I’m seeing several trends that indicate marketers are going to need to get better at being concise. (Something I struggle with as you will see from the length of this post.) People are inundated with information and consumer simply don’t have time. Less is now, officially more.
SMS continues to thrive – 100 billion texts are sent each month and open rates for SMS campaigns are roughly 5x that of email. Texting is replacing phone calls with more and more consumers. I have a friend who’s teenage daughter sent 16,000 texts in one month! The one service that’s going to survive the transition to smartphones is SMS – unless of course, poor marketing practices kills SMS marketing).
Twitter – The number of tweets tripled in the past year and Apple is building Twitter into iOS 5. People are starting to understand how Twitter fits into their life. I use it to collect information such as white papers, posts, research, etc and it comes pre-filtered because those that I follow have already validated that the content has value. The more I use Twitter, the more I #love it.
Tumblr – Twitter is no longer the only micr-blogging medium on the block. All the cool kids use Tumblr (Yes. That’s why I’m still on WP.) and it recently surpassed WordPress with 21 million blogs. Long-term, it could become more useful than Twitter because of its searchability; hashtags aren’t metadata?!?!? There are a number of reasons people prefer Tumblr and if you look around the interwebs it’s mainly the “quick hit/max flexibility”. (On a random but related note: I like the sound of Percolate and look forward to seeing how it works.)
Mobile email – One recent study indicated that 69% of people view the majority of their email on a mobile device. (Even if that were a high number; it will be a fact VERY soon!) I have an iPhone and when I view my email, I really only look at the first . . . oh . . . I don’t know . . . about the first 16o characters give or take, before I decide if I’m going to open it. 160? Hhmmmm . . . that number sounds familiar . . .
What does all this mean? Does this mean that I can’t market in complete sentences? Should I hire a Haiku master? Nope. But there are some things you need to consider before you run out there and create all that compelling content!
- email subject line = SMS = tweet + hashtag – It’s best to keep this equation in mind when creating content at the top of the “content funnel”. These three are equivalent and this equation is a good way to not only ensure consistency for messaging but to simplify the content creation process. SMS is a personal medium due to 1) our relationship with our mobile device and 2) how people use SMS. There usually just isn’t much fluff because it’s very hard to type with your thumbs while driving. In other words, the novelty of all these mediums is over. Keep it simple and to the point. What value are you providing and how do I get it?
- Progressive disclosure – This is a concept that I first heard of in regards to website design. In brief, the homepage is where I get people into a funnel they’re looking for. They click into a funnel and I give them more detail. Then when they see what they’re looking for they click deeper in my site for the product/service description. You never provide a lot of content on the homepage unless your United Airlines in the early 2000s. You have 5 seconds to help them make a decision and visual spam is not the way. This concept also works with messaging. Again; what value are you providing and how do I get it?
- Mobile content is essential – 16% of all new Twitter users start on mobile devices first and as of September of last year, the number of mobile users had jumped 62%. When you’re on a mobile device and you receive an SMS message with a link OR an email with a link OR a tweet with a link and it takes you to a page that hasn’t been optimized for mobile devices; you’ve failed. (I’ve seen a 20-30% drop-ff when we’ve linked to standard sites from mobile messaging.) I know that many of you don’t have the resources to optimize your site for all mobile devices AND think about just doing the pages that are being used in your campaign.