By: Jesse Aaron, Mashbout.com
Mobile marketing is no longer just a concept for the future; it’s viable in the present. In fact, mobile will soon be the dominant platform across many channels. Don’t believe me?
In 2013, big names like Facebook and Google shifted their marketing focus almost entirely to mobile advertising. To put that into perspective, desktop and laptop shipments decreased about 14% year over year from 2012. That is because more and more people are making the move to mobile. Why wouldn’t they? Mobile devices can do everything that desktop computers can, and they can be used anywhere, not just at home.
In order to take advantage of mobile platforms, Facebook has implemented a new in-stream ad format that shows up on all devices. That’s just one form of mobile advertising though, as more methods and formats will soon rollout.
That all gives weight to the fact that mobile marketing trends will soon evolve, and if 2013 offers any indication, mobile will continue to dominate. To help you out, we’ve put together four marketing trends that will be necessary in the future. If you prepare now, you’ll be ready when the time comes.
1. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Long gone are the days when you have to design separate versions of your site, one for mobile and the other for desktop browsing. Now, you can simply put together a single website to be accessed from any device. That being said, you should still optimize your content and layout for mobile devices. You’d be surprised how often this point is overlooked.
According to LetsEat, a niche web design tool for restaurants, mobile traffic to restaurant sites has increased from 3% in 2009, to 43% in 2013. In other words, you might as well start building a website that’s natively optimized for mobile. One of the biggest things to remember when designing a mobile site is to keep it simple. An elaborate site with more images will take longer to load, and can also frustrate potential customers or sales leads.
In the example above, CJ Pony Parts has integrated a minified search bar to accommodate mobile users. This is what it really means to optimize for mobile. Simply having a responsive design is not enough anymore.
If you haven’t kept up with mobile standards, at this point you’ve already missed out on some great opportunities. If that is the case, get your head in the game and get it done. 2014 is not going to be any different when it comes to mobile use.
Mobile optimization trends are centered on desktop functionalities working seamlessly on mobile. Once a popular site like Amazon figures it out, it’s up to your design and development team to follow suit and integrate it.
2. Prepare for New Mobile Centric Ad Formats
As I mentioned above, Facebook has already begun implementing new ad formats for mobile devices and they are not the only big name in the business doing so. Expect to see new mobile ad formats emerge and be open to any that show promise.
For instance, 5 to 10 second video ads are going to become extremely prominent over the next year. Why make such a claim? Aside from platforms like Vine and Instagram cropping up everywhere, one only needs to look at how mobile devices are used. Most people pick up their mobile device and use it in quick spurts throughout the day. No one wants to waste a minute or longer staring at a video ad. Shorter, more cost effective ads are going to reign supreme in the mobile world.
One of the more popular mobile trends in regards to advertising is implementing rich snippets. Why are rich snippets considered ads? Because they take up more space than ads, they’re free, and they legitimize business. For example, if we were out and about and looked up Victor Pest on our smartphones, we see the following rich snippets:
Also, expect to see the infamous banner ads disappear. The associated costs remain high, and their overall effectiveness is dropping considerably. For lack of a better phrase, they’ve been beaten to death. Fresh and innovative advertisements are going to capture the most interest, especially via mobile.
3. Use Attractive and Effective Imagery
The example above comes from an elegant design at 12 Keys Rehab—on mobile, this defines the new standard. Sites that have beautiful desktop layouts may ignore mobile optimization, resulting in a disconnected brand.
This is more important than ever. Just because you’ve shifted focus to mobile doesn’t mean you can slack off when it comes to aesthetics. Even low-end mobile devices boast HD-quality displays. That means consumers are paying a lot more attention to the visual side of things, more so when the content is right in their faces.
As a marketer, this point should come as no surprise to you, and it’s not different from what you’ve been doing for years. That being said, it’s still relevant. Ensure that you are making proper use of your ad space and that you’re adding visually stimulating content.
4. Content is King, No Matter What
Thanks to Google’s Hummingbird update, content is king even on mobile platforms. What does that mean exactly? The past few SEO updates saw a shift in focus to unique content. Sites that offer informative and helpful content will now rank higher in search result listings.
Thanks to Hummingbird, long form or long tail keywords are now in the spotlight. This is because the latest update changed the search algorithm to identify queries in a more conversational manner. Instead of targeting a single keyword the user inputs, the search will now take into account the full text of a query. The reason such a thing was implemented, is because of Google Now which is a mobile centric application.
This allows mobile users who search through voice dictation to receive more accurate results. Long story short, Google is connecting people with more relevant content. It doesn’t matter what platform you want to focus on, content is king. You’d do well to remember that, especially when it comes to marketing.
Jesse Aaron is a professional blogger with a passion for homebrewing. His blog focuses on providing actionable social media marketing strategies and advice.