Marketers talk about mobile marketing a lot. Far more than they really should. Part of it the reason is that mobile marketing has become the new marketing frontier where the acceptable rules are few and the implementation, at best, is sketchy.
Yet, this does not diminish the value that mobile marketing provides as part of an overall marketing strategy. If implemented thoughtfully and correctly, mobile marketing is a strong component that would reinforce your brand and allow user engagement.
Here are six best practices which we have picked up through the years for mobile marketing.
1. Be simple
As marketers and creative website design people, we want to make things pretty. For example, consider email marketing: Pretty usually means HTML. But that practice will often fall flat on mobile devices.Because of 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 can often fail to load, leaving the recipient with an incomplete message or a hole in her email message. Graphics at the top of an email push the message down and out of sight, distracting people from your main message.
2. Be brief
Brevity wins. On mobile devices, display screens are small, so each line is precious real estate. Get your message to your customers as quickly as possible in your emails, even if that means forgoing fancy header graphics. The same goes for sentences and paragraphs: Keep them short and crisp, and use active verbs.
3. Be local
Mobile users have a higher tendency to conduct searches with a local intent. According to Google, some 40% of all mobile searches are local. According to Microsoft, 53% of mobile searches on Bing have a local intent. People on mobile devices are looking for and interacting with things around them. After all, mobile phones provide a unique context for people to simultaneously browse the online world and the physical world. If you’ve got local content or content that can be localized, optimize it for mobile.
4. Be focused
The average mobile search on Android and iPhone has roughly double the keywords of the average desktop search—a fact that may seem counter-intuitive at first glance. The interface is smaller on mobile, but mobile usage is more task-focused and highly specific. The small screen seems to focus our attention. 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 prospects searching via mobile device will make a purchase within 24 hours. Mobile usage increases velocity. As a result, marketers need to employ specific and granular tactics for each platform.
5. Be mistaken
Mobile searchers are more prone to misspellings than are desktop searchers. Fingers tapping touch-screen keyboards are not nearly as precise as those typing on keyboards. Try typing on your mobile device while walking or while taking a bumpy ride, and you’ll see. So make sure to include common misspellings in your campaigns and optimization efforts.
What misspelled words should you include? Turn off the auto-correcting spell checker on your mobile device, and type 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.
6. Be user-optimized
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 recipients take action via their mobile device, what do they find on your website? How easy is it for customers to take those critical next steps while still in the flow of using their mobile device? As a marketer, you know you worked hard to get that first action. Don’t lose the conversion because of a lousy mobile experience. Don’t make finding information your customers’ problem by forcing them to pinch, zoom, and squint their way through your site via their phone. Just make it work for them.