There are now plenty of stats and surveys which show the growing importance of mobile marketing.
So what is best practice for mobile marketing? Here are seven tips to maximise your mobile campaigns...
1. Simple beats pretty
As marketers, we want to make things pretty. As an example, let's consider email marketing. In email marketing, pretty usually means HTML email, but this practice will fall flat in many situations on mobile devices.
With limits and caps on mobile data plans, many users choose not to download images as a default setting or as a selection in each email. Graphics often can fail to load, leaving the recipient with an incomplete message or a hole in their email message.
Furthermore, graphics at the top of an email push the message out of sight, making it tough for people to get the point of your message, providing they can see your graphic in the first place.
Standards are evolving in mobile email software but not settled yet in any comfortable, normalized way. Consider sending simply styled emails consisting mostly of text to ensure you get your message across.
Remember that something always beats nothing.
In particular, consider simply styled emails for system messages, such as account activations, password-retrieval emails, alerts, or anything else that you need to be sure gets into people’s hands.
2. Be brief
On mobile devices, displays are small and each line is precious real estate. Get your message to your customers as quickly in the email as possible even if it means forgoing fancy header graphics.
The same goes for sentences and paragraphs.
Keep them short, crisp and active.
The job of nearly every sentence in your email is to get the recipient to read the following sentence. Get out of their way with all your words.
Move your customers from sentence to sentence and you’ll have a conversion faster.
3. Mobile is highly local
Mobile users have a higher tendency to be doing searches with a local intent.
Google’s Marissa Mayer was quoted saying that 40% of all mobile searches are local. Microsoft has said that 53% of mobile searches on Bing have a local intent.
An earlier estimate of 33% local was frequently repeated throughout 2010. Exactly how much higher is up for debate but it's clearly a significant percentage.
Whatever figure we choose to cite, we know that people on mobile devices are seeking and interacting with things around them.
After all, mobile phones gives people a unique context where they are simultaneously browsing online and browsing the physical world.
We use our mobile devices all the time to navigate throughout the physical world: Where’s the closest parking garage? What’s the best breakfast place around here? Where can I post this package for my nephew?
If you’ve got local content or content that can be localized, optimize it for mobile.
4. Mobile search is focused and timely
It may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but the average mobile search on Android and iPhone has roughly double the keywords of the average desktop search. The interface is smaller on mobile, but mobile usage is more task-focused and highly specific. The small screen seems to focus our attention.
Consider the following data from Microsoft: 70% of PC search tasks are completed in one week, while 70% of mobile search tasks are done in one hour. While someone shopping on their desktop computer takes on average a week to take action, someone on their mobile takes on average an hour. Talk about acceleration!
This difference in time to purchase has very real implications in any marketing seeking conversions. Mobile users are looking for information or assistance to help them make decisions literally right at the point of sale.
Consumer marketers need to understand that their prospective customers searching on a mobile device will make a purchase within 24 hours, while desktop searchers will buy over a longer period of time. Mobile usage increases velocity. As a result, marketers need to employ specific and granular tactics for each platform.
For example, on mobile search landing pages, offer very specific information about products and create clear calls to action to click on the web and call on the phone. Implementing click-to-call functionality is an especially great option because mobile searchers are ready to act and they’re holding a device through which they can act.
Harness their intent with a focused number of clear actions and you’ll boost your conversions.
5. Make it easy to share the love
As marketers, we all want to be loved.
We all want to be shared and have people advocate on behalf of our brands. Nothing beats an authentic recommendation.
Ask yourself how are you helping people share content across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms? How about across iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and other devices?
The foundation of successful social media marketing is the link.
Your marketing requires a clean and consistent URL structure that people can use and share. Links are the currency you need to invest in for social media success on mobile.
Make the links do the hard work, handling all visitors consistently, and avoiding using the dead-end “m.dot” domain names which results in mobile sites becoming disconnected and a dead end.
When people share your site, whether from mobile or desktop, you want to ensure a smooth experience that just works.
6. Mobile searchers make mistakes
It’s unsurprising that mobile searchers are more prone to misspellings when compared to desktop searches.
Fingers tapping touch-screen keyboards are not nearly as precise, with small targets to hit and a variable location we’re typing from. Try typing while walking or on a bumpy ride and you’ll see. Make sure to include common misspellings in your campaigns and optimization efforts to tap into a new source of traffic.
What misspelled words should you include?
Turn off the auto-correcting spell checker on your mobile device and tap in each of your top 10-keyword phrases 10 times each. You’ll end up with 100 keyword phrases.
Which ones are misspellings? Collect the results and start your list.
Along these lines, many marketers running paid search campaigns are finding it more effective to manage separate sets of keywords for mobile and desktop platforms.
7. Optimize your UX for mobile
At the heart of most marketing campaigns is a desire to drive some kind of user action: buy, register, request more information, etc.
When your campaign succeeds and the recipient takes action on their mobile device, what do they find on your website? How easy is it for your customers to take those critical next steps while still in the flow on their mobile device?
As a marketer, you know you worked hard to get that first action. There's no reason to lose the conversion with a lousy mobile experience. Don't make finding information your customer's problem by forcing them to pinch, zoom, and squint their way through your site on their phone.
Just make it work for them.
As data continually shows the rapid increase in mobile browsing, email, search and social media use, customers expect to be able to act — all on their mobile devices.
It's a new world
A good experience will accelerate the virtuous circle of discovery, sharing, traffic and additional sharing. A poor mobile experience will result in a lost opportunity for revenue, brand engagement and customer loyalty.
Take the right steps to make your website mobile friendly and you'll be closer to achieving your goals in our mobile world.
Mobify has released an eBook on best practices for mobile marketing, which can be viewed in full at http://www.mobify.com/go/mobile-marketing-ebook