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How to create a mobile-first ad strategy

Digital technology has placed the world at our fingertips, with reams of information only a click away. As consumers, we are hooked, attached to our devices, as shown by a 2016 comScore study that identified a 35% increase in total digital media usage since 2013, with smartphone usage up 78%.

Platforms such as Facebook and Google have embraced digital mobile’s global growth by offering increased mobile-only ad formats and mobile-first education. Other platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, plus the popular messaging apps, Whatsapp and WeChat, live through their popular mobile apps and steady user growth.

Social media marketers need to ensure that all of their content, including video, images and CTA’s are legible on mobile. Here are three tips, with accompanying resources, to ensure your brand’s message remains grounded in the digital, mobile world.

Related | How to use social media ads to generate sales

Make your message responsive

Have you ever had to pinch or zoom in on content to make it legible on your mobile device? If you have (and really, who hasn’t?) you are the victim of a non-responsive website. As a marketer, non-responsive designs leave users frustrated and your bounce rate escalating.

Whether engaged in social media advertising or simply hoping to build your content consumption organically, websites need to be primed for mobile viewers. Common objectives for ad campaigns often include website conversions and clicks to website, meaning that even if you use your site for nothing more than a landing page, your content still needs to perform well across all devices.

Google offers some of the most helpful tools and detailed guidelines for developers. Start with testing your URL to see if your website is mobile-friendly. A full explanation of the mobile-friendly test tool is available through Google webmaster.

Check your speed

How many times have you closed a search box because the website either failed to load or it was taking so long that you gave up and moved on to another search result? Or, you want to view a video, but it takes too long to buffer?

73% of digital mobile users encountered a website that was too slow to load in the past 12 months, while 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

Google developers come through again with a tool to analyze download speed for your website’s pages. PageSpeed Insights reviews your content twice, once with a mobile user agent and once with a desktop user agent. Suggestions are then made and prioritized for you, according to its importance.

Google’s goal for content delivery is to render a page in under one second to preserve user engagement and deliver optimal experience. Learn more about mobile analysis through Google’s page insights.

Test, test and test again

You’ve learned about some of Google’s website testing tools above but don’t forget to test all content developed through your marketing and sales platforms. Most offer the ability to view content across devices, a habit you will want to adopt to ensure your email, landing page or blog works regardless of device.

It is up to you to test and view to ensure the content is renderable, not the software platform. They provide the analytics tool but it’s up to you to test and test again.

Testing for social media advertising also means testing your ad copy and content. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter offer mobile-only ad formats plus the ability to target by device.

Get familiar with the differences between mobile and desktop design to ensure your creative’s visual elements mesh with the ad format and device placement.

Consider A/B testing different versions of your creative. Also, separate out your ad groups by device to ensure you know what type of design and CTA works best on mobile.

Putting it all together

By thinking mobile-first and investing time and money into responsive design, you can reach people where they connect the most: their mobile device. With smartphone penetration approaching 80% and a 79% share of social media time spent via a mobile app or mobile web, it is up to you to ensure your content is mobile-friendly. So, do yourself and your fans a favor, start testing and optimizing for mobile today.


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