What's in this article?

What is mobile marketing?
Why make mobile a part of your marketing strategy?
Where can you start?
More reading on mobile marketing:

If you found out that you were losing up to a third of your potential customers because of a flaw in your marketing strategy, you’d be all about addressing that flaw, right?

Well, even though most business owners realize that they need to work on their mobile strategy, they don’t quite realize the potential repercussions of not working on it. Repercussions like the above–losing a third (or maybe more) of potential customers–are why you need to build better mobile marketing campaigns starting today.

What is mobile marketing?

The definition of “mobile marketing” is pretty self-explanatory, especially if you know what either of those words means (which you probably do). It’s simple the act of making sure that your marketing is reaching people who are on mobile devices–people it might not reach otherwise.

Mobile marketing is part of an overall, larger marketing strategy. It includes not just tweaking your ads and content for mobile, but making sure that your social media updates read well on mobile screens and link to mobile-friendly content, given that many social media users are browsing via mobile devices.

Why make mobile a part of your marketing strategy?

It all comes down to the math. Based on numbers from the Pew Internet Research Project, as of January 2014:

  • 58% of American adults (everyone over the age of 18) has a smartphone.
  • The percentages of smartphone ownership are highest in age groups 18-29 (83%) and 30-49 (74%).
  • Nearly half of American adults own a tablet, at 42%.
  • And over a third (34%) of smartphone users go online mostly using their phone (as opposed to computers).

In other words, as mentioned earlier, if you’re trying to reach the young, tech-savvy market, and you’re not using mobile marketing, you could be missing out on reaching at least a third of your potential customers.

Where can you start?

Mobile retargeting

Mobile retargeting gives you an extra way to get your products and services in front of potential customers, and can be particularly useful if you’re trying to increase app downloads. If you read our introductory piece on remarketing, you saw it mentioned in passing. (If you didn’t read the piece yet, go do that, but the gist of it is that you can use retargeting to create ads that appear around the web to people who have visited your site.)

Retargeting can be used on mobile to show users relevant ads to information they searched for or looked at while on the computer. At the moment, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are the major players, partially due to their scale and access to technology, but industry leading retargeting platforms like AdRoll are also offering mobile retargeting as part of their service set.

Mobile advertising in general

Again, this is particularly useful for driving app downloads, because of the ease of downloading from a mobile ad–one touch and they’re in the app store, as opposed to this multi-step process on a desktop:

  1. The user sees an ad on their computer.
  2. They go to the app website to learn more about the app.
  3. Then, they go to the app store on their phone and search for the app.
  4. They finally download the app.

Even if you’re not in the business of app downloads, mobile advertising can make sense. Especially if you’re trying to reach the younger age group that practically lives on their phone (because, again, 83% of Americans aged 18-29 own a smartphone, the largest percentage of any age demographic).

If you are advertising on mobile, make sure that your website (and checkout process) are mobile optimized. Having the best ad in the world doesn’t do any good if they click through and can’t find out how to buy your product, or book a service, or even just call your store to see what the hours are.

Mobile responsive (and friendly) content

At the very least, the growing adoption of mobile devices as a way to browse the internet and consume content means that your site (and its content) should be accessible to mobile users. That means having a responsive site that’s easy to navigate on a smartphone.

On the far-reaching end of the spectrum, if you realize that you are trying hard to reach the demographic mentioned above (young and tech savvy), or look at your analytics and see that a large percentage is coming in via mobile devices, you need to make sure your content strategy is created with mobile in mind. That means heavily leaning your marketing materials (and activities) towards mobile-friendly formats.

There’s an interesting contrast here between mobile reading habits and the trend towards long-form content. Longer content tends to do better with search engine algorithms, but people aren’t necessarily going to stick around and read a 1,000+ word treatise on their phones…especially if your site doesn’t come across well on a small screen.

It’s all about balancing the two, and videos and podcasts are a good place to start. A Nielsen study reported that 28% of mobile users watch video on their phones at least once a day, and podcasting is an obvious choice for reaching mobile users. For more on creating a multimedia content strategy, head here.

More reading on mobile marketing:

If you’re looking for more resources to get your mobile marketing strategy started on the right foot, here’s three helpful articles:

But of course, sometimes articles don’t cut it–so if you need some professional assistance, we’re always here to help.


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