It’s not news that mobile is an important part of any marketing strategy. We’ve been tethered to our smartphones for some time now. If you had any questions about the frequency and intensity of our mobile addiction, consider the fact that the average American spends almost two hours each day on a mobile device (infographic).

smartphoneHerein lies remarkable opportunity for marketers – either to attract and win the loyalty of customers or to drive them away. According to a Google study, a whopping 61% of users will leave a mobile site if they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for, and they’ll move on to find it on your competitor’s site. If that doesn’t send you scrambling to get your mobile strategy and website in order, I don’t know what will.

And consumer user experience isn’t the only thing that’s motivating marketers to pay more attention to mobile. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Google may be incorporating mobile usability as a search ranking factor.

It’s important not only to deliver a great experience when users find you on a mobile device, but also to actively use this medium to go out and reach your audience where they are. Here are some tools and tactics we’re using in our mobile strategies these days:

  1. Design for mobile first. Enough said.
  2. Google recently released a Mobile Usability tracking feature in Webmaster Tools. This tool quickly delivers feedback on whether your site (and specific pages within it) is mobile-friendly or not. It reports on Flash content, missing viewport, font size, fixed-width viewports, content not sized to viewport, and links or buttons that are too close to each other.
  3. With so many people accessing your site on their mobile device, it’s vital that your conversion channels are optimized for mobile. That means making it easier for users to fill out forms, ditching PDFs for HTML5, granting easy mobile access to digital coupons, and making contact info (with links to call, email, or navigate to your brick-and-mortar) front and center.
  4. Mobile users are spending a ton of time on social media so if you want to attract them to that spiffy new mobile site or app you just built, it makes sense to invest in a social strategy. And considering that most Facebook referral traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s important to make sure that landing pages like blog posts are optimized for mobile too.
  5. Mobile email opens overtook desktop in 2013 – 51% of emails are opened in a mobile device, and that rate is only going to keep going up. So it’s just as important to optimize your emails for a great mobile UX as it is to optimize your website.
  6. In fact, mobile marketing tactics and strategies should be incorporated (or at least considered) in every aspect of your content strategy. That means email, blog posts, social media, mobile incentives for offline marketing initiatives (and vice versa), and app development with push notifications.

One of the most important considerations in any of your marketing channels – mobile, desktop, offline or otherwise – is creating a pleasant and consistent user experience. And with mobile usage accounting for so much of digital activity these days, if your site isn’t pretty and easy to use on an iPhone, it might as well not be pretty at all.

 

Smartphone photo by Shantok.J (https://flic.kr/p/pmwQrp) via Creative Commons.