Top 7 Digital Industry News and Trends From This Week.

Welcome to the The StrataBlog Round Up

Don’t have time scour the entire web and read every blog out there about the digital market today? Don’t worry we have you covered.

Here is everything you should know from this week in the digital marketing industry.

Working around Facebook’s muted auto play subtly with subtitles.

When Facebook stated its auto-play feature for videos at the beginning of the year, marketers rejoiced. View were now bountiful Cost per views were on the drop. Everybody was happy. But there was a catch, the videos were muted unless clicked on by the end users. Some brands have found ways around this, by simply embracing it. With a slight nod to the days of old when subtitles were king.

http://digiday.com/brands/clever-hotels-com-workaround-muted-facebook-video-ads/

Facebook now supports .gifs but not for uploading.

Prepare yourself for a gifs galore. Facebook now supports gif in both its desktop versions and mobile versions. If you don’t know, .gif’s aka (Graphics Interchange Format) are short soundless videos that repeat over and over again. They are most commonly used for reactions to digital content and are prevalent on sites such as Imgur.com, Tumblr, or Reddit. You cannot yet upload a .gif as an ad, but they can be posted. Brands however should be wary to post .gifs featuring copyrighted content they do not own themselves, in order to avoid potential legal trouble.

http://mashable.com/2015/05/29/facebook-gif-support/

Instagram ads are on the way!

Powered by Facebook targeting abilities, Instagram will soon be available to everyone as a advertising platforms and not just those who can shell out more then $500,000 per ad. While Instagram works out the kinks of their ads serving and buying back end, they have added additional powerful features catering to tech and such as a Buy now and App Install buttons.

Here is a fantastic tech crunch article on the matter. http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/adstagram/#.5qbaaa:hCYT

The future of YouTube is mobile. Go small or go home.

YouTube is now more than a decade old. What started as a small site for users to upload videos for other people to watch, has grown to a media powerhouse before being purchased by Google. That’s its past but where is its future? Mobile. More than half if its users are already on some sort of mobile device. Mobile watch time has grown nearly 100% this past year and will continue to rise. The future of video is mobile, and advertisers must embrace it.

Here is The Guardians interview with YouTube’s Head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/02/youtube-future-small-screens-mobile-robert-kyncl

Is the pin mightier than the data? Pinterest buying power vs Instagram data.

Facebook and Instagram both have massive amounts of  digital data on their users. This allows extremely relevant ads to be served to audiences. Pinterest, however can allow brands to be part of the planning mode (or skip right down to the bottom of the sales funnel) Users go to Pinterest for inspiration with Pinterest adding “Buy It” buttons, it has the potential to flip the traditional sales process with top of funnel conversions and become am E-commerce powerhouse.

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/instagram-offers-big-data-pinterest-has-purchase-intent-165168

The psychological power of color.

A Picture says 1000 words, what does a color say? We are visual creatures who associated different colors with different meanings for example Red is an exciting or alert color, blue is a calmer, more competent color. Colors have personality just like brands. There are some best practices to use when thinking about what colors to use in everything from call-to-actions, to general branding.

http://thenextweb.com/creativity/2015/05/16/the-psychology-behind-color/

7 Reasons to pay for experiences over things.

We see the past through rose tinted glasses. Giving users more of a brand experience can lead to better recall and better feelings towards that brand or product, than simply seeing an ad scrolling through your news feeds. Here is an example: which is more memorable, a real life recreated Pac-man game, or a picture of a model drinking a beer? A slight exaggeration but you get the idea.  There is something to be gained when you offer your customers a unique digital experience online with your brand as opposed to just seeing an ad while scrolling through Facebook.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3046696/the-7-reasons-that-science-says-you-should-pay-for-experience-not-things

Want To Know More About How These Ideas Can Help Your Brand?

Let us talk over coffee. Click here to set up a time to chat.

Mobile Vs Desktop: How To Reach The Consumer On The Go

There are few things in life that actually live up to their hype. For example: The Grand Canyon, The Internet, Tesla cars, Game of Thrones, peeling plastic off of a new electronics… And of course smartphones.

Remember when your grade school math teacher drilled long division into your head because: “You’re not always going to have a calculator in your pocket”?  Guess who has the last laugh now.

I called it a while ago that 2015 would be the year on mobile. It looks like the world is beginning to agree.

Here’s why:

During their 2015 Adwords Performance Summit, Google announced that for the first time, a long time speculation came true: mobile is beating desktop in the search game. Honestly, this should not come as a real surprise to marketers. With the growing number of apps and smartphones available on the market, and the fact people are always on the go has resulted in the growth of a mobile concierge economy. Combine that with the long awaited Mobilegeddon of Google, and you have all the makings of a coup d’etat for the digital crown.

It is an inescapable truth that mobile devices have become a fundamental part of life. It is not only the screen glued Millennial’s that sleep within an arm’s length of their phones. We feel lost and disconnected when we cannot find them. I can’t be the only one who has ever experienced a phantom vibration when I don’t have my phone in my pocket.  The world is of course faster paced today and we are constantly on the move within it. So all of this mobility begs the question:

How do you reach the consumer on the move?

You can see there are numerous trends appearing around the country now if you followed the news from SXSW, or any of the other trade shows marketers frequent. One growing in popularity that I foresee really making a significant impact in the digital world is that a number of retailers have begun installing beacons inside their stores. This technology essentially is the next level of CRM (customer relationship management) device that allows for a unique and personalized bottom funnel sale /remarketing ability exclusively to mobile devices.

For another we can look to an older medium radio for inspiration. Traditional radio is sharply declining. In its place are Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify which bring in new listeners in droves. Why is this? Simple: mobility and personalization. Consumers want things now, and they want them, the way they want them.

Uber-For-Everything
^Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

People are commuting farther and more frequent these days, and to help them get where they are going (mad men nod) they are using traffic crowd source apps like Waze and Google Maps to help them get where they are going.  This is an opportunity.

It is said that there is now a Uber for everything. This rise of a concierge economy is powered almost exclusively through the prevalence of mobile. Need a cab? Summon an Uber or Lyft. Want some booze but don’t want to drive? Drizly or Saucey have you covered. Have to get some laundry and dry cleaning done? Washio has your back. You can even order a doctor or a massage using the apps Heal or Zeel.

I bring this up because each of these services has an audience that is on the go. There are advertising opportunities available within each of these, as well. Google Display Advertising can allow you to place your message within these apps giving you the ability to reach people during their commute or free time.

So which is better Mobile or Desktop?

A hard question but to answer it, I’m going to take another page out of radio’s play book. Imagine search as a Hot Clock. There are high traffic times and low traffic times. Times when you know people are more likely to be on desktop, and times when they almost certainly have to be mobile. The folks over at the IDG Knowledge Hub put together a killer graphic that goes into this with a little more detail. Click here to check it out.

It is not just search in which mobile wears the crown. Take a brief look over any campaign reports from Facebook or Twitter to see how mobile your target audience is. If you separate out the placement of your ads I would wager you are likely to see a stark contrast in the CTR and impressions between mobile and desktop.

Mobile IT purchases and when people are most active on their mobile.

So should I drop desktop entirely?

Not by any means. While I am clearly an advocate of the strength of mobile over desktop, “traditional computers” (going to coin the phrase now) will still reach a broad demographic. It depends on who your audience is and what day part you want to hit them. Be honest: how many times have you watched a YouTube video or did a little Amazon shopping while on a computer at work?

When buying things online, there is still some level of distrust from consumers. Google’s Mobilegeddon aimed to relieve some of that hesitation and make the internet a bit more mobile friendly place. The trend is that consumers are doing research on their mobile devices, but when it comes to time to buy, they return to their desktops. A integrated marketing campaign will, as always, produce much better results.

What does this all mean for digital advertisers?

Bottom line? The ability to meet your target audience on the go and where they work was once a luxury, but now, it is  essential. The traditional sales funnel is changing and we as [digital] marketers must change with it.

Looking for more analytical proof about why mobile is important? Check out this blog on StrataBlue to learn more.

Want to talk more about how to advertise inside apps and search to reach your customers while on the go?

Click here now to contact us online!

Local Facebook Awareness Ads:

There’s a new objective in town. In late October of last year, Facebook rolled out with a new campaign aimed at advertising to people near your business. Local Awareness Ads appear on the news feeds of people within a specified radius of your business. Learn how to set-up your own Local Awareness ad using my steps below.
Getting Started

To get started setting up a Local Awareness Ad, select the objective on the Facebook advertising page that reads “Reach people near your business.” From there, choose the Facebook page that you would like to advertise with. In this how-to I will be creating a Local Awareness Ad for StrataBlue. Once the page is selected, you will be sent to the page to set-up the ad.

local2

local1

Choose Your Audience

Who do you want to see your ads? Simply enter the address of your establishment and Facebook will prompt you will a map. Next, select the mile radius that you would like people within that area to see your ad. Think about details of your location. If your business is far from other businesses or residential areas, I recommend having a large radius of up to 15-20 miles. But if your business is in close proximity to other businesses I recommend using the 1-10 mile radius. Next select the age range of who you would like to see your ad. Then choose gender.

local3

Choose Your Budget

How much do you want to spend? If you are familiar with Facebook advertising you will notice that Local Awareness Ads only operate on a Lifetime Budget scale. A Lifetime budget is a set amount that Facebook will spend over the duration of your ad set. Facebook won’t spend over or under the amount you choose.

Select the time frame of when you would like to have your ad run. This is totally up to you and your client’s needs.

Tip: When selecting the dates to run your ad, keep in mind special events going on in your area where people will be traveling out of their town to yours. Local Awareness Ads are great for hooking out of towners to visit your business.

Choose Your Images + Text

Now it’s time to great creative! Choose up to 6 images either uploaded from your computer or from Facebook’s Shutterstock stash.

Note: Because this is a Facebook paid advertising, the 20% text rule still applies. All Local Awareness Ads images with more than 20% text will not be approved.

As for the text of the ad, make sure it’s something engaging with a call to action. For example:

“Come get all your pet supplies for a great price at Bob’s Pet Store.”
“Come try one of our 105 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt.”
“Kip’s Market is the place for quality produce at unbeatable prices.”

Next you will need to create a Headline. As you can see, I just used the business name, StrataBlue to fill this spot. The headline text is meant to grab attention and tell what your ad is about.

Currently, the only call to action available is Get Directions or none. Facebook will automatically default to Get Directions call to action button. There is also additional space under “Show Advance Options” to include text if you wish.

All you have to do is click Place Order and your ad is ready to run!

Now imagine your potential customer’s scrolling through their Facebook News Feed as they are figuring out with to do for dinner tonight and all of a sudden your ad pops up. Or they’re walking around the mall and see an ad for your small boutique located outside of the major department store. Local Awareness Ads are the digital billboards of Facebook. They are excellent for small businesses to be seen and heard by their local clientele.

Interested in what Local Awareness Ads can do for your business? Contact us today.

Must-Have Instagram Tools for Marketing Your Brand

Instagram offers a plethora of features including photo filters and editing tools, but sometimes they just aren’t enough to run a creative and attention-grabbing Instagram marketing campaign. The Apple App Store and Android App Store are full of add-on tools to enhance your Instagram audience’s experience. Below I have complied a list of 5 must-have Instagram tools to consider using for your marketing campaigns.

AfterLight

If you ever get the feeling Instagram’s filters just aren’t working for your photo, then it’s time to download AfterLight. I use the AfterLight App on a daily basis, not only for my clients, but also for my own personal Instagram use. The app’s main features include: 59 filters, 66 textures (light leaks, instant film frame, and dusty overlay), cropping and editing tools, and frames. With AfterLight, you can explore 59+ other filters in addition to Instagram’s 20. The additional features are especially useful when posting food and landscape photos, where, for example, sometimes the original filters can give your food a less than appetizing appeal. With AfterLight, your food will look delicious on Instagram.

Instagram Afterlight App

Frame tool on Afterlight.

Instagram Afterlight App 2

Light leak tool on Afterlight.

Instagram Afterlight App 3

Instant film feature.

Instant film feature.

InstaSize

The InstaSize app is the solution for all those awkward auto-crop jobs that Instagram makes. In case you didn’t know, Instagram crops your photos into a 640 pixel by 640 pixel square photo. So what about your panoramic and rectangle photos? The InstaSizea app allows you to create Instagram images that fully display your content. You also have the option to choose the color of your background and add filters and text. Instasize is a must-have download for those looking to explore different depths of their photos while avoiding poor cropping.

InstaSize Instagram App 1

Add a border to your rectangle photo to avoid auto-cropping.

InstaSize 2

Panoramic photo with borders using InstaSize

 

Repost

Giving credit to an original author-photographer becomes easier with the Repost app. In just three simple steps, you are able to successfully re-post an Instagram to your followers. The Repost tool includes the original caption of the photo and also creates a banner with the original Instagrammer’s username and profile photo. Just follow these three easy steps to repost. There are a ton of repost apps out there, but I find this one by Red Cactus LLC to be easier to use compared to others.

Instagram Report App 1

Step 1: Select photo to Repost.

Instagram Report App 2

Step 2: Pick the position of your Repost watermark.

Instagram Report App 3

Step 3: Upload your Repost and then post to your page.

Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch was made for creating photos collages to be shared on Instagram. The free app offers up to 232 different collage frames in 15 different photo aspect ratios. You also have the ability to customize the collage borders with different colors and line sizes. Use Pic Stitch to create unique collages and to avoid the dreaded “multiple posts in one day” faux pas.

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Create a collage of photos using Pic Stitch.

Over

When using Instagram to market your business, it can be very powerful to enhance your photos with text captions. The Over App helps you add text and artwork to your Instagram photos. This app was designed with the creative Instagrammer in mind and offers 30+ fonts and artwork graphics to amp up the creative element of your posts.

Instagram Over App

The Over App allows you to add text and artwork to Instagram photos.

Using different apps to enhance your Instagram photos is absolutely key to executing a creative campaign for your business or brand. Like I have mentioned before, Instagram is all about visual appeal. These tools are essential to standing out among competition and getting your photos noticed.

What are some apps you use to edit and enrich your Instagram photos?

Twitter Cards: Which Advertising Options are Best for Your Campaign?

All good things must come to an end, and in this case, they must now come with a price. The era of organic reach for brands is slowly dwindling, but smart marketers called that years ago. In June Facebook outlined why organic reach is declining (mainly due to mass amounts of content being created), and they offered Promoted Ads as a solution. Twitter is also making this shift and providing several options for brands and users.

Back in May I provided an overview of Twitter Ads and their advanced targeting options, which are very useful for lead generation. Since then, I’ve been able to sink my teeth into a Twitter service that several big brands are using called Twitter Cards.

Twitter Cards advertising opportunities were actually introduced in 2012 but are becoming more popular among marketers as the aforementioned organic reach disappears. Overall, the nine card options are useful to brands because they allow for photos, videos and media to be included in a tweet to complete three objectives: (1) increase engagement (2) provide a clearly stated call to action (3) drive app downloads.

Below I highlight the nine types of Twitter Cards available, starting with those that require coding. I also list key benefits and round it out with a Website Twitter Card case study from StrataBlue.

Pick a card, any card

Let’s start with the seven cards that require the most work. In order to launch the below cards, you must first install each card’s unique metadata to your website and then use the Twitter Card Validator. Once verified, your cards will show up in tweets and appear in the Twitter feeds of your intended targeted audience.

  1. Summary Card – This card serves as preview to a brand’s website and can include a snippet of web content like blog posts or restaurants menus. The biggest benefit of this card is that marketers can customize the content description in the card. Adios default text! Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Summary Card - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Summary Card with Large Image – With so much content being thrown at consumers, the Summary Card with a compelling image or graphic is a way to break through the noise and snag your reader’s attention. The image or graphic must be 280X150 pixels. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Summary Card with Large Image - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Photo Card – Highlight a chef’s dish or stunning photograph of your product with the Photo Card. The image will render across mostly all devices but must be 280X150 pixels. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Photo Card  - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Gallery Card – Highlight several pictures of an event you hosted or professional pictures of your company with this feature. You can also give credit to a photographer through coding. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Gallery Card - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. App Card – Direct download of  an app has never been easier. Although this is not available on mobile web yet, it is ready for Twitter.com. Embedding the code allows your name, description, icon and a price to appear. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - App Card  - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Player Card – Rich media comes alive in users’ Twitter feeds with the option to embed video or audio. The process of installing the code is a little more complex, but have no fear, Twitter has guidelines to assist. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Player Card - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Product Card – Create an interesting visual to grab attention of a product you offer and instantly drive traffic to your website with this card. The extra information you can add, including a price and description off the product, can answer your prospects’ questions. Get the code now.
Twitter Cards - Product Card  - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Now I’ll highlight the final two Twitter Card options that do not require coding and can be created within Twitter Ads under the “Creatives” menu:

  1. Lead Generation Card – Secure e-mail addresses for a webinar or newsletter with this simple step. Users’ Twitter e-mail addresses will already be pre-filled in the card and they will only have to click the button to submit. Create simple text explaining what users are signing up for and a simple call to action button. Twitter also provides you the option to download the generated leads at any time.
Twitter Cards - Lead Generation Card - Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

  1. Website Card – Immediately drive traffic to a specific page on your website and include a compelling image or graphic with this card. If you are opting to include an image, be sure to follow these guidelines:

–          Max size is 1 MB

–          Minimum image width is 240 pixels

–          Minimum required image height is 96 pixels

–          Minimum 5:2 aspect ratio required

Putting the Website Card to the Test 

Recently, the StrataBlue team hosted a webinar on how restaurants can leverage OpenTable data to maximize profits. One strategy to gather e-mail addresses for the webinar was to run a Website Card to our target audience on Twitter for seven days. (We also pinned it to the top of our profile page, so when users searched for us or visited our profile directly, that would be the first post they saw.) Our call to action button read “Visit Now” and directed users to the sign up page.

Twitter Cards - Paid Media - StrataBlue Website Card - OpenTable Webinar

Running the Website Card was successful and we reached 8,381 people online but more importantly gathered e-mail addresses and participants for our webinar.

Interested in learning more about Twitter Cards and how to set one up? E-mail me at [email protected] or chat with me on Twitter at @whatupTUT.

The Benefits of Mobile Advertising Through UberAds

It should come as no surprise that Twitter is the place to be if you want to stay relevant in your marketing efforts. Each month there are 255 million regular users and 78% of those users are accessing through mobile devices. One company has adapted to the growing trend of mobile usage by expanding their services.

UberMedia was founded in 2010 to provide several different mobile platforms for Twitter users including UberSocial, Echofon and Plume. These apps could be accessed easily whether on an iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry. UberMedia  switched its focus over to UberAds in 2013 with the mission of “reinventing mobile advertising.” By using data drawn from the various platforms it monitors (Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, among others), UberAds finds correlations between what people are tweeting about and their consumer intent via publicly available sources.

For example, UberAds has developed algorithms to segment the various social media streams into data-rich consumer groups. These groups can even be narrowed down to their interests and actions; i.e. people who are “Foodies” but also like to Instagram pictures of their dogs.ubermedia graphic

UberAds then uses and combines that information with GPS geo-locations to determine who the optimal audience will be for their client. By refocusing their efforts into UberAds, UberMedia reported revenue growth of 300% in 2013, reached more than 400 million devices and had 4 billion impressions each month.

Rather than appearing as unwanted spam on someone’s Twitter feed, UberAds tracks user behavior, preferences and location data to be more of a welcomed suggestion for consumers. For example, if someone has “liked” Seth Rogen on Facebook or tweeted about him and is having dinner near a movie theatre, UberAds might target this person by saying that the movie “Neighbors” is playing at the nearby cinema.

This ability to seek out the ideal consumer is what UberMedia refers to as its pinpoint audience. When a company utilizes this pinpoint audience feature of UberAds, they will be effectively delivering their messages to their target segments without wasting money by advertising to the wrong consumers!

This tracking of data in real time has already shown significant improvements in click through rates for brands including BMW, H&M, Macy’s, McDonalds and Pizza Hut. UberAds can optimize a customer’s marketing campaign that has grown stagnant, by honing in on more detailed demographics (like the “foodie”/Instagram example from earlier) that may have been originally overlooked, and can refresh and renew the original campaign to gain an even higher reach than intended.

As you can see, there are tools of immeasurable value for your business that are right at your fingertips, and in order to gain a competitive advantage, it is time to start leveraging the immense power of mobile advertising with UberAds on Twitter.

 

Private Messaging Apps Trending in 2014 Internet Report

In her recent 2014 Internet Trends Report at this year’s Code Conference, Mary Meeker revealed a growth of +81% in mobile data traffic since 2013. Not only are users using mobile to access websites more frequently, they are also increasingly using private messaging apps to communicate with friends and family. In the past few years, let alone days and weeks, the popularity of private messaging apps has steadily increased, especially within Facebook.

  • February 2014: Facebook made headlines for a $19 billion acquisition of the private messaging service, WhatsApp. Within four years of WhatsApp’s launch, it had 419 million monthly active users.
  • April 2014: Facebook announced it was removing its instant messaging service on mobile to help the user experience. If mobile users want to continue receiving messages, they are now required to download Facebook’s separate Messenger app.
  • June 2014: Just last week, Zuckerberg’s empire hired David Marcus, the former president of eBay’s PayPal, to expand on messaging products within the company.

Facebook isn’t the only contender in the private messaging sphere. Asian countries with strict Internet censorship laws outside of the US have also been using private messaging apps to communicate. The image below is from Meeker’s report that highlights six of the top apps for personal messaging, including text, images and videos in 2013. Top 6 Private Messaging Apps Meeker summarizes that users are posting more frequently with smaller groups of friends on private messaging apps versus posting fewer messages to bigger audiences. Shift to Private Messaging Apps Given the recent statistics revealed in the 2014 Internet Trends report, will your business consider allocating a part of your marketing efforts to use SnapChat and WhatsApp to target smaller groups of customers?

Supercharge Your Mobile Marketing with Geo-Conquesting

If you remember my blog from earlier this year, the word geo-conquesting should sound familiar. Geo-conquesting is when you target customers that are near your business’ competitors and try to pull them away with a message in real-time. This is all based on location targeting. And according to MDG Advertising, 53% of consumers are more likely to engage with location-based advertising. This type of advertising usually yields high ROI because the messages sent are relevant and highly targeted. Furthermore, according to a Pew Research Study, the average young adult looks at their phone a whopping 109 times a day.

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Here are some of the industries and retail categories that can benefit from geo-conquesting:

  • Businesses that sell bigger items like furniture or automobiles will have more of an appeal because of the infrequency with which people make those purchases. The bigger the savings, the more enticing to customers they will be. Saving a few hundred dollars on a vehicle will encourage someone to drive across town to get a look at your prices.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, industries such as retail, restaurants and gas stations can take advantage of this specific target marketing. These categories, plus other similar low-interest industries where there is a small window of thought before the purchase, can benefit too.
  • Holidays and events are a great time to take advantage of geo-conquesting because stores will have a higher volume of traffic throughout the day.
  • One way hotels could take advantage is by setting up geo-fences around nearby airports to attract incoming travelers. A great time to send these ads would be late at night and early in the morning to weary travelers and also during severe weather when flights would likely be cancelled and people will be looking for hotels.

Geo-Conquesting Strategy

The best way to develop successful campaigns through geo-conquesting is to first have a profound understanding of your competitors. You will need to find out why people are shopping at a competitor over your business or store.

Your mobile strategy should be equal parts of push and pull technique. A great way to really make your strategy shine is by using more customized alerts that have a time limit with them.

If you don’t think geo-conquesting is right for your business, be aware that the chances are your competitors are already doing it. Staying on top of digital marketing trends is vital for business success, so it might be time to reconsider.

Has geo-conquesting ever persuaded you to shop at a specific store?

Make the Move to Mobile

In their 2013 Mobile Search Moments Report, Google and Nielsen found that 77% of mobile searches occurred while users were at home or work and had a PC readily available. With 20% of all traffic occurring from smartphones or tablets, now is the time to reevaluate your business’ mobile website design to make the user experience simple and visually pleasing to increase sales.

Content Still Reigns King

While images and video are important on mobile, having the right keywords is the first step of consideration when designing a new mobile site. Google Analytics is a great tool to utilize first for ordering content in order of importance according to your audience. Using shorter words in paragraphs or providing lists with your keywords also makes the user experience better. Content coincides with the overall design of your mobile site more than you think.

Responsive Web Design

Nothing can interrupt the user experience more on mobile than having to scroll in or out and have the screen size readjust several times. This is where the buzzword, responsive web design, is important to understand. Responsive web design means having one website design that is user friendly across all devices – tablets, smartphones, EReaders, etc. – and content that fits in the different screen dimensions. Let it be known that having a better responsive web design also means an increase in page load time.

Interactive Features

With content as your foundation and a responsive web design in order, now you can vamp up your mobile website with creative interface options. Carousels are perfect for easy right-swipe scrolling and can highlight events or specific news. Progressive disclosure icons are ideal to segment topics users are looking for. If you are selling your products online, you’ll want to be sure of having the feature to allow users to zoom in on images.

Progressive disclosure

Think your website needs a face lift on mobile or desktop? We’d love to help! E-mail us at [email protected] or let us know in the comments section!

Keeping Your Business Mobile: New Techniques You Need to Try

Hopefully you read my blog last week. If not, shame on you! I’ll forgive you this time, but it was about mobile marketing and why it will be important for your business to adapt to this rising trend.

According to a Motorola Solutions survey, retailers believe that over the next five years, 56% of all transactions will be completed via mobile POS, self-checkouts at terminal or on mobile devices. In that same survey, 42% believe that improving the in-store experience will involve sending coupons to a customer’s phone based on their location in the store. If you still don’t think you need to take advantage of mobile, look around the next time you are in a restaurant or waiting on a street corner and really notice how many people are on their phones. These are all potential clients!

It’s no surprise that people’s attention spans have reduced dramatically over the past couple of years. With video accounting for 50% of all mobile data, you’ll need to adapt to this trend. Micro-content will be key in keeping your customers engaged with you. You will be seeing more companies take advantage of Vine, Instagram Video and even Snapchat as they continually rise in popularity.

Cezar Kolodziej, president and CEO of Iris Mobile predicts that Rich Media Messaging (RMM) will explode in 2014 (with already a 99% open rate and double the conversion rates of SMS). RMM allows Android users to no longer receive iPhone content that they will not be able to open and iPhones will stop receiving Flash videos that are not compatible. RMM allows companies to send messages designed for each specific phone which allows the image, video or coupon to fit the screen.

Have you considered Geoconquesting? This is done by setting up a geofence around your top competitor’s location(s) and scheduling a message to go out on high traffic days and times for those areas. This is first accomplished by getting a second opt-in from your customers. After you have received that information, you will be able to send messages to your customers when they are near your competitors. You will be able to send a real time text message to them saying something like this: “Stop by our location in the next hour and receive 15% off any full-priced item! Show MSG when checking out.” This gives them a specific call-to-action and incentive to leave your competitors and come directly to your store.

Have you already adopted mobile marketing techniques? Are you seeing a bigger ROI? Comment below and grab my attention on Twitter.