Dead in the Water without Mobile

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Image by ~ Sandy ~

This year’s Millennial Impact Report shows that anyone doing business in the United States needs mobile communications as part of its portfolio. Without mobile any business or nonprofit’s growth strategy is dead in the water.

An astounding 77% of millennials use a smartphone to access the Internet, says the report — well above the general adult population’s use.

This is literally any business or nonprofit’s future stakeholder, if not their current one.

Millennials (those 35 and younger) use their smartphone like a computer, reading e-newsletters, emailing people, and engaging in social media.

This trend will only increase as the next generation of teenagers matures. Mobile web use increases while email and instant messaging (IMing) decreases, according to Pew Research.

Three out of five smartphone owners in the U.S. do not go more than one hour without checking their devices, according to the Mobile Mindset Study (hat tip: Beth Kanter). Further, the study says that 63% of women and 73% of men ages 18-34 don’t go an hour without checking their phones.

Finally, mobile now comprises 10% of global web traffic, according to Pingdom.

Do you need more convincing?

5 Starter Tips

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Image by Joanna_Pan

If you want to develop a mobile content strategy, here are five short tips to get you started:

1) Download the WordPress Plug-In WPTouch now to make your blog and at least a part of your site somewhat mobile now.

2) Use Google Analytics or a different analytics package to determine what’s relevant to your smartphone stakeholders. You may find they want different information, like local store data or product reviews.

3) It’s helpful to understand how mobile works, including the different types of communications choices within the medium. Learn as much as you can before going crazy and building apps and unique mobile experiences. Tactile input makes entering data harder, for example.

The best book on the topic is Chuck Martin’s The Third Screen.

4) Hire a web developer to make your site HTML 5 friendly, which empowers smartphones to view your content on any mobile operating system. The native web is the first application for any mobile phone user. Take the lessons learned from steps 2 and 3 to drive your mobile web build out.

5) Continue to monitor how people use your now mobile friendly site. Develop an even better mobile experience: From shorter content to more visual media, the mobile experience is different.

This unique mobile web experience (that may or may not include applications) serves and cultivates a loyal strong smartphone stakeholder group. Make sure it’s integrated within your larger web and communications strategy.

Do you think a mobile strategy is a must have now? What tips would you offer?