Google recently announced that mobile devices now make up 40% of YouTube's traffic. That's a 15% increase in mobile traffic from 2012 '- and a 34% increase from 2011, when mobile devices made up just 6% of YouTube's visitors.
YouTube's not the only one growing in mobile. In 2012, Facebook reported 819 million monthly mobile users '- 73% of its total user base of 1.15 billion.
Mobile devices are becoming an increasingly popular way of getting online. According to a 2012 Pew Internet survey, 56% of American adults have a smartphone, 35% own tablets and 24% own e-readers. These numbers continue to grow '- and they continue to grow more important to digital marketers. Here's what you need to make sure you stay on top of the mobile web:
Watching videos on mobile devices is hugely popular '- just look at YouTube's recent statistics, and the fact that the video-sharing site gets more than 600 million mobile views every day.
That means that to optimize your mobile marketing, you should be using more videos. And these days, they're easier than ever to create. Use Vine and Instagram to craft short videos to add to your social media presence. Build a YouTube channel full of content optimized for mobile viewing.
Give your YouTube content as much attention as you give the rest of your online presence. Put thought and effort into the background and layout of your channel. Organize your videos into logical playlists. Two brands to look to for inspiration? Verizon Internet creates videos using the adorable and engaging FiOS Football Girl (and the voice of Modern Family star Ty Burrell). Competing telco AT&T tugs at consumer heartstrings with their video series 'It Can Wait,' which details the risks of texting while driving.
It's one of the defining features of mobile devices: you can use them to get online anytime, anywhere. And for many people, that means all the time.
- While they're standing in line or waiting at the doctor's office
- At work and at home
- Before they go to bed, and as soon as they wake up
In fact, 79% of smartphone owners have their phones with them for 22 hours of every day.
Consumers are online all the time '- and that means that social media marketers should be, too. Post frequently, update constantly and, most importantly, respond to consumers '- if not 24/7, then pretty close to it. Mobile users are accustomed to instant gratification, and they'll expect it from the brands they interact with on social media, too.
Improved search results
More and more, consumers are using mobile devices to look up information about brands and products. And often, they're directed to social media presences. You want to make sure what you post on your social media pages is informative '- and, more importantly, accurate.
Check the hours, addresses and phone numbers you include on your profiles, plus any other information you have posted on your accounts. And make sure you create a Google+ Local page '- it's the first thing that comes up when someone Googles your brand.
Remember to keep an eye on what others are saying about your brand online, too. Customer-review sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon also show up in search results, and you don't want one disgruntled client to ruin your online presence '- 72% of customers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Check frequently for bad reviews, and respond as soon as possible. Even if it's too late to fix the customer's gripe, people will see you making a proactive effort to correct the issue.
Designing for mobile is designing for a totally different interface. But many brands don't realize this '- 45% of businesses don't even have mobile-optimized sites.
What does designing for mobile devices mean?
- Concise text
- Single column templates
- Larger fonts and simpler, low-res images that are easily loaded
Incorporate touch-screen technology, and make it easy for consumers to find the important features of your site.
What about social media? You don't have much control over how the networks you use look on mobile devices. But you can tailor your content to look better on mobile. Keep it short and clear. Minimize large chunks of text in favor of photos and videos. Make sure they're quick to load and easy to read.
One of the biggest benefits of mobile marketing is shareability '- so create content that consumers want to share, with a few friends or with hundreds of followers. What's the best way to do that? Evoke some kind of response - whether it's timely, humorous, moving or relatable.
Michelle Smith: A freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org