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Mobile or bust

06/08/2015

With Google recently announcing that mobile-optimised websites will now appear higher on searches, it’s more important than ever for companies of all sizes to ensure their sites are mobile-friendly. With most B2B buyers using mobiles in the purchase decision-making process but an alarmingly low percentage of websites actually mobile-ready, there’s clearly work to be done.

So what’s currently happening in the mobile sector?

Me-Time

Thanks to smartphones, senior buyers can now work wherever they are, meaning it can be increasingly difficult to switch off – both metaphorically and literally. With new expectations for work flexibility, buyers feel as though they must be on the end of their phones 24/7, whether on the way home or at weekends. It’s important for marketers to strike the right balance between content quality and volume. 
 
Purpose & Transparency

Companies need to be clear about the purpose of their B2B mobile marketing before they lay down a strategy. Buyers may well purchase groceries, clothes or holidays on their phone, but higher-value services are purchased on behalf of their employer through more protracted and regulated processes. Therefore, the focus should still be on building trust and brand equity through intelligent content. Different firms, for example law firms or management consultancies, will establish their own guidelines on transparency of their client-facing employees, which will affect the approach marketers should take with regard to embedding video, contact details and biographies which can reinforce trust.

Channel-Flicking

The mobile site is important as most embedded search functions still scan the web for content. Readability, given the smaller screen and more awkward bookmarking process on mobiles, is crucial.  The best sites have larger and clearer navigation panes and dropdowns, allowing for smoother transitions between content.

Synchronising your content well with an email, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn app together with a content app itself will contribute heavily toward application downloads – or just as easily become overwhelming. So balance is crucial. Litmus reported 51% of emails are opened on a mobile device, so there is an opportunity to guide a reader through to app-based content. Mobile-friendly emails are already being explored by some firms.

Video

Look over some shoulders on your next commute and the chances are you’ll see one or two videos being watched. Market snapshots, share updates, analyst recommendations and event reviews are all feasible bites of relatively rich content that can be delivered succinctly by video. Twitter now enables video embedding, as LinkedIn has done for a while now.

Privacy & Implementation

Without Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and Apple, applications and app stores would not be part of the mobile discussion. If these brands can build enough trust in their security features and content that we make purchases, send messages and check our bank balances online, then delivering B2B content is quite achievable in relation. Apps are beginning to incorporate reading lists and bookmarks, which allows a user to dictate what content is relevant. Having relevant content accessible and making sensible suggestions on what else to discover may be the way to engage B2B buyers on the cab, tube or train ride home.

How can companies utilise mobile marketing as a channel to reach business buyers?

• Consider mobile as part of your normal content marketing strategy. Ensure your digital team or agencies are creating mobile-friendly sites for you. Ask your digital, content and brand agencies to work together to ensure content is pro-brand rather than too service-specific.

• Optimise usability for smaller screens with clearer navigation, fewer hover elements and distinct click-to-call/email/access social buttons. If you have the budget for applications, synchronise well with content and push messages across other channels.

• User experience analysis will help you to make incremental improvements, allowing the user to customise their own relevant content environment.

• Link social content to both mobile sites and any applications, along with any video that fortifies brand value.

• Keep using the traditional channels to help reinforce mobile traffic. Advertise your app as a content hub at events, in PR and even face-to-face.