According to data from the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a mobile device of some kind. Out of these, 77% own a smartphone and more importantly, industry experts expect this figure to grow steadily in the near future. It is estimated that there are more mobile devices than the world’s population (7.2 billion as of 2014).This means businesses must develop mobile-facing strategies to reach consumers. Here are four keys to developing a successful mobile business strategy.
Select a mobile platform that will enable you to reach the target audience in the most efficient way. For instance, it does not make sense to target Windows mobile devices when your target audience uses Android-based devices. With this in mind, the most common mobile platforms include Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. Android is the most dominant mobile OS powering more than 80% of the smartphones sold worldwide in 2016. This is according to an eMarketer report. In comparison, Apple’s iOS powered only 12.9% of the smartphones sold globally during the same period. Devices running iOS are mostly used in wealthier and developed countries, such as the US where 43.5% of smartphone owners use an iPhone. Although Blackberry’s popularity has dwindled dramatically in recent years, it is still has a loyal user base including security-conscious corporations. In fact, the Blackberry OS is largely considered the most secure mobile operating system.
All digital assets should be optimized to render well on mobile device screens. For instance, optimizing a website to ensure mobile device owners access mobile pages while PC users are served web pages geared for desktops. Luckily, this can be done by using software tools (normally included in a website’s header files) that automatically detect and redirect traffic to the appropriate web pages. Crucially, mobile optimization should cover all consumer-facing content including videos, blogs, articles, and audio files. The problem with mobile optimization is it requires technical expertise, so you may have to hire an expert if you lack the necessary expertise.
Besides mobile optimization, your strategy should include a mobile app as well. This is necessary for several reasons. First, mobile device owners in the US spend more time using apps than mobile browsers, according to a report published by eMarketer. In 2014, smartphone and tablet owners spent an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes using mobile apps per day. This rose to 3 hours and 5 minutes in 2015, before jumping to 3 hours and 15 minutes per day in 2016. In comparison, mobile device owners spend an average of 51 minutes per day using a mobile browser. These stats show that brands are more likely to reach consumers via apps than via mobile browsers.
Brands cannot shun social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter because they attract billions of loyal users every day. For this reason, your strategy should include ways of reaching target demographics via social media. An effective way to do so is by incorporating social media buttons on your site. It is also advisable to open dedicated brand accounts across social networking sites that attract the majority of your consumer base. Luckily, most social media platforms are mobile friendly, meaning there is no need for further optimization. What’s more, social media platforms enable brands to respond to issues raised by consumers immediately. Some organizations have even set up departments specifically tasked with handling all social media communications.
To raise and maintain the visibility of your business online, develop a mobile strategy that includes mobile optimization, a suitable platform, a mobile app, and a social media angle. If you do not have the technical expertise and skills required, consult or hire a competent professional. Finally, keep abreast of new developments and evaluate your mobile strategy accordingly.