There’s no denying the fact that smart phones and tablets have changed nearly every aspect of everyday life. Arguably, what has been changed the most is the way that we use the internet to interact with one another as well as various brands.
After all, mobile internet access now exceeds PC usage, and 99.5% of users take advantage of their mobile devices to access web content and information. This means that business owners, brand marketers, and other advertising professionals have no choice but to embrace the mobile web.
Furthermore, properly optimized mobile sites can boost sales and increase user engagement simply by being able to reach users where they “work, play, and live” online. This means optimizing their sites and overall digital presence for their audience’s phones, which are perhaps the one device that they have access to nearly every waking hour.
What’s Changed Since The Mobile Surge
The importance of having a website that’s properly displayed across various platforms has become absolutely paramount for any business, whether or not they do business online. After all, even if your company is solely brick and mortar, your users will still discover your company via web search, social media, and various mobile apps (particularly location-based social review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other similar sites).
This is where responsive design comes into play. A responsively designed site is more just a properly built website; rather, it is designed to respond to the type of device and browser being used and display an appropriately optimized version. This includes adjusting images and content to fit the screen being used to access the page.
Although the responsive design trend is several years old, in 2015 it won’t be an option or another cool feature – it will be a necessity for any company that requires a successful web presence. And that is basically every business operating today, really. If you’re not accessible via the web (and the mobile web), you essentially don’t exist.
Adapting Designs For Mobile Users
Smart phone and tablet users interact with web content in a different fashion than users who have the luxury of a full keyboard. Touch screens mean that buttons need to be larger (in order to make it easy to tap them and avoid “fat finger” errors) and websites should allow users to scroll down for new content rather than having to click on tiny links.
Essentially, web design in 2015 and beyond should emphasize scrolling as opposed to clicking, along with other elements that make using a smaller touchscreen device easier.
One way to encourage engagement through mobile devices is QR codes. While often seen as a technology that failed to meet its potential, we could soon see a resurgence in their popularity. Well-known brands are already starting to newly integrate QR code functionality into their sites, meaning that this is likely a trend worth paying attention to.
Mobile Marketing: Business Owners Must Cater To Smartphone Users
As we’ve mentioned previously, companies absolutely need to tailor their websites and other digital assets to the needs and requirements of mobile users, or risk losing current and potential customers.
This goes beyond the main website, although that is perhaps the most important factor. Ensuring that you have a presence on social media sites, Google Maps and other map listings (if you have brick and mortar locations), and you’ve set up profiles on all relevant review sites that have mobile apps is also a key aspect of your mobile marketing activities. And if you don’t pay attention to your own mobile presence, you risk losing out to the competition – nearly three quarters of businesses are increasing their mobile marketing budgets in 2015.
One of the most important and valuable activities that business owners and managers can engage in is understanding the current state of mobile marketing realm, and adapting and improving their strategies accordingly. Actually, being flexible is the key to success in marketing in general – but it is a particularly valuable skill in the fast-moving world of mobile marketing.