What is Mobile Engagement And How Do You Optimize For it?

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Mobile is one of the fastest growing spaces for searches and purchases. Learn how to optimize your content to be available across devices.

We’ve talked a lot about customer engagement strategies. But seeing as we happen to have the word texting in our company name, it’s high time we dedicated some space to talking about mobile engagement.

Mainly— what is it, how you can improve on it, and who’s doing it well?

We’ll kick things off with an important distinction. The difference between engagement and interaction.

What is Mobile Engagement?

Mobile engagement is a voluntary action relating to your brand taken by someone on their mobile device. Mobile interaction, on the other hand, is passively viewing, clicking, or scrolling through your content while on their phones.

The distinguishing factor between engagement and interaction in marketing comes through with the concepts of choice and action. Being active vs. being passive. 

Interaction is a great tool for visibility. It primes customers to keep your brand top of mind. But targeting mobile engagement is what converts those interactions into sales, subscriptions, and appointments.

Think of interactions as the introduction to an engagement. It’s oftentimes the basic first step to something a little more complicated to secure. Complicated, but not nearly as difficult as you may have been lead to believe.

Why Should You Focus on Mobile Engagement?

As a business or organization, however, you may be wondering, why bother? Why put in the effort, especially if you’re not an entirely e-commerce based operation. The short answer is that because of smartphone capabilities, more and more people are viewing web content from mobile devices. And the strategy for building your marketing material for desktop vs. mobile is not only different visually, but from a content perspective as well.

The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from 35% back in 2011. And those smartphone owners are using their devices to make important decisions about you.

To conclude our long answer, you want to give your current or prospective customers the best possible mobile experience that you can in order to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

 6 Tips To Improve Mobile Engagement

As consumers in the 21st century, our phones are readily accessible. In fact, Americans check their phone on average once every 12 minutes. That gives you around 80 chances during the day to create interactions between your brand and your customers. The key to turning those interactions into engagements is all in how you optimize your content for consumption on a mobile device.

To get you going in the right direction, here are some simple things you can do to help make your website more mobile-friendly.

1. Redesign Pop Ups For Mobile

Whether it’s a live chat support bubble, an email/text marketing sign-up form, or just a plain advertisement, your website probably has some kind of pop up. And they work! They can work just as successfully on a mobile device, but they must be reconfigured. Google set out two main guidelines to follow to ensure your mobile pop-ups provide the best user experience.

First, pop-ups must be as non-obstructive as possible (i.e only covering a small portion of the screen). Second, they must be easy to close with a clear and decently sized dismiss button. The only exceptions are pop-ups containing necessary information (like an age verification form for a brewery website or cookie notices). Aside from those provisos, as long as your redesigned pop-ups have those two elements, they’ll be mobile-friendly and viewers will thank you for it.

2. Speed Up Your Site

When it comes to how your content loads on mobile, a one-second delay in page speed could decrease your conversion rate by 7 percent. It’s not just the user’s internet connectivity that has an effect on loading speed either.

As the designer or your website, there are several measures you can take that give your loading times a shot of adrenaline. Things like:

  • Enabling caching
  • Implement AMP (accelerated mobile pages) code
  • Minify JavaScript and cascading style sheets
  • Leverage long scroll
  • Enable gzip compression on CSS and HTML files
  • Direct your page to always load information above the fold first.

3. Pick a Module Based Design

There’s a reason social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest see a majority of their traffic from mobile devices. Their card-based design is built to help you see as much information in as compact a space as possible, all while remaining organized. It also entices you to keep scrolling as new modules catch your eye between the fold.

4. Utilize Push Notifications

The Mobile Marketing Association found that the use of push notifications virtually doubled user retention in a study of over 3,000 apps. Smartphone users are accustomed to their phones lighting up with text notifications, Instagram likes, and calendar alerts, that push notifications are an easy way to quickly grab users’ attention and drive them towards a specific action.

A notable example of push notification usage comes from the app Duolingo. Their reminders to engage with the platform for a daily language lesson always have a clear CTA with a goal, the amount of time it will take for the user to complete the engagement, and occasionally some motivation. Their language lesson push notifications are so well known they recently became a meme poking fun at the consequences of ignoring them.

5. Compress Your Content

The length and width of a computer screen are far different than a phone screen. This isn’t news. While you may be able to get away with a longer article with fewer people noticing it on a desktop, mobile users aren’t as forgiving. After all, people are there to learn something, not for a thumb-scrolling workout. Cut down on the word content as well as large blocks of text if you’re writing specifically for mobile, brevity is your friend!

Also, give special consideration to specific mobile-friendly headlines. To yield the best ROI on your content, short headlines are statistically more likely to attract user attention through their social news feed or on a mobile search engine results page (SERP).

Another good rule of (scrolling) thumb is to incorporate more video into your mobile site. Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. In addition, 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices, and 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others.

6. Build Mobile Landers

In building out a mobile-friendly marketing strategy, you don’t want to detract from your other conventional online traffic. To avoid this, you can develop mobile landing pages as needed. A classic example of this is any page on your site that requires users to type in information, like a checkout page.

It can be frustrating fumbling around with case sensitive shipping and credit card information on a form built for bigger screens. Pages like this would benefit from their own, exclusive, mobile-friendly design. If you don’t have the money or means to develop something like that, leverage existing tools like PayPal that are already mobile-friendly, and redirect to their space to complete a transaction.

Closing Thoughts on Mobile Engagement

Mobile strategy is simply too important for any business to ignore. While some aspects of optimization are a bit tech-heavy, we hope we showed you the way towards some solutions attainable by anyone.

Our final suggestion to you is to test, test, test. Work out all your kinks before going live with any mobile refresh. You can utilize Google’s free mobile-friendly tool that will test out your mobile content for you to let you know how it’s performing.

And, as always, if you have any questions, our mobile moguls here at SimpleTexting are available seven days a week to help you out!

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