Mobile technology moves quickly. Tech companies release new phone models every year that are faster, smarter, and have even more futuristic features than their predecessors.

As the technology changes, so, too, do mobile marketing strategies and techniques. Newer phones and technology mean marketers can take advantage of even more ways to get in touch with their audience. And each year, the possibilities expand.

So, in order to get prepared, let’s walk through where mobile marketing is headed. By looking at the marketing trends of the past few years and taking into account the new features on the latest smartphones, we can form theories on what will shape the future of mobile marketing.

Voice Search Will Grow

Using voice assistants is becoming increasingly popular in mobile search. According to surveys, 31% of all mobile searches right now occur through voice search, and experts anticipate that half of all internet searches will be initiated by voice this year.

And it makes sense; voice is a convenient way to look for items when you’re on the go. It’s difficult to type out search results when you’re running errands in your car (not to mention dangerous ““ don’t text and drive!), cramming onto a crowded bus or subway during your morning commute, or walking from the office to your favorite lunch spot down the street.

With voice search, though, it’s easy to multi-task. Consumers can search for what they need hands-free.

Consider, however, that your Alexa (or Siri, or Google Assistant) can only provide you with one answer at a time, unlike traditional search (where you can scroll through a variety of results). If you want to make sure your brand name is the one that gets the first mention, it’s important that you’ve optimized for voice search.

This starts with a smart SEO strategy that sets your business up to rank at the top of organic results. Voice assistants also rely on local listings when pulling information about nearby businesses, so it’s a good idea to check that you’re on the big listings sites and that your information there is current.

“Near Me” Searches Will Dominate

Mobile searches are a great way to catch consumers who are looking for an immediate solution to their problem. Google noted that between 2015 and 2017, “near me” searches that also contained the words “can I buy” or “to buy” increased by 500%. This growing behavioral trend will continue to influence the future of mobile marketing.

This means that consumers are turning to mobile at the moment they’re ready to make a purchase. If your business isn’t appearing in search results, then there’s no time for you to win them over later ““ they’ll have already made their purchase with someone else.

A combination of SEO and paid search can ensure that you appear as one of the top options at this critical point in the customer journey. The two marketing strategies are closely connected and often play off each other, with a strong SEO approach helping to fill the gaps left by your paid campaigns and vice versa.

Related: How Local Mobile Marketing Can Help You Capture New Customers

Video Will Take Center Stage

Video has quickly become a focus for marketers across all channels. Consumers prefer video content to other media, and so smart brands are serving their audience with the type of content they’d like to consume.

This is even more relevant for the future of mobile marketing. Because of the on-the-go nature of mobile devices, it’s a lot easier to watch a quick video while you’re moving about than it is to sit and scroll through a lengthy article or newsletter.

Additionally, live video has become a great way to engage your audience on social media. Tools like Instagram and Facebook Live allow you to create an opportunity for direct engagement with your audience.

Consider creating a weekly webinar series, where you answer viewers’ questions live! Or use the technology to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your latest product launch or big annual conference.

Related: Magnificent Mobile Marketing Strategies: 5 You Need to Know

Augmented Reality Will Bring Products to Life

Some of the technology that’s shaping the future of mobile marketing truly feels like something out of a sci-fi novel. Augmented reality is one of those tools; it allows you to superimpose digital elements onto the real world.

Related: AR and Mobile Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Pokémon Go, for example, is powered by augmented reality technology. Its creatures pop up in schoolyards, along crowded city streets, and near local landmarks.

Other companies are finding creative ways to use augmented reality to market their brand. Take, for example, the IKEA Place app, which allows you to test new furniture and accessories virtually in your home.

By pointing your phone at an empty corner of your room, you can try out various IKEA chairs in the space. It’s all to scale, so you can make your purchase feeling secure that the furniture will fit and look great in your home.

With a little bit of creative thinking, brands can find ways to harness augmented reality to create an engaging, fun digital experience for consumers. By gamifying consumers’ digital marketing experience, you’re creating a positive association with your brand in their minds. Plus, if the augmented reality app you create is useful, you’re positioning yourself as the tech-savvy, most helpful brand in your space.

The future of mobile marketing looks bright for those brands who can see where today’s trends are heading. By capitalizing on the technology available to marketers today, while leaning into the consumer trends and preferences that we’re seeing in surveys and research, brands can get out ahead of the competition early and be prepared to dominate in the areas that are becoming increasingly important in mobile marketing.

If you need some help interpreting these growing trends and putting them to work for your brand, we’ve got you covered. Let’s set up a time to chat about how we can help you grow your mobile marketing efforts in a way that will serve you well in the future.

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