Mobile-first is a phrase often heard when discussing web and content design, as well as marketing strategies. The mobile-first focus propels companies into strategies that reflect the amazing growth of mobile usage for business purposes, both on smartphones and tablets. And we are likely to see more vendors move towards mobile-only strategies, as mobile becomes the core customer communications platform for their businesses.
Many reports show that B2C vendors are quickly taking rewarding advantage of marketing and selling through mobile channels. But B2B vendors greatly lag their B2C counterparts, continuing to miss out on a significant opportunity that brings distinct competitive advantage. B2B customers bring with them the positive experiences that B2C vendors give them on mobile – B2B vendors must engage well on mobile if they want to continue to gain and retain these customers.
The average person spends two hours per day looking at a mobile screen. Think about that. Two hours out of every twenty-four – 8% of an entire day – on a mobile device. That's more time than users spend watching TV or using a personal computer. Whether it's at home, at work, or in between, users seem to be inseparable from their mobile devices. (Source: High Impact Prospecting )
For midsized vendors the message is clear: mobile is wide open right now for smart vendors to reach more customers in very direct and compelling ways – every day. It's time to jump in to create effective mobile marketing strategies and a creative approach to mobile content marketing.
Mobile Content Design
Mobile devices offer new ways to create and deliver content which opens up many new possibilities for content marketing teams. Content marketing strategies and content creation have to recognize how different mobile content is from content that is delivered on traditional computing devices. For instance, Google search algorithms are constantly updated to reflect the rising creation of mobile content of all kinds, so it's important for content marketers to develop the right mobile content that aligns with successful semantic search results.
Mobile marketers also have to understand the mobile behavior of target customers: how do they use their mobile devices for different activities? Tablet usage is different from smartphone usage, so marketers need to segment user behavior by device. The available space on a smartphone is obviously premium real estate, while tablets offer a larger canvas for content. The wealth of information that comes from tracking and analyzing how people use mobile devices adds significant intelligence to correctly engaging customers one on one, in ways that they will accept.
Beyond the knowledge about how people use their mobile devices, marketers need to consider what these people are doing when they are consuming mobile content. They could be commuting on a train, plane or bus; in the office; or at home. In different settings, mobile content has to compete with all kinds of distractions. To grab and hold the usually brief attention of the mobile user, content should follow a mobile-smart model:
- Bite-sized content that quickly gets to the point
- High impact "wow" content
- Easy-to-spot actions to take
- Streamlined layouts
- Visual elements instead of text, whenever possible
- Easy-to-read fonts
- Vibrant colors for overall content
There are vendors experimenting with longer form content for mobile engagement. Instead of longer content as the initial view, it may be more effective to offer links to that longer content or to videos. This approach gives control to the mobile user who can then decide when to view additional content that can be time and resource consuming. Vendors can then track click through and conversion metrics to determine the success of longer form content approaches to learn more about customer desires and attention span, and to fine tune marketing efforts.
Mobile Content Marketing Strategies
Mobile content marketing is a component of overall content marketing strategies. It should fit well into a unified and consistent experience for customers, no matter what device / channel is used for engagement. And for some companies, mobile is becoming the dominant component, so content marketing strategies must reflect the growing significance of mobile for marketing and selling.
81% of mobile leaders say that mobile fundamentally changed their businesses (Source: IBM )
Many midsized businesses lack any sort of mobile strategy, let alone planning for effective mobile content marketing. These businesses are missing tremendous opportunities to reach more customers and are likely giving away competitive advantage to other vendors.
Image source: Content Marketing Institute
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM's Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.
About the author: Julie Hunt understands the overlap and convergence of many business processes and software solutions that once were thought of as "separate" – and how this impacts software Vendors and Buyers, as well as the strategies that enterprises implement for how technology supports the business and its customers. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitiveand on Twitter: @juliebhunt For more information: Julie Hunt Consulting – Strategies for B2B Software Solutions: Working from the Customer Perspective