For traditional advertisers, mobile is a bit of a head-scratcher. Display advertising is in decline generally, but with the restricted screen real estate on mobile devices, there’s not a lot of space for advertising.
Forms of advertising that rely on spatial dimensions, like banner ads, are not well suited to mobile platforms. Temporal advertising is more successful. That is, advertising that takes advantage of a viewer’s time, using the whole of the mobile display. Examples include interstitial ads in text (as seen in apps like Flipboard), or the pre-roll advertising that has become ubiquitous in popular videos.
These forms of advertising are missing a trick. They often don’t aspire to virality; instead, they piggyback on the virality of other content, taking advantage of the popular rather than targeting popularity for themselves. However, while users will tolerate a small portion of larger screens being taken up with advertising, they are much less willing to put up with interruptive advertising.
Platforms that put a barrier between consumers and the object of their desire create an instant moment of irritation in their users. Content marketing, if done well, creates the object of desire. Brands become the providers of the object of value, rather than the irritants that users have to pass through to reach their goal. For that reason, inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is strongly advantaged in the mobile space.
Mobile devices are content consumption platforms
People use their mobile devices for two main tasks, consuming content and communicating. Content marketing is uniquely placed to take advantage of both of these major use cases.
These days, “smartphone” is a bit of a misnomer. Mobile devices are multi-function machines, one of the functions of which is a telephone – and it’s far from being the most used feature. Reading, listening to music and podcasts, and watching videos are the raisons d’etre of the smartphone, and that goes doubly for tablets and so-called phablets.
Where content holds sway, content marketing is supreme. Brands can take advantage of all of these media formats to create the content that will establish and cement awareness in their target audience.
Mobile is inherently social
Creating content gets us nowhere if no-one reads it. To be read, content must be shared. Facebook recently released figures showing that for the first time it has more mobile than web users.
Twitter was designed as the perfect platform for mobile sharing from its inception, and the newly released Vine video sharing services merely serves to expand and reinforce that.
Because mobile devices are ideal for communication and sharing, as well as for content consumption, content marketing targeted at mobile, which is huge now, and will become even more prevalent in the future, is an opportunity only the dullest marketer will ignore.
Mobile devices are uniquely personal
People have a more personal and intimate relationships with their mobile devices than with desktop machines or laptops. For many, their phones, tablets, and the services they use on them have become an essential part of their identity in the way that other devices like the television and the PC never could.
Becoming part of the ecosystem of apps and content upon which that relationship rests is a far more effective way of establishing a connection with potential customers than hijacking that relationship with advertising that interrupts their interaction.
Mobile is data-rich
Because of the three factors we have already mentioned: the orientation to consumption, social interaction, and personal identity, the richness of the data that mobile can provide for marketers is utterly unparalleled. Phones go with their owners everywhere, they are used for shopping, communicating, sharing, and documenting lives. The data that flows from mobile devices is of huge benefit to marketers seeking to develop precise marketing personae for targeting content to users. We’ve never had it so good.
This is not a fad or a temporary condition. As technology develops, the relationship between consumers and their mobile devices will only become ever more intimate. Google’s forthcoming Project Glass will spark the production of a growing array of wearable computing products.
The futurists are often wrong, but there seems to be a clear trend for ever closer relationships between technology and the individual. As that relationship becomes ever more intimate, traditional advertising will come to be seen as more and more intrusive and unwanted, and so it will become absolutely essential for brands to adopt new methods of inculcating awareness and engagement. Content marketing is strategically essential.
About Daniel Page — Daniel is the Director of Business Developement for ASEOhosting, a leading provider in SEO hosting and multiple IP hosting. Follow ASEOhosting on Twitter at @aseohosting, Like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aseohosting, and check out all the services they offer onhttp://www.aseohosting.com/