Heading into 2019, we don’t need to tell you that your online marketing has to have a mobile-first priority. Chances are very good that you’re reading this on a smartphone, where over 60% of website visits now come from. On average, Americans spend over 5 hours per day on a mobile device, and approximately 70% of online shopping is now done on mobile devices.
Because we’re on our phones constantly, marketing campaigns targeted to mobile viewers just make sense. So what are the best practices for the coming year? Let’s take a look.
The instant-info environment we live in means attention spans have shrunk to miniscule versions of their formal selves. For your mobile marketing, this means you need to start with customer-centric campaigns and callouts that are much less about features/benefits and much more about showcasing how what you offer fits within the values of a person’s lifestyle.
- The Medium: People often use their phones throughout the day in short bursts–during breaks, while preparing meals, while watching TV. So your mobile content must be succinct, and it helps immensely to be very visual. Your audience needs to be able to scan your content and “get” what you’re about and what you’re offering in seconds.
- The Message: Sorry to say, there’s not a lot of time for nuance in mobile marketing. So pinpoint some big ideas that are easy for users to wrap their heads around. What makes you the best (“Top Rated Practice in St. Louis on Yelp”)? What are some big, impressive numbers you can throw out (“Over 3,000 Breast Augmentations Performed”)? What out-of-this-world reviews have you gotten (“Dr. Smith Changed My Life!”)? These are the kinds of differentiators that need to be front and center in any mobile storytelling.
Mobile-Friendly Calls to Action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are your requests for your audience to do something. Stuff like “come in for a consultation” or “book a treatment today and save 20%.” Like the differentiators you put together, the CTAs peppered into your content need to be extremely brief and super persuasive. And the action required needs to be minimal.
Don’t ask your mobile audience to fill out a multi-part form. Heck, if your form has more than 3 fields, hack it down. There’s just no tolerance for contact methods that require effort. Give live chat options. Give text messaging options. Always keep an eye on how you can make it effortless for mobile users to dive deeper in your sales funnel.
Optimized Mobile Site Experience
We’ve already talked at length over the years about why you need a responsive website. That’s old news. The action item here is about doing testing to see what mobile layouts are converting the best for you, and constantly trying out new styles to keep nudging those conversion rates higher.
The two big variables are (1) engaging, interactive layouts on one side and (2) site load times on the other. You can get a very boring, text-heavy website to load very quickly, but it’ll be a lousy mobile experience. On the flipside, your site could be extremely interactive and fun to use on mobile, but it takes forever to load. You have to strike a balance for the best mobile engagement.
Make sure that any photos or videos on your site have a file size that’s small enough to load quickly on any device, but still display with good visual quality. Placement of images and text is also important – the page needs to be scannable, with plenty of white space and visual elements where users are expecting them. Hubspot has some other good tips for mobile design of landing pages in particular.
Email and Texting Opportunities
Think about how you use your smartphone. Lots of email and texting, right? You’re not alone. More and more people are up for subscribing to text alerts from businesses they love so that they can get info and promotions quickly. You can add a text messaging signup right on your site’s contact forms, and you should get in the habit of sending regular text blasts so people on your list know they can expect to hear from you.
Though email has been around for a long time, it’s remained a pretty adaptable online marketing tool. In the context of mobile, you should be testing all email newsletters and other customer communication in a variety of devices to make sure it is displaying correctly. And the same principles for tight, relevant page content that contains engaging multimedia hold true for email messaging as well.
So far we’ve been talking a lot about your mobile website, but billions of collective hours are spent interacting on social media via mobile devices. While there aren’t many technical things you need to consider for your mobile social presence, since each platform has already dialed that in, you should still be aware of a few best practices for engaging mobile social users as part of your social media marketing plan. In fact, we’d encourage you to think of your social audience as mobile only.
- No text on graphics: We’ve all been there, trying to make out a tiny font on a small image on our phones. Don’t be the one forcing your audience to squint. As an added bonus, keeping text off images is best practice for the visually impaired, who rely on image text descriptions.
- Short, silent videos: The popularity of auto-play video may have been overhyped a bit, but there’s still no doubt it’s an eye-catching medium, and most social platforms are still pushing it. Put the most important messaging right up front, keep the story tight, and if you need to convey anything in audio, make sure to turn on captions too.
- Leverage social apps: There are a number of social apps that can help you manage or improve your mobile social presence. Hootsuite and Buffer are a couple of the big players, but even lesser-known apps like Linktree can help you give mobile users more options to interact with you and give you improved tracking.