8 Best Practices to Follow for Effective Mobile Marketing
Over the decades, as mobile technology evolves, mobile marketing has evolved, too. The emergence of smartphones has changed the face of mobile, taking it from purely text based solutions such as SMS marketing to a richer, relationship-driven channel that offers marketers more ways to engage with users than ever before.
Image: We Are Social
According to comScore Mobile Metrix data presented in the 2016 OfCom Communications Market report, the total browsing time per month is much higher on smartphones, with US audiences spending 87 hours online on a smartphone, and UK audiences spending 66 hours per month. Here in South Africa, 2016 statistics from the annual We Are Social digital report showed that internet access was sought via mobile phones (92%) and smartphones (60%), rather than computers (18%), tablets (7%) and other devices such as TV streaming devices, wearable tech devices and e-readers. That means that the vast majority of adults in South Africa own some type of mobile phone, with many of these devices being smartphones.
With that in mind, mobile marketing can no longer be seen as an after-thought. One of the biggest challenges globally is the balance between opt-in, engagement focused mobile marketing and spammy, non-responsive, non-optimised mobile campaigns that do not drive engagement. A survey done by MicKinsey & Company shows just how much of a risk non-responsive, hard to access mobile sites take. Their survey results note that search engine giant Google noted that “61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.”
The simplest and most effective way to ensure that you get the full benefit that mobile marketing has to offer is to follow best practices. These will guide you in the right direction, so that you can be sure that your campaigns have the best possible chance of success.
Stay on Track With These Mobile Marketing Best Practices
Make sure that your campaigns are more hit than miss, by keeping these mobile marketing best practices front of mind:
- Omnichannel marketing. Mobile should ideally be incorporated into your broader marketing efforts. Omnichannel marketing offers the most effective way to increase your engagement across various platforms. While you are developing and fine-tuning your mobile strategy, consider how it fits in with strategies across other platforms – email, lead generation and any other strategies. You can then allow each channel to inform the next. This will go a long way in helping you create highly targeted, relevant messages that are adapted to each channel and audience. What makes mobile so powerful is that it allows you to reach millions of people on a device that they use day in and day out. To ensure that you utilise the data you collect properly, it is vital to have a broader plan in mind. This is where marketing automation tools become so useful, allowing you to leverage your mobile efforts in a way that works within your wider omnichannel strategies.
- Long term growth. Following on from this, it is also useful to have a long term growth mindset in place that goes far beyond acquisition. To use an analogy, mobile should be a marathon, not a sprint. A good mobile marketing strategy engages users at every turn. From their initial awareness of your brand or app, all the way to the moment that they convert into customers. Understanding the mobile customer lifecycle and its various stages is key to keeping your sights on long term growth. These range from initial acquisition to engagement, and retention, as well as reactivation, in the case of users who fall by the wayside. Keeping long term growth top of mind allows you to engage users long after they have converted. When you always know exactly where a user is at any point in their journey, it enables you to automate and trigger highly targeted activities designed to promote lasting engagement.
- Market segmentation. That leads us to our next point. There is no doubt that market segmentation offers numerous benefits across the marketing automation spectrum. For mobile, it is particularly useful in order to achieve optimal levels of engagement over the long term. In a highly competitive mobile environment, it is not always easy or affordable to acquire new users. You will need a solid plan in place to be certain that your efforts to not go to waste. Even if you have a reactivation plan in place, you want to be sure that the people you are focusing your effort and budget on are more likely to move along the mobile life cycle. To achieve this, you will need to invest in market segmentation to determine your ideal user profile. You can target by demographics, behaviour, interests or even engagement. This will make it easier to target the people who are more likely to engage.
- Permission based marketing. Permission is essential for many marketing strategies. For mobile marketing, it is especially vital. You will need to ask for permission and confirm, by making use of traditional and digital touch points to grow your audience and promote the benefits of subscription. If you do not have permission strategies in place, you will likely end up with a far lower engagement rate at best. At worst, you may end up being blacklisted, blocked or reported for spammy practices. Be sure that you follow industry best practices. Have a double opt-in process in place, and make this very easy to see. This will go a long way in assuring users that they will be able to leave at any point. Ironically, this actually helps to increase retention.
- Responsive design. Responsive websites allow content to be viewed from any device, showing the same content to every visitor, with a layout that adjusts according to the type of devices used to access the website. Lack of responsiveness is one of the biggest reasons for mobile failure. Remember how many people access websites from their mobile devices or smartphones in South Africa? The main reasons to ensure that your website is responsive is firstly to allow people to access your website more easily, whatever device they may be using. Secondly, it is also good to note that search engines use responsiveness as a factor for ranking. If you are aiming to grow your mobile search traffic, you will need a responsive, user-friendly website.
- Mobile-friendly content. Working hand-in-hand with responsive design, content needs to be short, to the point and written exclusively for mobile. As users are often reading content from a small screen, bulky content can quickly put readers off before you have a chance to reach them. Often users access content away from home – at work during a lunch break, on the train, at a friend. Making sure that your content is short and easy to read for most devices is therefore essential to increasing engagement.
- Mobile experience. There’s a reason that social media is so popular. It’s the same reason that mobile games perform so well. A big part of mobile engagement lies in the ability to socialise, interact and even earn points. Both gamification and social features offer a way to deliver mobile experience in a way that involves users. Tools such as voting, liking, reviews, and sharing will all increase the overall experience for users. Geolocation also helps to provide a better experience, based on user locations. Apps and programmes that incentivise users and reach them on a deeper level will often engage better than those that do not offer any type of social, gaming or location-based features.
- Testing. Last, but not least, testing plays a vital role in mobile marketing. Marketing automation works when your processes work. Automating broken processes can be devastating. Just like any other marketing strategy, testing should be a significant part of your campaign. Like all marketing, dedicate a portion of your budget to test-and-learn activities. Whether this means testing different mobile website landing pages, testing messaging to specific segments, testing mobile emails or even testing opt-out features, you will need to test, test, and test again on regular basis.
Interested in learning more about our innovative mobile marketing solutions? Contact Grapevine today for more information on our integrated mobile marketing tools.