Your Guide to Building a Mobile Marketing Strategy for your Startup

In a world where 80% of internet users own a smartphone and mobile platforms, such as smartphones and tablets host about 60% of digital media time for users in the U.S. alone, a device-agnostic approach to marketing is no longer an option. Businesses will increase their mobile content marketing strategy in the future, and brands need to consider the possible user-experience challenges with mobile devices.

Mobile Marketing Explained

Mobile marketing involves marketing your business to appeal to mobile device users. It connects advertisers to consumers through mobile devices and networks. Effective mobile marketing methods can provide existing or potential customers using smartphones with personalised information, helping them access what they need from wherever they are.

Features of modern mobile technology, including location services are used to match marketing campaigns to customer location. Through mobile marketing, technology can be used to create unique and personalised ads to users who are constantly connected to a network via the mobile web.

The Mobile Web

The mobile web, also known as mobile internet, outranks the desktop web both in visitor retention rate and in the amount of traffic earned. The mobile web represents the browser-based internet services accessed through a mobile or other wireless network from handheld mobile devices. One of the advantages of using the mobile web is that it can be accessed from almost anywhere. With the increasing coverage of the Internet, consumers have the opportunity to connect to the web almost everywhere. Consumers go everywhere with their mobile devices, which means they are constantly exposed to the products and services advertised on the web.

Another important feature of the mobile web is that it enhances the users’ experience by amplifying the functions on their mobile devices. This means that not only can they access the Internet on the go; their devices’ features work perfectly with the Internet. This is because many mobile apps draw information from the web in order to function.

Mobile Content Marketing

Content marketing involves a wide range of elements, including mobile videos, text-based content, UI design elements, photography and graphics, which can be optimised under mobile-focused content marketing to suit users of smart devices. Generally, content marketing is aimed at setting a business apart from the competition and an appropriate mobile marketing strategy involving useful, mobile-optimised content is the way to go.

More consumers now use their smart devices for a wide range of functions, from reading the latest news to online shopping. The mobile content marketing approach prioritises the mobile web and considers it more important than the desktop. Therefore, start-up’s need to build a mobile marketing strategy that offers a high quality experience for handheld users.

Internet of Things

The internet of things or IoT refers to the countless devices around the world that are connected to the Internet. Thanks to wireless networks and cheap processors; these interrelated computing devices, from kids’ toys to aeroplanes are now part of the IoT. This enables a merging of the digital and physical worlds as seemingly dumb devices can now communicate as digitally intelligent things.

Technology is opening windows of opportunity that past business owners and marketers couldn’t have envisioned. Today’s marketers have better ways of finding out what people buy online and offline, how satisfied they are with the products and services, and what may interest them in the future. There are new means of engaging with customers due to the information generated from IoT, and with the right approach, marketers can provide more efficient products and services, using user generated content (UGC).

There are a number of things that should be taken into consideration when creating content for IoT devices:

  • Data rich: IoT devices cultivate raw data through built-in sensors, such as weather info, location, and so on, which are displayable on websites. Content marketing for the internet of things needs to be rich with such data.
  • Format: Files with .stl and .obj formats are incompatible with browsers, as their front-end display is not as smooth as .mp4 or .avi. Different formats can therefore be a challenge for mobile content marketing, since IoT devices can have content in such formats. For instance, an internet capable 3D printer can contain a .stl file.
  • Customer experience: IoT devices create a network. Customers therefore need to be guided through each touch point. Without content that provides guidance in a connected framework, failure is a given. The mobile content marketing approach is the way inbound marketers can catch up with IoT. Connected space, portable environment, small screen, and UX bottlenecks mitigate the mobile internet browsing experience. One faces the same set of challenges, along with a few other challenges when he moves to IoT.

Voice Search

Mobile content marketing can leverage voice search as more people carry out searches on the go. Let’s say you’re on your desktop computer and want to access information about Elon Musk on Google. You enter in two independent search queries one after the other. The first query is “Elon Musk’s net worth.” The second one is “Elon Musk SpaceX.” However, with voice search, both search queries can be entered together. If the first query is “What is Elon Musk’s net worth?”; the second can be “How much of SpaceX does he own?”

Note that “He” is a referring-back expression that connects phrases. Content marketers can learn a lot from this–they should focus on creating content as answers to a series of related queries. Anticipating user queries and creating content to match will require foresight and creative prowess.

When working on content for voice search results, remember to:

  • Conduct extensive keyword research–target keywords that return featured snippets within your niche, and also keywords you’re already ranking for. SEMrush is a useful tool to find keywords that result in featured snippets. Moz’s Keyword Explorer can also be used to save lists and determine the keywords with a featured snippet.
  • Think about language–this is especially important with regard to local searches, as users tend to use short phrases like ‘health spas Kent’ on desktop and mobile. With voice search, however, searches are more likely to be in full sentences with many unnecessary words in between the main search terms, such as, ‘Where are the best health spas to get a detox and massage in Kent?’ Take time to consider your use of adjectives, prepositions and connecting words when it comes to voice search optimised content.
  • Create FAQ pages: FAQ pages naturally follow a format that’s well-suited to voice search; a conversational question, followed by a concise answer. Voice searches are often longer queries which are normal for FAQs. One more reason to add FAQ pages to your mobile strategy is because not many title tags for voice search results contain the exact keyword. This makes it more beneficial to produce long-form content that answers a wide range of queries on a single page instead of trying to optimise each page around individual keywords.
  • Get a HTTPS-secure website–it can take a lot of resources in terms of time and money to get a HTTPS-secure website, and many business owners might not agree that it’s worth it as it only earns a ‘minimal boost’ from Google. At any rate, it’s still worth serious consideration since it can’t hurt your chances and could even boost your mobile marketing efforts.

Localised Content

Localised content is an essential element for an optimised mobile experience. When consumers perform mobile search, they look for information about businesses such as location, products and services. A large number of such search queries eventually convert into sales, email subscriptions and other forms of online engagement. Mobile marketing for startups and businesses in general necessitates the creation of localised content. Useful strategies include:

  • Topic update: Consider configuring Google alerts to discover the trending topics in particular regions. In addition, use Google Analytics to obtain your visitors’ location. Choose regional topics for regional visitors and create appropriate content around these topics that appeal to them.
  • Local keywords: Unlike global keywords, local keywords are not as competitive and should be added as ALT tags to the content and to meta properties to guarantee visibility.
  • Google Map optimisation: A Google Map listing is an essential tool for businesses. Integration is easy with the Google Map API. Companies can create and integrate useful, positive and informative content into the map listing.

The mobile web makes localised content creation a lot easier. However, marketers have to follow the strategies discussed above. Attention should therefore be shifted from the desktop web to mobile to take full advantage of the power of localisation.

User-generated Content

Also known as consumer generated media (CGM), user-generated content (UGC) refers to content created by unpaid contributors–usually consumers or end-users of an online system or service. UGC can include anything from pictures, videos and tweets to testimonials, discussion boards, blogs and so on. User-generated content is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself. It is created and uploaded online, where it is easily shared among other consumers and end users.

User-generated content is effective, with more campaigns using this method of marketing because of its history of success. Customer-focused businesses are on the rise because companies have to continually match the latest trends of their audiences.

UGC also taps into consumer trust and relationship building. Research shows that consumers are more inclined to trust a word-of-mouth account or peer-review over professionally created brand content. Consumers become jaded with traditional marketing content and messaging, and prefer to hear what people like them have to say. Therefore, real accounts mean more credibility for content.

What is a Mobile Marketing Strategy?

A mobile marketing strategy is similar to any other marketing strategy as it requires a proper understanding of the business goals you aim to achieve, uncovering the appropriate marketing tactics for meeting those goals and testing those tactics to ensure they work.

A mobile marketing strategy employs the unique opportunities the mobile web provides, such as the channel it provides in addition to the timely and personalised interactions and experiences it enables. Mobile marketing strategies will naturally look different for every brand. It’s therefore essential to take the time to understand who your target audience is, what your business objectives are, and the unique opportunities available to help you on your way.

Many brand marketers view a mobile marketing strategy as being synonymous with having a responsive design. This means designing a website that looks good and functions well on a wide range of screen sizes. While this can be part of a mobile content marketing strategy, so much more is involved for it to be complete. An effective mobile content marketing strategy looks at all the ways that user behaviour on a mobile device differs from that of the desktop computer. This means rethinking a number of areas in your content marketing strategy including: the format of your content, the images you use, the videos you embed, your keywords and SEO strategy.

Business owners and web marketers can no longer ignore the importance of a mobile marketing strategy for at least three reasons: firstly, holding back and viewing the mobile web as an area of marginal investment will result in more mobile-oriented companies grabbing a larger market share, Secondly, customers nowadays expect brands’ presence on the web. Companies will miss a key channel of communication if they are inactive on websites or apps. Thirdly, digital marketing does not get enough attention as it’s still considered a secondary area that can be tested when a spare budget is available. However, what’s lacking in this thought process is the fact that it takes even more time and resources to engage in many individual and unconnected activities than it does to adopt an efficient mobile strategy. Businesses have a lot more to benefit from integrating it into their overall marketing goals.

Why do you need a mobile marketing strategy?

In a highly digital world, businesses need a mobile marketing strategy to survive. Walk around any major city and you’ll find people with faces glued to their smartphones doing anything from watching videos to shopping online. Recent reports show that up to 40% of users spend their internet time on mobile devices. This shows that it’s simply no longer an option to ignore the place of mobile in reaching customers. Mobile devices, mobile web and mobile marketing are here to stay, and if you’re yet to have a mobile marketing strategy, there’s no time like now to get started.

Even though mobile devices are now being used by more people to browse the Internet, mobile use tends to record a higher bounce rate than other means of web access. This is because, even with the rise of “mobile first” technology, many mobile sites are not providing the kind of experience users need. They load slowly and feature pop-up ads that block site content and are difficult to close. With the right mobile marketing strategy, businesses can offer mobile websites with a responsive and appealing design that encourages lengthy user engagement.

Competition in business is inevitable, even if the products and services you provide are seemingly inconsequential. You might feel you can make do without mobile marketing but your competition might think differently. When they buy into the idea of building a mobile marketing strategy, they already gain an edge over you. In the end, they might end up taking a significant number of your customers from you because people like convenience. Once they can access the same products and services you offer with ease from their mobile devices, then that option is the one they’d choose.

As a startup company, you need to accept that the world is evolving and become open to the idea of a mobile marketing strategy. If you don’t, you could be out of business in a few years with smaller companies growing to become industry giants.

Elements of a Mobile Marketing Strategy

If your business lacks sufficient mobile presence and a driven mobile marketing strategy, it could remain largely invisible to users. This is because the mobile devices are the primary means of accessing the Internet. For startups targeting the end-users, there are countless opportunities to attract potential customers and build a long lasting relationship with them.

Applying a well thought-out mobile marketing strategy can be significant in attracting hundreds of customers to your business. An effective mobile marketing strategy will promote your brand and engage users enough to convert and generate sales. Its importance will only continue to increase, with newer platforms popping up and providing more means of reaching potential customers. While there are a number of key elements to consider for a mobile marketing strategy, some of the essential ones are discussed below.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Mobile-friendly websites are an essential component of mobile marketing strategy. Your mobile website needs to be optimised for easy viewing and navigation on smaller devices, like mobiles and tablets. They feature a responsive design to ensure that regardless of the device, the website will fit on the screen. This will make it easier for users to to go through your website as there will be no need to zoom in or out in order to view photos or consume different forms of content. Any forms on the site should also be optimised for touchscreen, and buttons should be easily clickable. The website user experience should be as smooth and seamless as possible.

If your start-up is an e-commerce company, create an excellent customer online experience. Seemingly small issues, such as a small, unreadable font or a dead button, can cause potential customers to leave your site.

Mobile Advertising

Even if you use other advertising channels, mobile advertising can complement your acquisition efforts. A wide array of target options continues to make mobile advertising an important marketing tool to support other more engagement-oriented channels. However, marketers should avoid relying solely on this channel, to avoid the possibility of entering a cycle of continually paying for one and done transactions.

One of the advantages of mobile apps is that they provide the opportunity to display ads, which is a good way to gain extra revenue. Also, the company can capture the users’ focus on that small screen. Whereas on a website, there might be several ads trying to get attention from their target audience; the mobile web only displays one ad at a time.

Mobile advertising can be in different forms:

  • Mobile banners and displays: graphical images or text that could include rich media
  • Idle screen advertising: ads shown while the user is waiting for a page or app to download
  • Mobile PPC: ad appears when you search for something in the paid listings
  • Contextual mobile ads: similar to PPC, but more on websites/apps rather than search listings

Branded Mobile Apps

Branded mobile apps offer in-depth personalisation, data insights and branding for businesses. It’s easy to know who your loyal customers are through your company’s app. Users who love the brand will maintain a long-term relationship with the business. Mobile apps are best suited to delivering in-app content, personalised interactions, and notifications customised to users’ interest and context.

Branded mobile apps refer to mobile applications that companies create as a means of brand promotion. Such apps typically represent the brand, and feature its colours, logo, style, slogan and other forms of its visual identity. Branded apps come in a number of forms:

  • A simple mobile application providing the same content available on the company’s official site. For example, restaurants might offer branded apps with similar or added content and functions to its website.
  • Branded game apps, such as the driving challenge game app, created by Audi to launch its new model.
  • Apps offering related company services or additional service options. McDonald’s designed a branded app for customers to be able to conveniently place orders from anywhere and collect their orders at designated times.

More companies today are turning to branded apps to boost conversions and improve customers’ experience. With branded apps, they can provide effective and practical solutions for building relationships and connecting with customers. In addition, they can avoid bombarding them with ads which have been shown to be damaging to user experience.

SMS Marketing

SMS, also known as text messaging, enables companies to reach all opted-in mobile users and provides immediacy in the form of a text alert. While SMS offers a limited potential for user insight and branding than other mobile channels, these alerts can still be used to drive discount strategies. SMS marketing refers to a marketing channel similar to email marketing, through which companies can send marketing messages to customers. Such marketing messages can range from sales and offers to product launches, promotional messages and new lines. Whether through SMS, API or an online SMS Web Platform, businesses can also use SMS marketing for appointment reminders, delivery updates, customer service and support.

In today’s business world, there are ways a company can market and advertise its products and services. SMS marketing is one of such ways. However, this useful element of mobile marketing can be used for much more than that. In this modern, fast-paced world, SMS marketing offers the perfect way to communicate with customers. More people want to communicate in a way that suits them–quick and convenient methods of communication are therefore preferred. This is the main reason why SMS marketing is highly popular with businesses and their customers.

Questions Your Brand Needs to Answer when Creating a Mobile Strategy

With mobile search queries rising higher than desktop search, and Google now ranking websites high in the SERPs for performing better on a mobile device; having an effective mobile strategy is an imperative for all companies. It’s therefore no surprise that brands are desperate to develop appealing and engaging content for mobile sharing. Still, there’s more to mobile strategy and mobile content marketing than simply tweaking the content to be visible on mobile devices– it also involves integrating your brand content in a way that can add value or provide entertainment to mobile users. Therefore, before you jump into the complex stages of design and build, there are some basic steps that need to be taken to ensure success.

The steps in this process can either be taken in-house or with the help of an agency, if you enlist their services as a strategic partner. However, whether you use professional help in developing a mobile strategy or not, it’s still your job to ensure that due diligence has been done.

At the start of building a mobile strategy, it’s crucial to understand that one of the most powerful tools you have in your digital marketing strategy is content marketing for mobile devices. Companies can help customers relate to their products and services through engaging and relevant content in result-driven promotions and brand storytelling. Your target audience and brand culture will determine how you choose to diversify and personalise your content.

Developing a mobile marketing strategy for your startup can be challenging, especially when you don’t know where to begin or what should be your main focus. If you’re stuck while creating a mobile strategy for your brand, the questions below can serve as a guide.

Who are your customers?

What are your customers trying to accomplish?

What are your customer touch points?

How do you expect customers’ use of mobile to change and evolve over the next 12 to 18 months?

How are people in general using the mobile web to achieve their goals? Are your customers doing the same?

How can you use the mobile web to learn more about customers?

How can you use the mobile web to learn more about what they’re trying to accomplish?

How can you use the mobile web to provide greater value in their journey?

How can you use the mobile web to reduce friction to allow customers to achieve their goals in a better, cheaper and faster way?

What additional utility can you offer customers? Consider information exchange in addition to revenue?

What part does the mobile web play in your customers’ interaction and experience with you?

Is it possible to predict what customers and prospects will want next and offer it to them?

Asking these questions will help you get your mobile strategy started on the right track. Whether you choose to approach a mobile content marketing agency or keep the project in-house, it helps to have your objectives and motivations right. Like anything else in business, a project needs to be built on firm foundations or risk the possibility of failure. Startups looking to build an effective mobile marketing strategy cannot afford to rush into the planning stages of their mobile campaigns without first carrying out due diligence.

Improving your mobile marketing strategy

A lot of brands still make the mistake of tacking on mobile as an afterthought to their main marketing strategy. However, what companies need to do first, is to understand how their users think and why they act like they do on each device. If your mobile marketing strategy is not getting you any results, don’t worry. More often than not, improving your mobile marketing strategy can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

Incorporate video into your content strategy

It’s easier to watch videos on a small screen device than it is to scan text. Right now, more than half of all mobile traffic is used for video and that figure is expected to rise to 75% in 2023. It’s clear that mobile users love video, and creating a few marketing videos is a great way to reach them. If you’re unsure of how to begin, there are free animation tools online for beginners which are quite helpful.

Optimise for micro-moments

Google describes micro-moments as those times when people pull out their mobile devices to quickly access a piece of information, make a quick purchase or solve some other problem. These micro-moments have become a significant part of everyday life as more people become increasingly attached to their phones. To improve your mobile marketing strategy, consider the kinds of micro-moments that might lead people to your content and then position to take advantage of those queries.

Have a continued engagement strategy

If you’re using branded mobile apps as part of your marketing strategy, you cannot simply stop at the installation stage. Getting your prospective users to download and install the app is not the end of the line, there must be a plan in place to ensure continued engagement. To achieve a win-win situation for both your business and your customers, users must like their experience enough to keep coming back. To make users feel welcome, segment them by usage and tailor messages to suit each group. For example, some popular apps use push notifications to promote in-store sales. Also, analyse your content and decide on the best delivery methods for updates.

Use a seamless layout

A simple, seamless access to content is essential to attract and retain your target audience. Most mobile users would rather not spend time navigating through cluttered menu options. Seamlessness is of the essence. For instance, restaurant apps offer seamless features to help users easily make orders and payments. Messaging apps also offer interactive notifications for users to respond to messages to share content without having to first open the app.

Focus on local marketing

Search queries for local businesses make up a large percentage of mobile searches. Here are a few ways you can improve your mobile marketing to get more location-related traffic.

  • Ensure your Google My Business page is up to date.
  • Incorporate local keywords when designing your content strategy. Also, don’t only use your city as a keyword, consider other local terms, such as your street or neighbourhood name which are also useful keywords that may be easier to rank for.
  • Get as many local directory listings for your business as possible. You can gain more traffic with directories, such as Bing, Yelp and other more industry-specific options.
  • Ensure existing and potential clients can easily get in touch with you. Display your business location, email address and phone numbers on each business page you create on the web. In addition, add a click-to-call option to encourage more people to reach out when they want to.

Measuring Mobile Content Marketing Results

At this stage, check and make sure your mobile content marketing is paying off. We live in a digitally mobile world that is continually evolving. Fortunately there are mobile analytics options that business owners and marketers can employ to check their mobile content marketing results. Measuring mobile content marketing results involves taking steps to get a sense of whether your current marketing strategy is effective or needs some work. Steps can range from checking the number of mobile visitors you get to how long they stay on your page and the types of actions they take afterward.

So which mobile analytics should be measured?

  • In-view percentage: This refers to the number of ad impressions where users view at least half of the ad for at least one continuous second. Our recommended benchmark is to aim for 62 percent.
  • Active page dwell: This means how long the user was on your page with a browser window in focus. Aim for 16 seconds.
  • Interaction rate: This refers to the different actions taken including video plays, social shares, touches, swipes, etc., divided by the number of impressions. The final percentage shows how much the engaged audience interacts with your marketing content. A minimum interaction rate of 1.8 percent and a universal touch rate of 7.34 percent, should be your aim.
  • Total exposure time: This means the number of users who saw your ad for at least one second summed across the total time in hours that your marketing campaign was active and visible.

Advancement in technology has made the world of mobile content marketing a complicated one to navigate. Startup businesses can create effective mobile marketing campaigns by focusing on the core elements of any mobile strategy – business goals, context, creativity and analytics.

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About the author

Matt is an SEO Account Manager at Synapse. He's been working to help small and large New Zealand businesses dominate their search marketing for over 4 years. With rankings in his veins, he’s the guy you want running your search campaigns!

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