Mobile Marketing: Why You Need to Begin Before it’s Too Late
Sep 04, 2018
In recent years there’s been a definite shift in the way we all use the internet. It’s gone from primarily laptop and desktop browsing to mainly browsing using our smartphones. In fact, some of us have now gone over almost entirely to the mobile.
In this piece, we take a look at marketing specifically for the mobile phone. We’ll consider the differences between mobile and desktop browsing and why, if you’ve haven’t already started tailoring your approach to this format, it’s time to begin right now.
Mobile-first indexing on Google
Earlier this year, Google made a profound change to the way their search engine operates. They switched from desktop indexing to mobile-first indexing. What that means, in everyday terms, is that they base all their search engine results on the mobile versions of websites, rather than the desktop versions. This is a response to the trend mentioned in the intro – the way that the majority has gone over to browsing the web using mobile phones rather than computers. It makes sense for Google and it has some major implications for businesses and their digital marketing.
In essence, it means that you’ve got to step your mobile game up if you want to remain competitive. If you want to keep appearing in the top search results and maintain your high place in the Google rankings, you need to take on what you might think of as the mobile-first state of mind.
Format your website for mobile
Let’s start with one of the most obvious points when you’re considering mobile versus laptop, which is that the size of the screen is different. Laptops come in a mind-bogglingly wide range of sizes, of course, and so do phones, but when you’re browsing on a laptop or desktop, you’ll generally be looking at a far larger space than you will when browsing on a mobile. You need to think about accessibility…
If you’re, say, reading an article, the format of the text should be different. We like a nice, straight-forward layout that’s easy to scroll through for the phone, with lots of short paragraphs. If, on the other hand, we’re reading on a computer, we can handle a wider spread of text with a more creative layout.
Images are also perceived differently – we can enjoy big, impressive photos on a computer screen but have to fiddle around zooming in and out on a mobile. Therefore, we often prefer smaller images for mobile, with the additional option to zoom in and move through a short slideshow, if and only if we’re really interested in the content. Indeed, we will sometimes even just be satisfied with a thumbnail, particularly for quick, everyday content such as a news article. This seems to run contrary to what you might expect, given our very visual culture, but it all comes down to convenience.
Format your social media and email marketing for mobile
A more subtle point is that the context of our internet browsing is different when you move from computers to mobiles. Rather than sitting at a desk and browsing in a relatively formal way, or even sitting on a sofa for that matter, browsing on mobile might take place during a commute when you’re on a train or a bus. It might take place in a bar or restaurant while you’re waiting for someone to arrive and it might even take place on the loo!
Now, it’s not so much the physical setting that changes everything here but the mind-set. For example, your attention span is typically shorter because you’ve typically got a shorter browsing session – a fifteen-minute train journey rather than an hour or so casually browsing. You’re more likely to be distracted too. There could be a noisy, and juicy, conversation at the bar on which you (unwittingly!) eavesdrop. Or, there could be regular, ear-piercing announcements and door beeping on the train that keeps breaking your concentration.
Social media and email marketing
This context dictates the format of your marketing. You need to utilise social media such as Twitter and Facebook. You might like to check out our blog post on building your brand through Instagram stories. All of these platforms are well suited to brief browsing sessions and potential interruptions and don’t require deep immersion in the subject. You also need to ensure that your email marketing works well on mobile. This means choosing a clear font and ensuring that any images and logos you include don’t get muddled up. Often, if you don’t pay attention to how things look from the receiving end, your perfectly crafted email ends up being messed around and looking like a Picasso!
At Creative Marketing Services, we specialise in creating bespoke websites for businesses, so if your site needs an update to keep up with the mobile-first climate, contact us today.