It’s happened – 2015 was the first year that mobile traffic overtook desktop. 25-34 year olds spend an average of 2.69 hours, on a typical day, online on a mobile device. People are browsing websites on handheld devices, but the difference now is that people aren’t searching the same way as they do on a desktop; they use apps to consume the content and interact with digital services.
A few things have had a deep impact on the way we live, work, play and socialize with mobile devices; changing our lifestyle into an amazing digital experience. Sending texts, booking hotels, mobile banking, or just sharing your day with some pics on Instagram: our smartphone is definitely our constant companion.
Lately, there has been a substantial growth in app indexing (basically SEO for your app on Google and in the App Store for smart devices): brands are aware of it and they know that it’s important for them to take the step from a browser-based service to a dedicated mobile app, that would allow them to be found very easily by their target market.
Sounds easy? Don’t forget that an app is for life and not just for a season: you have to be innovative, functional and user-friendly, because users move on and so should your app; being constantly updated and evolving – even more so than your website. To illustrate this point, we gathered 5 mobile marketing trends for 2016.
1. Video Ads on Mobile
Video ads on social media will become an even bigger part of the mobile marketing world. Short video ads in particular are getting more and more important; at just 15 seconds long they’re referred to as the “sweet spot” — long enough to tell a message, but short enough to hold the user’s attention. The main uplift from the video ads will come from Google, because they are finally on board with search result video ads. That means that users are accepting video ads more easily, as more videos are popping up in unexpected places. According to Mashable, the mobile video market is expected to reach over $13 billion by 2020 and has already grown rapidly in 2015. For example, Facebook have reported over 8 billion daily video views, YouTube only published 7 billion. This amount of Facebook videos doubled in just 6 months! And because of this, you should seriously consider using Facebook when you want to start with video ads. You could say that the auto-play video spots from Facebook were just the beginning of a video ads channel with limitless possibilities.
2. Big Data and the Rise of Machine Learning
Big data has been a recurring buzzword for the last 5 years, but the reality is that most of the infrastructure to store and process large volumes of data was still being built. Now that we’re better at managing real-time big data, we’re entering a new era where this data can be fed into clever algorithms to enable personalized suggestions, taking into account your browsing history, past purchases and many more variables like location and current weather.
In the last year, the endless number of mobile users, especially the users who use their devices routinely every day, created a vast amount of mobile data. If we use this data with a clear view, we can improve our understanding of our users, competitors and our own business strategies. A personal response in a push notification, for example, is just the beginning. If we use, additional to our own data, the big data from social media channels to study customer preferences and trends, as well as their behavior, we can show our users relevant products before they’ve even started to search for it. For instance, if a user booked a one-week beach trip, we can offer him special beachwear before he’s started to search for it. The only challenge is to keep these suggestions personal and relevant, and not like the user is in the middle of a horror stalker movie!
3. Cross Device
A cross-device-strategy should be the focus this year for marketers and publishers. The challenge will be the mobile users, as they’re more sensitive regarding interruptions of ads. With a strong cross-device-strategy, marketers will improve the effectiveness, coverage and frequency of campaigns, and adjust displays at a time depending on the platform of the user experience. The main thing will be the concentration on the audience and not the device or channel; this is also relevant in the field of e-commerce. The lines between apps, e-commerce and social will blur in 2016: this won’t be a dramatic change, but something that will happen step by step. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, started this trend with third party “Shop Now” options and “Buyable Pins” – so let’s jump on this trend and start to blur the lines between web, app, social and e-commerce!
4. Wearable Technology and the Internet of Things
The Apple Watch in 2015 was just the beginning of the wearable accessories. According to research firm IDC, this leads to an uplift from 164% of worldwide shipment units from 2014 to 2015. The Internet of Things (IoT) aims from zero to hero. This concerns not only the smartwatches and fitness trackers, but also concerns sensors in almost everything around us. The CES 2016 Wearable Awards represent the best wearables at a tech show in Las Vegas. There are 5 awards in 5 categories – also in jewelry for the ladies. This IoT-Trend will allow us to promote our products and services on a more personal basis by real-time information on our devices. For example: sensors in your shoes notifying you on your device when you need a new pair; with a simple push notification, you could order your new shoes directly on Stylight 😉
The newest mobile advertising trend for this year will definitely be Snapchat; with the figures from 2015 alone showing its vast success. It was the fastest growing social app in 2015, growing their base of 18-24 users by 56%, 25-34 users by 103% and the over 35s by 84%! Marketers can’t ignore these numbers and should definitely have a deeper look into how they can utilise the channel. The intimacy from Snapchat to the users can help brands to be on a better, more personal level than with their target audience on Facebook or Twitter. But the main benefit and undeniable success will be the short lifespan of each message which has an urgency, creates undivided attention and a direct action for the user.
We have to take Snapchat as a seriously new advertising platform this year, let’s be curious how we will look back in a year to this channel.
2016 is set to be another incredible year for mobile marketing. Mobile is the primary screen for many people and so cannot be ignored by marketers. The trends above will help us to understand our users in a better way. Let’s have a look back in one year and see how these trends played out. Did they catch on or fizzle out? Did something new and unexpected come up? We will see…
|By Tamara Ziegler|