3/3 Mobile Marketing

It’s pretty obvious to me that the days of the desktop computer are limited. Sure they will still find a use in office situations, but personal computing is shifting towards a purely mobile landscape. But this shouldn’t be a surprise to you, as you can’t go anywhere these days without practically running into someone who is too busy looking at their phone to be concerned with where they are walking.

Part of mobile computing’s rising significance could be attributed to Moore’s law, with each generation of smartphones becoming more powerful and capable. Most smartphones on today’s market could outright replace the average laptop, with the only downside being the smaller screen and lack of keyboard. It’s gotten to the point now where my smartphone has more processing power than my laptop and tablet combined.

As if it wasn’t bad enough already, as smartphones’ capability increases we will see mankind further attached to their phones. But this is good news for marketers, as it will help us to further understand the mobile consumer. Since everyone is on their phone at some point, no matter where they go, marketers are able to gather data on various consumer scenarios. For example, a marketer will be able to determine which mobile advertisements perform better when people are out shopping for groceries, and then tailor future ads to these standards.

The rise of mobile computing is beneficial to non-marketers as well. Since the iOS market is so heavily controlled and regulated, it’s easy for webmasters to create mobile versions of their sites to perform well on iphones. But due to the fragmented nature of the largest mobile operating system, Google’s Android, it is more difficult to make a site that performs well across all mobile platforms. To help create a more engaging experience with their customers, most websites feature a mobile app specific to either operating system.

These apps may sometimes be stripped of features but usually they still perform better than a universal site would on a smartphone’s mobile browser. They also allow the developers to create a more visually engaging experience for the consumer because apps allow for animations, graphics and other features that would otherwise be taxing on a mobile browser.

The mobile computing market is still growing, and with the advent of smartwatches and soon, augmented reality glasses, there is no telling where mobile computing will take us in the future, and the advantages it will provide marketers.

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Thursday 2/19: Paid Search: a.k.a. PPC or Search Engine Marketing

Sponsored ads, you’ve seen them before, usually lingering to the side of a webpage or sometimes disguising themselves as the top hit for whatever you just searched for. Paid advertisements are usually tailored to what you are searching for at that moment or have searched for recently, and from time to time can feel like an invasion of privacy. (But then again, privacy is a loose term in this day and age)

In the past, I had often ignored these paid ads, especially if they were on a webpage other than Google search results. I simply thought that since any old ad could be placed there, why would one that is displaying what I just searched for be worth a click? After all, they were just feeding off my browser’s cookies. I often chose to ignore the paid ads that show up at the top of search results as well. Even if the ad took me to the very same place as the top result. I guess it was just my way of fighting the establishment.

Now, as I dive deeper into the world of digital marketing, I can see the error of my ways. It turns out that companies actually pay good money to put those ads out there, and by not clicking on them, I was actually robbing my fellow digital marketers from not only clicks, but valuable analytical data as well.

Paid advertisements are a great way for businesses to reach a greater number of consumers, especially if that business isn’t exactly performing well with organic searches. A business should engineer their paid ads to reflect what the majority of their customers are searching for. So that when an organic search is made using those keywords, your ad will rank highly and be one of the first things the searcher will see, even if organic searches usually exclude you.

Even though paid advertisements are a great way to increase traffic and conversions to your business, they aren’t exactly the most popular things amongst Internet searchers. In fact, according to Hubspot only about 30% of people are likely to click on paid advertisements. So it would appear to me that many people feel the same way that I used to. They likely see these ads as slightly invasive and almost to perfect to be worth a click, but perhaps if more people realize that these ads likely take them to where they want to go, we can increase just how effective they are.