Tablets, Smartphones & Strategy
Tablets, smartphones and other mobile marketing is clearly on the rise but what does that really mean for small business owners? As a social media marketing agency, we try to keep an eye on other aspects of Internet marketing including SEO and one thing has become clear…a lot of people don’t really understand how to optimize content or websites for a mobile marketplace. In fact, many fail to optimize even the most basic interaction for use with QR codes, tradeshows or social media sites by treating everything like one big extension of a traditional website.
The Rise of Mobile Marketing
If it seems mobile marketing has been in the headlines for a long time…well, you are right. Experts have been predicting THE year for mobile for at least a half dozen years. So, why the long delay? In part, the lack of bandwidth limited the growth cycle and created an inverse relationship between content and websites. Without sufficient speed, developers were reluctant to engage users who would only end up frustrated and confused. Without adequate demand, the release of infrastructure lagged behind. However, THIS year really is different! Mobile marketing is finally reaching a point of critical mass in terms of both infrastructure and demand. Mega social media sites like Facebook have pointed to a renewed interest in mobile marketing and tablet adoption has outpaced even the most optimistic sales forecasts. In short, 2012 is (finally) shaping up to be THE year for mobile.
The rise of mobile is great news for social media marketing firms and SEO alike but there are some fundamental differences in the various devices. The general public tends to think of cell phones and tablets as more or less the same type of device. Even small business owners fail to fully appreciate the differences. Of course, marketing firms must understand the technical aspects down to a granular level in order to create compelling campaigns, properly formatted content and engaging social interaction. With 36 million tablets already in use by the end of 2011, these newcomers have made tremendous inroads into the mobile computing world. On the other hands, more than 50% of all new cell phones are actually smartphones – leading the way to the mobile marketing revolution. If each device is able to connect to online content…what’s the big difference? Keep reading to find out.
How Internet Users Connect
As of the first quarter of 2012, the majority of Internet users still connect via computer but that is changing fast. Just under 92% of users connect via a computer of some type with the other 8.2%of users connecting via some form of tablet or cell phone (roughly 2.5% for tablet and 5.2 for cell phones). The differences center around both function and behavior; surprisingly, there are notable differences for each device in terms of how users interact with each device, the type of content and intended use. Each has profound implications for small business owners and social media marketing firms.
User Behavior Profiles
Smartphone’s – Go anywhere anytime. People use smartphones to comparison shop, search for directions, find a place to eat or look up contact information. In short, people take their smartphones everywhere and use them as a mobile method of enhancing information in their daily life.
Tablets – Unlike smartphones that go anywhere with the user, tablets are still primarily used at home via WiFi networks while relaxed. Watching television, engaging in social media updates and other relaxed interaction is the name of the game when it comes to tablets.
Implications for Marketing: Optimize information sites, contact forms, maps and other on the go “need to know” information for cell phone use and social media, movie viewing or traditional online activities for tablets. While some overlap is certainly expected, keep the usage patterns in mind when creating content for each device. Search behavior is heavily dependent upon the device being used with smartphone users seeking different information than tablet users. Although both will benefit from well created SEO and social media marketing campaigns, smartphones are more heavily dependent on SEO at least until search becomes fully integrated with social (a trend taking place even as we speak). On the other hand, tablets were practically built with social media in mind from the beginning; they are social devices designed to engage users while interacting with other people, other media and other devices.
Profit Per Click
By now, savvy small business owners are probably wondering which spend more. It’s a good question and we have some interesting insight! By extrapolating SEO data, researchers found that revenue per click was roughly the same for both desktop and mobile (as of Feb 2012). Given the relative newness of tablets, this was rather surprising particularly when compared to smartphone shoppers who generated roughly 20% in comparison ($2.50 per click revenue for desktop and tablets versus less than .50 cents for mobile).
Bottom Line Strategy
So, what does this mean for your mobile and social marketing strategy? Simple. For smartphones, you better be in the top 1 or 2 search results for those “on the go” terms or risk never being seen. On the other hand, tablet’s can safely go lower if properly optimized. Emphasis on social interaction and great landing pages is essential. In the not so distant future, both will heavily rely upon social results even for proper SEO visibility making a strong investment in social a good investment in the future of your small business success.