It’s no secret that 2014 has been the year of mobile for marketers.
Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you how important a mobile strategy is, and why you should be devoting megadollars toward this channel. Clearly we’ve all listened, to the tune of $31.45 billion spent on mobile this year.
Having a mobile strategy is great, but it’s not enough to simply spend money on something just so it exists. Mobile can be an extremely valuable channel for your marketing and advertising efforts if used properly.
Many marketers think of their mobile strategy simply as a way to gain visibility within their consumer audience, but taking this narrow approach leaves valuable dollars on the table. Creating awareness is great--in fact, it’ll be a natural by-product of your mobile efforts--but in order to see real value in return, the focus should be on content and engagement.
Here are some tips on how to monetize your mobile efforts and improve ROI on your spend.
Don’t Operate Your Mobile, Social, And Content In Silos
Your consumers spend an inordinate amount of time on their mobile devices on social networks, consuming and sharing content. So why divide these out into different channels?
Instead, focus your efforts on bringing these strategies together to build a better relationship with your target audience.
For one reason or another, as each of these channels has evolved, it’s been separately and distinctly from each other. Everyone was thinking, hey we need to get mobile together. Then we need to get social together, and then content.
But we’re at this point in the evolution where now we can step back, and we have a good sense of what mobile is, what social is, and the content we need, and that from a consumer’s perspective, these things have all converged. If you survey consumers about usage, you’ll see that when a great deal of people are on their mobile devices, they are actually on a social network looking for content.
So how can marketers and advertisers get their strategies and approach converged to better meet the needs of the consumer? They can better allow each channel to do what it is intended to do by allowing them to play off one another. Mobile is convenience and access, social is conversation, and content is providing engagement.
The benefit to the brand is that there is an opportunity to improve the performance of its media dollar. You’d be spending less money by allowing these things to complement each other instead of spending much more to have these three channels operate separately.
Don't Treat Mobile Like Just Another Mass Channel
Align targeting options with your audience and business objectives for maximum impact. There is a desire to have a mass channel to replace those in decline–think newspapers and radios–and advertisers are always thinking scale. But to get that scale, you shouldn’t just buy mass; you need to think about the audience.
Mobile is such a personal platform, so you really want to be invited into the platform by the consumer. Think about the value you are trying to deliver, and make sure you are engaging that consumer in ways you would want to be engaged. This makes targeting efforts crucial to success.
Demographics, behaviors, location–all these things layer on top of each other and give you additional opportunities to market your specific content. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t think about who the audience is and how you will deliver your messaging. It might cost you a little more money to target a specific segment rather than taking a mass blast approach, but you’ll do a much better job of getting your message in front of your target consumers. Consequently, consumers will respond more strongly, the campaign will perform better, and the media will become more valuable.
Native Ads + Content = A Powerful One-Two Punch
There is a push to try and replicate what we see on TV into any new platforms we use. There’s this desire to take that 30-second TV spot and bring it to mobile, but consumers don’t have the patience for that in the mobile environment. You have to be more creative, and the brand has to be placed more effectively to ensure your message is heard.
Putting your brand next to the content that the consumer cares about and working to ensure the values of the content aligns with the values of your brand are imperative. Native ads are in line with the story; they are less intrusive, which is valuable because the consumer doesn’t need to be beaten over the head to digest your message.
Mobile isn’t going anywhere. It’s poised to be an even bigger tool for marketers in 2015 than it was this past year. But it’s time for marketers to think smarter about their mobile strategies and start generating a return on their investment.