Many people reading this article will be using a mobile device or tablet to do so. In fact, there are now more than 7.2 billion mobile devices around the world and that number is only continuing to grow. Thirty years ago there weren’t any.
Smartphones play a big part in our lives these days, and alongside calls and texts we now use them for monitoring our health, listening to music, playing games, and of course shopping.
According to recent statistics, mobile media is now significantly higher than desktop, at 51% compared to 42%, and 80% of Internet users own a smartphone. Google’s mobile path to purchase report found that search is the most common starting point for mobile research.
Smartphone and tablet devices now account for 45% of all e-commerce traffic to the UK, and 90% of smartphone shoppers use their phone for pre-purchasing activities, like price comparisons.
The sharp rise in smartphone and tablet use has had a strong effect on many aspects of digital marketing over the last few years. Screens are getting smaller and our attention spans are getting shorter, which means our marketing efforts need to focus on mobile marketing strategies more than ever.
Businesses that don’t have a well-thought-out mobile strategy are missing out on a whole audience of potential customers. There is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to future-proofing your mobile marketing strategy.
Customer Data & Insights
There is no point in developing a mobile marketing strategy based on another brand’s successful mobile efforts if that brand has nothing to do with your industry and does not share a similar audience. Every strategy you put in place should be based on your customers’ wants and needs, and be individual to you.
Before you revise and refresh your mobile strategy, talk to your customers and try seeing your brand from their point of view. You could send out a survey or questionnaire simply asking for feedback on your current mobile strategy and ask what they would like to see in the future.
Observe and measure your customers’ current behaviour, engagement, and purchase paths, and look at how they could be improved. Work out which direction your mobile marketing needs to be going in and focus on that.
Smartphones are effectively just tiny computers, and there aren’t very many things a laptop can do that a smartphone or tablet can’t. Any videos, text, or images that would be incorporated into a content marketing strategy shouldn’t change when it comes to mobile marketing.
Instead, businesses need to keep in mind screen size at all times when considering the content being displayed on their website. If your website looks messy or cluttered and takes too long to load, then chances are the user will get frustrated and leave your site immediately.
Responsive design needs to play a huge part in your mobile marketing strategy – a study from iAquire found that 40% of people will choose another result if yours is not mobile friendly. You want your consumers to have an easy journey on your site, and testing needs to continually take place for any content you create. The more thorough your testing is now, the less likely you are to have any problems in the future.
Your branding and the content you produce needs to easily cross between a range of different online channels. When you create a piece of content, you want it to be easily viewable on your website, on social media channels, and on any size screen.
Your content needs to be fresh and dynamic, and should be easy to navigate from any device and on any channel. The aim is to be as consistent as possible throughout your user’s journey, so they don’t bounce away from your site at any time, and they ultimately end up converting.
Consider how your different online channels link together. Social media channels drive on average 31% of traffic to websites, so you need to make the transition from one to the other as seamless as possible. If your users start on Twitter and click a link through to your website, will they easily find what they are looking for? Will they then be able to seamlessly connect to your app to make a purchase or will they hit a brick wall at each step of the way?
Mobile App Development
Mobile apps are now very popular and business around the world are developing apps as part of their mobile marketing strategy. This could be an e-commerce app, a customer service platform, a loyalty program, or a communication application. Smartphone users spend 89% of their mobile media time using mobile apps, and 42% of all mobile sales come from mobile apps.
Whether you’re developing a native, HTML or hybrid app, it is important that you choose a platform that can be seamlessly integrated into your existing infrastructure. Online marketing is constantly changing, and you need to make sure you can easily change the app inline with specific goals, functional requirements, and business needs should you need or want to in the future.
Many businesses struggle with updates that take weeks to implement, so it’s in the interest of both marketers and developers to think beyond an initial app build, and start designing for fast and consistent updates, in order to keep the mobile experience as fresh and relevant as possible. Hybrid apps are easier to maintain, they have increased visibility through app stores and search engines, are easier to debug, and allow you to change platforms any time you need to.
Measure and Evolve
It’s important to be able to adapt your mobile strategy as online engagement and purchase cycles change. Regularly monitor and measure the effects of your marketing after your mobile strategy has been implemented, and look for any drop-offs or slow load times.
Think about how your mobile marketing can evolve over time – don’t create an app for a single event, create one that can be used again and again for future events and campaigns. The path to purchase is constantly evolving, and consumers expect an easy and consistent digital experience, regardless of whether they are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The best way to future-proof your mobile marketing is to be as flexible as possible and develop your strategy based on customer insights and available tools and technology. Make sure any content you create can evolve over time, is engaging and relevant, and is accessible on a range of different devices and screen sizes.