Eight ways to adapt your content marketing strategy to mobile

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Posted 14 February 2013 11:29am
by Juliet Stott
with 1 comment

Mobile is changing our behaviour. And the message from a recent mobile marketing event, hosted by ORM London was, adapt to this change or be left behind.

The headline figures: who owns a smartphone (currently 54% of the UK), tablet (21% of the UK) and what they do on these devices (28% surf the net) changes from week to week. The latest in this rapid stream of stats is that more smartphone devices are being activated everyday worldwide than babies being born.

Mobile usage is big and it’s set to be even bigger. Twitter’s latest report highlights how smartphone and tablet users are the most engaged consumers. Mobile users are 96% more likely to follow 11 or more brands and 58% more likely to recall seeing an ad on Twitter.

Google even predicts in three years mobile will overtake desktop as the most common way to go online – making mobile marketing more important.

This infographic shows why this trend will happen. Here it shows how the time of day detemines what device a person is on:

Firms with enough data, like Paypal, Tesco Clubcard and Nectar (to name a few) can mine into these patterns to create specific and targeted mobile marketing campaigns.  

An example of this is Domino’s Pizza. It uses data, combined with personalisation to target mobile users to increase conversion rates. Its click through rates are huge, for example, on the “4 for 2” offers that are sent to a specific demographic on the afternoon of a premier league football match. 

Here are eight tips on what to do next:

1. Chose between a responsive or mobile designed site:

  • A responsive website (layout changes for screen size/device): Take this option if your users are looking for a similar mobile/desktop experience. Online publishers, such as Mashable, Smashing Magazine the Guardian, have done just that. Their audiences want news, trends updates in a visual and intuitive way. 
  • A mobile website (context specific: focuses on a selection of core tasks): Take this option if your mobile visitor wants a service or instant information. Give them with quick, simple calls to action. National Rail is doing this well with its “Journey Planner”, “Live Departure Boards”, “Changes to Train Times” and “Get me home”. 

2. Work out whether you need to design an app:

In a highly saturated market – apps are not for every company, brand or organisation. Pete Gough, designer founder of ORM London, recommends you ask yourself these questions: “Will an app meet my customer’s needs? Would it make their lives easier? Will it enhance their experience (such a rewarding loyalty/provide wallet-less payments)?”

And, can you be innovative? Smaller, more agile businesses are beating the big players in this arena. Take, Runkeeper, the highly successful fitness app – this could have easily been done by publishers of fitness-genre magazines. But they missed a trick.

3. Create the perfect email:

Those predicting the demise of the email have been proved wrong. Instead, mobile has given the email “a shot in the arm” says Lorenzo Vasini from ORM London.

This “Email is alive well” infographic, by iContact published on Unbounce shows that engagement with email has soared – with 72% of smartphone users checking their inbox more than six times a day – starting as early as 7am.

Here’s a quick five step content guide for creating the perfect email:

  • Write a short, snappy 30 characters subject line.
  • Give a reason to open – such as a daily deal/money off/something for today.
  • Create vertical text, make it easy to scroll down.
  • Incorporate pictures for added emotional engagement.
  • Include “buttons” – press here/share now/donate here/buy now.

4. Create and provide location based content:

Mobile marketing is all about context of use. “For the moment” searches are the most popular –  85% of smartphone users look for local information, 81% then taking action, says Google Analytics.

Search, GPS tracking and people’s willingness to share their location means you can target ads based on a set radius/profile. Foursquare, is leading the way in connecting people to businesses and offers content/deals based on location.

Tip: have clickable phone numbers/interactive maps as a standard feature on your site.

5. Reward customer loyalty:

Starbucks is a great example of how to do this. Its loyalty and rewards scheme alongside its mobile payments (it sees 2.1m mobile payment transactions each week) is keeping it ahead of the game.

If you haven’t got the budget to create your own loyalty scheme then join forces with companies that provide rewards for multiple businesses through a single app, such as Foursquare, Passbook or Square.

6. Be there for your customers where ever they are:

Creating a cross-media campaign, incorporating mobile, is the best way to reach today’s consumers.

An excellent example is Domino’s Pizza. It engages on every platform:- from in-store self service touch screens, to digital TV, to a mobile optimised site. It meets its customer’s needs and demands at a precise moment in time.

With £10m of sales via its iPhone app since 2007 and a massive 500,000 app downloads – it’s doing something right (and shows that we’re a nation of pizza-eaters). 

7. Reach new audiences:

As competition in the tablet and smartphone market increases – devices are becoming more affordable to low and mid-earners as well as young people. In the low/mid end smartphone range Google and Nokia have great devices with Nexus 4 and Lumia 800 respectively, around the £200-240 mark.

Budget options from HTC Desire C and Huawei Ascend G330 priced from around £100-170.

8. Employ a new Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT):

The marriage between IT professionals and marketers isn’t filled with love. The weekly rows about risk management vs innovation will ring bells in many large organisations.  But this will have to change. 

Research firm Garnter, predicts that the CMO will spend more than the CIO by 2017. In fact, ORM London takes this further. It foresees a new hybrid role: that of the CMT – someone with a blend of skills in both areas. This person will have creativity but also a deeper understanding of the technology, its possibilities and the budget to spend.  

What has become clear is that mobile is not a separate channel. And that it has to be incorporated into the marketing mix. If not, you risk alienating your customers.  Lorenzo Vasini says:  “There’s a stat to be aware of – 47% of people say that if they have a bad brand experience on a mobile site, they won’t come back.”

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