Of all social media platforms, YouTube is the third-most effective for B2B marketers, trailing only LinkedIn and Twitter, according to a B2B Content Marketing study.
Google released research showing that searches for how-to content on YouTube are growing 70 percent year over year. Between January and May 2015 alone, more than 100 million hours of how-to content had been viewed on the channel in North America. And viewers aren’t just looking for how-to help around the house, they are also using how-to video for expertise related to their professions.
When predicting the future of mobile, much of the conceptual work has been done.
For those who can recall it, a 1987 Apple computer concept video (set in the “future” year of 2011) was a watershed moment in establishing for a generation of techies what the future of mobile computing might be. Based on Alan Kay’s mid-1970s conceptual device called the Dynabook, the video featured a device called the Knowledge Navigator.
While many people today might look at the video and be amazed at how the laptop looks essentially like today’s laptop (except with some science-fiction, art-deco design flourishes), the video still points to a future not yet realized—a future where “mobile” is a part of everything.
Here are some of the pieces of the puzzle of what mobile will mean in the not-too-distant future.
Consumer-focused, mobile-available marketing often is deemed successful when it diverts people away from work. However, when it come to business-to-business marketing, the most successful mobile-based marketing is content that helps business customers do their work better. In B-to-B mobile marketing, the goal is to make the mobile device a valuable tool.
With a mobile device (or two) within a hand’s reach of nearly every manager or executive of any company, the emphasis on mobile marketing and content should be focused on the following: Continue reading this article →
Just a few years ago, large corporations could (and would) dictate the access their employees had to the internet during the work day. Today, the smartphones people have in their pockets, briefcases, bags and backpacks are more powerful than the laptops and desktops those companies blocked from Facebook five years earlier.
We’ve entered the always-on, two-screen era.
Today, employees of companies large and small have two powerful computer screens running at all times: the official one provided by their employer and the personal one they own themselves. Just walk around an office filled with workers under the age of 30, and you’ll hear an incoming phone alert cascading from a laptop to iPhone to an Apple Watch—”which one will they answer?” will soon be an office game.
Mobile presence is incredibly important, but how your business is represented in that space is equally important. Some businesses are driven to develop a native app because it’s part of a marketing package, or because a competitor is doing it, or because it’s just the next thing to do with technology. But, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
The main consideration to keep in mind when determining whether a native app is necessary for mobile success, or if your business will continue to succeed with a responsive website, is whether or not an app will provide a specific function or serve a particular need for your target audience. If not, you’re providing content via an app—and that’s best delivered through your website.
If you’ve ever wondered what all those people are looking at when they are staring at their smartphones when walking down the street, chances are it’s Facebook. While it may have started off as something college students used with laptop computers in their dorm rooms, today 76 percent of the company’s advertising revenue comes from mobile ads.
But does that make Facebook an efficient way for business-to-business marketers to reach their customers? Probably not, if you break down the numbers on who Facebook users are and how they use Facebook as a work-related platform.
Facebook is certainly the most dominant social media service. The most recent data from the Pew Research Center (August 2015) reveals that 62 percent of all American adults use it. Moreover, among that 62 percent of all American adults, 70 percent say they log on daily. While the total number of users and their demographic makeup hasn’t changed significantly in the past three years, the rapid growth in their mobile use of Facebook has significantly driven up the total amount of time a typical user spends on Facebook in that period.
More than 3 million Web apps are available online as marketers seek ways to engage customers in experiences—content for news or entertainment, tools to makes our lives easier and mechanisms to drive transactions.
The vast majority of those applications are consumer-focused, with fewer tools developed for business-to-business users. Google research estimates that as consumers, we spend 30 hours a month, on average, using apps in “micro-moments.”
Apps developed for consumers tend to focus on content generation (posting photos or to social media), watching videos, reading articles, listening to music and interacting with others. Apps developed for businesses tend to be geared toward simplifying or automating a process, like collecting information, processing data, generating responses to invoices, bids, orders, etc., and evaluating sales and productivity reports.
Before the iPad, there were touch-sensitive control panels on an endless list of devices. While consumers saw the iPad and other touchscreen tablets as a cool way to do many of the activities one does with a laptop computer—surf the Web, watch movies and play games—product engineers saw the iPad as a replacement for far more expensive and less functional control panels.
For example, at the Music City Center, a new convention complex in Nashville, Tenn., at the beginning of a load-in of a trade show, the event’s manager is handed an iPad locked in on just one app: a simple-to-use interface that can control lighting in the 350,000-square-foot expo hall. Even more amazing: When the convention center broke ground in March, 2010, the iPad had only been on the market for one month. The lighting supplier was able to provide a far more powerful, yet easier to use, tool for controlling banks of lights by recognizing that the iPad was, along with all of the consumer features, a super smart control pad.
When it comes to mobile marketing, technology is constantly advancing and changing, which means your options for how to reach customers also expand on a regular basis. Not only do you have the ability to reach consumers via your mobile website, you can send push notifications from a custom app, interact with consumers in real-time by sending text messages with related content, and even deliver pop-up alerts based on location.
Sounds great—but should you do all of that in a B2B market? Maybe not.
The B2B marketer has been slower to adapt mobile marketing techniques, in part because most B2B consumers are using mobile resources predominantly to conduct research about a business and the solutions it offers. While potential clients are discovering how your business can help them achieve their goals, there are a few things the B2B consumer isn’t interested in.
Within weeks of the initial release of the Apple Watch, pundits and analysts were labeling it both a success and a failure. The “failure pundits” focused on estimates of the number of units that had been sold vs. the sales numbers analysts had predicted. (Apple made no public predictions or reports on units sold.) Those who were labeling it a success were the people who had purchased and were using an Apple Watch.
In reality, it’s still too early to judge the long-term success of the Apple watch as the product is still in a stage where success will depend on how people use it as much as the technology itself. The current owners are likely the same people who always buy Apple products early, so of course they are going to say it’s great. Likewise, the analysts who suggest it’s not living up to expectations are the same people who created those expectations.
The need to meet customers where they are isn’t in doubt. If you aren’t sure whether a meaningful portion of your customer base is finding you via their mobile device, or if the trend is building, there is an easy way to check. Just go into the Google Analytics dashboard for your website, and look at the percentage who are accessing via mobile device. You can find out whether visitors are using an iPhone or an Android device, which is helpful if you’re developing a native app (the kind of mobile app you download through an app store rather than access by visiting a Web page on your phone’s browser).
The BNP Media Market Research 2015 B-to-B Mobile Trends Survey reinforces the need for marketers to use website design approaches that enable the site’s content to be easily read and used by responding to the format and size of whatever screen the user is viewing.