The notion of creating a marketing strategy solely for mobile is a slightly contentious one. Many argue (like this fantastic article from Moz) the point that, actually, we should no longer be distinguishing between devices. These days, we all want to target users who are on the go, and using more than one device – therefore, every strategy going forward should be a mobile one.
Or, more accurately, one built with a range of devices in mind, reflecting the modern customer journey. Gone are the days where a shopping experience began and ended on a laptop, so it no longer makes any sense for marketing teams to work in isolated siloes.
But for the time being, value definitely still remains in optimising your strategy for mobile, particularly if you’re new to the digital marketing space and want to make sure your existing tactics are still viable for mobile users. So let’s start with the most obvious question.
Well, last year mobile usage overtook that on desktop when it came to browsing, booking and purchasing online. Mobiles and other devices such as tablets are here to stay, and ignoring them completely will only lead to frustration from your customers, not to mention a decrease in revenue for you.
Let’s take a look at what, according to Search Engine Watch (via Online Publishers Association/Frank N. Magid Associates), consumers are doing on mobile devices:
Now think back to your current digital marketing strategy. Are you meeting this demand for mobile-friendly content? Are you making it easy for your customers to interact with you on their mobiles? If not, it’s time to figure out why. And fast. Here’s just a few things you might consider along the way.
The extent to which – and how – you’ll need to adapt your overall marketing strategy for mobile will depend entirely on the percentage of your audience regularly using mobile to access and use your website and/or content. Not just the general figures, as we have explored above, but your specific audience.
Decipher this percentage, as well as exactly which device they use (is it mobile or tablet?), what activities they’re doing (are they buying or just perusing?) and how much time they spend on your site (what is the average bounce rate – are they finding what they’re looking for?) and use these results to adjust your strategy. For example, if your product has a fairly high price point and you find that not many mobile users are converting, work on improving the checkout process or making it more secure. You might choose to switch tactics entirely and treat mobile as more of a lead generation tool. Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture are just two tools which can help you obtain these invaluable insights.
We’ve discussed responsive web design at length on this blog before, so you may well already be familiar with what it means, but just in case, check out our previous post: Are You Designing Responsively?
In 2015, having a responsive website is no longer something which is going to make you stand out from the crowd. In fact, failing to design responsively will make you the odd one out, and for all the wrong reasons. Designing your site with mobile in mind ensures your busy, on the go customers can have just as pleasant and easy experience on your site as a desktop user: resulting in less bounce, and more conversion.
A lot of companies tack mobile on to the end of their website design, like an afterthought. However, for a truly successful responsive website, it is important to design “from mobile up” – with every design decision you make, look at it from a mobile user’s point of view. This should take traditional and clunky design devices such as carousels, hovers and slow loading pages out of your website design repertoire.
So, you’ve got a responsive website and a fairly clear idea of how your customers are behaving on mobile. What next? Well, you need to start marketing.
Most consumers now have their mobile device within reach 24/7, which presents you with an incredible, always-on marketing opportunity. According to The Guardian, “one of the greatest opportunities for marketers today lies in managing personalisation for mobile devices”.
You may already be personalising your website and advertising, so how does marketing on mobile differ from desktop? Well for starters, you’re working with a more limited amount of space. When it comes to content, deliver a truncated version with only the most relevant information, and keep targeted ads short and to the point. Streamlining your marketing efforts means your customer is less likely to lose interest quickly.
Secondly, when surfing on their mobile your customer is likely to be on the go; whether they’re commuting or just trying to find a destination. This opens up a number of opportunities for geo-targeting – the delivery of a specific ad based on a browser’s location. Take Starbucks’ lead: they showed ads offering discounted coffees whenever a mobile user passed a branch. Which, considering the ubiquity of Starbucks chains, proved very successful indeed.
In essence, the key to making mobile an integral part of your marketing plan is to embrace the changes it demands, rather than feeling limited by them. Understanding browsing habits, designing responsively and personalising ads based on location are just three ways to ensure you make the most of the “always –on” phenomenon.