6 Keys to a Killer B2B Mobile Marketing Strategy
Mobile marketing and consumer engagement go together like peanut butter and jelly. With the average U.S. consumer spending 5 hours a day on mobile devices, the message to B2Cs is clear: go mobile or go home.
But what about B2B outreach marketing? Unlike consumers, most business customers spend the bulk of their time staring at computer screens, so why should B2Bs bother going all-in on a mobile strategy?
As it turns out, business customers are no less addicted to the mobile experience than their consumer counterparts. According to a recent study co-sponsored by Google, 42 percent of B2B researchers use mobile devices during the purchasing process. And, if you think they’re only using these devices while they’re out of the office, think again: 49 percent of B2B purchasers who use their mobile devices for product research do so while at work.
Clearly the need for a solid B2B mobile strategy is a significant one, but are marketers truly responding? Not as quickly as you might think. In the report State of B2B Mobile Marketing 2015 by Regalix, only 51 percent of respondents said they were investing in mobile marketing. For B2B marketers, the confluence of high demand combined with low supply, in the area of optimized mobile experiences, spells one thing: opportunity.
If you’re ready to power up your B2B outreach strategy with a solid mobile marketing plan, these six tactics will give you a great head start:
1. Responsive Web Design
If interacting with your website on mobile devices requires constant zooming, pinching, and swiping, your lack of responsiveness could be driving away more potential customers than you think. Google has discovered that 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if they had trouble accessing it … while 40 percent will visit a competitor’s site instead.
It’s not just users who are demanding smartphone – and tablet-friendly sites. In 2015, Google launched a new update — nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” — that began penalizing sites which are not optimized for mobile devices. In an informal study by CWS shortly after the update was released, a non-optimized site reflected a 33 percent decline in the number of sessions, a 27-slot drop in SERP rankings, and a 9 percent overall decrease in mobile traffic.
To learn more about boosting your website’s responsiveness, see Google’s article “What Makes a Good Mobile Site?”
2. Email Campaigns
B2B outreach email campaigns tend to be created the same way most marketing content is created: on a desktop or a laptop computer. But, an ever-increasing number of these emails are being read on smartphones and tablets, even though few marketers are taking the extra step to test their mobile email experience.
In its year-long survey involving 27 billion emails, Return Path discovered that more than half — 55 percent — were opened on mobile devices. This was an increase of 29 percent over a similar study in 2012. Only 16 percent were opened on desktop platforms.
If your mobile strategy doesn’t yet include optimizing your email marketing, it’s time to ensure that all campaigns are mobile-friendly. Many email marketing platforms now include mobile preview features enabling you to ensure an optimal experience on a wide variety of devices and platforms. Use them.
3. Mobile Video
As video accounts for a greater and greater share of web traffic, marketers are realizing that no B2B outreach campaign is complete without a mobile video component. According to a study by Cisco, video traffic accounted for 60 percent of the total mobile data traffic in 2016. By 2021, 78 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. If you think that is far off… it isn’t.
As you begin to add video to your mobile strategy, keep these best practices in mind:
- Make your videos compelling and engaging. Droning “talking head” videos will only drive users away, and could actually hurt your brand image.
- Keep them short. The optimal size is 2 minutes or less. If you have more to share than you can express in 120 seconds, consider creating a video series.
- Engage viewers early. Facebook found that viewers who watched the first 3 seconds of a video are more likely to watch longer, so start your video with a compelling image or information that entices people want to stick around.
4. Mobile Apps
“There’s an app for that,” Apple told us (over and over again) in its 2009 ad for the iPhone 3. Today there really is a mobile app for everything, and people are using them. Just look at the numbers, more than half of smartphone owners have between 40 and 70 apps installed on their devices, and a majority use four or more apps daily.
So why offer a B2B mobile app in addition to a mobile-optimized website? Chris Layne gives us a good explanation in his recent post on the B2B Commerce Digital blog:
A native B2B mobile app, on the other hand, is more than a mobile optimized site. A B2B mobile app is essentially a complete rethinking of the user experience, for the needs of a mobile user. It avoids components that don’t work well on the small screen, such as pulldowns, opting instead for slider bars, large buttons that are easy to see and use on the small screen, and simple, consistent navigation.
B2B mobile apps offer the additional advantages of enhanced personalization and offline availability. Plus, they’re more accessible and cost-effective than ever, even for small and medium-sized organizations.
5. Contextual Awareness
Many companies collect data around their mobile engagement. When’s the last time you dug deeper to look at the context around those numbers — the who, what, when, where, how, and why?
Contextual awareness gives you a much deeper insight into your mobile audience, enabling you to better serve their needs. Consider questions such as:
- Why does your target audience use their mobile devices to interact with you?
- How do they use their devices? For example, are they on the hunt for quick information, or do they stick around for a more in-depth experience?
- What are their pain points? With intent monitoring, you can track online activity to uncover challenges that your product or service can help solve, then create targeted campaigns to engage those users.
6. Airtight Privacy
Mobile device users are deeply concerned with privacy. If they suspect that any aspect of your user experience is less than 100 percent secure, they won’t stick around.
First, make sure you understand the privacy regulations for both your industry and the geographic areas you serve. For example, if you do business in the European Union, you’ll need to become familiar with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will affect all businesses doing business in European countries. It also helps to get a sense of what your customers’ expectations are regarding privacy. This will depend on the nature of your business, and the type of information they share with you.
For years, B2B organizations viewed mobile marketing as an afterthought, a distant second to the almighty desktop experience, and something that you engaged in only if you had the extra time and resources on your hands. Current trends show us that we may ignore B2B mobile marketing at our own risk. If our B2B outreach efforts are to succeed at all levels of the marketing and sales funnel, we must build and execute a mobile strategy offering a comprehensive, positive experience which follows our contacts, from our initial contact all the way to the sales conversation.