Certain trends have become obvious, and ignoring them puts a serious damper on our branding results. Here are mobile marketing trends that you absolutely have to pay attention to, and should consider implementing.
# Omnichannel Marketing
You have to keep in mind that not all mobile interactions start or end on your smartphone. Users are navigating from multiple devices. Their buying journey may start through voice search on a smart assistant and continue on a mobile device.
Browsing the web has become very fragmented and harder to monitor. There are no longer linear sales funnels any more because interactions have become faster and scattered across devices.
There are gaming platforms, smart TVs, and even smart home devices. We are living in an age where you can stream television through a smart fridge. Times are changing. Your marketing efforts need to reflect that.
• Mobile Ad Spending
Global ad spend is seen to rise by 4.3% and reach $616 billion this year. Mobile ad spend is projected to account for $165 billion by the year’s end. This makes it one of the largest ad market channels today. As more and more people spend more time on mobile, this is understandable. Also, the figure will likely grow further, keeping mobile as one of the biggest ad channels out there for the next few years.
Thus, experts predict that this channel will get saturated. They expect prices to increase as demand increases as well. This means that it will become harder to get on your target sites, apps, and other platforms. Also, one has to treat mobile SEO differently. Why? Researchers found that 79% of keywords from the one to twentieth positions have different rankings on mobile and desktop. Therefore, lumping mobile up with desktop is a bad strategy.
• Ever Evolving Instagram Ads
Traditionally mobile-only, Instagram is growing by the day, and they have been getting into the advertising game for awhile as their user base increases. Some bigger brands have been getting on board with the platform and started marketing from there, but the crowd is still pretty thin.
Instagram is adding new and new advertising options every year. This year they are introducing ads inside their Explore section where users would go to discover new content and feeds:
That makes it a great place to start setting your own ads, with great returns. Of course that means you should be putting a good amount of focus on your overall Instagram marketing strategy. If you haven’t launched one, it is a good time to start.
• Video Ads
Video ads are a little bit controversial right now. The data still isn’t in on how effective they are, and different sources report wildly different success rates. But there is no denying that more brands are using them, including on mobile marketing.
Platforms like YouTube are especially reliant on the advertising form. You may want to consider jumping on the bandwagon and trying it for yourself.
# Visual Search
Ok, some of marketing trends really start resembling sci-fi movies. These days you can point your phone camera to any object around you to associate web search!
Google Lens is an image recognition technology developed by Google, designed to bring up relevant information related to objects it identifies using visual analysis based on a neural network.
If you haven’t got serious about visual marketing yet, this trend should have encouraged you to!
# Gamification (Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality)
Gamification is not a new marketing trend. We’ve been talking about this one for a while.
But the way gamification looks now and how businesses use it looks much different thanks to augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Whenever new highly-experiential technologies come about, marketers get antsy to jump on them. They want to leverage these to engage their target audience. Such is the case when virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) entered the picture.
Today, there are many mobile VR headsets in the market. Many brands create mobile VR experiences to endear them to their audiences. One example of this is KFC and its “The Hard Way” VR game. The game walks users through a training simulation on how the world-famous chicken is being made.
Augmented reality (AR) works by overlaying virtual objects on top of a real-world environment (usually by using the camera on a smartphone).
If you experienced the hubbub of Pokemon Go, you witnessed augmented reality in action. Other examples include IKEA Place offering you to virtually “place” IKEA products in your room and Timberland building a virtual fitting room (known as magic mirror).
# Mobile Apps In Google Search Results
Google started blending their first-page search results to include mobile apps a couple of years ago. Where you would normally see ads or universal search results in the top spots, you could find Google Play and iTunes recommendations right on the first page.
These days Google is also showing the whole section filled with related Google Apps including average ratings and price. Advertisers are also welcome to advertise their official app right inside their sponsored listing.
Apps already make up a huge chunk of mobile usage these days. Even if you don’t have an app yet, it is worth making one just to take advantage of their popularity, and Google’s new promo guidelines.
# Social Commerce
As mentioned, ecommerce is becoming increasingly omni-channel, i.e., unifying every sales channel to create a single commerce experience has recently become the only way to go.
It has also become highly cross-platform: Driving sales from Google only is no longer sustainable. These days of mobile apps and social media ads, you can monetize your social media presence and create multiple marketing channels.
With Facebook focusing more on “buy now” buttons, and platforms like Instagram and Pinterest really pushing the ecommerce side, we are now seeing a socialization of online consumerism.
The line between shopping cart and social media has been blurred, and it is time to take advantage of that. Not only can you begin to use social platforms for direct sales and lead building (which works great via mobile devices), but you can make your own site more social. The early, creative birds get the worms here.
# New Payment Systems
Payment systems are seriously changing. Samsung has a payment platform that can be used almost anywhere, in spite of whether they are optimized for it or not.
Services like PayPal are being accepted from big names like Walmart. Smartphones have their own wallets, such as through Apple Pay. It is no longer an option to ignore these new ways to pay, because customers would rather go with a brand that offers the choice.
# Customized Lifestyle Apps
What can we learn from products like the FitBit ? That apps are no longer accessories, they are lifestyles.
People use mobile devices to reflect and enhance the way that they live, such as through fitness apps (FitBit, MyFitnessPal), financial assistance (Mint, Mint Bills), and even smart homes (iSmartAlarm). You can promote your services by creating a lifestyle-based app of your own.