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Six steps for building a solid mobile marketing strategy

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Advanced Strategies / August 14, 2018

Marketers are well aware that it’s increasingly crucial to capture consumers’ attention via their mobile phones. One look around any busy city block will tell you that people are devoting a considerable amount of energy to what’s happening on their mobile devices.

How much time do people spend on their mobile devices? According to ComScore’s 2018 Global Digital Future in Focus white paper, globally people are spending more than twice as much time on mobile phones compared to desktop. In this US, this ratio is even higher — with users spending almost triple the amount of time online compared to desktop.

Don’t just spend, strategize

A recent study by eMarketer predicts that mobile ad spending will overtake spending on TV advertising in 2018. The study anticipates that mobile will take up 69.9% of all digital advertising spend. In particular, this will come from mobile digital display advertising.

Build your mobile marketing strategy, step by step

Embarking on a mobile marketing plan requires a strategic mindset. It’s critical to take the time to understand your product, your market, and how you can best position yourself to capture and engage distracted mobile consumers.

1. Understand your audience and market

Who is buying from you? Who do you want to buy from you? What is their online behaviour? What is their multi-device trajectory throughout the day? Create detailed personas for both your current and aspirational customers, outlining their needs, interests and behaviours.

2. Look at your data

What percentage of your customers are currently using their phones to visit and buy from your site? Does this measure up to the industry standard? How much do you want to move the needle by attracting and converting more mobile visitors and customers?

3. Take a long, hard look at your website

If you’re currently attracting fewer mobile visitors than you would like, why? Is your website mobile first? How have you adapted your shopping cart to the needs of mobile users? What steps are necessary to make your user experience and content more mobile friendly?

4. Set measurable objectives

Based on the current state of your mobile traffic and sales, where would you like to be in three months, six months, one year? Set objectives tied to key performance indicators based on what you can realistically achieve by implementing a mobile marketing strategy.

5. Define your strategy

Taking all these factors into consideration, create a clear and concise strategy. What is the high-level purpose that will drive all your marketing tactics in order to meet the objectives you have outlined above? Keep it simple. All your tactics — what you will actually do — should be informed by this high-level strategic statement.

Need an example? Your strategy may be something like:

Attract commuters who are browsing content on their mobile devices by featuring short quality of life content pieces distributed on social media. Intersperse this social content with free and sponsored content that promotes our time management app.

6. Create a plan that aligns with your strategy

Now it’s time to outline each tactic you will use to advance your mobile marketing strategy. Remember: always link your tactics back to two things: 1) Your strategy; 2) your KPIs. How does each tactic you propose align with your strategy? And how will each tactic you employ contribute to your traffic, sales and measurable objectives?

Mobile marketing tactics that work

Without tactics that align with your mobile marketing strategy, your plan will not succeed. Based on your market personas and objectives, here are some mobile marketing practices you may want to consider:

Mobile Bid Adjustments in Google AdWords

Yes, you can adjust AdWords to allocate more of your budget (and therefore more impressions) to mobile traffic. Simply select the Campaigns or AdGroups you want to modify and click on device bid adjustment. Here you can increase or decrease how much you want to spend for each type of device that is generating traffic for your campaign.

Use all available ad AdWords extensions

You want to take up as much real estate as you can in the search results. To do so, go to the ad extensions tab in your AdWords interface and fill in all that apply. If you rely on phone sales and your website is not particularly optimized for mobile, you will want to edit your call extensions to show your phone number instead of your website — encouraging people to click and call rather than click through. Consider implementing message extensions, which allow people to click and send a message to your team without visiting your site. And if you have a brick and mortar store, location extensions are very effective for driving local interest and foot traffic.

How mobile is your website?

Navigate and test your entire website — including the end-to-end purchase process — on iPhone and Android phones to understand how mobile users experience your interface. If you have the luxury of a redesign, design for mobile first — so that your entire user experience considers the mobile user experience first, then desktop. If you’re building landing pages for mobile campaigns, make them mobile first, or create dedicated mobile landing pages. Make sure your buttons and calls to action are clear and easy for mobile users — for example, buttons should be easily clickable by fingers large and small.

Make sure your display ads are optimized for mobile

Mobile display ads are tiny — particularly when viewed on a phone. Make sure you create display ads in the most popular sizes: 300×25, 320×50 and 728×90. And design them to be optimally viewable and usable for mobile users. Minimize text, and ensure that it’s readable on a tiny screen. Keep your designs simple… you want to enhance a mobile user’s experience, not clutter it. And include a bold and seductively clickable call-to-action button.

Choose your social media campaigns carefully

Before you plan and roll out social media campaigns for mobile, make sure you know how your target customer uses social media. Any social media campaign — paid or unpaid — must closely align with user behaviour and your mobile marketing strategy. If you have bricks and mortar locations, tools such as Facebook’s location targeting are extremely effective at attracting local attention and foot traffic.

Familiarize yourself with in-app advertising

According to 2018 data from ComScore, app use accounts for more than 80% of all time spent on mobile phones. In other words, if you’re not looking for ways to place your product or service in front of app users, you’ll fall behind. Marketers without an app of their own can effectively use in-app advertising services such as Google AdMob to place ads on third-party mobile apps.

Always, always start with strategy

Mobile marketing may be new and shiny, but the same fundamentals apply. Your campaigns will succeed thanks to solid strategy. Take a step back before you launch to fully understand who you are marketing to, how they behave, what they need and why you will choose one tactic over another. And continually check back, to ensure that each tactic aligns with your strategy and measures up to your objectives. This, marketer friends, remains the winning formula for any campaign — regardless of channel, reach, geography or tactic.

 

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