In this post, I will be examining some of the ways in which mobile devices impact inbound marketing. As at 2011, 250 million iOS devices have been sold since the release of the first iPhone back in 2007.
If the above number is combined with the sale of Android and other tablet devices, there seems to be more smartphones and tablets in circulation than there are people living in the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Spain & France put together.
For a successful inbound marketing activity, it’s crucial that your entire web marketing strategies take mobile devices and tablets into serious consideration.
1. Costs of Web Design on the up
The need to have a mobile-compatible version of your website has driven up the cost of web design. Even if you didn’t have to build a separate mobile website, having a website that is responsive and can adjust to mobile devices demands more complex coding.
Gone are the days when you could know a little bit of HTML and CSS to build a professional website. It’s imperative now to make sure that your site scales well on different screen resolutions.
Users interactions are different on computers and mobile devices and these needs should well be taken care of. Also, there is need for vigorous testing of your website on a number of different devices. All these combined to increase the cost of designing a website.
2. Access to New & Un-tapped Markets
On the other side, however, mobile devices give you unprecedented access to people’s free time. Even busy executives who normally don’t spend much time browsing might take out their iPad and surf the web during their lunch break.
Generally, people don’t tend to make purchases using their mobile devices. The reason for this is that it’s not so user-friendly typing credit card details and other information into a mobile device. Plus, there’s the perception that typing a card into a phone in public is less secure than doing it in your home or office.
Instead, people tend to be much more comfortable “Liking” something on Facebook, tweeting a product or giving you their email. Once you have the contact information, you can then follow up and nurture them.
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[quote float=”right”]”using branded mobile phone apps increases a consumer’s general interest in product categories and improves the attitude they may have toward the sponsoring brand[/quote]
3. Build your Brand through Mobile Apps
Finally, mobile devices open a whole new avenue of brand building through applications. By creating a top-notch app, you build a strong reputation for your brand. Even if you don’t monetize the app, people will get to know you and your reputation will grow.
A recent research study by an Indiana University professor concludes that “using branded mobile phone apps increases a consumer’s general interest in product categories and improves the attitude they may have toward the sponsoring brand”.
Mint did this spectacularly with their mobile finance tracking application. Though they didn’t try to monetize the app, the Mint app stayed in the “Top 10” apps for quite a long time, building their reputation and no doubt increasing their online sign-ups.
The above are just some of the many ways that smartphones and tablets impact inbound marketing. As the market for these devices grow, their impact is only going to get stronger and stronger in the future.