Content Wars: Mobile vs. Desktop

All around the world, mobile is taking over. Globally, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices, increasing from 63.3% in 2019. Mobile is where it’s at when targeting your customer base, but this is not necessarily true across all audiences and industries. There are a lot of workers who spend most of the day behind a laptop or desktop computer. Desktops remain important and drove 53.3% of total time on-site in the U.S. and 46.4% globally. Thus, a dual campaign and a well-planned marketing strategy are essential to reach your company’s promotional goals. 

What Side to Choose?

Mobile offers a huge opportunity to connect with high-value prospects, and marketers need to take advantage of such available opportunities. However, full-screen video demands a viewer’s full attention, and native desktop formats easily disrupt highly noticeable search ads. Above all, when you reach people across multiple devices, you have access to a higher inventory of ad placements to work with. Below are some critical distinctions between mobile and desktop marketing that you should be mindful of to see the most ROI from your campaigns.

Accessibility to Kinds of Content

The right amount of content that works on a desktop may not be the same on a mobile device. There should not be more content than you can expect a visitor to scroll through and consume. With mobile, less is more. Make it easy for the viewer to understand why they should continue to scroll. After all, you’re working with a lot less space than you are on a desktop, and you need to get your point across. 

Messaging Priorities

You can fit several calls to action on a desktop screen. Sign up for a newsletter, add a product to your cart, view 3 or 4 ads, etc. On a mobile device, feature one actionable item at a time. Order each call to action by its importance to your company. Trying to fit more than one is too busy and will weaken overall effectiveness. Once again, less is more.

Formatting the Right Images

When maintaining a cross-platform strategy, many brands often have issues posting images in formats that don’t match the best practices for their destination. While cropped images and portrait-aspect ratios have better performance on mobile, landscape-aspect ratios work better on desktops. If the target destination is overlooked, it can have a significant effect on ROI.

Screen Location

Location is central when it comes to creating mobile or online-first campaigns. Think about where people are engaging in your campaigns. They could be interacting in between meetings, during their commute, or from the comfort of their home. Are you meeting their expectations for the effort they must put in? 

Times When Devices are Mostly Used

Choose between mobile and desktop based on differences in use. While our phones are with us at all hours of the day, we seldom perform extensive online research on them. Thus, combine mobile and desktop. Mobile can alert people with an appealing hook or offer, but the desktop is a better fit for the post-discovery phase. 

Kinds of Traffic

Mobile usage is generally performed when people are on the go, waiting for an order to arrive, standing in line, or before a show begins, etc. Thus, the length of time spent on your site will vary, and bounce rates are also a factor. You have a limited window, so remove as many potential obstacles as you can. Make content easy to share, pre-populate contact information, and make purchasing simple with minimal steps. 

User Experience

When choosing platforms to expand your reach and create content, it’s essential to keep UX design in mind. It impacts how your consumers interact with your content. Code appears differently on mobile and desktop, and content and marketing assets are also experienced differently. Focus on creating superb UX/UI design to see the most ROI from your campaigns.

User Intent

When it comes to intent between devices, there is a distinction. When a potential buyer searches for your product on their mobile, they typically have a different intent when at their desktop. Therefore, your copy must address the audience and intent, as it will differ by device. Once you have segmented your reporting, use data to drive your investment.

93% of people who used mobile to research go on to purchase, but only 17% complete that purchase on mobile. However, mobile advertising strategies still produce returns. To compete with unbranded search terms, modify your mobile strategy and make your brand available. This way, when people make purchases away from their mobile, you will be top-of-mind. 

While there has been an increase in mobile purchases for consumers, it does not mean that desktop marketing is gone. Mobile marketing should be sharable and quickly grab one’s attention, but there is also an opportunity to push out messages on desktops. Many consumers use multiple screens nowadays, so it is easier to secure them with a message across all channels, cohesively via mobile or desktop. All in all, omni-channel marketing and versatile display ads provide consistent on-brand messaging.

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