Daniel Bradley is an Account Manager at Monitor, a full service marketing agency based in Manchester.
The reports are clear. Mobile internet traffic is set to overtake desktop traffic by 2014. Are you ready? Here are 5 good reasons why you need to develop a mobile strategy so you don’t get left behind.
- Mobile internet use is rising dramatically
The world has gone mobile. Mobile and tablet device sales are incredibly strong and as a result mobile Internet usage is increasing rapidly. Websites are seeing a dramatic increase in mobile traffic. If forecasts are to be believed, by the end of 2013 and start of 2014, we’ll all be accessing the internet on the move rather than from our desks.
- Social media is driving mobile expectations
Along with email, social media is the most popular activity on mobile devices. The major social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are all optimised for mobile. When you develop your mobile strategy by sure to bear in mind that users of social media networks now expect this from social media sites as a standard and it’s only a matter of time before they expect it from every website.
- Most website mobile traffic grew by over 50% in 2012
The increase in smartphone and tablet sales means many more mobile Internet users. This number is likely to grow even more in 2013 as smartphones and tablets continue to saturate the market. We’re seeing the figures reflecting the change. A number of websites we currently manage have seen their mobile traffic increase over 500% since 2011 after developing a mobile strategy.
- Your competitors are going mobile
Going mobile is a hot topic of conversation at the moment whether it’s about creating mobile websites or dedicated mobile apps. Even if you’re not planning to focus on mobile soon, or develop a mobile strategy, chances are your competitors will be.
- There are more devices connected to the Internet than there are people on Earth.
An astonishing statistic that says it all. And it’s going in one direction given the influx of smartphones, tablet devices and the increasingly popular Smart TV.
Key Steps to Starting Your Mobile Strategy
Know your audience
What are your customers looking for on their mobile devices? You need to find out so you can create features they find valuable – features they can’t live without. Review your analytics, filter the mobile traffic and see what sort of content mobile users are looking for on your site.
Know your starting point
Take a look at your current online presence on a mobile and tablet device. How does it look? Is your web experience fully optimised across all devices?
Know your competition
Take a look at your competition online. Do they have a mobile strategy with mobile-optimised messages and apps? Set clear goals Once you understand where you are now and what your customers are looking for from their mobile devices, the next step is to focus on your core goals. Don’t make the mistake of changing your business to become mobile. Mould a mobile strategy to fit your goals and make the move to mobile work for you.
Second screen society and second screen viewing
Second screen is now an everyday reality - from tweeting comments about BBC’s Question Time to Facebooking during Britain’s Got Talent. About 60% of UK viewers go online while watching TV at least twice a week and one in three does so every day, according to research by TV advertising trade body Thinkbox.
Brands are increasingly looking to build on this phenomenon and some believe that interacting with live TV on a companion device is the next great frontier for social media. According to a study by Brandwatch, 61% of brands are already regularly tweeting before, during and after TV programmes - hoping to improve their brand image by engaging with their followers in current and topical conversations.
Second screen and social media for brands
Twitter’s TV Book which was released earlier this year breaks down the tweeting habits of TV viewers and tells us that of the 10 million active Twitter users in the UK, 60% tweet whilst watching TV and 40% of them mention what they are watching in some way or other. That’s a big social audience – and if a brand can get it right, they can soon increase their social voice and their followers. According to Brandwatch, 17% of the people surveyed said that they felt more connected to brands seen on social networking sites.
- Dual-screen social TV initiatives are the next great frontier for social media, according to some agencies.
- 60% of viewers concurrently watch TV and go online two to three times a week. One in three (37%) do so every day.
- Some doubt dual screening will become mainstream because people often watch TV to relax rather than engage with it. Understanding programme types and content is as essential as understanding audiences. (Source: http://econsultancy.com)
This is clearly not a daunting prospect for a new fashion show on Channel 4’s T4, funded by high street chain New Look, which plans to go further still in its efforts to tap into dual screening. During ‘New Look Style Nation’, which launches on 4th June, viewers will be able to dress virtual models and submit their own designs on a dedicated website, to compete for a job styling the retailer’s ad campaigns. The show will appeal to the chain’s strong youth following (it currently has 100,000 fans on Facebook). The website will also link to the New Look ecommerce site where viewers can buy styles featured in the programme.
Second screen: games, apps and TV
It’s true to say that Social TV is in its early stages and brands are still experimenting with second screen formats, but the idea undoubtedly has a role to play in reinvigorating live TV events and allowing brands to tap into the opportunities therein. While it appeals strongly to a hardcore of users, it remains to be seen how far mainstream viewers will interact with programmes and brands through second screen games and more advanced applications. It’s unlikely that you’ll see your granddad racing online against the Countdown clock whilst tweeting the benefits of a bottle of WKD Blue anytime soon – but you might find him guessing the value of a painting on his Antique’s Roadshow app, even if he doesn’t know how to tweet the nation with the result.