Mobile marketing is an attractive proposition for brand dealers who want to engage with consumers on the move. The challenge is how to make money from a service where consumers are likely to be searching for deals rather than purchasing goods.
This trend is clear from the rising popularity of comparison shopping apps such as Shopping with Saving and Jumio, which allow users to shop for products and deals in the palm of their hands. Between them, these apps have racked up hundreds of millions of downloads worldwide.
To better understand how to engage with mobile consumers, let’s take a quick look at how digital marketing has evolved over the past decade, and how marketers can use this to their advantage.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing
In the early days of digital marketing, marketers used simple websites and e-mail to connect with consumers. The approach was simple and easy to implement, and allowed marketers to test new ideas and tactics without the risk of over-complicating things and losing customers due to incompetence.
In the last five years, however, the industry has moved away from simple websites and e-mails to include much more sophisticated techniques. This is partly due to the growth of mobile, and its accompanying non-traditional ad audience. It’s also been driven by advancements in technology and the growth of email marketing platforms that can integrate with social media channels to form sophisticated marketing campaigns.
The following sections will explore how marketers can use this evolution to their advantage.
1. Websites Are No Longer Enough
In the early days of digital marketing, websites served a single purpose: to promote a brand, sell a product, or provide useful information to the user. Websites simply provided an HTML (hypertext markup language) page that contained textual and some image-based content.
HTML itself isn’t complex or fancy, but developing a website that provides a good user experience should be. In 2018, websites should be more than a static space to house content; they should provide an engaging user experience that draws users into acting upon the site (a psychological term known as “affecting behavior”).
For example, a user should be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. If a brand wants to establish itself as an authority in a certain niche, they can use blogs to host specialized content, such as how-to guides or FAQs (frequently asked questions) about the subject matter.
2. Mobile-First, Then Desktop
Even before the evolution of smartphones and the app ecosystem, marketers knew that users would opt to access their content on the move. In 2018, consumers prefer to access content on the move, via mobile phones (iOs, Android, and Windows phones), rather than via PCs or laptops.
Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Since the dawn of computer and video conferencing, people have preferred to access content from the point-of-view of whichever device they’re using. If you want to read news articles on a small screen, you’ll be content with a mobile phone. Why? Because through a mobile phone, you have all the angles covered: you can read news articles, watch video content, and even capture and manipulate images to share with others (e.g., via social media platforms).
If you run a small business, marketing on mobile phones makes a great deal of sense: you can reach more people, engage with customers, and get some work done (i.e., product development, sales, etc.). Imagine if a business owns a restaurant or a shop and wants to communicate the special deals or new producer meetings that occur during the year. They can use a weekly e-newsletter to keep their customers and suppliers up to date on the latest news and events, and engage with them via emails.
Mobile phones are a great platform for marketing because of their ever-present nature. Users have them in their possession at all times, so whether they’re at home or in a restaurant or a shopping mall, they’re going to have a ready source of information at their fingertips. If you’re a business owner or marketing professional looking to create a more personal connection to your customers (and hopefully, prospects), mobile phones make for a great vehicle to engage with users.
3. Video, Live Chat, And Offline Tricks
In addition to websites, digital marketers also use social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to promote their brands and products. What makes social media different from a website is that the content is often provided in video formats (often short video “snippets”), or in the form of large photo slideshows.
While these formats are great for engagement, they don’t provide the immediacy of a live conversation or text-based content. If a business wants to establish themselves as an authoritative source of information in an niche, they can use video to achieve this. For instance, a travel agency could use a mini-course on Paris to attract and retain visitors.
Similarly, if a business wants to have a discussion with their visitors about a particular product or service, they could use a live chat function on their website. Even when a user fills out a form on a website, they could use a live chat form or embed a quick comment section with their form. These are all ways to provide more value to the user, and hopefully, create a connection that leads the user to action.
Include the use of infographics, which are pictorial representations of information. The advantage of infographics as a form of content is that they can be shared through social media and also liked and re-shared via email. This lets a business engage with new and existing customers, as well as create a bunch of links and shares at once.
Digital marketers now have a lot of options when it comes to creating content for their various campaigns. As evidenced by the growth of mobile marketing and the evolution of website and digital marketing over the past decade, there’s a place for everyone in the marketing world. It just depends on what you want to achieve with your marketing and how you wanna go about achieving it.