E-Marketer predicted that 2016 would be the year that mobile ad spending eclipses desktop ad spending, and account for nearly a quarter of total media spending. They were right. By 2019, the researcher predicts that mobile ad spending will rise to $65.49 billion, or nearly 70% of total digital ad spending and close to 29% of total media spending. Now, mobile-first strategy has emerged at the forefront of new marketing trends that marketers in all industries need to be prepared for.
What is Mobile-First Strategy?
The official definition is: A trend in website development where designing a website for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices takes priority over desktop web design.
In other words, everyday as phones get more advanced and do more, marketers and businesses need to focus on getting all their online marketing to work on mobile as well or better than they do on desktop. One of the fastest way to lose potentially new customers is when they look up your website on their phones and it not load properly or take too long.
The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to ensure your site has a mobile first strategy.
The rise of the ‘mobile-first’ mindset – the increasing lifestyle trend in which people turn to their mobile device as their first point of interaction for most of their communication, information and entertainment needs. Our devices have given us amazing power to interact with our favorite people, brands and service providers in personalized ways, and to get what we want, when we want it.
An estimated 28 percent of sales are now conducted on mobile devices, estimates CIO. Unfortunately, in the rush to engage consumers, brands often fail to follow best practices or even develop a clear strategy.
Putting mobile at the forefront of your strategy bears careful consideration over whether it is actually right for your brand. Here are just some of the things to keep in mind when going mobile-first: The screens are limiting and small; your marketing must be less interruptive and get consumers to opt in; if you’re going with apps, they need to have utility; mobile must be regarded as part of a larger marketing whole; and most of all, your brand must be suited to a mobile-first approach.
Four Steps for creating a Mobile-First Strategy:
- Get local: It’s critical to understand how mobile search intent is different from desktop search. Most mobile searches are conducted away from the home or office. Mobile searchers are seeking an immediate answer to their most pressing questions, be that a list of afternoon movie times, whether your coffee shop is open late on Saturdays, or which car repair service will respond fastest with a tow truck. Local search optimization is essential for mobile search result visibility.
Next, consider the other reasons why people search: local information in a new city/state. Once you’ve covered the basics of local mobile search optimization, keep an eye on your content. How can you make your site content more friendly for mobile searchers? Keep an eye on regionally trending topics and use local news stories as “hooks” for creating searchable content.
- Optimize for mobile viewing: Remember that smart mobile design is about more than just optimizing your site for mobile viewing with larger text and touch-friendly buttons. You also need to optimize your content structure. A short paragraph on your website can look like an endless novel on a smartphone.
Get straight to the point with your content and stick to 1-2 sentences per paragraph at the most. Use bullets, subheads and numbered lists to keep your content interesting. Consider consumption context: if your customers can’t scan your content quickly at Starbucks, they may never read it.
- Define mobile-friendly conversion points: Think about the most common conversion points in your existing sales funnel. Most of these points, like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper are not realistic conversion points for mobile customers. That’s because these conversion points typically involve longer forms that are not naturally mobile friendly. If you do want to keep these as conversion goals, simplify the forms to require only an email input and use HTML 5 keyboard shortcuts (like an @gmail.com button) for faster input.
Alternatively, think differently about your conversion goals. For example, maybe you want to engage in-store shoppers by encouraging them to download a mobile coupon. Make the process as easy as possible! Remember, the more steps in the conversion chain, the more likely you are to lose your customer along the way.
- Don’t forget about local listings. Don’t neglect the importance of local search sites like Yelp. Don’t fail to claim your local listings with Yelp, Google, and Bing. Since these sites auto-generate listings for local businesses, these listings are prone to inaccuracies. Take the time to claim your listing so you can manually manage listing details like physical location, store hours (including special holiday hours), and even add product photos.
Focus your efforts on continuing to better position your business via mobile search, local rankings and engaging, Geo-targeted content.
Having a Mobile first strategy is key to engaging your customers in today’s market! Before you get started creating one, prepare with these five steps:
- Do your research: Research trends and practices in your industry. Even if no one is doing it right now, doesn’t mean you can’t be a trend setter and be the first!
- Cost: Figure out your budget that you want to dedicate to this project. Can you afford it right now? Do you have the necessary knowledge or do you need to hire someone who does? Do you have the software? One you have an idea on all the costs including potential hidden ones then continue.
- Create a Plan: Figure out a time-frame for getting the project done. If you already have someone on your staff or yourself has the skills then its easier to start. However, if you need to put aside time to find and hire someone with the skill set or purchase the software then do so.
- Implement your plan: Work though your plan, ensure all deadlines are met and nothing delays your progress.
- Evaluate: Once your strategy is completed and implemented, take some time and evaluate how it has worked for your business or brand. I would recommend after one year of operation. Statistics show that most digital marketing strategies take a year to implement, grow and show the best results. Make changes as needed.
Thank you for reading!
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Hughes, B. (2016, February 24). How to Create a Mobile First Marketing Strategy. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-hughes/how-to-create-a-mobile-fi_b_9299316.html
Clark, M. (2016, August 25). Engaging the ‘mobile-first’ consumer: New opportunities. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2016/aug/25/new-opportunities-engaging-mobile-first-consumer/
If Google Has a Mobile First Strategy, So Should You. (2016, July 6). Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/07/mobile-first-strategy.html
Morrison, M. (2016, February 22). Is a Mobile-First Approach Really Best? Retrieved April 28, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/digital/a-mobile-approach/302774/