As mobile phone penetration continues to surge, the years-old hype about the mobile Web being the next big thing is no doubt coming true. But despite all of the industry gurus, conference keynotes and trade magazine articles imploring you to get your business ready for the mobile space, it's not always easy to know where to begin. Sure, you could hire a team of top-notch mobile developers, but not every business owner has that luxury, especially with the economy still in limbo.
Here are a few tools to get started:
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Your company's website may be getting you noticed on the desktop, but what happens when people try to access it from their phones? Probably a lot of pinching, scrolling and squinting.
There are a few ways to get your existing site ready for mobile display with minimal coding and development required.
One such tool is a hosted solution called Mofuse, which offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface from which to manage mobile content, design and ads. Plug in an RSS feed URL to pull content in from your company blog (or any source), or simply publish static pages with the most pertinent info. When it's ready, Mofuse provides several flavors of code snippets for redirecting mobile users from your full-size desktop site to the more mobile-friendly version.
Another option is Mobify, a freemium service that takes your existing website and strips it down to only the essentials you want your mobile users to see. The result is a clean, highly usable design that displays for the users who visit your site from their phones.
Although they have different pricing plans and feature sets, both Mofuse and Mobify come with custom domains, analytics, ad server integration and e-commerce options.
Get Started With QR Codes
QR (quick response) codes are popping up more and more in commercial and marketing contexts. These square barcode-esque patterns can be printed on any page or real-world surface to enable users with a QR-equipped mobile phone to scan it and then be be redirected to any URL. These could be used in print advertisements to send users to your mobile site for more information or for special promotional offers.Although not yet as common in the U.S. as they are in Japan,
While the jury is still out on if and when QR codes will see widespread adoption in the West, it's easy to get started using one of the many QR code generators that are out there, including Kaywa QR Code, Delivr and QR Stuff to name a few.
Keep it Social
This may seem like a no-brainer and the last thing the world needs is somebody else espousing the magic of the social Web, but we would be remiss to discuss going mobile without touching on the most obvious and simple way of getting your brand onto people's phones. Let's face it: people access sites like Facebook and Twitter from their phones all day long. If your company has a social media strategy, then it already has the beginnings of a mobile strategy.