Mobile has taken over as the preferred way to consume content. In 2014, mobile browsing officially surpassed desktop as the primary gateway to the web. With this in mind, adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly is no longer an option, it’s a requirement.
Look around any public place and you will more than likely see people staring at their smartphones. The biggest advantage of mobile marketing is that it lets businesses get directly in front of their customers’ eyes at virtually any time. Brands everywhere are realizing that mobile is truly the marketing avenue that never sleeps.
Here are five tips to help navigate this landscape successfully.
Keep Your Mobile Site Simple
The first order of business to creating a mobile-friendly marketing strategy is optimizing your website. While a responsive design is important for any format, it is especially crucial for mobile. If done incorrectly, you run this risk of the text or images not fitting on the page and customers not seeing all the information. A shoddy mobile website will almost always prompt viewers to leave and never come back.
Consumers are far less patient on a mobile device than they are on a desktop. In fact, two thirds of smartphone users expect sites to load in four seconds or less. With this in mind, do your best to cut down on unnecessary forms and plugins that bog down your platform.
First, if you’re an online retailer, you need to pay special attention to site loading speed or you can say goodbye to sales. E-commerce platform Shopify has a great function that integrates every element of your website from landing pages to buying options to fit mobile requirements. Further, it allows you to manage multiple storefronts from your mobile too:
Second, if you run a blog, or have a blog on your company website, be sure that gets extra attention in the optimization process. If your content is not properly geared for the mobile user, it isn’t doing you very much good. Since Google has strengthened its mobile-friendliness search ranking factor there is no scope for blogs that require pinching and zooming or load differently than the main website.
Do periodic run-throughs of your entire platform on a laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphone to make sure content is easy to navigate and all the elements seamlessly work to guide users down the conversion funnel.
Make Social Media a Top Priority
Research has found that nearly 80 percent of social media usage is spent on mobile devices. Brands everywhere are working tirelessly to establish a strong presence on outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While these sites are great for any method of content consumption, consider looking into some mobile-only social media platforms as well.
Apps like Instagram and Snapchat have proven to be major forces in the mobile landscape of social media. You will need to do thorough research on how content is consumed on each.
For example, Taco Bell does a phenomenal job on Snapchat with filters and user-generated content to convey their brand’s messaging in the light-hearted nature that is their brand persona.
Keep in mind the fact that you cannot present all your content in the same way if you are using mobile-only outlets in your marketing scheme. If you want to make a video-based platform like Snapchat a big contributor to your strategy, make sure you’re getting the right ROI. You’ll want to look at an analytics tool such as Snaplytics to find meaningful insights on how to appropriately create and target your postings.
Establishing a strong, mobile-optimized social presence will not happen overnight. Remember, it’s an investment for the long-term in a rapidly shifting climate.
Make Checkout Options Easy
The checkout is the end goal of your entire marketing effort. All the time and money you’ve sunk into your business leads to this point. No one likes having to jump through a bunch of hoops to make a purchase, especially on mobile. In addition to being inconvenient, it gives the customer more time to think twice about buying. Any hitch in the process could mean the loss of a conversion.
Everyone is familiar with Amazon’s famous 1-click option. While your checkout doesn’t need to be that simple, there are many things you can do to make it more straightforward.
Start by removing all potential distractions like the navigation bar or unnecessary links. Next, create your forms with only the bare essential fields. For example, if you are selling e-books, there is no reason to get shipping information or anything related to a physical address. The last thing you want to do is waste your customers’ time.
Avoid long, one-page checkout processes as they could be intimidating to the user. Split it up into different pages. You might also consider using a visual progress indicator to let customers know how close to completion they are.
Another thing you can do to speed up the process is offering customers the option to use PayPal or Google Wallet on your website.
A big roadblock in the checkout process can be the need to register on an e-commerce website. This can shy people away because they know as soon as they sign up, they will more than likely get bombarded with email spam. In fact, research indicates that 23 percent of users will abandon their shopping cart if they have to create a new account.
Checkout options should be easy across the board. They should be even easier on mobile.
Add Coupon Codes to the Mix
Online shoppers today love coupons. In fact, a recent study found that 96 percent of Americans plan to use their mobile devices in search of better retail bargains.
There are many benefits to implementing coupon codes into your mobile strategy. For one, they are very easy to deliver. Try incorporating them into your sign-up process. Once a visitor is registered, send out coupon codes via email or text message.
Secondly, you can get great analytics from mobile coupons. If you use a tool like GR2COUPON, you can do everything from coupon creation to viewing in-depth data on how well they perform.
Based on your findings, you can tweak all sorts of elements like the color or copy to pinpoint what your target audience is most receptive to.
Once you find the perfect balance, coupons can do wonders to make you stand out amongst competitors while providing incentives for consumers to make repeat purchases.
Never Stop Testing
The mobile landscape is still changing and consolidating. The name of the game is presenting a customer-centric experience in way that builds trust, and ultimately, brand loyalty. Therefore, you need to always be looking for ways to tweak your approach accordingly.
Some strategies that worked wonders one day, may be completely obsolete the next. With this in mind, you need to be testing and backing up each move you make with data-driven results.
Not all devices are created equal. Each can have very different hardware capabilities and limitations. This includes things like speed, resolution, memory, or physical interface. Testing each and every type of device and browser should be a priority to make sure your content meshes well.
To test a range of devices, Mobile Phone Emulator is a free tool that lets you see what your material looks like on the iPhone, HTC, LG, BlackBerry, and Samsung.
You’ll also want to continually test different browsers. Cross Browser Testing lets you examine how your platform looks and performs on over 130 browsers across 25 different operating systems.
The last thing you want is to release your website or content without it being properly groomed for certain devices. As previously stated, mobile users can be very impatient. Accommodation is expected these days and can play a major role in building relationships between you and your customers.
Mobile marketing is the present, and the future. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get on board and strap in for the long haul. In this day and age, shying away from mobile options can lead to the death of your businesses. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting your brand in front of as many eyes as possible, and, like it or not, most of those eyes are glued to mobile devices.
Featured image: Pixabay
In post Images: Screenshots taken by author February 2017
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!