Tailoring your online marketing strategy to mobile users is no longer optional. Mobile internet use is projected to overtake desktop internet use in the coming year, according to research company Gartner. That means you need to adapt your marketing efforts to reflect people’s mobile behaviors and consumption habits.
Here are four tips for getting started.
1. Optimize your website for mobile devices. A recent study [PDF] by Equation Research reveals that 74 percent of consumers will abandon any webpage that doesn’t load on their mobile device (a smartphone or tablet) within five seconds. That’s a problem if you have a particularly feature-heavy company website. The solution: Create a scaled-down mobile version that contains only the most important content and features, so visitors can find what they seek quickly while on the go.
2. Build an app. There’s a reason companies as diverse as Facebook, Target, and the New York Times have branded apps for mobile devices. A study by mobile-analytics vendor Flurry reveals that 80 percent of the time a U.S. consumer spends on a smartphone per day is spent within apps. Creating an app for your business ensures that you’re giving people mobile access to your products and services in the way they prefer.
3. Take advantage of check-in services. Location-based check-in services like Facebook Places are an effective way to connect with customers and spread word of mouth about your business. You can reward customers by giving them a discount upon check-in, such as a free coffee if you own a cafe, or enter them in a contest. Services such as the recently released Foursquare for Business even provide detailed check-in data and let you see who your top customers are.
4. “Mobilize” your social media campaigns. A Rhythm NewMedia study [PDF] found that 68 percent of mobile users engage with brands on Facebook and 56 percent follow businesses or brands via Twitter. To maximize this opportunity, optimize your photos for mobile devices by keeping their overall size small, keep your posts concise, and encourage your customers to share content and leave comments.