It’s been quite some time since “Mobilegeddon,” when Google and other search engines forced businesses to take mobile users into account in a meaningful way. Given the very real consequences to your business, you’re undoubtedly already mobile-friendly as a result.
It may surprise you to discover that mobile-friendly marketing is no longer enough. Now your business needs to be mobile-centric.
The terms may not seem all that different at first glance, but that’s where the similarities end. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at why an approach that’s mobile-centric is vital to effective business marketing and how you can begin to position your business with mobile consumers in mind.
Friendly Versus Centric
When it comes down to it, the difference between being mobile-friendly and being mobile-centric is that one is an SEO tactic and the other is a fundamental approach to operating online and strategizing digital marketing.
Your business website needs to be mobile-friendly. Google has defined certain criteria that must be met in order to maintain satisfactory rankings in mobile searches, and it’s something that can easily be tested on a page by page basis.
On the other hand, a mobile-centric approach to marketing will encompass much more than whether or not you have a responsive layout and thumb-friendly design; it extends to how you handle customers that have a mobile-heavy path to purchase or even a mobile-only sales cycle.
Why Mobile-Centric Is Front and Center
In the modern market, you need to fight for customer attention across various touchpoints in a fragmented path to purchase. Google calls these “micro-moments,” and it all stems from how multiple devices in general and mobile devices, in particular, have caused consumer behavior to evolve.
You see, mobile phone consumption has increased 90% between 2013 and 2015, and even tablet consumption has grown by 64%. More than that, however, is how smartphone owners are using those devices. Namely, mobile makes up 51% of the time consumers spend with digital media.
Where this can be seen most clearly is search. As of 2015, more searches were happening on mobile devices than on computers, and 40% of people will actually turn only to their smartphone to conduct a search that meets immediate needs on an average day. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, attention to mobile is even more vital because of its power for local search: “near me” Google searches from a mobile device have grown 146% year over year to represent 88% of all searches of this type. In fact, 82% of smartphone users are going to turn to their device to help them make purchase decisions while they’re in store, offering hefty influence in that moment.
Quite simply, consumers have made mobile devices central to how they research, search, and shop. That means your business needs to have a mobile-centric strategy, otherwise, the odds are very high that you won’t be there and your competitors will. (Remember, mobile already represented nearly half of all digital ad spend, and that’s expected to reach more than 70%, or roughly $66 billion, by 2019.)
You need to be mobile across all digital touchpoints within your marketing funnel. For instance, when the customer is at the awareness stage, you need mobile content to position your brand with the answers to their questions. Develop mobile ads and take such options as geofencing into account in order to serve those ads at the right moment.
More than half of branded emails (54%) will be opened on a mobile device, so the email creative should be designed to display correctly on a mobile phone screen. Digital marketing must be developed with a mobile-first mindset.
Tips for Implementation
- Stay on top of your data. Do your best to discover and track the way your audience and customers uses their mobile devices. Are you meeting their mobile needs?
- Consider Google’s mobile-friendly design instruction and consider how that might be reflected in your creative. Images should fit easily on phone screens and text should be easy to read. Make sure it’s designed to load and capture attention more quickly. This is especially true for email marketing strategies.
- Not every social media app is right for every business, but it’s time to take a good look at some of the mobile-only social apps and determine whether you can leverage any to your benefit. For example, Instagram is incredibly popular, and thanks to Facebook’s targeting techniques, it can help you increase reach to a qualified audience in a powerful way.
- Video is valuable because it’s often a preferred format for content. While it should be featured on your site, social media apps are also a good way to host video content and ensure that it reaches the right audience. Use videos for how-to videos, Q&A sessions, and even behind-the-scenes type moments to humanize your brand.
- Don’t be afraid of streaming live video. Live video steps up user engagement to proper interaction and it can be a great way to capture leads in addition to consumer attention.
- Take a look at how much it’s going to cost for your business to implement store beacons and if they aren’t feasible now, keep tabs on the technology. This can be a great tool for reaching customers with personalized information and offers at the point of their purchase decisions.
- Remember that mobile pay isn’t just about a customer being able to pay with their mobile device in-store. If they’re making a purchase online through their smartphone or in your mobile app, they want the experience to move as smoothly as possible. Businesses that can accept Apple or Android Pay, or similar mobile payments such as Chase Masterpass or PayPal, instill confidence and build trust while ensuring a frictionless checkout process.
At the end of the day, becoming mobile-centric is vital to your marketing and every way that you engage with customers digitally. You can no longer afford to “wait and see” because you aren’t going to be where your customers are now. A mobile-centric strategy will keep your business at their fingertips and help keep you top of mind, too.
Move to Mobile-Centric Marketing Today!
- Review your current digital strategy. Are you giving mobile the weight it deserves?
- Start by ensuring everything about your digital marketing is mobile-friendly. Hopefully, you’ve done this already, since it’s the baseline for being able to realistically operate today.
- Review our tips. Are there any you haven’t already done? Are they netting the results you expect?
- Make a plan to transition your business to a mobile-centric strategy and implement as many of the above tips as possible.
Need help going mobile-centric with your small business marketing? Let Valpak help! Contact your local Valpak marketing coach for information.