Welcome to the world of the mobile.
The digital era is rapidly evolving and marketers should be at the forefront; jumping on the mobile bandwagon and falling in love with the prospects it presents.
Mobile usage is arguably the fastest growing digital marketing opportunity since social media, with 89% of the UK population now having or using a mobile phone. It is, however, the impressive growth of the smartphone that has really knocked socks off.
With YouGovpredicting that 68% of the population will be upgrading to a smartphone in their next contract cycle, reaching out to existing and potential customers has never seemed so easy.
Or has it?
Even though mobile advertising has been described as something of a ‘Shangri-la’ for online ad networks, low marketing usage up-to-date suggests otherwise.
Consumers are mobile. But mobile is personal; with many users anti receiving such direct advertising.
So we ask (and answer!), what real advertising opportunities are presented to marketers by smartphones?
A good platform?
Smartphone allows more innovative and interactive ways to connect with consumers. But what happens when users don’t want to connect back?
With a recent survey by YouGov identifying 86% of users ignoring mobile advertising, the use of current advertising mechanics at present may not always strike the right chord with consumers.
A good example of this is in the somewhat outdated SMS advertising, with users receiving alerts when coming in a certain distance of a store. A recent Econsultancy survey found this too intrusive.
Given such exponential growth over such a short period of time, confidence is however improving and attitudes are changing.
Mobile is fast-paced, on the go, convenient and immediate. It’s like a conversation – talking at your customers will make them switch off as quickly as they have switched on.
The advertisers’ challenge is to therefore instantly highlight user benefit from responding to such targeted advertising.
Why this channel?
Mobiles are, well, mobile.
As a dream advertising platform for marketing goes, it doesn’t get much better.
Devices are carried with consumers everywhere, and are typically always on. Penetration of smartphones is also growing and set to overtake desktops in 2014/2015.
The best advertising opportunities that smartphones can present is through the ability to target.
From cruising round Tesco online, to tweeting about @katyperry, mobiles are used for different objectives and can be placed in a variety of ways, places and means.
Interaction with users can also be made in different ways including: SMS messaging, voice, codes, images and video.
In its simplest form, the channel of smartphone advertising is ideal, but it’s always the hardest channel to get right.
Ask yourself how mobile advertising differs from desktop – and what precisely should marketers be doing?
Make it responsive
Let us start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!)…as stupid as it sounds, make your mobile pages mobile-friendly.
Customer expectation for mobile sites is high.
Recent research by Gomez suggests 74% of users will abandon trying to connect to a site within 5 seconds. It is important to think your mobile user journey – limit scrolling, strip back navigation, optimise content and think about pageload time.
Search is different
Whilst Search Engine Optimisation for mobile has the same principles for web, online user behaviour is drastically different.
Mobile users are in a different mind-set to those using a desktop and click-through rate is much higher. Getting a site to the top of engine results and making your site super mobile-friendly could make a real difference.
Mobile searches are location-based and made up of shorter keywords / key phrases, so optimising your mobile content is a must for climbing SERPs.
Don’t forget PPC
Once a website is thoroughly optimised and mobile-friendly, it makes sense to open those virtual gates to the mobile public.
As users are more impatient, PPC advertising could be seen to receive the most clicks as the top ranking search positions are so important on a smaller screen.
Creating a mobile specific campaign, keeping keywords relevant and simple, and using direct and compelling ad text will all contribute to grabbing the attention of a smartphone user.
Email not snail mail
It’s no surprise that in a recent review by JupiterResearch, 18% of users were utilising mobile devices to sort email accounts. One of the first objectives of smartphone giants was to create a smooth transition for businesses, in and out of the office. The social boom has continued to increase email use dramatically, now being regularly used for both work and leisure.
Smartphone users will check regularly and respond quickly; meaning that email campaigns should work harder for mobile devices through personalised subject lines, simplicity and urgency.
It’s all about display
A variety of aggregators are available as platforms to manage mobile banner advertising and display marketing.
Admob, one the world’s largest mobile advertising networks, describes mobile devices as a critical media platform to enable every business on earth the opportunity to leverage mobile.
An aggregator will charge you to buy and place campaigns across a mobile network, and is an easy platform to help meet ROI objectives.
Having a clear strategy and defining your audience are essential before focusing on a compelling design and strong CTA. Unnecessary images and vague headlines will merge into the ‘ad noise’ and will fail to stand out for consumers.
According to research carried out by e-Dialog (2011), 27% of users would be happy to receive special offer messaging. It is therefore arguable to be specific with your ad content and where your ads are shown.
The list goes on
Other advertising opportunities are available to leverage users of the mobile network, in order to increase brand awareness and generate sales.
An App is a good example of an opportunity that needs to be well thought through in terms of customer need and want. Apple is strict in its approval process, making sure advertisers have built an App that is genuinely fulfilling an objective.
QR codes have already proved successful as users must scan, and consequently ‘opt in’ to the campaign before being pulled through to the message / website etc. In the same way, Augmented Reality (AR) helps to merge the online and offline world by scanning ‘real life’.
The Adido Viewpoint
It’s clear that no advertiser is clear of the mobile world.
Even if you have no interest and are happy with a normal website, it is more than likely that consumers will at one point or another, access your website by smartphone.
They will be put off quickly and easily, and often for life.
Our advice: invest in responsive design.
Take baby steps in making sure your website is fully optimised and attractive in the smartphone world.
Then, and only then, can you begin to think about paid advertising and hitting the mobile ad network running.
With such a fast growth of smartphone users year on year and current low online advertising usage, mobile marketing should be carefully thought through in terms of its objectives and benefits.