Mobile is not new. Mobile being the future of advertisements and marketing is not new, either.
The exciting thing about mobile in 2018 is how much more consumers will use it to learn about everything, and in a range of ways. For advertisers, especially those in the small to medium business space, opportunities are opening up.
Users Research Everything on Mobile
Think with Google recently examined data on 2017’s mobile search trends. It came away with the major finding that consumers are researching, not only anytime and anywhere (thank you, smartphones), but anything. They’re researching everything, in fact.
In looking at mobile search habits in recent years, Google sees consumers researching to make the best purchase decisions possible, no matter how seemingly insignificant. One example is the uptick in searches for “reviews” and “best,” the latter of which is searched 80 percent more than it was two years ago.
We’re accustomed to seeing such queries for big items, like automobiles, high-end electronics and quality fashion pieces. But now people are researching everything from lotion to salt on their mobile devices.
To visualize how much consumers have increased research for even the smallest purchases, Think with Google created an interactive feature for six key categories. Here, we’ll provide the basic visuals, and you can learn more details by following the first link in this section.
Each category (apparel, beauty, food/groceries, home, personal care and toys/games) is divided into subcategories. The inner, yellow circles represent 2015 queries, and the outer, beige circles represent the expansion of 2017 queries.
Food & Groceries:
Toys & Games:
As mobile research becomes more granular, space opens up for a wider range of not only products, but brands. Look at the expansion for mobile searches on baby clothes, fences and toothpaste, for example. Consumers are looking beyond the biggest names in the business for products that suit them, whether that means organic, locally made, etc. Now is the time to connect with people who are interested in small and medium brands.
Consumer Interactions on Mobile
So, as we saw, people are searching an expanding range of products and at increasing rates. But what happens with your ads after they search?
At the very beginning of the year, we explored how consumers interact with mobile apps and ads. Our main takeaway in the piece was that intentional clicks on ads are minimal. Within that were two major findings:
- Users prefer engaging with apps suggested by brands they trust to engaging with apps they simply see in mobile ads. Facebook is not necessarily considered a “trusted” brand by many consumers.
- As mobile commerce is here to stay, advertisers should focus on creating ads that aren’t intrusive. Consumers don’t want to click on them, and won’t convert even if they click by accident.
Just because users are searching for more products and seeing more ads doesn’t mean they’ll move on to convert. Advertisers must strive to engage consumers with their ads through targeting, relevancy and partnering with trusted brands.
Current Trends Could Inform the Direction of Mobile
If we want to appeal to these research-obsessed consumers who don’t intentionally click on ads, we need a sense of what they want. Mobile Marketer highlights some trends that could shift mobile marketing in 2018:
- Seamless integration between online and offline experiences is what consumers will expect more and more.
- Ephemeral content, such as Snapchat posts, fits with the nature of today’s communication styles and the sheer volume of content users see daily.
- Augmented reality will keep growing in popularity, and contribute to the integration of the real and digital worlds. It will also add a level of competition between Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.
- Voice-based engagements will become a primary interface, pushing yet more competition between the largest players. It won’t necessarily be “mobile first,” but mobile will be a catalyst for brands using voice.
- B2C brands in this space will strategize partnerships and acquisitions for staying competitive in a landscape dominated by Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple (which will also make acquisition moves after the new tax bill). It’s time to think beyond mobile and tech, and look to partnerships in the categories mentioned in the first section (apparel, food, toys, etc.).
- Data management will advance to help advertisers keep up with the consumer demand for relevancy. This means machine learning for customer intelligence platforms, which will help with that seamless online-offline experience.
Make Mobile Work for You
This might seem like a lot to take in so early in the year. Even if you don’t have the budget to dig into augmented reality, voice-based interactions and advanced data management, you can ensure that your mobile presence is working for you.
AdWords provides guidance for optimizing your site and your ads for mobile, from being mobile-friendly to text ads to landing pages. When your mobile presence is effective, you’ll be that much more prepared for the changes coming in 2018.
Mobile is no longer a thing unto itself, and will be both a hub for consumers and a catalyst for technology in 2018. Keep refining your presence in your niche, and reaching out to users who want to go beyond the big names for their research and purchases.