11 Steps To Smarter Mobile Content

by Tracy Gold on Jan 13, 2012

Social media conferences like Social Fresh leave your engines revving—you’re full of ideas, just waiting to press down on the gas pedal and shoot ahead of the competition.

This was especially true on Day 1 of the recent Social Fresh Baltimore, which covered mobile marketing—still somewhat of an open road for marketers. However, as C.C. Chapman pointed out on that day’s closing keynote, it’s smart to put on the brakes and do some planning and strategizing before you go full speed ahead with new tactics.

To help attendees do just that, C.C. outlined several steps to creating a smart mobile strategy—these steps also apply to most other types of marketing campaigns. Below are the 11 steps that stood out to me from C.C’s talk.

(My apologies if I steal any of his language directly without attribution—it’s unintentional! I’m working from my open notes and didn’t include quotation marks as much as I should have. )

1. You gotta have a goal.

Whether your goal is downloads of an app, social media engagement, or higher sales, it’s extremely important to talk upfront about goals for your mobile strategy, or any marketing strategy for that matter. That way, a few weeks or months later, when your boss or client asks “Well, did it work?” you’ll be able to tell them “yes” or “no” and “here’s why.” No more stuttering “uhhh” and a string of unrelated metrics!

2. Think all ages.

Silly marketers, mobile marketing isn’t just for kids! I’m not sure which data C.C. used, but this graph from ComScore shows that smartphone users span a wide range of ages—yes, almost half are between the age of 25 and 44—but don’t knock mobile marketing as “just for young people” until you’ve actually done the research to find out more about your target audience.

3. You’ll never be MY priority.

No matter how great you think your text message, app, or banner ad is, you’ll never be a mobile phone user’s biggest priority. Think of all the distractions people are facing while they’re using their phone—text messages streaming in, people passing by on the street, kids in the back of the car, or even driving the car (scary as it is).  Your content is not their top priority—so make the few seconds of attention you manage to get count.

4. Watch out for the app craze.

Building a mobile app takes a lot of planning and resources. If you’re building a mobile app for the sake of building one, and not for the sake of its value for users, people won’t actually use it. Instead of creating your own app, you could take a page out of Charmin’s book and sponsor an app that matches your mission.

5. Not everybody is “smart” yet.  

Not everyone has a smart phone, so make sure you give multiple options to access your content. One way to do this would be through using SMS marketing (text messages), which as @justinpgh had said earlier in the day, is powerful, not passé.

6. Location is more important than check-ins.

Check-ins are cool, but location goes beyond Foursquare. Local search is key for mobile strategy—users searching on their phones want to know where to go now—so if location is at all important to your business, drive mobile success through a solid local SEO strategy.

7. Sharpen the axe.

C.C. quoted Abe Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” So, marketers, sharpen your axe—designate time up front for strategy. What can go wrong and how will you address it? What needs to happen when? What’s going right?

8. Reimagine, don’t recycle.

Don’t simply recycle your old digital campaigns into mobile campaigns—reimagine them. Cool flash website? Might not work in mobile. Text in a YouTube video? Probably won’t be legible. Think about how people use mobile specifically, and design your marketing for that environment.

9. Create Wings and Roots.

Once you’ve got people who love your content (roots), you’ve got to get them to share that content (wings). While this is still somewhat hard on mobile devices, build as many sharing capabilities as possible into any mobile marketing campaign.

10. Stoke the campfire.

“The internet is full of campfires. Why would people stay at yours?” C.C. asked the crowd. Make people feel special, like American Eagle did with an SMS campaign, and they’ll stick around.

11. Build momentum.

You can get people excited with one time deals and specials, but how do you keep building that momentum? Think ahead about how you’re going to keep people engaged, whether it’s continuously offering deals, advance notice on new products, or helpful tips.

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That’s C.C.’s take—what’s yours? How do these 11 steps apply to your business?

Comment and join the conversation!

Post Author

Tracy Gold is a marketer, editor, and writer specializing in content and social media. Let her know your thoughts on this post—comment away! For more like this follow Tracy on Twitter or check out her blog....