Content marketing is a major focus for web marketers. Whether it be blog posts, ebooks, webinars or online events, content is the fuel for inbound marketing, helping online businesses generate, qualify and move leads through their sales funnels.
According to the inbound marketing methodology, top funnel content like social media & blog posts work to attract traffic towards landing pages (or lead forms) where visitors can access premium content by exchanging their email and other user data that can then be used for marketing automation campaigns. Inbound has revolutionized the sales process on the web – but it was essentially built for desktop.
Although responsive websites and mobile-optimized landing pages can convert under the inbound model, is there a better way to do content marketing on mobile? Or rather, how can you rethink your mobile content strategy?
From websites to mobile apps
Consumers are increasingly mobile. They have replaced desktop with smartphones to be entertained, to research, share content, compare and make purchases via the web. As a result, we’ve made mobile-friendly web pages and developed rich content that is better suited for the mobile user. However, where data and automation have helped marketers personalize web visits, tracking visitors across multiple devices has made personalization challenging from a mobile perspective.
Awhile back, Scott Brinker wrote a piece for MarketingLand about how mobile apps can be harnessed to break through the noise and push content sophistication up. Using the term “the 4th wave” of content marketing, he suggests that the interactive experience offered by apps not only make it easier for users to consume content, but also give marketers better “intent” data to inform personalization and targeting.
How is this the case? Traditionally, non-gaming apps are used by well-known brands that have found their audience on the web but want to give visitors more interactive content to supplement the passive, lower engagement content offered of their websites, blogs and social media. With both free and paid mobile apps, brands offer a premium experience in exchange of user installation, which is a form of gating comparable to lead forms content marketers use.
With a native app, you can pull user data including location and in-app actions, to set up your own mobile marketing automation strategy, encompassing email, social and push notifications to nurture users towards specific conversions.
Building a content marketing app
Creating an app that supports your inbound strategy doesn’t mean recreating your mobile site. Instead, it’s an opportunity to focus on your mobile users and identify where you can bring more sophistication and interactivity to your content.
For example, if blogging is central to your lead generation activity, why not give app users quick access to the categories that are most popular to mobile users. Instead, if eBooks and whitepapers are central to your customers decision making process, why not create an app that gives them instant access to all the documents and tap-to-call access to speak directly with a sales rep. Or do you have great multimedia content? Give app users access to extended or exclusive galleries, lookbooks, video tours, etc.
Apps can also be the perfect environment for custom assessment tools and calculators that users may need to use on the run (and away from their desktop). And, let’s not forget the potential of user generated content! While these will require working with a developer to write some code for a native app, you can easily import a web view of your mobile site tool into an app builder tool, like AppsBuilder.
While mobile apps can help you convert mobile users, they are also a powerful tool for customer retention and loyalty. Creating content and features for the other end of your conversion funnel, like fidelity programs, offers, contests, as well as facilitating quick contact with your business via messaging or chat, can increase the frequency your app is used. And that’s a great thing because the more you can increase app adoption and engagement with your brand, the more value you’ll derive from app users, driving up the lifetime value (LTV) of mobile users.
How does your app support your inbound strategy?
Image: David Guyler