Want to know one of the reasons why we keep talking about mobile marketing strategy? It’s because the people who should know are already betting on mobile. Take a look at the recent actions of the top social networking companies – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google – and it’s clear that the mobile revolution is only just beginning. We’ve shared some statistics on this in the past, but now let’s look at the gains and investments these companies are making in mobile technology to leverage the rising tide of mobile content consumption.
Twitter has 231.7 million monthly active users, 52.7 million of those in the US. That’s a pretty big user base, though not the biggest. But beyond the user numbers, the noteworthy thing about Twitter is what’s happening with their mobile users.
According to a report on Marketing Land, about 76 percent of those users used a mobile device to access the site compared with 69 percent in 2013 and ad revenue from mobile devices rose 5 points in the quarter to be 70 percent of overall ad revenue.
What’s more, Twitter’s recent buys have shown a bias towards the mobile marketplace. The Crashlytics acquisition earlier in the year gave it access to mobile app analytics, while the more recent MoPub acquisition focused on mobile ad exchanges. Add to that the change to the home page to highlight mobile apps and screens and the message is unambiguous – mobile is here to stay.
With more than 1.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a social networking powerhouse. The site has around 874 million mobile users, so it’s no surprise that it’s betting big on mobile. Some interesting facts about Facebook are that 48 percent of its active users only use mobile devices and the company expects mobile ad revenue to surpass desktop add revenue by the end of the year. In fact, it is already showing strong growth in that area, according to an IBTimes report.
In the second quarter, mobile ad revenue for the social networking site represented 41 percent of all revenue, compared with 30 percent earlier in the year. That also represented a 76 percent growth rate over the previous quarter.
But that’s not all. The recent acquisitions of Onavo, Mobile Technologies and others show the company’s commitment to the mobile space. And Facebook has also been making other mobile initiatives, such as getting into mobile gaming, embedding Facebook into some mobile devices with Facebook Home, working with Facebook iterations for other devices and more.
With 259 million users, LinkedIn can’t be ignored. The business network that has become increasingly social has come right out and said it. The future is mobile, says CEO Jeff Weiner on Mashable. By 2014, he thinks half of the site’s unique visitors will come from mobile devices, compared with 38 percent now and only 8 percent two years ago. In fact, there are some countries where that is already the case. According to LinkedIn, its mobile users are more than twice as active as its desktop users. Meanwhile, more than half of its sponsored update revenue has come from mobile since the first quarter. The company has also made a range of acquisitions (including mobile news reader Pulse) to make both desktop and mobile apps better. It has recently created an iPhone plugin to bring Rapportive features to Mail, called LinkedIn Intro and has released a mobile app for iPad.
Let’s not forget about Google. Though it’s not a social network, the search giant owns Google+ (with 300 million monthly active users) as well as the Android mobile operating system, where it’s got a huge market share. So it’s no surprise that it has invested heavily in the mobile marketplace and mobile research. As its multiscreen world report shows Google believes that the future is about constant connectivity, which equates to using mobile devices. Google has experimented with new ad formats and reports that 40 percent of YouTube traffic now comes from mobile devices. Recent estimates suggest that Google now has 52 percent of global mobile ad revenue.
So what does this tell you? If the biggest networks are making such huge investments in the mobile marketplace, then brands should be doing the same. That means making sure your content is adapted to mobile and explicitly targeting mobile users with content marketing efforts. Fail to do this and you could be left behind as the content marketing landscape shifts to mobile.