By Chantal India, on 23 May 2018
There is no excuse: if mobile is not at the very core of your digital marketing strategy, it is time to adapt or die.
Since Google announced that mobile traffic had overtaken desktop traffic back in 2015, these devices have only become more and more an essential part of our day to day lives. The mobile app market has reached maturity, and users are more than ready for mobile marketing. So in order for you to be able to fully understand and incorporate this into your strategy, let’s take a look at what mobile marketing is, which tools it uses and how you can use it to increase conversions.
Mobile marketing is a series of techniques and formats to promote products and services that use mobile devices as their communication tool.
It’s big advantage is that it opens a personal channel between the advertiser and their audience, offering a world of personalization options.
Over the past years, the popularization of smartphones has completely changed the way we access information, and, along with it, our consumption behavior. Thanks to this, a new way of looking at marketing has come about, to the point where many authors even believe that mobile advertising implies a whole change of paradigm, rather than just an update.
Just a few years ago, mobile marketing was considered as a complement to other digital marketing that were targeting desktop users. Nowadays however, this trend has turned itself upside-down, and there is no doubt that mobile is king.
Taking a look at IAB’s data on the importance of Mobile Advertising gives us an idea of the importance of this format:
- The daily average time spent online is of 2 hours and 34 minutes for smartphones and 1h19m for tablets.
- On average, mobile users download 2 apps a month, have 17.8 already installed and regularly use 9.1.
- One in every three mobile users frequently use their device as a “second screen” in combination with television.
- 9 in every 10 smartphone users have used it at some point in a purchasing process (especially those between 16 and 45 years of age).
- 4 in every 10 have used mobile commerce.
- The most common issues people have with mobile purchasing is that they would prefer a bigger screen (61%) or lack of trust (33%).
Why invest in mobile marketing?
The statistics confirm that mobile marketing is, without a doubt, more than capable of giving your brand that extra push it needs:
- Nowadays, users connect more frequently from their smartphones than from their desktops. According to Google, 2015 was the first year in which mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic, and this trend has become so much more than a trend. In the United States, 75.1% of internet users connect from their mobile devices.
- Another mobile marketing advantage is how easy it is to convert. By using smartphones, we can reach out to users in real time, even when they are outside of their homes, when they are most willing to purchase. According to one of Google’s studies, 50% of users who made a local search from their smartphones led to them taking action (like going to a store, for example). As for user who made these searches from a desktop, only 39% were led to take action.
- Most consumers search for holiday events and gift ideas from their smartphones, making mobile marketing a very attractive channel for your holiday campaigns. This is a particularly good option for small and local businesses, as it will interest users to know where they can purchase products or services near them.
- According to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday 2016 study, American consumers plan to spend an average of 935$ during this year’s holiday shopping season, making it one of the best opportunities for your campaigns and marketing efforts.
The most important mobile marketing tools
Let’s take a look a some of the main mobile marketing tools and some recommendations of how to use them in your strategy.
1# Mobile Searches
Search results on mobile devices are different from on desktop, and Google has already announced their intention to make mobile indexing the main one in the near future. In other words, it is essential to have a specific SEO strategy for mobile.
When optimizing you website for mobile devices, I recommend taking the following ideas into account:
- Mobile users do not read as much as users who search from desktop devices, so remember: less is more.
- Patience is also significantly reduced on mobile devices, so be sure your loading times are as short as they can be.
- And, of course, prioritize responsive design and usability. The size of the buttons is also very important.
2# Mobile ads
Traditional banners are met with increasingly more skepticism and disapproval, and smartphones are no exception to the rise of adblockers. For this reason, it is important to use formats that are less intrusive and offer a better user experience, such as interactive ads, animated banners and videos.
3# Mobile apps
Smartphone users have completely and entirely integrated apps into their lives, as we have shown above. A brand app can, as such, be an incredible investment to increase interaction and improve your users’ experience. It is important however to make sure that your app is supported by a thorough and complete app marketing strategy. The design is just a fraction of the work.
Discount coupons are one of those marketing techniques that have been around forever,but, thanks to mobile, they have been completely revolutionized.
Now, these discount coupons follow users around inside their own pockets, which increases conversion possibilities. We also have the option to send personalized offers by using the user’s location and other data, increasing their relevance. And if you really want to modernize your strategy, “disappearing coupons” using apps such as Snapchat are great to instill a sense of urgency.
5# Email marketing
One of the main tasks people use their smartphones for is to check their emails. 72% of Internet users read email monthly. Contact your clients via email through the phone! And if you’re still not convinced, according to Litmus, 12,000 million emails were opening throughout the world in the year 2014 and about half of this figure was opened from a smartphone or tablet.
Thanks to this, email marketing based techniques are more alive than ever. If you do decide to use them, be sure not to forget about responsive templates.
Periodically send a newsletter where you summarize the last posts published on your blog, news about your industry, share internal and external videos that might be of interest for your entire customer database, send promotions or offers and let them know of any changes can affect buyers.
Geolocation is one of the ways in which mobile marketing has completely revolutionized our way of perceiving advertising. We can now offer users promotions and discounts depending on the physical context in which they find themselves.
On the other hand, location-based mobile platforms also offer users the chance to share content based on a certain space or location. The latest exterior digital advertising formats also open many new and exciting doors to encouraging interaction.
Location or geographic location is one of the great opportunities of mobile marketing. The "traditional" Internet (i.e., in desktop) has the characteristic that their access is limited. However, mobile Internet access offers endless possibilities and allows accessibility and user response is much more flexible, dynamic and immediate. People tend to be more interested in what is close to us, and enjoy it. This is the case of some firms that have revolutionized the world of apps as Wallapop or Next Job that, each in its sector shows users the options that are geographically closer and get them to feel more interested.
7# Text and multimedia messages
Text messages (SMS) were the first ever tool to be used in mobile marketing, and yet they still continue to be present and efficient in offering users promotions and information, so don’t forget about them!
10 tips to convert more with your marketing campaigns for mobile devices
- Responsive, responsive, responsive. I have said it before and i will say it again: a responsive design is imperative for your marketing campaigns to succeed. Remember that you not only have to adapt your webpage, but also the rest of your promotional materials.
- Improve your website’s navigation. If you want to increase your conversion rates, your users’ experience on your website is key. In this sense, I would recommend prioritizing navigation. Details as simple as including a smooth and simple to navigate menu and page footer make the difference between a happily purchasing customer or a frustrated user who leaves your site halfway through. Your Call-to-Action buttons and links must also, of course, be totally compatible with mobile devices.
- Create your own app. And when you design it, ask yourself why users should download it… and keep using it 6 months later.
- Don’t forget about desktop. This may seem contradictory after all I have said in this article, but desktop computers still have a place in marketing place. They are still extremely useful for pre-purchase researching and when users want to take a deeper look at content.
- Adapt your content to mobile users’ preferences. When we’re out and about, our needs in terms of searching for content change. We don’t really want to stop and read a 3,000 word article - what we need are quick solutions. And we have much smaller screens. So be clear and concise and use short titles.
- Sign your store up for Google My Business. If you want users to visit your store, you’ll have to show up when they search for you. For that to happen, you need your business to be on the map. It is a very simple process and will immediately improve your traffic from search engines.
- Add a personal touch. In a world full of content, users need to know you are thinking of them. Here are some quick tips to get closer to your audience: identify each client’s specific needs. Use images and videos, tell stories and create characters for your brand.
- Include social media in your strategy. Nowadays, the majority of social interactions are produced from mobile devices. On top of it, exclusively mobile social networks, such as Snapchat and Instagram, are becoming extremely successful among users. So there is no excuse not to include them in your marketing for mobile devices.
- Combine different channels in your campaigns. There is no reason to limit yourself to just one tool - they can be perfectly well combined! The trick is to reach out to each user in their favorite way and offer an integrated, seamless experience, without overwhelming them. When planning your campaigns, think of different mobile ways to connect with your users.
- Follow up on your results in real time. There are an incredible amount of metrics and analysis systems at the tips of your fingers - use them! And if you really want to optimize your campaigns, consider A/B testing.
10 steps to optimize your mobile marketing
1. Create a responsive webpage
The conversion ratio is 160% higher among consumers shopping sites that are optimized for mobile sites than are not optimized for the smartphone. Being responsive is necessary at this time, both to improve the consumer experience and to improve your own search engine rankings. Google penalizes since April 21, 2015 to all companies that have not adapted their websites.
Is your website not adaptable to mobile devices yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Having an entirely responsive website should be the first step in your mobile marketing strategy, guaranteeing your visitors a great user experience from any device. As well as a well adapted design, you should also keep your loading times in check: studies show that users tend to abandon websites that take longer than 4 seconds to load on their smartphones.
There is no excuse: your website has to be prepared to be seen correctly, practically and attractively on screens of all sizes, and the answer to that is being responsive.
Last year, Google announced the launch of the new “mobile-first” indexing, which in time will become even the default. Companies without a mobile website are destined for failure, so be sure not to make that mistake!
Marketers who have not updated their websites will soon begin to feel the negative effects or their mistake, while those who have already taken this step can focus on the next one: improving the user experience.
One thing is clear: the easier you make things for your users, the easier it will be for them to convert into clients. A smooth mobile experience that makes the purchasing process easier is one of the best investments you can make for your brand. Focus on these two ideas to begin your optimization process:
- Focus on improving loading times. Mobile users have much less patience than desktop users, and often use weaker internet connections.
- Offer the options of logging in of signing up using social profiles, rather than forcing them to create a profile from scratch. This makes it much easier for them to continue with their purchasing process rather than giving up halfway.
2. Include an option to pay via mobile
Mobiles have changed the way we shop. 71% of buyers using loyalty programs use the smartphone to compare prices and 88% say they trust the reviews they read online as well as personal recommendations, these data are drawn from the study "Reality of Retail" by InReality's.
For mobile users, the less steps they have to go through, the easier it will be to get them to convert. Which is exactly why big companies are already changing their processes to allow paying by mobile.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have already integrated “Buy Now” buttons that allow users to pay and purchase directly from their timelines, instead of having to be redirected to an external page. Given that the user does not have to go through a long list of steps to confirm their purchase, it significantly cuts down on potential distractions, making it much less likely for them to abandon the process along the way. Logically, all this translates to higher conversion rates.
Mobile purchases are an incredible opportunity to reach out to users at the precise moment when they are ready to buy, with as little distractions as possible. As this tool become more and more popular, in 2017 we will see it become a part of many brands’ mobile marketing plans.
If you want to be sure you are doing right by your mobile marketing strategy, my recommendation is definitely to investigate and read up on payment platforms until you find one that offers security as well as simplicity.
Technology has impacted the stores, especially mobile, as they have changed the purchase path between users. Create an e-commerce is a good option to retain the most frequent users of online shopping and modernize your image.
3. Launch a mobile ad
Mobile SEO is vital if your goal is to increase your brand’s visibility. In 2015, Google confirmed that mobile traffic had overtaken desktop traffic for the first time ever, and this trend has only grown since then. A good mobile marketing strategy can never forget that your users are searching for you on their mobile phones, and you need to be there for them!
In order to improve your mobile SEO, the first thing you have to do is to make sure your website is 100% responsive, guaranteeing your design will seamlessly adapt to any kind of device. This will not only benefit your positioning on Google, but it will also avoid your losing clients due to a poorly functioning website.
Thanks to tools such as Google AdWords, you can create ads than can be viewed only from mobile devices, allowing you to make the absolute most of their “real time” potential. These kinds of ads are particularly useful for local searches and depend heavily on the context.
The next step is to figure out what people most frequently search for on their mobile devices related to your brand. With the help of keyword tools, dig deep into the most searched for keywords on these devices and figure out how you can solve your users’ needs with your content. Creating a fully and entirely optimized campaign can be quite tricky when starting from scratch, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate in getting in touch with an SEM expert who can help get the most out of mobile advertising.
4. Increase the ways to interact with your brand
Users are not all the same, nor are all purchasing experiences. Which is why it is so important to offer users different ways to communicate with your brand. Here are some ideas to start off:
- By clicking on an ad’s image.
- By calling directly from their smartphones.
- By messaging you on social media.
- By seeing offers and placing orders through an app.
- And if you have a physical store, give them all possible ways to find it! Why just give them an address when you can include a map?
Another very important thing to remember of course is that people use a large variety of mobile devices to get online and do their shopping. Make sure your mobile marketing is compatible with different devices and operating systems.
5. Join mobile social networks
Although you must consider all possible distribution channels, the evolution of technology positions the Social Media as a key channel. In fact, 39% of Facebook users come only through mobile, and in the case of Twitter, this percentage rises to over 60%. So this employs creativity and leads consumers to download your application or enter your site through social networks, since it is here where they will find the majority of mobile users.
Networks such as Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope use mobile to its full potential and create unique opportunities. After their incredible success over the last years, they are not only a side note of marketing strategies, but rather a vital piece to the puzzle.
But, as all marketers know, social networks come and social networks go, and although one in particular may seem to be taking over the world today, there is no guarantee that anyone will even remember its name not long after. The trick is not to stick only to the more conservative options, but rather to diversify in order to minimize the risk.
For your social media marketing to work, personalization on each platform is key. Be sure not to publish the same content on all networks at the same time, or you will run the risk of driving away your followers and friends. Instead, bond with them by publishing real time photos or videos, that will get them used to your brand’s day-to-day life, philosophy, experience and personality. If you want to impress your clients and get your mobile marketing to work, diversify, adapt and thrive!
And, of course, do not forget to measure and monitor the results from all your social media channels to discover what content really works, and continuously optimize your brand’s communication.
6. Make the most of marketing via SMS
If you think SMS are a thing of the past, you couldn’t be more wrong! Using SMS to contact your customers is a good idea and also it’s a least-used system than email that allows us to send a short and precise message.
Avenue, a clothing company, has realized two important factors among its female clientele: they love and adore their mobile offerings. For this reason, they have based part of its marketing campaign in sending SMS messages with offers, coupons or to present new trends of the season.
Studies seem to show that smartphone users tend to read promotional SMS more frequently than emails. Mobile Marketing campaign via SMS can be one of the best ways to get quick results, especially if you combine them with discount codes or coupons that redirect users to your website.
7. Make the most of coupons and discounts
Remember when our parents would cut out coupons from newspapers and magazines to take them to the store? Well, mobile marketing can use this same strategy to attract clients… slightly more conveniently and efficiently!
No one goes anywhere without their smartphone nowadays, meaning the risk of forgetting our coupons at home is all but nonexistent. Being a simpler process, the conversion rates are higher. As if that weren’t convincing enough, mobile coupons take advantage of opportunities to attract your clients’ attention, by, for example, combining them with geolocation technology and sending them push notifications to tempt them with offers close to their location at that moment.
To make the most of your discount strategy, you will need to come up with ways to create irresistible offers and adapt them to each situation. Marketing automation can help you manage different profiles to make sure you make the perfect offer at the perfect time. And if you want to create a certain sense of urgency and time pressure to encourage conversion, try combining these coupons with temporary content on social media, such as Snapchat.
8. Mobile App or Mobile Website
Many companies are rushing to create an application simply because their competitors are. According to a recent study by Gallup, 72% of americans take a look at their smartphones at least once and hour. They spend a very large majority of this time (up to 90%) interacting with apps.
However, there is no right answer to this question as it depends on what your goals are and the type of interaction you expect with their audience. A properly optimized mobile site can fulfill all your needs, with the advantage of not needing to be downloaded, access is usually higher (possible from any device) and low cost. However, an app allows you to be more creative, and in general, the degree of conversion and retention is higher because users spend more time on it and interact more. Having a mobile app increases interaction with your brand, offers a clear and easy path directly to leads and client data, and gives you new ways to connect with your audience. Thanks to the astonishing popularity of this tool, designing and developing mobile apps has become easier than ever, making it a great option for even small and medium sized companies.The handicap is that you should consider the costs since an app requires more resources for its development.
If you decide to include a mobile app in your mobile marketing strategy, remember that promoting it properly is essential. Here on our blog you can find a guide to creating your App Marketing Strategy.
9. Plan ahead
Normally, people start planning their Christmas shopping months in advance, even if it’s just by making a list of gift ideas. And if your clients do it, there is no excuse for you not to do it aswell. It may be a bit too last minute for the 2016 holiday season, but it is never too early to start planning your campaigns for next year (even if it’s just putting a reminder in you calendar of when to start planning them). Generally, it is advisable for your Christmas campaigns to be ready by September at the latest.
10. Make the most of trends and events
The holiday season is full of opportunities to launch mobile marketing campaigns, be sure not to miss out on them! For example, you can prepare for Black Friday ahead of time, making it easy and straightforward for users to access your deals and offers on the key day. In this case, Google AdWords Ads for mobile can be extremely useful. You can use this technique for other important days also.
And remember: in terms of mobile marketing, integration is key. When planning out your strategy, think about creating synergy between your different mobile marketing strategies as well as with other channels. For example, if the link in your SMS redirects to a page that is not adapted and ready to be viewed on mobile devices, you will not get any conversions. Strong coordination is essential when implementing your holiday season mobile marketing strategy. Good luck, and Happy Holidays! :)