Today’s increasingly mobile-tethered population presents a business challenge: how do you create a strategy that puts content in the right place at the right time and in the right format? Part of the challenge is just keeping up with the slew of developments of the last fifteen years. Many small businesses are just now getting an online strategy in place, much less dealing with social media marketing and mobile accessibility.
Nonetheless, one in ten pageviews comes from a mobile device, and it’s estimated that by 2014 mobile Internet usage will overtake desktop. In addition, an estimated 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only. That means all they know of you is what they see through a four-inch screen.
Like it or not, effectively reaching your customers requires a winning mobile strategy. A close look at how mobile is used can help us figure out what that looks like.
Worldwide, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems each share just under a quarter of the mobile market. In the U.S., iOS has nearly half the market, with Android fewer than ten points behind. (Source: StatCounter via mobiThinking)
This means that your content should be tested on both an iPhone (and, if possible, an iPad) and an Android device, to know how it will look to the majority of your mobile users.
In most of these instances, your audience is distracted or consuming mobile information as a secondary priority. Your challenge therefore is to be clear, concise, and compelling.
Make sure your contact information is readily available and text-based (displaying a phone number or street address in an image, for example, prevents a smartphone from making it clickable for an easy call or link to directions).
Also, make sure you’re not asking for more information in a form than you need. Forms are painful enough to complete online, but they are doubly annoying on a small screen with touch-based navigation.
A recent mobile behavioral study found that 72% of survey participants use their phones as an alarm, and a common morning routine is to shut off the alarm and check email. So, if you’re sending a regular news & tips email, try branding it as a “Morning Read” and scheduling it to arrive in the inbox no later than 6am. Make sure the article titles use large, clear fonts visible without glasses the early riser hasn’t yet put on. Use colors that are soft on eyes that haven’t yet adjusted to daylight.
As a part of the above-mentioned study, participants reported an average of 20-25 emails that they saved for reading later, such as coupons, longer articles, technical newsletters, and noteworthy emails from trusted sources. Typically, readers will simply mark an email as unread, as a reminder to return to it when back at their desktop.
You can make it easier for them to remember to read the content by nudging them toward a service like Instapaper, “A simple tool to save web pages for reading later.” Instapaper makes it easy to embed a link in the email that will save the content for reading later.
Ensure that you have a copy of your email published online, so that if there is a problem with readability on the mobile device, you’ve included a link to read it in a browser. This also is the link to be saved for later reading via Instapaper.
Your winning mobile strategy should start with simple awareness of how you yourself use mobile. You probably recognized your own habits in the statistics cited in this column. Be aware of how your content is presented and whether you would want to view it while mobile, and you will have started down the road to a winning mobile strategy.
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