By Amanda Jensen
Spread the word. It’s official: Last year, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic. It’s no longer a matter of if or when mobile marketing becomes crucial for financial institutions, that time is now.
In order to know where to begin implementing mobile marketing initiatives, it’s important to fully understand what this means. Below are four key statistics from comScore to keep in mind while crafting your mobile marketing plan of attack.
- Sixty percent of time spent consuming digital media is now on a mobile device, which includes both smartphones and tablets. Reports show that the switch took place during 2014, and the gap is projected to grow with mobile use topping 1.8 billion in 2015. Desktop traffic is estimated to fall short of that by almost 100 million users.
- Of that mobile time, the majority is spent in apps rather than on mobile sites, with app usage at 88 percent for smartphones and 82 percent for tablets. With such a large portion of digital media consumption taking place in apps, it’s impossible to ignore their importance when it comes to advertising. No matter what audience you’re trying to reach, there’s an app, or a category of apps, for that. Among the top categories are search/navigation, social networking, entertainment, service (i.e. banking and bill pay), news, weather and even games. Candy Crush Saga, Words With Friends and Solitaire are among the top 10 apps for those age 35 or older.
- Forty-eight percent of mobile research begins in a search engine and 33 percent begins on branded websites. Despite the fact that mobile apps are dominating much of users’ time, mobile Web should not be ignored. The focus for financial institutions when advertising on mobile Web will be different than for apps. One important component will be text ads, which appear in prime locations on search engine results pages. Having a website that is responsive—that is, mobile optimized—is also critical to driving traffic, as Google will give preference in search results to these pages. Ensuring that your location details are readily available is another important facet. Updating your listings on Google My Business with accurate address, phone number and hours for each of your branches will allow customers to quickly access the information on-the-go and even click on the listings to call or get directions.
- A whopping 25 percent of time spent on mobile apps is dedicated to social media, and Facebook remains the clear front-runner. Despite reports that users are leaving Facebook for other social sites, it’s clear that it is still the site where the largest portion of app time is spent, accounting for 14.8 percent of app time for those ages 18 to 24 and 18.5 percent for those ages 25 to 34. Instagram, YouTube and Twitter follow at a much lower rate. The good news is that Facebook has adapted to this, and has multiple advertising options that are mobile friendly. You can even promote your mobile banking app with ads that will link directly to the appropriate app store for the device being used.
Financial institutions can no longer afford to focus efforts mainly on traditional desktop users; the mobile experience should take center stage. As the trend continues, you should consider the benefits of branching into the mobile world. With technology on your side, mobile initiatives will only serve to enhance your marketing efforts.
Amanda Jensen is the assistant director of media with Pannos Marketing, based in Bedford, N.H. Pannos-Marketing is a full service communications firm specializing in strategic marketing, public relations, social media, e-commerce and website solutions for financial institutions. Email: email@example.com; LinkedIn: Amanda Jensen.
Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.