These days, if you’re shopping online, you’re probably also doing other things — which means chances are strong that you’re also shopping on your mobile device. Yet surprisingly, many businesses today often don’t consider differentiating their marketing strategy across devices. But mobile marketing isn’t just about delivering the same message on a smaller screen. People have different needs and intent when shopping on mobile devices than they do on desktops. And businesses that create specialized mobile marketing strategies that cater to these distinct differences can stay ahead of the competition can uncover new areas of profitability and lift ROI to new levels.
Here are seven key tips to follow if you want to cultivate and sustain a strong mobile marketing strategy:
1. Prioritize Mobile Web Design
When creating a website, designers have to consider how it might appear and function on desktop computers, tablets, and especially mobile devices, which in recent years have become more important than any other device. Consider these statistics:
- Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones
- 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site
There are two ways businesses can address this issue: (1) Create a separate mobile website, or (2) use a responsive design — one that adapts your website to fit onto different screen sizes. And most businesses prefer responsive design method to investing in a separate mobile website. That said, not all responsive designs are created equal. Your website elements may shrink to a smaller size on mobile devices, but they’re far from fully optimized for those screens.
In light of the notable shift to mobile web browsing, most businesses thus need to start prioritizing mobile web design over desktop appearance as part of a comprehensive mobile marking strategy. If you’re relying on responsive design, that means, among other things, you need to ensure that your site elements look good — and not cramped — on small screens.
Your web designer can also use HTML frameworks to hide extra sections of your page on mobile devices to give it a simpler look. As long as you prioritize mobile site experience over other devices, you’re on the right track.
2. Improve Site Speed
Slow site speed has long been a problem for mobile websites, but if you want your site pages to rank well in search results and drive conversions, improving mobile site speed is a must.
According to Think with Google, the average time it takes for a page to fully load on mobile is 15.3 seconds, which takes a huge toll on marketing performance, especially conversions. In fact, a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact mobile conversions by up to 20%.
To combat this issue, Google has made several algorithm updates that include mobile site speed as a major factor in pagerank. Among other things, Google offers free tool called Page Speed Insights that you can use to evaluate your website’s load time on mobile and desktop devices. It also offers suggestions on how to improve your page speed.
What many marketers and web designers don’t realize is that there are a variety of factors that can slow down your site on mobile — using extra plugins, large images that are hard to render, or other fancy design elements all can negatively impact your user experience and increase your page load time. So order to minimize impact, be sure to test how these elements affect site speed whenever you add new elements to your web pages.
3. Create Content with Mobile in Mind
Prioritizing mobile in your web design is just the first step in mobile marketing — additionally you must also consider it with each site page, landing page, blog post, or lead magnet you create. The search intent and content needs of individuals vary based on the devices they’re using. People searching from mobile devices aren’t looking to read an ultimate guide or a 3,000-word article. They want quick, easy-to-consume answers to their questions.
Subsequently, this need has to be prioritized with the content you create. Among other things, you should summarize the most important points at the beginning of a long blog post. And use descriptive subheadings and bullet points to make your content scannable. Regardless of what device your audience is using, it’s best to be concise with your content — get to the point using the fewest possible number of words possible.
The same thing goes with any mobile marketing sales funnels you create — the shorter the better. For example, while a multi-field lead form might work on desktop devices, people don’t want to type out a lot of information on their phone. Instead, try to minimize form fields or even create one-click signup where possible.
4. Incorporate Messaging into Your Mobile Marketing Strategy
SMS messaging is an often overlooked marketing strategy. And since it’s an underutilized channel, it’s a huge opportunity for mobile marketing to reach its audience. Compare SMS to email, for example — email open rates hover around 20%, while SMS open rates average 90%.
And SMS isn’t the only way to target audiences — there are a variety of popular messaging apps that businesses can also leverage. The growth of conversational chatbots on Facebook Messenger, Kik, and other messaging apps is a popular example.It’s also easy to create a branded chatbot to field customer service inquiries and help people shop, among other things. Ebay, for instance, has a chatbot that serves as a personal shopping assistant for users:
Chatbots are also a great tool for collecting important information about your audience that can later be used for mobile marketing. When you create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, for example, you receive the contact information of every user who interacts with the bot, which can be used to remarket to them using Facebook ads.
5. Target Using Data Insights
Smartphones provide a wealth of contextualized consumer data that marketers were previously unable to access. Now however, those executing mobile marketing campaigns can and should take full advantage of the insights provided by this data to create more relevant, timely, and personalized messages for their audience.
The type of device a consumer is using can help you garner a wealth of information about your audience. You can also use geolocation data to create ads or marketing collateral specific to certain regions, states or cities. Brick-and-mortar stores have the highest potential to use mobile data to attract in-store visits. For example, they can create targeted advertisements to appear in Google local search results or even Google Maps, promoting products or special promotions that relate to a user’s search query.
Here’s an example of a Promoted Pin Google Maps Ad that attracts in-store customers with a discount on products they’re looking for:
How people use their smartphones to search for information can indicate a lot about their needs and purchase intent. Use as much of this data as possible to create a more relevant mobile marketing message.
6. Take Advantage of Mobile Advertising
Google Ads, social media platforms, and other advertising networks are constantly coming out with new ad-types designed for mobile devices. Instead of creating generalized ads for any device type, start creating ads that prioritize audience targeting on mobile.
Here are some of the many mobile advertising options available today:
YouTube Video Ad
Watching YouTube videos is one of the most common mobile device pastimes, so creating YouTube ads that target your demographic audience to gain visibility puts your campaign efforts a few steps ahead. YouTube also offers TrueView ads where you can advertise products in your own video and Shopping ads so you can display products on other relevant videos. These ads will either disrupt a video or appear as an overlay while people view.
Full screen mobile ads
Full screen mobile ads are popups that cover mobile device screens, created by using Google Ads or another third-party advertising network. Full screen mobile ads are better at grabbing audience attention than banner ads on small screens. As a result, they also have better engagement rates. Just make sure your full screen ads don’t come off as annoying by disrupting people in the middle of a task.
Mobile app ads
Creating ads to appear within apps is a great way to target mobile audiences, as they’re designed to blend in with the native app content while not disrupting user experience. Target your audience demographics and online behavior carefully to ensure your ads appear in the most relevant apps available.
Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram just recently rolled out Story Ads so your message can appear alongside the Stories users watch from their friends. And they work — according to Instagram, ⅓ of the most viewed stories on the platform are from brands.
Businesses can use story ads to broaden their reach, build brand awareness, and attract traffic back to their website — just the latest example of the many mobile ad types businesses can use to target audiences through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat.
7. Consider App Development
Lots of businesses don’t bother creating mobile apps because they seem like a big and labor-intensive investment in development and app maintenance — and for what benefit?
However, the benefits can greatly outweigh the costs. Here’s a few ways a mobile app can help your mobile marketing strategy:
Build your brand and improve visibility
Consider the fact that people spend 89% of their mobile media time on apps, and only 11% on websites. Having an app is a strategic way to reach your audience and build an identity around your brand.
Improve customer engagement
Having a mobile app is a great way to interact with your audience. Businesses use apps all the time to provide services, help users shop, and recommend products. Mobile apps can help you communicate with and help your audience in ways that a regular website can’t.
Improve customer retention
Once you get someone to download your mobile app, it’s much easier to retain them as a recurring customer. Having your business app just a click away on their phone keeps you on the front of their minds. You can also promote special offers through push notifications, attracting users back to your app to make repeat purchases.
Stand out from the competition
Developing an app today is easier than ever, and most businesses still don’t bother to do it, which gives you a leg up against the competition. Create an app that’s actually useful for your audience, and it will help you stand out from your competitors who don’t have one.
The Bottom Line
Safe to say, smartphones and other mobile devices are becoming integral to the online shopping experience. And thanks to responsive web design and social apps like Facebook and Instagram, it’s possible for any business to reach their target audience on mobile devices.
For digital marketers, the ability to expand marketing campaigns and endeavors to the mobile world opens up new and lucrative audiences and markets. But it also gives you more things to consider — and more strategies to execute. But taking the time to prioritize mobile marketing, could help you better and more accurately reach audiences, while opening up new possibilities in terms of ROI and profitability. And that’s an investment well worth making.