[Note: Article originally posted on BestWebFirms]
According to Pew Research Center, the vast majority of Americans — 95% — now own a cellphone of some kind. Mobile devices are the go-to option when consumers surf the web and make spending choices, and therefore must be considered when formulating a marketing strategy. First, let’s start with the basics: what exactly is mobile marketing?
“Mobile marketing is a term that encompasses any promotional activity that takes place on smartphones and other handheld devices including tablets and other cell/mobile phones. The aim of mobile marketing is to reach an audience of mobile users through various methods such as mobile-optimized ads, push notifications and mobile applications.” –Adjust
Now that we’ve got the definition down, let’s delve into the steps that every company should take to lead the way into the mobile future.
1) Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Typically, mobile users will stay on a landing page for just a short time before deciding if a website can meet their needs (or not!). How a site loads, text readability, what it looks like, and the overall user experience factor in to the mobile-friendliness of a website.
A great first step in determining how your site measures up is to utilize Google’s mobile-friendly test. Just enter your URL and see how your site scores and how Google Search sees your pages. This is incredibly important, as Google search includes mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal to determine search results.
Google suggests that your top priority should be to make it easy for your customers to access the information that they need by helping your site’s visitors complete their objectives. “They may want to be entertained by your blog posts, get your restaurant’s address, or check reviews on your products. Walgreens GVP and Chief Technology Officer of eCommerce, Abhi Dhar, explains, “Our goal with everything we do on mobile is to make our customers’ lives easier.”
How fast your site loads is also incredibly important. Unfortunately, people tend to be more impatient with page loading times when using mobile devices. If your site is taking too long to load, your potential customer could have decided to move on to another source.
Last, consider the look of your mobile website. Is the text large enough to read without magnification? Is the site clean, organized, simple, and easy to understand? Fight the urge to cram as much information as possible into your design and keep the viewer’s needs in mind when designing and auditing your mobile site.
2) Make mobile payments available
People prefer convenient transactions, and most businesses have either a product or a service to offer consumers. Therefore, accepting mobile payments is a must for business of all types. Options such as Google Wallet and PayPal make it easy for consumers by not having to take out a credit card from their wallet nor enter any codes.
Not all customers, however, trust the idea of mobile purchasing. In fact, a recent study confirmed that concerns about the security of mobile banking and mobile payment technologies are frequently cited as reasons why consumers choose not to adopt these technologies. Because of this fact, using a secure payment processor on your mobile site is key.
3) Incorporate mobile-only social apps into your marketing strategy
Marketers absolutely have to get on board with the rise in popularity of mobile-only social apps. Having a social presence on apps like Snapchat and Instagram isn’t just a good idea — it’s necessary.
Snapchat, which started out a few years ago as a relatively obscure mobile network, now has approximately 158 million daily users. On average, those 158 million open the app 18 times per day and spend 25 to 30 minutes in the app every day. Snapchat’s lure to marketers is that consumers are likely to pay more attention to content that is ephemeral.
Instagram, with a total number of active monthly users of over 700 million, is the other social platform that can’t be ignored. According to Hootsuite, 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. Additionally, a past study by Forrester Research found that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than Twitter users.
Popular mobile apps come and go, but regardless of the ‘app du jour’, brands must make sure that they are where their audiences are. Incorporate mobile-only social apps into your marketing strategy and always try to avoid relying on any one platform for audience interaction.
4) Offer mobile deals and coupons
A recent study revealed that coupons are incredibly popular among both affluent buyers and millennials (not to mention every other demographic) and that 96% of Americans plan to use their mobile device to find better retail bargains.
Clipping out coupons may be a thing of the past, but digital deals are not. The redemption rate of mobile coupons is ten times higher than that of coupons clipped from print media, and the load-to-card mobile and digital coupon format have quintupled over the past two years.
Consider the revenue-boosting opportunities of SMS coupons, geo-targeting, and loyalty programs that, with a mobile engagement platform, can be offered, tracked, and monetized.
5) Design mobile-friendly emails
It’s true: more email is read on a mobile device than when using desktop email clients. In fact, in 2017, it is estimated that 2.282 million people will access email via their mobile device. Creating and sending promotional emails that are mobile-friendly will add value to your mobile marketing campaigns.
The point of a well-executed email is that it is not only opened and read, but that the reader experience is just as strong as if it were opened on a laptop or desktop.
Some ways to do that include:
• Reduce the size of file images (smaller images reduce load times and bandwidth)
• Make use of touchable call-to-action buttons (but also include the CTA as text)
• Compose short subject lines
• Write concise copy
• Don’t stack links. Instead, separate links with other text, images, or whitespace
• Test your email across multiple devices and email clients before it is sent