The Smartphone – a pocket-sized communications and computing powerhouse – has become the go-to sidekick of the modern consumer. Indeed, in May 2012, Google reported that 44% of the US population owned a Smartphone; 62% of such individuals used their devices every day to place calls, navigate the Internet and download or utilize Mobile apps. Given this recent surge in Smartphone penetration, as well as its continued trend upward, businesses—ranging from packaged goods retailers to car dealerships—require a Mobile presence beyond that of a desperate cry reminiscent of Carly Rae Jepsen’s claim-to-fame phrase: “Call me maybe.”
Although businesses have many Mobile marketing opportunities at their disposal, a relatively simple and inexpensive approach plays to the propensity of consumers to search for products/services via their Smartphone, an activity completed by 96% of device owners. Dubbed “Click-To-Call” advertising, this Mobile messaging method combines the known effectiveness of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) with the one feature common to all phones: the ability to place a phone call.
Click-To-Call ads work much like the text ads seen on Google, Bing and other search engines. However, they differ in that they also include a “clickable” phone number beneath the regular ad copy, or, depending on the mobile platform, an actual call button. Once a user clicks on the displayed number or button, he/she automatically places a call without having to dial a single number. Once connected, the caller can then proceed to request the information—business hours, product specifications, inventory levels, etc.—he/she desires, while the sales representative on the other line can lay the foundation for transforming a new prospect into a loyal customer.
The power of Click-To-Call advertising lies in its ability to pair a consumer looking for a product or service in a specific area (as determined by a Smartphone’s GPS location) with a local business that specializes in that product/service. For example, if an individual living in Des Moines, Iowa would like to buy a new Toyota in the near future, he/she may opt to search for the term “toyota dealer des moines” on his/her Smartphone. Thereafter, he/she would see the ad depicted on the left (created by yours truly); a highly relevant and click-friendly message given the aforementioned keyword.
Because of such interconnectedness between the searcher’s intent, the Smartphone used to conduct the search, and the Click-To-Call ad, our friend the Des Moines Toyota dealer earns a shot at attaining/converting a new lead via phone.
Actually, as of this writing (12/13), Mr. Des Moines Toyota dealer has had more than one chance at converting prospects through Click-To-Call advertising, he has had 33; in just 13 days. Moreover, such calls came at a relatively low cost of roughly $15 per day; $4.60 per call.
If the inexpensive nature of Click-To-Call advertising fails to tickle your fancy, consider these key benefits, a few of which mentioned above:
- Click-To-Call advertising takes advantage of both Mobile Marketing and SEM at a time when Smartphone penetration has, and will continue to, exhibit exponential growth.
- Click-To-Call advertising matches searcher intent with a relevant business’ marketing messaging; on a media platform made for phone calls (and more).
- Click-To-Call advertising allows prospects to easily connect with businesses in their local area, without the need for discovering, dialing, and remembering an actual phone number.
- Click-To-Call advertising, through geographic targeting, provides an opportunity to reach consumers looking for products within a specific locality.
- Click-To-Call advertising supplies a measurable ROI through analysis of ad spend, calls, and ultimate conversions generated via Mobile Search ads.
So, if the Smartphone and all of its marketing glory—apps, videos, social media, banner ads, etc.—has prompted you to feel frightened of entering the Mobile arena, consider including Click-To-Call ads with your SEM initiative (if you don’t have an SEM initiative, you need to talk to us ASAP!). From there, simply ensure that your stellar sales squad is set to handle the ensuing influx of phone calls; to begin racking up conversions and adding more to your company’s bottom line. With Click-To-Call ads and a strong team dedicated to customer service, you can drone out your competition’s whimper of “Call me maybe” with a resounding roar of “Call ME! I have exactly what you’re searching for; when and where you need it."
Andrew Synder is an SEM Account Manager at TargetClick – Powered by Mudd Advertising. Contact him at email@example.com to learn more about click-to-call advertising and other paid search methods.