How to Reach Mobile America

October 18, 2013

It’s no secret that we love our mobile devices. Whether using them to keep up on emails or upload pictures of our cats to Instagram, smartphones have become a major part of life for many.

Just how much so?

No matter whether Android or Apple, smartphones are rapidly gaining in popularity.

No matter whether Android or Apple, smartphones are rapidly gaining in popularity.

The Changing Face of the Online Experience

Well, did you know that 56% of American adults own a smartphone? That’s right, over half of the U.S. now has the ability to go mobile at nearly any time of the day, and 93% of smartphone owners do, in fact, use their phone to go online.

If that’s not enough to shock and amaze, realize that smartphone ownership is up by 21% in the last two years alone.

With those facts in mind it’s no surprise that mobile marketing is making the news these days.

With Instagram bringing ads to its mostly mobile services, Twitter eyeing a direct messaging app, and big sites like Amazon and Facebook seeing 20% of their traffic from mobile-only users, if you aren’t looking to mobile these days you’re already behind.

Mobile Marketing and Your Business

The possibilities with mobile are endless. Shopping carts, price comparison, online access – what you can do through a computer increasingly you can do via phone or tablet.

It’s smart to start thinking about your mobile options. Unfortunately, like any web design, optimizing your business for the mobile market comes with a price tag.

So what’s important and how do you make your business mobile friendly when you’re on a budget?

  • Start by determining if your customers are accessing your site via mobile devices. There are numerous services out there that can help with this.
  • Build your website with response design in mind. Without this, your site may not accommodate the smaller screens of smartphones or tablets. And statistics say that if your page takes longer than 10 seconds to load you’re not bringing in the customers
  • you could.
  • At the same time, realize those small screens only have so much room. Keep it simple.
  • Understand why people are using your mobile site. Is it to shop? Check for a sale? Or are their intentions more operational in nature? Avoid the marketing blurbs and cater to your customer’s needs. They’ll thank you.

The Trend Continues

Mobile marketing doesn’t have to stop at mobile optimization. Apps revenues in 2013 alone are projected to top $15 billion dollars. And with tablets beginning to creep onto the scene as well, there are plenty of ways to engage consumers no matter if they’re at home or on the go.

For those trying to decide between a mobile-optimized site and a mobile app, the best choice is both. But for those on a budget, consider this regarding a mobile app for your business:

  • Are you selling something? One thing to consider: app users tended to be happier with their shopping experience, according to marketing expert Chuck Martin.
  • At the same time, one out of four apps end up going unused after download. Sites that demand app download to be accessed can become annoying and can drive away sales. Most web browsers prefer to not download your mobile app and prefer, instead, to browse optimized sites rather than apps.
  • Yet brand loyalists will often use an app more than ten times after downloading it. Already have a loyal base? An app may help you reach out and engage the audience you already have (and may bring in others as well).
  • If you do decide to build an app see which platform makes more sense. Tablets and smartphones have different audiences. Be sure you are targeting the one that makes the most sense for you.

As we begin to head into of the busiest seasons of the year, it’s time to ask yourself: is your business ready for the mobile market?

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