Content Marketing to the Mobile Phone
Through strategic mobile content marketing efforts, marketers have a unique opportunity to interact and engage with targeted audiences in a highly personalized way. Content marketing is all about individualized communication with an authentic approach to building consumer engagement and trust. Why not deliver that individual content to the connected consumer’s most beloved device? The mobile phone.
As mobile has proliferated and literally transformed the population, it has also become the ideal medium for marketers. Today’s “always on” consumer craves unique and engaging content that is easily accessible at their fingertips. Never before have marketers had the 24/7 access and attention of desired consumers to such an unlimited degree. The marriage between mobile and content marketing has humanized consumer’s mobile experience, creating the ultimate marketing medium.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
As 80% of the world’s population now own smartphones, according to the GlobalWebIndex, mobile app usage has subsequently skyrocketed. Apps drive the vast majority of media consumption activity on mobile devices and account for approximately seven out of every eight minutes, according to comScore. Such unwavering growth in mobile app usage has propelled it to take over the bulk of digital media time spent.
Marketers would be crazy not to embrace mobile content marketing strategies with this shift to all-things mobile apps. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—not only are all eyes on mobile, but more than ever before consumers are open and interested in receiving personalized communications from preferred brands and retailers. In a recent white paper, Yahoo cited that content personalization represents the fulcrum balancing the consumer ‘need to know’ with their ‘want to know.’ Seventy-eight percent of surveyed consumers told Yahoo they want some degree of personalization, with 62% preferring a mix of algorithmic and curated content. This shift in consumer attitudes has created immense opportunities for brands to deliver highly personalized content at an individual level.
Data = Unique Customer Connections
With access to millions of opted-in users, marketers can take advantage of the data collected from each individual consumer on their apps to help individualize and improve the user experience. Remembering that no customer is alike, collecting and leveraging customer data (in-app habits, preferences, likes/dislikes, etc.) can turn a consumer’s mobile session into an enjoyable content journey and keep them coming back for more. Additionally, by leveraging data from their apps, CMOs can use the data to inform their other existing marketing channels. For example, emailing users with relevant offers and promotions based on their mobile viewing or digital preferences can help increase conversions.
Mobile is a 24/7 medium
Mobile has become the consumer’s second skin. According to Mary Meeker’s annual trends report, Millennials love their smartphones, perhaps even more than their best friend. In fact, 87% say that their smartphones “never leave my side;” 80% say that the first thing they do upon waking is “reach for my smartphone;” and 60% believe that in the next five years “everything will be done on mobile devices.” Addicted is an understatement. Fast Company recently reported that 63% of smartphone owners keep their phone with them for all but an hour of their waking day. Mobile is accessible. It fits into the consumer’s life when they want, where they want and for whatever duration of time works for them. Because of mobile’s ease of use and accessibility, the platform lends itself to being extremely convenient and effective for marketers’ content marketing initiatives.
Selling a Product and Establishing Brand Loyalty
Traditional forms of digital advertising like banners exist to capture attention and/or sell a featured product with the hopes that it will “stick,” whereas mobile content marketing’s emphasis is on consumer engagement and creating the ultimate consumer journey. While the goal is to get the consumer to buy a product, product line or become a regular shopper of a particular brand—the way in which this is fostered is in a different manner than that of current advertising practices. Instead of showing a consumer a seemingly relevant ad on, for example, a pair of running shoes simply because the consumer visited a running app in the last 30 to 90 days, content marketing technologies utilize historical data and digital preferences on an ongoing basis to deploy highly targeted, informed communications. Those communications are not ads, but content marketing experiences. For example, while in a running shoes branded app the consumer views the shoes and also receives updates from a popular running shoes enthusiast blog that highlights the features of the brand’s sneakers and a video clip from a recent race in the consumer’s geography that shows the winner crossing the finish line wearing the featured running shoes. The goal: create brand loyalty with consumers so that they prefer to spend time perusing their favored brand’s app. As a result, by presenting products in the right context, mobile content marketing can increase sales by creating an enticing customer journey.
Brands are competing for consumer’s time. In an attention-focused economy, consumers need to be captured, literally and emotionally, by brands. Mobile has become one of the most valued marketing mediums where content marketing is seeing the greatest benefit. The mobile platform provides brands nearly unlimited access to the consumer, and in turn the consumer asks for that access not be abused. Consumers expect personal and relevant messages from preferred brands and retailers. Subsequently, brands must leverage their data to provide intimate, constant, relatable content that both inspires and engages desired audiences in an interactive manner that drives conversions. To succeed, marketers need to deliver on the brand’s promise—the human element—and deploy mobile content marketing technologies that allow them to successfully do just that.
Marla Schimke is vice president of marketing at Zumobi. She can be reached at [email protected].