Desktop is so last year. With the Oscars and New York Fashion Week fresh in our minds, we’ve got a little high fashion on the brain. And, while comparing the fashion industry to the marketing industry is not entirely like comparing apples to apples, there are a few aspects that do intersect.
Fashion vs. Marketing Trends
Website design, content marketing, SEO, and inbound marketing, for example, are a few of the most important marketing strategies/trends to consider today. In fashion terms, these trends are “hot.” They are what’s making some businesses look au courant online. These marketing tactics are helping businesses get their message out to their target audiences.
These would be your “go-to items,” or the stuff hanging in your closet that gets worn consistently, because it works. It looks good on you. It’s appropriate for wherever you spend most of your time. It’s comfortable, stylish, and helps you to express yourself to the world.
You can mix and match items to create outfits for typical days and special occasions, much like putting marketing techniques together to form individual campaigns (outfits), and your overall marketing strategy (your main wardrobe).
The New Black
Mobile first design, which has been around for years but has increased in importance, is here to stay. It’s a strategy that promises to deliver for decades to come, and it’s definitely one you don’t want to ignore. Mobile first design ensures that your website looks good on any device, the importance of which can’t be ignored.
Whether you care about fashion or not, it’s impossible to ignore that designing for mobile first is hot right now, and for some pretty good reasons. Here are just a few:
1. Google Loves Mobile Design.
While Google’s love and appreciation of mobile-friendly and responsive design isn’t exactly a new development, the importance of mobile to search engines like Google has definitely increased. It started with Mobilegeddon, which was officially rolled out on April 21, 2015. And, this year, they implemented mobile-first indexing.
Mobile-first indexing is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of crawling your site as a desktop user, Google bots now visit your site and follow links on your website pages as mobile users. If your website is designed for mobile users first, then it is more likely to be viewed as a more valuable and relevant source.
2. Customer-First = Mobile-First
If your website and/or other online applications aren’t built with responsive design features, you’re not providing your customer base with what they want. And, they’ve made it pretty clear that they want mobile-friendly platforms.
If potential customers can’t easily view your site on a mobile device, or it takes too long for your pages to load, content is missing, etc., then why would they come back to visit again? They won’t. They’ll find what they’re looking for elsewhere, because you didn’t give them what they wanted.
Popular makeup company, Sephora, is paying attention to consumer preferences, by focusing on delivering mobile-centric and mobile-first designed marketing. By giving customers with the type of content they want, and delivering it through the mediums they prefer, the company has effectively “increased its mobile business from 25% to more than 35% of its digital business in the past year.”
3. The Data is Clear
Did you know that more people in the world own smartphones than toothbrushes? When you think about it, that’s kind of gross. But hygiene aside, that’s an insane statistic. In fact, in 2016, 198.5 million Americans own[ed] smartphones, which was equal to almost two-thirds of the U.S. population.
If that’s not clear enough for you, a study performed by iAcquire indicates that, “70% of mobile searches lead to an action within the hour.” That seems like a pretty good reason to get on board. Don’t you think?
Marketing for the Mobile Screen
Now that we’ve established the importance of designing for mobile, how exactly do you go about marketing for the mobile screen?
If your site isn’t innately mobile-friendly, you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure, and undoubtedly missing major opportunities. Simply having a “mobile version” or an “m.” version of your website is no longer good enough. Take another look at the data above to understand the negative impact of ignoring the mobile-first trend.
Your email marketing campaigns MUST be mobile friendly. Why? According to an article by Litmus, “Desktop represents 19% of all email opens, webmail 26% and mobile 55%.” Mobile opens are almost three times higher than desktop. That statistic speaks for itself.
Social Media Marketing
If you’re marketing to mobile users, you’ve got to include video marketing campaigns. Live streaming events is currently popular on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And of course, YouTube is still going strong: “YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.”
In addition to video marketing, messaging and chat apps are growing significantly. According to a 2016 HubSpot statistics, messaging apps were being used by 4 billion people worldwide, which means that all you have to is provide the functionality, and they will come.
If you sell products and services online, people are willing to purchase your stuff right from your social media platform, if you let them. Marketing Week also found that, “nearly a third of online shoppers (31%) say they are using these channels to browse for new items to buy. Facebook is the most popular network people are using (26%), followed by Instagram (8%) and Pinterest (6%).”
If you aren’t selling your products through social, you’re definitely missing opportunities.
Are You In or Out?
Mobile-first is not going out of style any time soon. Anything web-related that isn’t innately mobile simply isn’t acceptable any longer. Get with the times, or get left behind.