Mobile First


I’m sitting at my local hipster coffee bar, jumping back and forth between my smartphone and my oversized iPad (like Donald Trump, I have a huge one). Here’s the thing: demographically, and in this coffee shop, I’m a geezer. I can actually recall the day in 2008 when Bell Canada picked up mobile rights to the Olympics, and I said to my friend, “Who the hell wants to watch TV on a phone?”

Well, as turns out, I do. And so does everyone else. We consume, investigate, and source everything on our phones. All day, every day. Maybe the biggest surprise is the velocity with which wealthy markets are doing so, as well.

A mobile-first approach is absolutely necessary for real estate brands looking to grow and cultivate their audiences. If you’re not thinking mobile yet, here a few reasons why you need to.


Mobile Is More Than Half the Battle

A Marketing Land report shows that smartphones accounted for more than 51 percent of all online traffic in 2016, with tablets at just over 12 percent. That means a whopping 63 percent of all traffic was mobile – and that number is only growing.

Mobile usage passed desktop a few years back, in 2014. Phones have improved exponentially since my not-so-prophetic musing in 2008. This year, the trend of using mobile devices as entry points to the internet will continue to skyrocket. A few more numbers to consider:

•  Google says 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40 percent visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)

•  Ninety-one percent of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

•  Fifty-seven percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)

•  Forty-eight percent of millennials view video solely on their mobile device. (Animoto)

•  Mobile offers are redeemed ten times more frequently than print offers. (eMarketer)

It’s safe to say that your buyer, no matter the demographic, has a smartphone, has mobile internet access, and uses it with without mercy or malice.

As always, Google is the one to watch when it comes to understanding online activity. As it happens, Google is now moving towards an indexing algorithm that prioritizes mobile-friendly content. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it will very quickly become irrelevant.


Branded Mobile Content Is GOLD

Your audience is online in a big way, doing much more than just reading texts and emails – but content that doesn’t stand out from the depths of the daily bombardment is immediately discarded. Content is King but Experience is God. If you’re looking to connect with your audience and inspire them to act, a strong, dynamic presence is absolutely essential.

In general, people spend time with social platforms when they are focused and able to engage. Less distraction equals more opportunity for branded content to be consumed in more valuable ways. According to Facebook, time spent on smartphones with branded content is 63 percent higher than desktop. That’s a lot.

Good design and UX are imperative, and content creation needs to be a core part of your mobile planning. The real holy grail, though, is shared content. The content that your best friend sends you, or your wife likes on instagram: it’s the stuff that marketers dream about. It doesn’t need to be expensively produced (check out my instagram @lightninglaurin), but it does need to be planned and created – always in line with your brand strategy.

And guess what? If you can crack the code and create good, engaging content that gets shared, it has a 180 percent higher click-through rate than everything else you push out.


How to Use Branded Mobile Content for Marketing Real Estate

Okay, so how do we apply all these statistics and all this wisdom? Here are a few key pointers:

•  Make sure your content is optimized for the platform you’re marketing on. Create with the right demnsions in mind and compress files to load with speed.

•  Four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video than read about your project, so allot a decent budget for a high-production-quality video shoot.

•  As with brochures and websites, assets for your mobile content need to have high production quality – think renderings and neighbourhoods photos.

•  Instant gratification is the name of this game – make sure you are developing for speed and for responsiveness to all devices.

•  Registration pages – make them super simple for mobile. We currently keep it to three or four options max, and have the sales team continue the qualification process at the sales centre.

•  The vast majority of video is watched on social platforms without sound. Make sure your story is prepared for this and even consider a version with subtitles.

•  Have a clear call to action – make it simple and assume everyone has sausage fingers. The buttons on screen are teenie tiny – remember the user experience!

It’s no longer enough to be thinking about mobile; today, you need to put mobile thinking first. Don’t panic, we can help. Give us a call to discuss how you can get more mobile in 2017.