Mobile device usage is fast on track to overtake PC usage. With the rapid proliferation of smartphones (over a quarter of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones are smartphones), it’s no wonder businesses everywhere are looking to capitalize. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, then consider this forecast by Goldman Sachs that puts mobile specific commerce, or m-commerce, at $638 billion by 2018. For scale, that figure represents the entire e-commerce accounted for in 2013.

mobile user, mobile business

While B2C businesses are well underway in their adoption of mobile, B2B businesses have yet to fully take advantage of all that mobile has to offer. The reasons to embrace mobile are too compelling to ignore.

For B2B, mobile means everywhere and all the time. B2B users and audiences are accessing brands at various contact points, especially through portable mobile devices. This portability means you can reach target audiences anywhere and at any time. The value comes in timing outreach to have the hardest impact using location-based services and usage trends.

Integration for mobile is also backed by undeniable math. Mobile means lower costs and higher ROIs. Open rates for text marketing far exceed those for email marketing and the costs of running mobile campaigns are less expensive per user than direct mail. Meaning the cost-per-conversion for mobile campaigns is lower overall than traditional marketing solutions and ROI is extremely optimized.

With mobile on the rise, how best can B2B businesses optimize and take advantage? Here are some starting points:

Mobile friendly emails: how to configure content for mobile display Marketo’s white paper, recently updated for mobile email marketing, offers these tips to optimize email marketing content for the mobile user.

  • Keep your subject lines short: the ideal length is 15 characters or under, use the space to have maximum impact
  • Always check and edit the text version of the email: while many smartphones can read HTML email, in the off chance they can’t, make sure to double check the text version for quality assurance.
  • Keep the body content concise: consider the average mobile user consuming content while in motion, likely skimming the email for useful information. Clear and to the point content helps the user find what they need and ensures they do not stop reading your email before getting to the main point.
  • Limit design and pay attention to size: a rule of thumb for the optimal mobile viewing experience is to keep content design between 500-600px wide. Be especially conscious of these limitations when including graphics.
  • Clear Call to Actions: once again, consider the overall length of your message. With the limitations on space, the CTA must be even more impactful and obvious than traditional email marketing. For click-thrus, make sure the landing page is mobile compatible.

Integrating social media campaigns with mobile. Using social media in a mobile setting means engaging consumers to turn likes and follows into action. Social media offers community building elements. The following steps help generate a community around your brand:

  • Partake and facilitate conversations with your audience. Relevant and meaningful interactions can transition your social media campaign into a mobile-driven experience.
  • Encourage user-generated content with rewards. A win-win, consumers get rewards, the business gets referrals on a highly visible platform.

Run a Mobile Paid Search Campaign. Mobile Marketer reported a study from Google, which stated that 70% of all mobile searches result in action within the hour. For desktops, that figure drops to 30%. Mobile search is relatively new compared to traditional desktop searches. Use this to your advantage to grow revenue using mobile paid search, which for the time being is much more cost-effective than traditional paid search campaigns. Here’s how to get started:

  • Compile a keyword list: for a mobile campaign, keep in mind what consumers are doing when conducting mobile search. Google has a tool that lets you research keywords used on mobile devices vs. desktop. Make sure to have a keyword list that is mobile-friendly.
  • Buy mobile keywords: list all relevant keywords for the campaign, split into themed ad groups and make sure to refine your list before bidding.
  • Writing the ads: like traditional paid search, consumers are interested in the product over the company. In a mobile setting, with limited space and attention-span, it is even more imperative to focus the ad around the product. Provide immediate benefits in the body. And lastly, include a clear and impactful call-to-action.
  • Mobile landing page: not your homepage. Once again, the ad is for a product not the company in general. Develop and link to a landing page where the consumer can access the product immediately without having to navigate through your website (they might lose interest in both the company and the sale).
  • Use keywords in the ad: this is where your paid search campaign comes full circle. The best performing ads are those that use keywords in the headlines. This signifies to the user that the ad matches their specific search.

Optimizing for mobile is much more than developing an app to correspond with your business. This is especially true considering current industry trends that demonstrate the growing proliferation of mobile in all facets of life. For B2B businesses mobile is unchartered territory with limitless potential.

How has your brand or business been impacted by mobile usage and how have you addressed these changes?

Comment below with initiatives you have taken to optimize your business for mobile.

Photo Credit: Nigel Maine