Mobile matters

by KATKA IMPERL

September 2015

Mobile phone use continues to grow exponentially, surpassing desktop use in a hurry. Learn why you need to think mobile first and how to get close to your audience.

Admit it, you can’t live without your phone. We are a world addicted to our mobile devices. Just the thought of being offline for an extended period of time brings a feeling of unease. They’ve become such a crucial part of our daily lives. We’ve come to rely on these devices to communicate with the world even when we’re far from the action. These relatively small objects are the most important tangible possessions in our lives. We use them for everything - they’ve become a necessity.

According to a survey by Honeywell Aerospace in the USA, more than ten percent of people would rather go without a lavatory on their flight than not have wifi onboard! That’s how hooked we’ve become.

And that’s why in business everybody is talking about a Mobile First strategy. This device is becoming the most important way of interacting with the world and one of the crucial factors in marketing and publishing strategies.

Mobile use is rapidly growing

Mobile use continues to rise exponentially and that means an equal rise in app usage. According to research conducted by Flurry, a mobile analytics firm, app usage is still on the rise – in fact, just last year it grew by 76%. Note: ‘App usage’ is defined as a user opening an app and actually engaging with it for some time. In 2014 alone, 2,079 trillion app sessions were tracked.

In 2014, the worldwide smartphone market reached a new milestone, shipping one billion units in a single year for the first time. According to new figures from eMarketer, in 2016 the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass two billion.

The number of mobile phone users has surpassed that of desktop users by a couple of hundred million. Mobile phones and their apps are the future, and within three years they will come to dominate digital ad spending.

Limitless opportunities to connect with consumers

Opportunities in the world of mobile technology seem to be limitless, and this is something app-content writers should be well aware of. Research compiled in May 2015 by Statista shows that Android users can now choose between 1.5 million apps, while the second-largest app store, Apple’s, has 1.4 million available apps – and the numbers keeps on rising and rising.

This smartphone explosion gives brands the opportunity to connect with their consumers in real time. It’s every advertiser’s dream.It is therefore important that content-creating B2B and B2C marketers optimise their content strategies in order to extend the time visitors spend engaging with the content, and convince more visitors to become actual customers.

However, it’s not that simple. Mobile advertising is a complex advertising method because mobile is very different from the web. There are no browser cookies to follow users’ online behaviour, and you can’t follow their likes and dislikes. The phone user’s attention span is very short, and although smartphone users check their phones up to 150 times a day, it’s often only for a few seconds.

VOICE IS SET TO BE THE NEXT BIG THING IN ADVERTISING

According to Rob Wagner, an experienced digital marketer and an expert in web analytics, there are several things you can do to succeed in mobile advertising: Utilise rich media, Add a voice, Embrace portability.

Banner ads surely have their place in the mobile world. But the better option is to turn them into rich media ads. Tap-to-expand banners or mobile video ads will give you better results. Users also like interactive voice capabilities. Voice is set to be the next big thing in advertising. Not only is there the novelty factor, but voice recognition can also be an effective user interface in a mobile device.

Last, but not least, most people don’t use desktops the way they used to. Multi-screen digital advertising is here to stay and it continues to grow in importance and popularity.

The top 10 Android apps are: Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, Google Search, Google+, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Google Chrome, Google Text-to-Speech and WhatsApp Messenger. These are the Google Play apps with over one billion downloads each. Each of them are owned by either Google or Facebook.

The most commonly downloaded apps for iPhone were: Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pandora Radio, Google Maps, Flipagram, Twitter and Skype. All of them represent active usage, i.e. not just one-time downloads or “recent popularity”.

Smartphones are here to stay

Smartphones have changed many different areas of our lives and have made them so much easier. As mobile technology continues to become smarter, smartphones will only continue to have a major impact on people’s lives around the world. From teenagers to busy mums and business managers, the smartphone makes a world of difference — and with that people expect smart content.

IT MIGHT COME AS A SURPRISE TO SOME, BUT THERE WERE NO GAME APPS AMONG THE TOP 25 MOST POPULAR APPS OF 2014