It’s a mobile first world, and statistics are there to prove it. Most of the world’s Internet traffic is now mobile. Almost 70% of the dollars spent on digital advertising is spent on mobile, and over 90% of Facebook’s revenue is comprised of mobile revenue. Although college student consumers are deep in the mobile adoption curve, most marketers are still lagging behind. For companies to connect with mobile first college students, they must keep these three principles in mind.
- Understand how and when students use their phones
The world has been shifting to a mobile-first approach for almost a decade, and the end of 2016 marked a crucial tipping point. For the first time, most of the world’s Internet traffic was more on smartphones than computers. Most college students have multiple devices and still prefer to do certain activities on laptops, so effective mobile marketing begins with understanding how people allocate activities to devices. Traffic to the top 100 sites is 58% mobile, but rises in:
- “snackable” media categories such as sports or entertainment news (70% mobile)
However, laptops are used for more transactional categories, such as finance and banking, resource publications and binge-watching sites.
- Help college students purchase on mobile
As mobile usage has taken off, mobile purchasing has lagged. College students prefer to purchase on the security of their home laptop and the emotional comfort of a keyboard. But now, mobile purchasing now accounts for 1/3 of digital sales, and is projected to account for a majority of sales by 2021. Helping college students go that last mile to purchase starts with flawless technical execution to halt loading delays. Encouraging mobile purchases also migrates visitors from mobile web to apps, where the conversion rate is almost 5 times higher.
- Understand the unique language of mobile search
Mobile search is quantitatively and qualitatively different than desktop search. Mobile tends to be more personal and more proximal to time and place. Mobile search fuels the immediacy economy – as the search phrase “near me” has doubled over the past two years. College students are increasingly learning how to leverage their location, while companies are continuing to leverage location intelligence to meet their needs. Additionally, mobile search is also more immediate in time, and deeper in the funnel. Travel-related searches including “today” or “tonight” are up 150% over the past few years, and 80% of last minute travel is booked on mobile.