Mobile marketing trends — how to stay competitive now and in the future
Keeping up with mobile marketing trends can be a challenge for marketers as technology continues to advance and customer expectations continue to grow. The digital world moves so fast that missing a trend or using outdated methods can slow down your progress and result in your brand losing relevance and trust in the industry.
For example, the Pew Research Center found that 85% of Americans now own a smartphone. This data shows how much opportunity a brand could be missing out on if mobile marketing isn’t already playing a central role in digital campaigns.
This post will explore the top mobile marketing trends for 2023. This insight will help you prepare your mobile marketing campaigns to ultimately position your business at the forefront of the industry.
- Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is evolving
- Mobile streaming officially takes over
- Mobile gaming is the new social
- Video is still king
- User-generated content gets a greater focus
- Personalization gets even more nuanced
- Influencer marketing gets bigger by getting smaller
- Preparing for the post-cookie world
- The increasing value of customer retention
- 2023 Digital Trends Report
1. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is evolving
Interest in mobile commerce spiked in 2020 during the global pandemic — a twofold increase from the previous year. Mobile shopping continues to rise in popularity as customers make cellphones their go-to shopping tool due to convenience.
Customers initially took advantage of home ordering when leaving the house wasn’t an option. However, this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
At the start of 2022 Adobe reported that 41% of consumers still shopped daily or weekly on their smartphones. According to Statista, smartphone retail sales alone are expected to increase by more than 50% from 2022 to 2024. By 2025 m-commerce sales are projected to account for 44.2% of retail ecommerce, according to Insider Intelligence.
This creates a huge market for businesses to target, so implement industry tips to prepare your business for this growth.
- Reach customers directly through mobile. In-app notifications, SMS messaging, and geotargeting allow businesses to engage with their customers in new, direct ways. Use these to maintain contact with your customers while they’re at home or elsewhere.
- Create accessible, mobile-friendly experiences. Allow customers to easily engage with your brand on their mobile devices by ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and your app provides a good user experience (UX) on every screen.
- Meet customers where they are with geotargeting. If you sell desserts at a local shop, send out ads and promotions to customers within your vicinity. Enable shoppers to check inventory at their local store from your app.
- Incorporate mobile payments. According to Statista, 90% of both seniors and Gen Z have used mobile banking in the last 12 months. Offering payment options and creating trustworthy checkout processes is critical. Build trust with your customers by being upfront at checkout about taxes and shipping charges and letting them know your steps to protect their information.
2. Mobile streaming officially takes over
Livestreaming initially gained popularity in the gaming world but has since expanded into other industries. Between 2019 and 2020 musicians and other content creators started engaging with fans online due to pandemic restrictions. As a result, Statista reports that livestreaming jumped from fewer than 127 million viewers to 151.5 million.
Audiences have demonstrated a clear preference for mobile livestreaming over desktop and TV. Reports show 60% of the digital video audience consume content on smartphones compared to 56% that use smart TVs.
By 2024, Statista expects 164.6 million users to be viewing live videos. And as livestreaming continues to grow, social streaming — or livestreaming via social media — will also increase in popularity. A prime part of social media strategy in 2023 will be producing a variety of live content that encourages engagement. Start building some live video options into your social media and general content calendars, including:
- Product demonstrations or launches
- Question and answer sessions
- Behind-the-scenes segments about your business
- Client or employee interviews
To create a compelling livestream, you need a plan. Create a guide for how you want to develop the video and an outline of what you want to cover. Then, relax and follow the plan. Be careful not to over-script your live videos — they should feel natural and casual.
Being live prevents you from editing but this aspect appeals more to the audience because they get to experience a more authentic view of your brand. Viewers also give you more leniency if unanticipated circumstances or difficulties occur during a live video.
3. Mobile gaming is the new social
Mobile has started to dominate the gaming industry, capturing 60% of revenue, according to Yahoo!. As of July 2022 Mashable reports a 5.3% year-over-year increase, which equates to 3 billion new mobile gamers.
Players don't use these mobile platforms just for the games. Many use them for community as well. They can connect with friends and family in an affordable, convenient, and fun environment. According to PubNub, 43% of gamers reported finding love or friendships through the chatting features of their favorite games, with 40% meeting more people through gaming than in-person social activities.
The social aspect of mobile gaming will add to its growth in coming years. Statista projects more than 2,323 million users by 2027, creating a vast market for engagement. There are several ways brands can take advantage of this.
- Create targeted ads on gaming platforms. Amidst reports that gamers are more likely to pay attention to ads on mobile games than the ads they encounter on the web or in print. Research player demographics by game to find your audience and create targeted ads to increase your opportunities for engagement.
- Make gaming part of your social media strategy. Start by evaluating how your brand and products relate to the gaming community and adjust if needed.
- Consider using an established video influencer in the gaming space. Incorporating video content from influencers is one of the best ways to strengthen your marketing strategies.
- Create unique content on top platforms. The social scene is the reason Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming are the three top platforms for live streaming in the United States.
4. Video is still king
Social media apps make it easier than ever to create and watch videos. According to Vidyard, 98% of marketers say video converts “the same or better” than other forms of marketing, so businesses have plenty of incentive to consider. The type of videos and the chosen platforms depend on brand, personality, and audience.
- General educational videos highlight your industry from trends and current developments, to answering frequently asked questions.
- Product demonstrations showcase new product releases and how they’re used. Detailed tutorials are similar but target a more advanced audience.
- Expert interviews collaborate with people outside your company but within the industry who generate interest and strengthen your brand.
5. User-generated content gets a greater focus
A Consumer Technology Association study found that 39% of the hours people spend with media is with user-generated content (UGC). According to Nosto, a staggering 90% of consumers credit the authenticity of UGC when deciding what brands to support. The UGC market platform size is expected to see a 26.6% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028, according to Grand View Research, topping $18.65 billion in value by 2028.
Consider how Starbucks has created an authentic campaign with user-generated content. The coffee company runs a campaign each holiday season with tens of thousands of participants posting pictures of their cups on social media with the hashtag #RedCupContest.
Think about incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy for 2023. A few simple strategies to start with include:
- Branded hashtags. Establish a hashtag for your brand in general or for a specific product or campaign. Share it on social media and encourage customers to use it. You can encourage adoption by sharing posts that use the hashtag on your company’s social channels.
- Social feed widgets. There are plugins and simple coding snippets that can embed a live stream of user-generated social media content directly onto your site. If you establish a hashtag for a product line, those social media images could appear on relevant product pages as social proof.
- Repurpose UGC. When customers post reviews, share photos of your product, or leave reviews on marketplace sites, repurpose that content — with permission. You can include reviews on product pages, social media posts could be featured in emails, or you can simply share UGC from one platform to another.
6. Personalization gets even more nuanced
Consumers and buyers appreciate and increasingly demand personalized customer experiences (CX) — especially on mobile devices. But personalization is not new, so standing out in 2023 and beyond requires hyper-personalization and fresh creativity.
The more understanding you have into your consumers’ interests, the easier it is to engage with them and eventually convert them to customers. Adobe’s Digital Trends report shows that 50% of businesses with high digital marketing performance have “significant insight” into the new customer journey.
As more consumers adopt mobile as their primary digital tool, “digital marketing” increasingly means “mobile marketing.” All of the personalized marketing communications and customer experiences need to translate to mobile sites, mobile-friendly emails, and apps to be the most effective.
- Personalize communication. Include names in emails, send discount codes on birthdays, and follow up on abandoned carts.
- Product recommendations. Personalize product recommendations on mobile sites, apps, and emails based on browsing history, demographic data, and physical location.
- Use geolocation. Your app and mobile site should know where the customer’s closest store is, be equipped to check local inventory, and direct the user to the right aisle as they shop.
7. Influencer marketing gets bigger by getting smaller
Influencer marketing has grown consistently over the past several years, particularly in response to the adoption by many of ad-blocking software. Influencer marketing enables you to get around these restrictions and build brand trust by engaging with people your customers already trust.
As more people abandon their TVs and opt for mobile, social media influencers and video influencers garner even more appeal. If they’re a good fit for your brand, hiring them to promote your products could be a great marketing decision.
Micro-influencers will likely play a prominent role in customer engagement moving into 2023. Micro-influencers generally have smaller audiences but more engagement in comparison to more prominent influencers.
Successfully implementing influencer marketing in your mobile campaigns starts with selecting the right fit.
- Conduct careful research so you’re partnered with a like-minded and effective influencer.
- Check that you have a strong understanding of your target audience and what motivates them, and then compare with the influencer’s audience to see if they align. The stronger the agreement, the more appeal your products and services will have.
- Verify that potential influencers are mobile-first. The content the influencer creates must play and translate well on mobile devices since most of the audience are on phones. This is the default for some networks, like Instagram and TikTok, but not necessarily for channels like YouTube.
- Engage with some of the influencer’s existing content to ensure the quality aligns with your brand expectations.
8. Businesses prepare for a post-cookie digital world
Digital Trends reports that only 21% of marketing organizations currently feel prepared for a future without the ability to collect cookies. Businesses should recognize that the industry is shifting away from automatic data collection. The next step is to develop a plan for marketing and personalization in the post-cookies era — starting with earning customer trust. There are some strategies to help improve the process of collecting customer data without cookies.
- Be upfront with customers. Tell users how you will use their data. Honesty and establishing trust can make them more comfortable sharing information.
- Incentivize people to share. Offer quizzes, gated items, or raffle prizes in exchange for form fills and data sharing. For example, you can easily alert leads to new game opportunities with push notifications and provide people with quick entertainment for work or study breaks.
- Bring the collected data to a common platform. Don’t allow data silos. The marketing team shouldn’t collect download data in one system while the sales team tracks opened email data in another.
- Use first-party data collection strategies. If you’re able to retain data, you can continue offering valuable personalized content to your customers.
9. The value of customer retention increases
A cookieless digital world will make customer retention more vital, and mobile marketing has become a critical part of reducing churn.
During the pandemic, businesses increased spending on mobile tech for the purpose of improving CX and retaining customers. As restrictions have lifted, these spending patterns have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Instead, businesses continue to invest in the ability to provide frictionless omnichannel experiences.
Investing in your current customers can benefit organizations tremendously. Digital Trends reports that companies that center their business around customer demands see profits grow an estimated six times more, year-over-year, than their competitors.
One key to retaining customers is good customer service, and mobile can improve the customer support experience.
- Chatbots are a great customer service tool, but they can be complicated on smaller, mobile screens. Make sure that the chatbot you use works well and hides easily on mobile devices.
- Social service. On mobile, many customers will reach out for customer support through social media channels like Twitter and Messenger. Make sure you have team members available on these platforms as often as possible.
- SMS support. Offer customer support via text message. This might mean text notifications for the status of an order or customer support representatives available via text.
All the digital trends for 2023
Digital marketing continues to evolve. If you want your business to maintain a successful online presence in 2023, you need to start preparing each channel for success now. The center of your strategy should be mobile marketing.
Creating a more customer-centric journey should be your first priority. If you’re ready to take the next step to personalize your customer experience, review data from your previous mobile marketing campaigns for insight into the customer journey.
The Digital Trends report contains a compilation of industry-leading research specifically curated to help improve your understanding of evolving customer expectations. It provides you with a close look at digital marketing trends that will shape the coming year.
Download the 2023 Digital Trends report for free and keep your brand moving forward.