3 Ways to Use your Smartphone as a Marketing ToolJamie Frayer
As an entrepreneur, you have a million things on your mind at all times, and marketing doesn’t always top your list of priorities. That’s okay. The good news is that keeping your marketing efforts afloat can happen while you’re on the go, on your mobile device. Here are three ways to leverage your smartphone as a mobile marketing assistant:
1. News flash: Instagram is open for business – your business
These days, many businesses run exclusively online, using social media as the main way to discover and connect with customers. Due to its focus on imagery, fantastic targeting abilities and the recent launch of its marketplace tool, Instagram is rapidly becoming the most important platform for e-commerce.
If you advertise on Instagram, that’s great, but you also need a well-developed organic presence, so that customers who click on your ad and go to your page can get a good sense of who you are and what you offer. Great news – Instagram is created and optimized for mobile use, so you can establish and maintain your presence entirely from your phone.
Post consistently. Posting every week, on the same day, is a good start. Stick to your cadence (people like routines!) until you feel you can post more frequently – and consistently. Twice a week is plenty.
Get verified. This will help you appear more legitimate to your prospective customers. You can apply right from your phone:
- Go to your account settings, scroll down and tap Request Verification
- Attach a photo of your personal ID or a business document like a tax filing or articles of incorporation with your request
The blue check mark is a great way to validate your business profile, but don’t worry if your application isn’t accepted immediately. You can reapply in 30 days. And there are other ways that you can (and should) build credibility, such as linking your Instagram bio to your company website, ross-promoting your Instagram page on your other social media accounts, and adding your Instagram handle to your email signature. This will connect your Instagram presence to all of your other online activities.
2. Take and edit perfect professional photos (without hiring a professional photographer)
Although Instagram and other social media are growing in importance to your business, you don’t need to hire professionals to manage your social media. To get started, all you need are some smart picture-taking tips and a good visual design app, such as PicMonkey.
Avoid using your smart phone’s flash at all costs! It will decrease the quality of your photo exponentially. Instead, try to take advantage of what your environment offers. For example, place your subject next to a wall that has light reflecting off of it, and you’ll get that “professional lighting” on your people or objects.
If you don’t have good environmental lighting, you can also try manually adjusting it the same way you would adjust your focus. If you’re using an iPhone, here’s what to do:
- Frame your photo then tap on the part of the image that you want to adjust for lighting
- Tap an object within the photo frame, and a yellow box will appear with a sun icon on the edge; the phone’s camera will automatically brighten that object
- If you’re not satisfied with the results, you can tap the yellow square, then the sun icon, then swipe your finger up or down to adjust the light as you prefer.
- The manual adjustment doesn’t last long, so take your picture quickly once you adjust the light setting.
Last but not least, if you cannot manage adequate environmental lighting in the moment, you can edit the light exposure after you take the picture, by using a photo editing app.
Most photo editing tools have a “sharpen” feature. Use this feature at the end of your editing process (after you have adjusted your photo settings and/or applied filters). Apply the sharpen feature only when your image is at 100% zoom, so that you get an accurate sense of what your design tool is doing.
Select (or create) a signature filter or range of filters that are true to your brand. Having a consistent look and feel across your images and collateral is one of the easiest ways to appear polished. With a photo editing tool such as PicMonkey, it’s really easy to create your own unique look, and then apply it to all of your visuals.
3. Use your smartphone as an omnipresent idea-tracker
Have you ever had a brilliant idea or seen something fabulous, then it leaves your mind almost as quickly as it appeared? What if you could capture all of those fleeting ideas the moment they occurred?
Fortunately, your phone is likely constantly nearby. Marketing inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, so start a dedicated note in your phone with quotes, ideas – anything that sparks in your mind. You can easily add to it by typing, using a voice assistant or the dictation tool. If you think in sketches, be sure to take a picture of your napkin drawing or idea, so you can work on it when you’re back in the office.
The smartphone helps you run your business, even when you’re on the go. But with these simple steps, it can also help you market your business on the go.
Frits Habermann is the CEO of PicMonkey, and previously held the titles of CPO and CTO, as well. Frits cemented his tech and design legacy when he co-created Adobe InDesign, and served as an executive leader for well-known startup ventures like PopCap Games and Lynda.com. He holds degrees in both applied mathematics and computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and University of Washington. Frits speaks Dutch, French and German, is an avid traveler and landscape photographer, and manages a photography business in his off time. Find Frits at Frits Habermann Photography and on LinkedIn.