Branding online is never a “one and done” endeavor, at least not for businesses who want to stay relevant, and certainly not for those who want to grow. In 2017, digital trends are going to drive how businesses compete. One of the top trends they’ll need to embrace is optimizing their mobile presence.
Connecting with potential customers online has been par for the course in this new millennium. But with smartphones becoming progressively universal, any serious competitor needs to embrace them. Smartphones are fast becoming the primary way consumers research companies, buy products, and use services online.
Whether sitting in a store parking lot trying to decide what to buy, or even shopping online while taking a quick break at work, consumers always keep their smartphones on and readily available.
But smartphones are challenging for businesses to optimize: They have smaller screens than computer monitors, and the user experience must be quick, relevant, and effective.
Traditional online marketing, where the user is at a stationary computer, may include a site heavy with graphics, clickable options, or even video. If mobile users have slower downloading speeds, a site that takes too long to load may prompt the user to search elsewhere. When a site does load, if it takes too many clicks to get to the desired information, the user may opt to close the site. Video and audio can be attention-getting, but when they interfere with the customer’s need to make a quick, silent online search, the customer may move on.
When a user wants to know the specials for the week, the hours of operation, or how to contact customer service, no one wins when the information is difficult to find. Mobile searches work best when the navigation makes relevant information clearly visible, and when little to no scrolling is required.
So, the user navigates quickly through the mobile site, and they find relevant information easily. But for an on-the-go customer, does the website invite the customer to act? Finding the right product is great, but mobile marketing is even more useful when customers can use technology to make purchases. Whether it’s Google Wallet, a link to PayPal, or a way to charge the cost directly on the cellphone bill, there must be an effective, obvious way for customers to take the next step. Phone numbers should be written optimally so the user can simply touch the number to activate their phone’s calling feature. A clickable “directions” link should open in the phone’s map application.
Reaching potential customers and clients through mobile devices is non-negotiable. Research the best tools and technological tricks of the trade to get your company mobile-ready.