In Marketing Strategy

If your customers have a mobile phone – I’m guessing that’s a big ol’ YES – then this blog post on mastering mobile marketing will give you more than a dozen tactics to get noticed online. This post organizes a slew of simple tips and advanced tactics from the excellent Next10x conference in Boston from March 2017, many of which we deploy daily for our own marketing clients.

Below I distill the best mobile marketing tips into digestible bites that will speak to beginners and expert digital marketers alike. You’d be surprised by how much low-hanging fruit there is for you to grab! But first, what are the latest trends in mobile marketing?

10 Mobile Marketing Trends

1. Mobile devices are being used more frequently in the travel process, from trip research, to booking reservations, to making decisions while traveling.

2. Most searches in the travel space happen on mobile first.

3. The number one visited site for travel is Google Maps.

4. Consumers have greater expectations about how brands should treat them. Some 40% of consumers expect a brand to respond within 60 minutes.

5. Data shows people switch apps every minute, so you have fewer than 60 seconds to give them what they are looking for.

6. We are never without our phones, even when sleeping. In this age of digital dependency, where consumers trust their device, how does your brand fit into their world and usage patterns?

7. The top five reasons why people use their mobiles is to compare prices, get product info, get coupons, share content on social, and look for stores.

8. When are people on their mobiles? Usage is heaviest in the morning when they wake up and again when they first get home in the evening.

9. 90% of the time we spend on our phones we are in an app.

10. Half of all websites we go to on desktop are social media sites.

9 Mobile Marketing Tips for Beginners

Minor changes can reap big rewards. Much of this one-time work will pay of for years to come.

1. Know what mobile customers are looking for and create relevant content that aligns with their searches. Remember: mobile users typically have a much shorter attention span than desktop users, so use Google Analytics or another analytical tool to see what pages mobile users use the most. Remove roadblocks and make those pages easy to access from the homepage.

2. There is value in mobile ads and engagement. Erin Everhart, a senior mobile strategist at Home Depot, reported:

=> ⅓ of mobile users who clicked on an ad visited one of their stores
=> 26% of in store revenue during peak hours was from mobile
=> The purpose of mobile ads and engagement is to drive customers to the store
=> Mobile usage helps you figure out how to get customers to the store so they can spend more

3. Don’t put all your eggs in one social basket. There are many social networks, and the reality is that your brand may need to be on several of them. If your customer base includes heavy mobile users, invest time in creating content for Instagram and Snapchat.

4. If you are on Facebook or LinkedIn, invest in building a company page (as opposed to your personal page). To get followers, plan on an advertising budget. A small investment ($50-200/mo) can significantly boost your followers and increase the reach of your brand.

5. Think of Instagram as a search engine that uses hashtags to find things. That means understanding hashtags and using them is part of being on Instagram. To make the most of hashtags, use a combination of popular and not-popular hashtags. Look at what competitors and influencers are using.

6. Invest in creating “new” types of content, such as livestream, slideshow, video, and user generated content (UGC). Each piece you create can be repurposed into other pieces, such as social media content, a blog post, a brochure. Having enough engaging content is a concern many brands share. Expectations are high and the content needs to be consistent and frequent.

7.  Study other successful brands. One brand that is doing very interesting things on social is the global shipping company Maersk. Study their “visual voice” and learn how they make massive ships really beautiful and interesting. Make notes on 5-10 brands that are successful on social. 

8. Leverage your events by livestreaming. If it is a paid event, don’t give away the whole thing on social, but consider sharing the keynote talk and take advantage of the publicity to sell more tickets next year.

9. Whatever your strategy, follow this manta: plan, do, check, refine, repeat. 

7 Advanced Mobile Marketing Tips

1. Conduct SEO keyword research, then capitalize on keywords that are driving organic (unpaid) traffic to your competitors by using those keywords in your website’s meta data.

2. Workaround Instagram’s link constraint. On this platform, where you’re only allowed one link (in your page bio) and can’t natively provide easy links to new content, use another solution for creating these links. For a low monthly fee, services like such as allow you to link to your Instagram content.

3. Social reach may peak. Messaging apps are taking over in use/traffic from other social networks. That means people are increasingly using a messaging app – like Facebook Messenger – when they are on their phones, as opposed to being on Facebook itself.

4. Snapchat takes time and resources. There is no API for dashboards, no search capability, no self-service advertising platform. But if you join now, you’ll be ahead of the mainstream. And you’ll be reaching a coveted younger demographic.

5. Run an influencer campaign. One way to do that is to let an influencer take over your social media account for a day. Here are three examples of successful influencer campaigns:

a. Sour Patch Kids got 120,000 new followers when a beloved entertainer took over the page for a day. Snapchat users took 6.8 million screenshots of the chats.

b. GE invited six influencers to see their new equipment and got more social media exposure from their pictures and videos than if they had purchased advertising.

c. Taco Bell created an online photo frame for Cinco de Mayo that let fans smush their face onto a silly, dancing taco, then send it to friends. Think “Elf Yourself” for tacos. It was extremely popular, to put it mildly.

Influencer campaigns work by leveraging all the other people who are out there on social media – users, employees, influencers – because we trust other people more than anyone else (e.g., a brand). We dove deep into influencer marketing on the ICM blog recently.

6. Notifications are prime real estate for marketers. A fast food brand that was allowed to show up in the notifications section of their followers’ phone saw a 6% redemption rate for a coupon, which was double the engagement on phones without notifications for the brand.

7. Be data centric. Gather data, analyze data, let data drive decisions. Use Google Analytics and other tools to gather data on how people are using their mobiles, what roadblocks they are experiencing, and find ways to provide them exactly what they are looking for, quickly.

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