One of the biggest trends in digital marketing in 2017 has been the increasing emphasis on mobile advertising. A Pew Research Center survey showed that nearly four in five Americans owned a smartphone in 2016, a major increase from 2011, when about a third of Americans had a smartphone. With each passing month, smartphones are becoming more central to everyday shopping. Individuals use their phones to search for products, make recommendations, purchase items online, and check reviews.
Between 2015 and 2016, Google searches on mobile devices related to shopping more than doubled. A vast majority of shoppers have admitted to looking up reviews or comparisons on their phones before making an in-store purchase. Many marketers have been slow to adjust their campaigns to reflect this shift toward mobile. You should take the following points into consideration when optimizing a campaign for mobile devices, including:
Video should be a campaign cornerstone.
Research shows that individuals spend about 90 percent of their time with their smartphones using apps. Some of the leading apps include popular social media networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. All of these platforms provide consumers with an incredible amount of video content each day. Video is growing in popularity exponentially on these networks. In order to engage consumers, marketers need to rely on video more than they have in the past.
Marketers do not need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Hollywood-quality video. Through video editing apps, you can create engaging videos directly on your mobile device. Slideshow videos have become trendy on both Twitter and Facebook. While spending money is not important, providing interesting content that people actually want to see is. Engaging videos can send people to a brand’s website, generate new leads, and even start a conversation that helps you reach many potential new customers.
Optimize websites for mobile devices.
More companies than ever before are creating websites that are mobile responsive, which means that they will load on a smartphone. Today, however, this step does not go far enough. A responsive website simply loads the same website to a mobile device while scaling it to fit the mobile screen, but that does not guarantee that it will provide a pleasant experience for users.
Marketers need to focus on being mobile friendly. Beyond loading on a smartphone, the webpage should be optimized for mobile viewing. A great webpage considers the mobile experience and ensures that loading does not take too long. Mobile users typically pull from their data networks rather than wireless Internet. Data networks are slower, and website designers need to account for that fact. A website that takes more than a few seconds to load on a mobile device will likely lose customers due to inefficiency.
The Google Developer Tools are a great place to begin thinking about how to optimize websites for mobile users. The page speed test helps you to find out how much time it will take for the page to load under various conditions. Google also offers AMP, which helps website owners to create mobile versions of their pages quickly. Even marketing teams that have already created mobile websites can benefit from AMP, which strips unnecessary features that can create bottlenecks when loading a page from data networks.
Mobile strategies can include SMS marketing.
Some brands are capitalizing on mobile culture by marketing through SMS messages. The strategy works well when marketers focus on targeted and customized messages for consumers. Before sending text messages, teams should become familiar with SMS Marketing and Data Protection Laws, which outline various rules about sending SMS messages. Importantly, consumers need to opt in to receive messages from a given brand. In addition, brands need to provide clear instructions for opting out of a message whenever a consumer wants to do so. Marketers should remember that generic texts will quickly become annoying, but personalized ones will build brand loyalty.
Create content that works well on a small screen.
Since more consumers than ever are accessing content through their devices rather than on a desktop, marketers need to think about how words and pictures will appear on a small screen. In terms of writing, large blocks of text should be separated with headers, subheads, and bullet points. Online readers tend to scan content and read quickly, so breaking up the text makes it more digestible. Furthermore, shorter paragraphs appear more accessible on a mobile device screen. Something that looks like a digestible chunk on a computer screen can seem overwhelming and inaccessible from a smartphone.
Visuals can also help to break up content and make it more appealing to smartphone users. However, marketers need to ensure that images are optimized for mobile viewing. Images do not display the same way on desktops as they do on mobile devices. Typically, images appear much smaller on a smartphone screen. Any picture with text overlaid on top should be easily readable when it is loaded. While people can technically zoom in on a mobile device, they most likely won’t, and doing so becomes unnecessary with a little bit of care.