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9 Mobile Marketing Trends 2018

The article has been prepared by Andrew Gazdecki, the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps, a company that helps small businesses build mobile solutions to compete with big brands. Their mobile app building platform makes it possible for everyone to create a mobile app for their business.

Any savvy digital marketer knows that mobile has been a significant keystone to successful strategies and engagement for years now. A great marketer has already developed branded apps for their clients or company and has used that channel to grow a complete customer experience.

With 2018 still in its infancy, now is the time to look ahead at what's to come for the remainder of the year and how mobile will be affected. There's been plenty of mobile buzz over the past years, but 2018 is poised to be a year where mobile takes over, and that will have a direct impact on some of the mobile strategies that digital marketers have been leveraging.

First, for businesses that have not yet developed an app or those that feel an app isn't an appropriate strategy for their target audiences, it is crucial that they, at the very least, have a responsive, mobile-friendly design to their website. This is key for two reasons:

  1. People use their mobile devices to search more than ever
  2. Google is recognizing the power of mobile and switching to mobile-first indexing, which will treat mobile sites as the primary version

This shift by Google further exemplifies mobile's importance and makes it all the more critical for businesses to have websites that display correctly on smartphones, tablets and other devices. This means your site needs to have:

  • Fast load times on mobile devices
  • Touch screen buttons and features
  • Proper layout when displayed on different sized screens
  • No zooming or side-scrolling necessary to find content

For businesses that are looking to break into the app game or expand an existing app experience, progressive web apps should be the focus. These web-based apps are incredibly advantageous for branded apps because of they are easier to access than native apps (no more app store downloads!), which makes it far more convenient for users to connect and utilize the app. By 2020, PWAs will make up 50% of all consumer-facing, general purpose apps.

Aside from apps and experiences, the mobile world is focusing on more personalized, timely engagements. These trends highlight the fact that every mobile user is different and utilizes the technology in their way. Better personalization has long been the dream for marketers and mobile presents another opportunity to try and get it right and deliver experiences that truly resonate and engage each unique user.

Time is a critical element to mobile. How people search and use their devices is often unpredictable and sporadic. A user may, on a whim, pull their device out to explore a "how-to" tutorial or to fact-check their friend. In other words, the moments that we want to learn, buy or find something. These micro-moments present a colossal opportunity for the companies that can anticipate and capitalize on these sudden needs for engagement.

When consumers have these micro-moments, many of them use their device's virtual digital assistant, like Siri or Cortana. This dramatically affects how users search and, thereby, how brands need to prepare their websites and content. These AI assistants'machine learning capabilities will play an essential role in how brands learn and predict consumer behaviors to personalize offerings and marketing messages better.

The individual mobile strategies are evolving just as fast as the mobile industry as a whole. For 2018, two mobile-focused tactics are going to cause a huge splash.

  • Live streaming video
  • VR and AR experiences

Live streamed video is incredibly engaging on social media channels and users spend a lot of their mobile time on social media. Facebook claims that users spend three times as much time watching live content than recorded video. VR and AR experiences are going to explode between 2018 and 2019. This technology is not only getting better and more sophisticated, but it's also becoming easier to produce, which makes it more accessible by smaller retail, travel and other companies that can engage customers with a VR or AR experience.

What's the result of all of these mobile trends for 2018? More money! Mobile content and experiences are exceptionally engaging, which helps generate higher conversion rates across a number of other tactics. More conversions equal more revenue being created. The other dollar sign impact of mobile is mobile payments. Consumers are on the path to abandon traditional forms of payment (debit/credit cards and even cash!) in favor of payments made through mobile wallet apps.

Part of this surge in popularity is due to increased security for mobile payments, which makes consumers feel safer about using this payment method. As a result, mobile payments are expected to become the primary payment option for many consumers and will create $503 billion in in-store sales by 2020. That's reason enough to tap into the mobile market!

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