

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘What’s Next in Tech’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • What’s the next social media
  • How mobile is changing the way we do business
  • 20 technology trends that will shape the world
  • How to stay on top of these trends
  • What you need to do today to be ready for tomorrow

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. In January, Sonny will discuss the Top Marketing Resolutions for 2012.

» Go Mobile: How To Mobilize Your Business Today

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Go Mobile: How to Mobilize Your Business Today’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • The importance of mobile and why your website is no longer good enough
  • Why you need to mobilize your business this year
  • The easiest way to create your own mobile site

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. In Novemeber, Sonny will discuss Top 10 Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation.

To learn more about how to ‘Go Mobile’ today, check out our new Mobile tool  that creates a mobile version of your website for you!

» Recap: NAWP Connect

On Sunday, September 25, 2011, the annual conference of the National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP) kicked off aboard the Naples Princess yacht! Despite the rain, guests mixed and mingled, excited for the following days of educational sessions!

On Monday, all attendees gained valuable insight, tips and tools from industry leaders. Among them was Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, who presented “You-Twit-Face: Wedding Marketing in a Digital World.” Wedding Pros listened to Sonny discuss the latest online trends, the emergence of new technologies and what to expect next. They also took the pledge to go mobile!

Check out a few pictures from the event below or click here to read more.

» Mobilize Your Business Today

Did you know by 2014, more people will access the internet from mobile devices than from desktops and laptops combined? That’s just around the corner! The importance of mobile is increasing daily and that’s why WeddingWire has made it easy for you to mobilize your website – for free!

Our new tool creates a mobile version of your website for you. All you need to do is copy the unique HTML code provided and paste it on your website. That’s it! The code automatically optimizes your website for mobile devices to create a sleek version of your website to reach brides on-the-go.

Stay at the Forefront of Technology
Simply copy and paste the code onto your website and impress your mobile visitors. Your new mobile site will be automatically optimized across all types of mobile devices and the latest technology.

One Touch to Contact Your Business
We’ve made it easy for your mobile visitors to contact you! Potential customers viewing your mobile website are one touch away from calling, getting directions, or contacting your business.

Perfectly Tailored for Your Business
Your main image, reviews, portfolio, and about us section are taken directly from your WeddingWire Storefront, which means your mobile site will always be up to date with the latest information.

Visit the Mobile tab of your account to go mobile today!

To learn more, visit the Mobile section of our Pro Education Guide, available here.

» The Future of Mobile

We’ve been talking about where mobile is going in the next few years, soon you will use your phone to pay for your coffee, unlock your doors, and do basically everything else you can imagine! When it comes down to it, the opportunities really are endless.

Can’t imagine such a world? Check out this video from Google to see what we mean.

As we get ready for this mobile world, it is important for you to consider the impact this will have on your business and your clients. Think about a mobile payment option like Square, to allow brides to pay on-site.

» New WeddingWire Features

WeddingWire is committed to developing new ways to promote your business online and innovative features to keep you at the forefront of technology. The WeddingWire Team has been hard at work creating some of the coolest features to help you reach today’s wired bride.These features are automatically enabled upon signing in to your WeddingWire account.
New Features for All Accounts
Mobile Tool Mobilize Your Website
WeddingWire has made it easy for you to mobilize your website! With our new Mobile feature, you have access to personalized html code that, once placed on your website, will automatically optimize your website for mobile devices. Mobilizing your site makes it easy for brides to find you and contact you on-the-go! Find this feature on the new Mobile tab.This feature is available for all WeddingWire members.
We have also simplified the navigation of your WeddingWire account, providing you with easier access to these key features. Here is a preview of the new navigation:New Navigation
Additional New Features Available
ProMotion Builder ProMotion Builder
Upgraded members can easily create a commercial for their business with the new ProMotion Builder! They can simply choose up to 25 images from their Portfolio, pick a song from our wide selection, add in facts about their business and click create! Within minutes they will have a professional commercial that they can easily share on their Storefront and via social media!This feature is available for upgraded WeddingWire members.
Social Media Checklist Social Media Checklist
The new Social tab of your WeddingWire account allows easy access to a Social Media Checklist. Upgraded members can link their Facebook and Twitter accounts and with one click using the icons provided, they can easily share news about their business, from reviews to awards and more. Learn how to start sharing today!This feature is available for upgraded WeddingWire members.

Take advantage of our great new features today by signing in to your WeddingWire account. As always, feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding your account or to learn more about our additional features available.

Have you tried out our new features? Let us know your feedback in the comments!

» Go Mobile with WeddingWire

As mobile internet use rises more and more brides will access information on-the-go, even when planning their wedding. It is important for your business to have mobile representation so you don’t miss out on these wired brides who are searching for their vendors from their iPhone or even iPad.

Why is mobile so important to your business?

  • Mobile traffic is growing at unprecedented rates
  • Mobile internet users will outnumber desktop users in 2014
  • Smartphone shipments will outnumber PC shipments in 2012

How does WeddingWire mobilize your busineses?

  • m.weddingwire.com is the first fully mobilized wedding site
  • Custom WeddingWire apps for iPhone, Android, and iPad

» It’s Time for Your Business to Go Mobile

Whether from an inbound email or searching for information while on the go, it’s time to make sure your business is mobile ready. According to Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley,  mobile users will outnumber desktop users within the next 5 years. It’s evident mobile use has already caught on and will only continue to grow in the coming years. Some major trends include location based services, e-commerce platforms  and mobile entertainment.

So how do you build a mobile version of your website or blog? You may want to get a professional involved if you aren’t familiar with the process. A good place to get started is watching past webinar given by WeddingWire’s CMO, Sonny Ganguly, called Time to Mobilize. Sonny discusses why it’s important for your business to go mobile and 10 tips to keep in mind, such as:

1. Set up a subdomain. WeddingWire uses m.weddingwire.com for our mobile site. For more information click here to read the press release.

2. Eliminate Flash. If you have any type of flash on your website, strip it down to the bare bones for your mobile version. Flash and other graphics can be difficult for mobile devices to read.

3. Keep it Consistent. Though you will be creating a different site, it should relate to your main website with the same overall look and feel.

Good news! Your business’ WeddingWire Storefront is already featured off the WeddingWire mobile site as well as from our Android and iPhone applications.