There are many best practices that have been established in the mobile marketing sector, and many more that marketers still need to adopt. After all, it's still an emerging space. But some best practices pose an especially BIG learning curve for B2B companies. Why? Because mobile is an emerging new space with entirely new constraints on space. And for complex B2B offerings that require a lot of explanation for buyers, B2B marketers will need to start thinking "small."
Take a look at the smartphones on the market today. They're pretty snazzy, eh? To be sure, they're visually stunning and all sorts of cool. They're also very small. After all, they're designed for mobility. And what busy business professionals really need due to now managing larger amounts of information on smaller screens is for their content to be delivered in "bite-sized chunks" and optimized for mobile environments, whether the content is delivered in text, audio, or video formats.
Even when business professionals are off-site but still on the clock, they're seeking information that will inform their work, improve their efficiency, and influence their purchasing decisions. And purchasing leads to sales ... which is exactly what companies need. B2Bs, however, are notorious for producing content-heavy collateral. It's not because they're word happy, it's because B2B offerings are complex and oftentimes require a large amount of explanation.
Think about it, B2B companies aren't selling ninety-nine cent MP3s, but more along the lines of nine-million-dollar enterprise software systems. And while most B2C offerings don't involve a great deal of scrutiny or a high level of buyer involvement (save for buying a house or a car), B2B offerings are subject to a tremendous degree of risk vs. reward assessment. Business audiences still very much need the content we produce, but on their mobile devices they now need content available in different lengths and various content formats.
It's not that B2B marketers should stop creating longer-form content, it's that they'll also need to create content that shows more, tells less. The big action point here is that B2Bs need to constantly consider the small mobile-viewing experience by developing marketing and sales content that is optimized for hand-held screens.
How? Through such mobile-friendly approaches as:
- Mobile Websites. Developing mobile websites (or "mobisites") that are slimmed-down versions of larger corporate websites. You'll still promote your key messages and communicate your key offerings, but you'll need to do so in a streamlined manner and stick to the bare essentials.
- Video Case Studies. Creating 2-minute video case studies (in addition to 2-page text documents available at your regular website), that are far easier for your executive audience to watch on their mobile devices when they're on a layover between Denver and Detroit.
- Video Demos. Producing short demos that can be uploaded to video sites like YouTube, and easily embedded and accessed from your mobile website.
- Audio Podcasts. Recording short audio podcasts that encapsulate the key industry tips you already publish in your monthly email newsletters, as these can be listened to when executives are on the go.
- Shorter Content Bursts. Writing 100-word snapshots of your longer 10,000 word thought-leadership pieces that executives can read when they're out in the field. Keep in mind that these bursts provide an incentive to "read the full version for even more insights!" when they're back in the office and are afforded the luxury of 15-inch screens from which to view.
- SMS Alerts. Offering audiences the option of subscribing to 160-character SMS alerts of breaking developments in the industry, on the competition or the overall profession. You can always elaborate on and aggregate these in longer blog posts, too. But keeping them short keeps your target audience informed wherever they might be at the time the news breaks.
Remember, B2B marketers, your business audiences aren't always at their desktop computers when they require your information, but that data still very much influences their purchases. In fact, they're at their desks less and less. So, when you're creating and promoting content, you now need to be forever mindful that someone, somewhere on the other side of your copy will be accessing it by way of a device that's very small.
Your audiences will thank you. More to the point, your business buyers will be able to consume your content from the one device that is always on and never leaves their sides. And by giving prospective customers a pleasant mobile experience, you won't be giving them a reason to visit competitive sites that are optimized to their viewing needs.
B2B Mobile Bonus: For a 10-Step Starter Guide On Integrating Mobile Into the B2B Marketing Mix, in both slideshow and PDF formats, go here.
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