If you want your marketing activities to be successful, you need to have a presence in the places your customers are looking for you. Today, that means having a marketing strategy to engage your clients and prospects where they spend most of their online time; their mobile device. Mobile marketing automation makes it easy to do just that.
Mobile Engagement – What to Know
Mobile engagement is a broad term for marketing done via messaging channels that are specifically on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are the obvious ones, but smartwatches and other wearables can also be combined with apps to engage the user. This mobile engagement can be an excellent way to build a positive relationship with your customers as well as increase revenue. Done properly, you can offer a seamless experience for customers, whether they are online, or at your physical location.
Why You Need to Serve the Mobile Customer
When it comes to browsing/searching or interacting over the Internet, this is done on a mobile device 65% of the time. That time is comprised of social media, productive work, and online shopping. All of these activities were once only done on a desktop and are now getting their own mobile-specific experiences. Mobile usage has become so prevalent that Google has recently implemented a mobile-first index, giving preference to those sites that provide users with a mobile-friendly experience.
There is huge potential in mobile engagement, and it’s still in its infancy as marketers find more effective ways to use the insights it provides. A user’s mobile device can be a marketer’s best friend, providing important information on location, shopping habits, social media usage and more (with permission, of course). All of that data and information provides a wealth of opportunity. If you combine this information with new technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), that opportunity grows even larger.
How Mobile Engagement Works
Mobile engagement falls under one of three channels, and each of those channels has its own unique message type.
1. Messaging Inside a Mobile Application
The first of the three channels is messaging that takes place inside a mobile application. This includes:
- Push notifications
Push notifications allow you to utilise rich media and interactive messaging direct to the user's phone or tablet. Push notifications are great because you can deliver your message and customers can engage back with you.
- In-app messaging
In-app messaging is simple, but effective, and lets you publish text-based notifications inside your app. In-app messaging typically works best for keeping users up to date on new features, update reminders, events, in-store purchases, and more.
- In-app message centre
An in-app message centre is an internal email-based system. It’s not always seen by users, or frequently checked, so it’s best to use it for anything that isn’t going to be time sensitive or require general actions.
2. Native Mobile Engagement Channels
The second channel of mobile engagement utilises native messaging and advertising. This includes actions like engaging with users of wearable devices.
When engaging with wearable users, the messaging has to be short and punchy, allowing them to digest the message quickly, and engage with you easily. Many pieces of wearable tech are connected to complementary devices and utilise apps. For example, a Fitbit fitness tracker watch can be synced to your phone and the Fitbit app. You can then receive notifications on your watch’s screen when you get a message on your phone. This allows the wearable driven-engagement to serve as a broadcast of sorts and is usually used as part of your larger engagement campaign.
Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) also fits into this channel. While SMS text messaging can be limiting as far as the length of your message, or options for engagement, it offers wide usage, and almost guaranteed visibility. MMS can offer a richer messaging experience, allowing you to include media like audio, and video. SMS and MMS work great for tasks like appointment confirmations, event promotion, and general communication.
3. Mobile-friendly Platforms
The third channel of mobile engagement is apps or sites that have been developed with a mobile-specific format or design. The obvious example of this is mobile-friendly websites. Having a site that is optimised for viewing on a mobile device can help meet your customer's needs on the go and that’s why it is crucial to your business. You need to be there when your customers are searching for you on their device.
Social media apps fall into this category as well. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other social apps all offer opportunities to engage with your customers. These social channels require a well-tuned strategy as you do not want to be sending your content into a black hole where no one is going to see it. You need to be sure you are able to connect with your market using the channels they are using.
Mobile email apps don’t offer unique messaging abilities, but they do offer the chance to get in front of your audience quickly, and more often. You don’t ever want to spam your users or make them feel like you are purely selling, but with everyone constantly checking their email, there are plenty of opportunities to engage.
Mobile Engagement, Personalisation and the Future
The methods of engaging with current and prospective customers have come a long way in the last decade, and they are only going to continue to advance. The main appeal of mobile engagement is its ability to guide you to leads, calls, and sales by being relevant to the user. Personalising your messaging to your users is a lot of work, but in the end, it is well worth it.
Businesses are learning to use apps that haven’t been traditionally thought of as business related to leverage personal communication. This allows a user to deal with their needs as a customer, without ever having to exit the application. Finding the perfect balance of private and public platforms to engage on will be critical moving forward, but if you’re well prepared and understand how each channel works, you’ll be well poised to take advantage of it.
At Plexure, our intelligent mobile engagement platform has helped companies power their mobile marketing to create truly frictionless experiences for more excited and engaged customers. This leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty and, ultimately, drives sales.
Get in touch to find out how Plexure can help you with your mobile strategy.