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. Businesses that create specialized mobile marketing strategies that cater to these distinct differences can stay ahead of the competition, 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:
When creating a website, designers must consider how it appears and functions on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Consider these statistics:
There are two ways businesses can address this issue:
Most businesses prefer the responsive design method to investing in a separate mobile website. That said, not all responsive designs are created equal. While your website elements may shrink to fit mobile devices, they’re far from optimized for those screens.
In light of the notable shift to mobile web browsing, most businesses need to prioritize mobile web design over desktop appearance as part of a comprehensive mobile marking strategy. If you rely 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 developer 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.
Slow websites have long been a problem for mobile users. 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. This can take 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 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 evaluates website 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 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. To minimize impact, be sure to test how these elements affect site speed whenever you add new elements to your web pages.
Prioritizing mobile in your web design is just the first step in mobile marketing: 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, and this need has to be prioritized with the content you create. A few easy tips: 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 the device your audience is using, it’s best to be concise with your content. Get to the point using the fewest words possible.
The same thing goes with any mobile marketing sales funnels you create: the shorter, the better. While a multi-field lead form might work on desktop devices, people don’t want to type out a lot of information on their phones. Instead, try to minimize form fields or even create one-click signup where possible.
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%.
In addition, there are a variety of popular messaging apps that businesses can leverage, such as Facebook Messenger and Kik. It’s easy to create a branded chatbot for these messaging apps that can 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 you can later use for mobile marketing. With a Facebook Messenger chatbot, for example, you receive the contact information of every user who interacts with the bot, and you can leverage this information to remarket to them using Facebook ads.
Smartphones provide a wealth of contextualized consumer data. Mobile marketing campaigns should take full advantage of the insights this data provides 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 can even 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 related 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 experience.
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 ads
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 watch.
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. Banner ads on small screens are less effective than full screen mobile ads when it comes to grabbing audience attention. Full screen mobile ads 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 that 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, one-third 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. It's just the latest example of the many mobile ad types businesses can use to target audiences through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat.
Lots of businesses don’t bother creating mobile apps because they seem like a big, labor-intensive investment in development and app maintenance. However, the benefits can greatly outweigh the costs.
Here are a few ways a mobile app can help your mobile marketing strategy:
Build your brand and improve visibility
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 can use apps to provide services, help users shop, and recommend products. Mobile apps can help you communicate with 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 mind. 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, but many businesses still don’t bother to do it. Creating an app that’s actually useful for your audience will help you stand out from competitors who don’t have one.
Smartphones and other mobile devices have become 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 its 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.
By taking the time to prioritize mobile marketing, you can 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.