4 Mobile Marketing Trends Heating Up in 2016
Creativity Marketing Transformation

4 Mobile Marketing Trends Heating up in 2016

Call it the Age of Mobile Marketing. Mobile reached a tipping point in 2015, surpassing the old-fashioned desktop as the most-used digital platform, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report.

All that smartphone activity spawned new mobile marketing trends that will continue to flourish. Below, we unpack four major trends and where they’re headed in 2016.

internet usage by device1. Vertical Video

Don’t be tempted to brush off this trend as too simplistic. Once-shunned vertical video is now the film orientation du jour, thanks to mobile and social media apps.

Vertical video refers to film shot in tall-and-skinny portrait mode, typically on a smartphone. On apps like Snapchat, the unconventional orientation has exploded, presumably because users don’t want to take the extra step to turn their smartphone sideways to shoot or watch videos. The allure of vertical video is so great, users are nine times more likely to watch through an ad if it’s shot in portrait mode, USA Today reported.

All of this means brands need to think vertically in addition to horizontally when they shoot video content for use across multiple screen types and sizes. Video content—like all content—is trending toward mobile-first content, and that means more vertical video in the future. We may even see long-form content take a vertical form as the mobile revolution continues.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Brands dabbled in virtual reality and augmented reality in 2015, offering customers novel ways to experience their products and services. As virtual reality technology improves and headsets get cheaper, more users could start exploring this content form that’s on the cusp of going big.

Mobile devices are the key to unlocking these experiences. A Home Depot app allows users to envision what a specific paint color would look like in their home, for example. Wannabe travelers could take a virtual reality trip to a location they’re considering for a future vacation. Make-up wearers could test out a new shade of eye shadow and never leave their home.

Publishers and journalists, too, can take advantage of the technology to tell richer, more immersive stories that put users in the center of the action. Where publishers go to tell stories, brands usually follow. Armed with virtual and augmented reality, brands can open up new ways to let customers experience their products and explore the brands’ lifestyle.

3. Better Targeting and Automation

Mobile phones are data-collecting machines, tracking location, fitness, sleep patterns, and much more, offering users (and brands) all sorts of insight about user behavior.

This wealth of data gives brands an unparalleled opportunity to give users quality, relevant content at just the right moment. At the Atlanta airport? Check out a Facebook video specifically targeted to your location and culinary interests. Feeling bored? Tap a push notification for a boredom-busting Buzzfeed article.

Armed with data and automation, brands can build personalized mobile marketing messages at scale. The more personalized, relevant and timely, the more likely users are to respond positively to the message. But be advised, more personalization does not necessarily mean more communication. Brands will need to resist the temptation to blanket users with messaging, and instead hone their strategy to select the optimal moments to target their audience.

4. Mobile Shopping and Buy Buttons

Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest’s buy buttons are a glimpse into what mobile-first shopping could one day look like. As brands get better at e-commerce, expect more integration between social media apps, buy buttons, and branded apps, all designed to make it easier for the consumer to shop a favorite look. Like other mobile marketing trends, buy buttons leverage the “anywhere, anytime” power of mobile to let users buy items at the very moment they discover them online.

Content creation will also shift as brands better integrate with apps and social media with “buy now” functionality. Social media apps won’t just be places for engagement with followers or discovery of new content—they’ll be places users go to shop, too.

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