We’re all familiar with the phrase “mobile first,” the digital shift that has led us to a world where people use their phones over any other device. The number of global Internet users has increased from 3 billion in 2018 to 4.77 billion today – that’s almost one-quarter (24 percent) of the world population! And according to Facebook’s latest estimations, there are 4.77 billion global mobile users – approximately one in every two people online are using a mobile device. With this new digital shift in mind, you should be taking a closer look at how to effectively reach audiences on their mobile devices.

Mobile Phone

A ‘mobile-first mindset’

A ‘mobile-first mindset’ means focusing on the experience of your audience and closely considering how they are engaging with your brand on smartphones and tablets or wearables. It means considering the use of voice search to find your brand. Content should be optimized for smaller screens and higher data speeds so it can load quickly. Web builds should consider the mobile screen over laptop, and be responsive to all device and browser types. And ad copy must keep in mind the mindset of a mobile user and the device on which it is served.

A ‘mobile-first mindset’

A ‘mobile-first mindset’ means focusing on the experience of your audience and closely considering how they are engaging with your brand on smartphones and tablets or wearables. It means considering the use of voice search to find your brand. Content should be optimized for smaller screens and higher data speeds so it can load quickly. Web builds should consider the mobile screen over laptop, and be responsive to all device and browser types. And ad copy must keep in mind the mindset of a mobile user and the device on which it is served.

Mobile Phone

It’s critical to keep in mind that all types of emerging technologies are being built with mobile-first as the baseline – think voice search or wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Google Glass.

Applying a Mobile First Mindset

When it comes to your audience’s mobile access to your brand, you need to approach creative strategy and content with insights into context, creative copy and images within ads. By doing so, you will be able to optimize any marketing campaign for maximum on-screen visibility and engagement.

To begin, let’s consider the user experience of someone who is using a mobile device. Consumers are increasingly accessing the internet on the go—thus often giving them less time (and perhaps less patience) than they would have at home or work. This means that if a website doesn’t load quickly enough, an ad is heavy with text, or making a purchase isn’t as frictionless as possible, you may lose potential customers who might’ve considered purchasing from you had they experienced your brand differently.

Mobile devices are also a major conduit for entertainment and information, so take advantage of this opportunity by creating video content that speaks directly to them on their phones—it will help build trust through interaction and establish an ongoing relationship between viewers and your brand. OTT and YouTube are great advertising positions for mobile users, and serving your own content there is a great way to augment your campaign.

Diverse woman on phone

Applying a Mobile First Mindset

When it comes to your audience’s mobile access to your brand, you need to approach creative strategy and content with insights into context, creative copy and images within ads. By doing so, you will be able to optimize any marketing campaign for maximum on-screen visibility and engagement.

To begin, let’s consider the user experience of someone who is using a mobile device. Consumers are increasingly accessing the internet on the go—thus often giving them less time (and perhaps less patience) than they would have at home or work. This means that if a website doesn’t load quickly enough, an ad is heavy with text, or making a purchase isn’t as frictionless as possible, you may lose potential customers who might’ve considered purchasing from you had they experienced your brand differently.

Mobile devices are also a major conduit for entertainment and information, so take advantage of this opportunity by creating video content that speaks directly to them on their phones—it will help build trust through interaction and establish an ongoing relationship between viewers and your brand. OTT and YouTube are great advertising positions for mobile users, and serving your own content there is a great way to augment your campaign.

Designing Ads For Digital

Less is more.

All the “information” is provided after the click. For instance, if you’d like someone to call you, create an icon reflective of click to call, rather than showing the phone number.

In mobile, the user is moving quickly.

Be sure your headline and images are strong, and reflect the subject matter well. Nothing too busy! See what you can leave out – is that CTA really necessary? (We’re discovering they are less and less important in driving action.)

Keep in mind the behavior of the non-clicker.

Many consumers take to voice search to find your website, rather than clicking ads. That means your site traffic will increase over the period your campaign is running, even though your CTR remains low.

A smartphone is used for rapid transactions.

Emails and texts are examples of things that are touched once and abandoned. Ads must be visually arresting to be “thumb stopping,” gaining attention quickly and served with a large enough frequency to be recalled.

Keep in mind the location of the user.

If geo-locating is part of your creative strategy. Serve something in the ad that shows then you understand where they are.

Understand what products or features are converting the mobile audience.

Lean into those. Don’t “waste” your ad dollars on trial and error – your CRM or sales history can identify trends or popular product sets.

Serving video content in mobile is ideal.

Most of us use these devices to consume entertaining or informative material.

Most of Us Use More than One Device

When using a mobile-first mindset, it’s important to remember that most people have access to more than one device at any time. (For example: a smartphone while they commute and a tablet while hanging out at home, or a smartphone in-hand while watching streamed video content on a laptop or television.) As a result, it’s important to focus on what makes the most sense for each individual device as well as how these devices work together. Providing an optimal experience for users includes thoughtful delivery of content across the consumer’s eco-system, which includes where they are getting ads, but also whether the messaging or content served to them works best on their device.

Most of Us Use More than One Device

When using a mobile-first mindset, it’s important to remember that most people have access to more than one device at any time. (For example: a smartphone while they commute and a tablet while hanging out at home, or a smartphone in-hand while watching streamed video content on a laptop or television.) As a result, it’s important to focus on what makes the most sense for each individual device as well as how these devices work together. Providing an optimal experience for users includes thoughtful delivery of content across the consumer’s eco-system, which includes where they are getting ads, but also whether the messaging or content served to them works best on their device.

Next Step: Talk To Your Account Executive

A ‘mobile-first mindset’ means focusing on the experience of your audience and closely considering how they are engaging with your brand on smartphones and tablets or wearables. It means considering the use of voice search to find your brand. Are you set up for success, or thinking about how and where your audience is consuming your message? Your account executive can help you course correct, adjusting solutions to more fully engage your audience, if needed.

Contributed by Anne Drummond, Vice President of Marketing, Midwest

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