We live in an age of ever-increasing mobility, and marketers should take heed.
In 2014, mobile data traffic alone was almost 30 times greater than that of the entire internet in 2000. In accordance with Black Friday sales, mobile traffic made up 52.1 percent of all online usage on Thanksgiving Day, exceeding desktop browsing for the first time in history.
It's no wonder, then, that mobile ad spend will reach $28.72 billion this year -- a number that is expected to rise to $65.87 billion by the end of the decade.
When you're spending that kind of money, be sure you're using it wisely. It's essential to research and understand your customer base so you can create engaging, relevant content for them. But you can't just repurpose this content from your desktop strategy to mobile and hope for the best.
Your mobile strategy needs to stand on its own, independent of (but enhancing) all other marketing efforts.
Optimizing mobile experiences
The difference between desktop web browsing and mobile browsing lies in the name: The first takes place in the home, while the other takes place on the go. Although it might not be the only distinction, it's a critical one. And to be successful with mobile, you must know how to harness your content so it works efficiently and effectively on all mobile platforms.
Here are five ways to optimize that on-the-go experience:
Keep written content short
Whether you're stuck in traffic, on a train, or waiting for your latte at Starbucks, you won't likely have time to read anything in long form.
People expect to receive very brief content via mobile. Text should be succinct, punchy, and resonate quickly -- and pretty pictures help, too.
Add video and music
In 2014, 55 percent of all mobile data traffic was attributed to people watching videos. Mobile video doesn't make up a huge chunk of advertising spend yet, but it's growing fast. Experts expect mobile video ad revenue to top $4.4 billion in the U.S. by the year 2018.
Like text, you want to keep videos short and engaging. Build.com does a great job with its simple and easy to follow DIY how-to videos. If you're not confident about creating this content yourself, consider brushing up on some expert advice or hiring somebody to make it for you.
Use a single-page layout
Don't make users click through page after page. My biggest pet peeve about the BuzzFeed layout is that you have to click "next" on each point. This makes sense for BuzzFeed because each page turned provides additional revenue.
However, if you're creating single-hit content, get to the point and don't ask users to do anything other than scroll. For an example of a great mobile layout, check out Buscemi's Chamber site. It's quirky pictures and videos are all formatted perfectly -- which only adds to the brand's perceived value.
Make sure your site is mobile-responsive
If you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you're doing it wrong. Your site may come out on top in a Google search, but 40 percent of people will go elsewhere if the site doesn't function well on mobile devices.
Furthermore, all of your blog content should look good on mobile, too. Check out "The Biggest Loser Bootcamp" on your smartphone. It looks just as clean there as it does on your desktop, with its weight-loss calculator and videos all seamlessly integrated. This brand knows how to keep people on its page.
Track your visitors
Knowing how people found your site is just as important for determining your future spend as compelling content. Placing a cookie on a browser is already difficult, and with the release of iOS 9, following your users could get a lot harder.
I'm a big fan of using UTM-tagged links with Google Analytics, RJMetrics, or HubSpot. This is a powerful tool for acquiring leads.
The mobile-marketing space as a whole will only continue to grow in the future. Within five years, we'll see mobile spend outpace desktop spend, and digital spend will top TV and radio ad dollars. This is already happening in the U.K., and the U.S. is not far behind.
Take full advantage of mobile by doing it right, and your brand can ride the rising wave of the mobile trend to greater revenue.
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