By 2013, more people will be using mobile phones than personal computers to get online (Gartner, 2010). In ComScore’s view, “Smartphones and tablets are poised to disrupt the digital ecosystem even further in 2012 as adoption rates continue to climb and the availability of optimized content increases.” That makes sense if you consider that more than 100 million U.S. mobile subscribers now use smartphones (ComScore 2012).
For B2B marketers, this information has some important implications. Consider that a high percentage of the “first view” of your content will be consumed on a mobile device. If you are marketing by email to purchase decision makers, the proportion of people who will open your email communications on a mobile device could be as high as 50% (Marketing Sherpa 2011). Not only are they consuming content, but they are also actively sharing content with their peers over multiple social media channels as implied by the double-digit growth seen for Twitter and LinkedIn. (ComScore 2011 MobiLens)
Mobile use is no longer a novelty or the exception!
More than 70% of users expect a mobile site to load as fast as a desktop site. They:
- Get antsy if it takes longer than three seconds
- Will only try one or two times to load a site if it doesn’t load initially
- Have “cursed” at their phones when a site doesn’t work
With huge numbers come high expectations. Are you feeling the pressure? Here are some tips that can help:
1. Understand the size, value and behavior of your mobile audience.
Consider using a series of simple qualitative and quantitative methods to determine the size (proportion) and influence of your mobile audience. Development and execution of a mobile strategy requires resources, so having this understanding is important to help determine the appropriate level of investment.
It is also very important to gain some insight into the behavior of your mobile audience. A 2011 eROI survey found that mobile email was more likely read in the earlier in the morning or in the late afternoon and evening. Knowing where and when your mobile audience is receptive and what channels they are using will shape your mobile strategy. Provide options and means for your audience to express their preferences for communication.
2. Use the new K.I.S.S principle: Keep It Significant & Sharable.
If you’re already doing a great job at content marketing, then this will come as no surprise. Given the highly integrated nature of mobile and social, you should consider leveraging social media monitoring tools to gain an understanding of trending topics and conversations that are timely for your audience, and then respond quickly with relevant content that can be easily distributed and shared. Email service provider GetResponse reports that social sharing boosts email marketing engagement 115%. (GetResponse, 2012)
3. Design for the mobile experience.
There is something intrinsically rewarding about interacting with something that is well designed. Reward your mobile audience by designing an experience that is something more than simply being able to view your website on their mobile screen. A great starting point is to intelligently Leverage Responsive Design techniques for your websites. If your insights and analytics hint that the audience and context are primarily mobile, such as mobile commerce (m-commerce) consider taking advantage of mobile specific features by detecting your visitor’s mobile device and incorporating server-side components to provide a more app-like experience. Keep it quick and simple to navigate by prioritizing content, summarizing text to bullet points and compressing images for faster loading. Clear navigation and search functionality for complex sites will quickly take your visitors to the information they need. And remember to be “thumb friendly” so that even people with large hands can easily tap buttons, links and fill in forms. Provide well-annotated links to rich media content that may be located in other places in the ecosystem so that users have a choice to limit their use of 3G cellular data.
4. Is there an app for that?
Your organization may generate high value content or data that is best organized and presented in a mobile application rather than a website. Branded mobile apps offer a rich opportunity to provide your sales teams, prospects and customers with an elegant and engaging way to view product information or videos and to perform ROI calculations and cost comparisons. And with billions of downloads, app stores are another prominent location to display your brand.
5. Leverage the ecosystem and boost your SEO.
Your website is no longer a destination in itself. Rather, it’s one point of connection in a very dynamic digital ecosystem. There’s a staggering number of new tools for marketers to publish and share content. Sites such as YouTube and SlideShare are rated highest by B2B marketers for their effectiveness at helping distribute content to a broad audience as well as providing a mobile-optimized experience. Many mobile users would prefer to watch a quick product demonstration video or entertaining presentation rather than read bullet points about features and benefits.
6. Listen, measure and adjust.
Social media monitoring tools can provide valuable insights into trends and sentiment around topics that interest your audience. By leveraging these tools when creating and distributing your content marketing through mobile channels, you can evaluate its impact and reach outside your owned digital assets. Traditional analytic tools can be highly effective for gaining an understanding of visitor behavior from your email marketing, mobile website and apps. Setting up multi-channel funnel reporting will provide an even deeper understanding of the interaction and combined impact each of your digital ecosystem touch points. By assigning real dollar amount goal values engagement and conversion points, you’ll be able to measure your return on the investment you’ve made. Be prepared to review these analytics and adjust your content and channels on a regular basis to optimize results.
What moves are you making in mobile and social media? Join the conversation.