It’s no surprise to anyone who has a smart phone how important these mobile devices can be.
Many of us don’t feel like we can live without our smart phones. We don’t just use them to make calls; we use them to email, check in on social media, get directions, look up reviews, find new places to eat and things to do, track our bank accounts, monitor our eating and exercise habits, and much, much more.
eMarketer has predicted the number of smart phones will grow to 2 billion this year, which is about a fourth of the entire world’s population.
Brands cannot afford to ignore the importance of mobile marketing, and they must stay on top of current trends if they want to stay relevant. Here are a few of the top mobile trends for 2016 to consider for your brand:
Location-based technology was once a bit of a novelty, with services like FourSquare and Gowalla being something that early adopters used to show off their comings and goings with friends and family.
But those services became less popular as many raised concerns about their implications for safety. For example, if you checked in at the airport and announced it to the world, you would be leaving your home vulnerable to robbers since everyone knew that no one was there.
Not only is location-based technology becoming popular once again, but it may also have the ability to enhance security if used properly.
For example, your phone could be used as an access key for other devices, such as your laptop or even your ATM card by using the same software that is used in location technology.
2016 will see the rise of even more location tagging, such as on Facebook posts and other social media.
Video has become a major player in the last few years, and 2016 will be the year that its importance for mobile becomes more clear.
Internet marketers have already seen how video can help them connect with more customers and rank their sites faster. Yet they have overlooked the use of video specifically for mobile.
Brands like HBO and Netflix are not oblivious to the importance of video. These brands have created apps for watching television shows and movies on mobile devices, specifically.
Other brands need to take notice. Even if you sell tax services or diet drugs — things that seem to have nothing to do with video or entertainment — you need to be thinking of ways to use video to market your products. That may include tutorials, information about your products, or even just entertaining shorts related to your brand.
Whatever you do, make sure these videos are optimized for mobile users.
Mobile Commerce and Payments
People are already doing so much on their phones that it should come as no surprise that they will want to shop on their phones also.
Improved security measures for mobile devices have assuaged some of the fears of transmitting personal financial data over wi-fi and cellular networks.
In 2016, as many as half of all online sales are expected to come from mobile users.
Is your company ready? If you don’t already, you should have a mobile shop and mobile payment methods.
If you have a physical location, you should also be set up to accept mobile payments, such as Apply Pay and Samsung Pay. More and more people will be using their devices as electronic wallets, as well.
Connector for the Internet of Things
The Internet of things is becoming a reality. More and more devices are being used to improve our lives and to create a clearinghouse of information.
Devices can do everything from monitor your health to track your spending and make suggestions based on your personal history.
Unfortunately, the potential for this technology has not yet been fully realized because there is not a central way to connect all these devices and the share the information they contain.
Companies like IBM and Samsung are working to change that. These and other companies are trying to create a solution for sharing information across devices so that we can tap into the full power of virtual reality and online connectedness. 2016 may well be the year that this happens.
As a brand, you cannot afford to dismiss the importance of mobile devices and the role they play in our daily lives. In addition to monetizing content for mobile devices, you need to look at other ways to improve your marketing strategy for mobile users. Doing so will help you reach more of your target audience and to stay relevant as technology continues to move forward.
Imagine what your brand could do if you were able to reach even a fraction of the billions of mobile users? The possibilities are vast and exciting.