Once upon a time, phones had a very narrow role — you used them to make a call, period. Today, however, that original definition is only a sliver of what we actually do on our phones. Introducing – mobile marketing.
We now live in a mobile world where our phones are a gateway into the digital universe, connecting us with people, news, shopping and so much more. And while we primarily think of phones when we think mobile, we can’t forget about devices like tablets and smartwatches either.
Implications of the Mobile World
The rise of mobile devices, particularly smartphones, has had a tremendous impact on how we live and work. Everyone now walks around with at least one handheld computer on them (if not two or three), and that means that we’re all connected at at all times.
In this mobile world, anyone can reach us at anytime or anyplace, we can make a purchase or pay a bill with the click of a button, we can share what we’re doing with the world in seconds and we can (and do) consume massive amounts of content throughout it all.
These capabilities have not only impacted our work and personal lives, but they’ve also impacted our jobs as marketers — even in the B2B world. People are increasingly using their mobile devices for business (and the line between work and home is blurring as a result), and that means you must adapt your marketing tactics accordingly.
How to Approach Mobile Marketing Successfully
At this point you might be wondering, is mobile marketing really all that different? Yes and no. On the one hand, your messaging and overall goals and strategies can remain the same. But on the other hand, mobile presents some unique challenges and opportunities for which you need to account in the steps you take along the way.
With that in mind, we recommend the following best practices to help frame how you think about and approach mobile marketing:
- Prioritize responsive design: While you don’t necessarily need to change what it is you actually share with prospects in marketing communications, you do need to make sure that the design of that content changes based on how they view it. To do so, you need to make sure your website and blog follow responsive design principles. Simply put, responsive design means that the layout of the site will adjust slightly based on the screen size. This type of design ensures a consistent and quality experience across all device types and sizes and saves visitors from the hassle of having to toggle between “desktop” and “mobile” versions of your site.
- Make your emails mobile-friendly: Along the same lines as prioritizing responsive design for your website, you also need to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. This point is especially important given that 54% of email is now opened on a mobile device (compared to 16% on a desktop). To optimize email for mobile, you can create a mobile-friendly, single-column template or use a responsive design email template.
- Think about small screen content: Beyond making your website and email designs friendly for smaller screens, you also want to develop your content with mobile in mind. This approach can include everything from what will come across best on a mobile device (think bite size content over white papers) to what will keep people’s attention (in a desktop world, someone might be interacting with your content while eating lunch at their desk, but in a mobile world you’re likely competing with distractions while they’re on line at Starbucks or sitting on the train during a long commute).
- Use videos to your advantage: If video seems like it’s taken over the internet, that’s because it has. Video is expected to account for 74% of all internet traffic in 2017, and 50% of those video views happen on mobile (this number is expected to hit 64% in 2018). And the B2B marketing world is not immune from this mobile video traffic. According to Vidyard, 72% of B2B buyers and researchers now use video to help make purchasing decisions. This combination of high video consumption on mobile and high demand for video among B2B buyers makes video an absolute must-have in your mobile marketing toolbelt.
- Consider SEO implications: Google rolled out a “mobile-first version” of its search index this year, and that change comes with SEO implications. Whereas Google previously prioritized the needs of desktop users in its rankings for search results, it has started to prioritize mobile friendliness instead. While this change doesn’t drastically affect SEO principles (at least right now), it does make things like website development more important. For instance, having a website that uses responsive design is a positive for this new rollout while having separate mobile and desktop sites that have different content can be a negative.
- Get personal: When it comes to mobile marketing, personalization is everything. In the mobile world, you’re literally in someone’s pocket (or on their wrist) and you go with them everywhere, which puts the onus on you to make your marketing messages and content as relevant and value-add for each individual’s needs as possible. The bottoms line is, in mobile marketing, “intrusions” are not welcome — your engagements must feel natural. Fortunately, the nature of mobile allows you to get specific around factors like location and timing, which, along with solid audience segmentation, can make a big difference when it comes to getting personalization right.
Is Your Marketing Mobile-Ready?
There’s no escaping the need for mobile marketing. At a time when 77% of American adults own a smartphone and 50% own a tablet, it’s a safe bet that your target audience spends a good portion of their time on mobile devices. As a result, you need to start thinking about how you can create engaging marketing content that provides a top notch experience on mobile and start putting those ideas into action.