This article originally appeared on PR Daily in June of 2017.
You might not have noticed a major marketing change: For the first time, more potential customers are using mobile devices than desktops to browse the internet.
A new demographic has emerged: the mobile generation.
Mobile marketing is already a science. Some brand managers turn customers into numbers to be crunched in the quest for more revenue, but effective marketing caters to the individual. Consider these tips.
Eighty percent of internet users own a smartphone, and most use their phones for online shopping. The popularity of mobile retail apps skyrocketed last year by an astounding 81 percent. We know that the new storefronts are digital, but this information is useless if you don’t greet your customers with a smile even when they’re on smartphones.
Start with the basics
Building a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional. Creating a positive customer experience begins with ensuring your website can be viewed on most mobile devices without difficulty. For small organizations this can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple steps:
- For organizations using WordPress, the process is straightforward. First, download the WPtouch mobile plugin.
- Log in to WordPress and click “Add New” under the plugins link. Search for “WPtouch,” then click “Upload.”
- After activating the plugin, navigate to WPtouch -> Dashboard -> Core Settings.
- In “Core Settings,” add your site title and leave the other settings as they are. Scroll down and click “Save Changes.”
- Ensure that your site is now mobile-friendly by visiting MobileTest.me and testing your URL on a few devices.
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Personalize it: The omnichannel experience
Customers crave personal experiences, so approach your marketing with the goal of creating a single view of each customer. Consumers want past purchases to matter. They want you to recognize who they are and what they prefer when shopping.
Fifty-three percent of all customers want to be recognized as the same person no matter what device or channel they use to shop. Seventy-eight percent acknowledge that they would provide retailers with their in-store purchase history to make their shopping more personal and fulfilling.
When you have this data available, follow these steps to boost your customers’ experience:
- Create a consistent brand image (from your color scheme to your messaging) across your mobile site and multiple social media accounts, making it immediately identifiable.
- Integrate the purchasing aspect of your brand by creating a mobile app and an easy checkout process on your mobile site. Create a customer profile for each visitor by asking for their information so previous orders and returns are readily available.
- For an omnichannel experience, update and integrate your inventory systems with each channel to avoid disappointing customers or experiencing stock-outs.
Create specific content
Smartphones have become an all-in-one research and information tool. As the share of organic search from mobile users continues to increase, mobile searches can help customers find you if you generate content that’s ideal for the platform.
Here’s how you can create mobile-friendly content:
- Shorten headlines. Mobile users have small screens, and wordy headlines cause optimization problems. Keep it short and sweet.
- Create specific content. Mobile searches are action-oriented. Users want to find or buy something they need, so use specific niche keywords that incorporate product names to boost SEO and your content’s reach.
- Include calls to action on landing pages to increase conversion. Mobile users aren’t here to browse—they want results!
Many mobile ads are successful when geo-targeting is used. Location is everything: Optimizing your local mobile presence is crucial for getting foot traffic and appealing to customers in your area who want what you have to offer.
Show up locally by taking advantage of Google My Business:
- Set up a Google account for your business and create corresponding Google Plus pages.
- To show up in local searches, follow this flowchart by Simply Business to boost your presence.
- Use geo-targeting ads on social media to reach users in your area who might not search for relevant businesses.
The mobile generation treats brands like friends. You can forge a relationship with a customer, but customers who have a negative experience can feel slighted or betrayed. Conversely, if customers are rewarded and appreciated by a brand, they can express their love and support on social media and in personal conversations.
Build a relationship with your customers by:
- Cultivating a conversation. Write engaging newsletters that offer generous promotions to returning customers. Forbes reported that organizations that increased spending on customer retention were 200 percent more likely to increase their market share than those who spent more money on acquisition.
- Developing personalized and meaningful rewards for loyal customers. Create an exciting loyalty program and promote it via email and text.
- Responding quickly and compassionately to customer complaints on social media. Create conversations and offer discounts or returns to keep the relationships positive.
Implement these strategies today, but remember that with the mobile generation, the only constant is change. Rely on the successful foundation of mobile marketing’s emphasis on usability, personalization and common sense.
Samantha Isdale is the senior content marketing manager for Chicago-based digital marketing agency Wpromote.