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Going Mobile With Your Listeners

More than 40 years ago, Pete Townshend touted the benefits of Going Mobile on The Whos classic Whos Next album a concept remarkably prescient for our industry (although Im touting it for listener engagement and revenue opportunities, while Townshend was, I believe, talking about ways to elude tax collectors).

A few weeks back, I talked about going mobile strictly from a revenue-generation point-of-view (Measurable Mobile Makes Money). Today, Id like to take a different tack and talk a bit about taking your content to your listeners cell phones and smartphones through the mobile Web. According to some just-released research Hipcricket conducted this fall, the mobile Web is gaining significant tractionin fact, our survey  found that 70 percent of smartphone users access it at least once a week, second only among mobile media to text messaging/SMS.

So lets talk a bit about taking your broadcast content to the mobile Web. The benefits are clear:
- Increased interaction and brand awareness through another content channel whether its a live stream of your audio or special, Web-only audio or video programming;
- The ability to provide special viewer-driven content (Best of segments, mobile-only programming);
- And yes, the ability to monetize this through special display ads. 
Its not as easy as pointing listeners to your Web site from their mobile device. That said, the creation of mobile Web sites can be done rather easily with a trusted partner. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Stay true to your brand. The primary function of your mobile site is to promote your station in a way that is consistent with your overall marketing plan. This means that everything from logos, graphics, colors and fonts should be consistent with your traditional website to best promote your brand and enhance customer engagement.

- Keep it simple. When creating the site it is important to keep in mind that no mobile phone is created equal. New technologies are available to ensure that your mobile site renders correctly across all mobile devices but still, simplicity is key. Using flash, videos and sound, while great tools for the traditional Web, do not work for mobile.

- Keep the content current. Finally, keep the site content current and relevant. A static site will inevitably become a mobile ghost town overnight. However, one that is constantly updated with new and interesting content and offers will encourage customers to return again and again to see whats new. 

Gather information. Whether your customer is a first time visitor or a return loyalist, make sure you are taking the time to gather information about each of them. Additionally, go the extra mile to make sure your platform is capable of enabling opt-ins for mobile coupons or text message alerts, as both of these can help to tie together your overall mobile marketing campaign and ultimately make it a long-term success. Your listeners are ready to take you with them when they go mobileand the mobile Web is an excellent way to reach the greatest number with the best content.

Ivan Braiker is President of Hipcricket+Augme Technologies, Inc. He can be reached at

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