Mobile traffic to websites is growing quickly. New mobile technologies offer us exciting new creative opportunities and developers are making millions by building bestselling apps. Before we run headfirst into mobile marketing however, there are some common mistakes that we need to avoid. Lets take a look at the most common pitfalls in mobile marketing:
1. It's Not About the Device
The most often made mistake in mobile marketing is to focus on the device. The problem with this approach is your potential audience may well be using multiple devices at different times of the day and the devices they use will change over time. The reality is we need to focus on the user journey, understand this journey has become more complex and make sure that we are providing an optimum experience throughout.
2. Don't Ignore Your Audience
Report after report has shown an increase in traffic to websites on mobile devices, but many organizations haven't prioritized optimizing the mobile experience. Just because your website works on a mobile device, doesn't mean you're offering the best possible experience. Also, don't forget to go beyond your website and think about how you interact via other channels like email and social media, and how well these channels are optimized for mobile.
3. Are You Responsive or Adaptive?
We use the term "responsive design" to describe websites that adjust to display correctly on the device they are being shown on. However, there are a range of different technologies and approaches to creating mobile optimized websites, and responsive design has become a catch-all term to describe these approaches (when in fact what many people are actually talking about is something called "adaptive design"). You don't need to worry about the technology too much, but you need to make sure any designers or developers you are working with are!
4. The Keys to Email Essentials
Many of us now read our emails on a mobile device, so creating mobile optimized emails is essential. You can create responsive emails that adjust to the device they are being displayed on, but this approach is limited to certain email clients. Make sure any email design you use is easily readable on a mobile device, and avoid email templates that have multiple columns, as these are often hard to read on smaller screens.
5. Do You Really Need That App?
Much like Facebook pages, mobile apps are often created just for the sake of creating them. Make sure your app has clear business objectives, but most importantly, there is a sufficiently compelling reason for the audience to download, install and then actually use the app.
6. Your App Needs a Plan
Even if you create the best app ever built, more often than not it will fail if you don't have a marketing plan. That's because the huge volume of apps out there means that most apps never get found in the first place once they are available in the major app stores. Make sure you have worked out how your audience will find your app and once they have found it, that it's clearly communicated why they should install and use it.
7. Searching Questions
Search engine optimization (SEO) and getting to the top of Google is a pressing topic for all websites, but you need to make sure you've considered how mobile searchers differ from desktop searchers, and what this means for you mobile sites. You also need to be aware of the different options and targeting available for mobile searches when it comes to paid search. The main point in both cases is to understand the different search terms used and motivations of a mobile searcher.
Daniel Rowles is the author of "Mobile Marketing: How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications and Advertising" (published by Kogan Page). He is currently a Course Director for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and trains on behalf of Econsultancy and Utalk Marketing. He also is the co-host of the Digital Marketing Podcast, a global top-10 business podcast on iTunes. His company, TargetInternet.com, helps clients of all types to use digital marketing more effectively.