Phones have this funny way of making our lives more personal and less personal all the time. Whether it’s pulling them out to avoid talking to people you don’t quite remember at your high school reunion or sending some happy birthday texts to the people you’re trying to stay in touch with on Facebook, our smartphones have introduced us to a social medium we’ll have for the rest of our lives.
By 2018 more than 50 percent of customers will use mobile first for all their online activities, according to a study by Gartner . And while that number may seem about right, when you factor in that over 68 percent of Americans have smartphones , the market potential for the personal interactions (on and off screen) could have is monstrous.
However, it’s no easy task getting people to engage with what you’re doing (especially on mobile). After all, you’re taking up a limited amount of space, so it’s important to use it wisely. Countless marketing efforts have ended up in the mobile market grave due to a lack of understanding of how this behavior works.
Tips for Increasing Mobile Engagement
The first step you need to take is knowing what your brand and story  represent, as well as how others can relate to it. Like we said above, you have a limited amount of space to make an impression, so make it one that counts.
According to a 2016 study by the Data and Marketing Association, Social Media is now outperforming email, display, and search on mobile. The secret to these brand’s success? Knowing how to make their story one worth sharing.
“The driving factor behind SidelineSwap’s success is that we make sure to keep our brand’s online presence genuine, instead of giving into the temptation to serve canned content and activity. We don’t post articles just for keyword metrics, we don’t pay for followers just to make our account look more appealing – we operate our brand’s online presence the same way we run our personal social media accounts.” which, as Brandon Candon of SidelineSwap points out , is exactly how to make your mobile marketing can tell the easiest story there is…the one happening to your brand right now.
Once you get them in the door, it’s important to follow through on the next step: getting them to stay for awhile.
Seventy seven percent of marketers  feel that real-time personalization  is highly important, but face numerous obstacles in achieving that goal. And that’s a valid concern, especially considering we don’t always have the resources to add that ‘human touch’ to every interaction we have, but technology is quickly catching up to allow us to do so.
As most marketers want as many sign-ups as they can fit under the sun, getting people to follow through on receiving push notifications can be an intrusive process. But as Lean Plum points out in the article Guide to the 10 Best Push Notification Tools , there’s plenty of steps you can take to make your notifications feel more personal , such as time or behavior notifications, as well as using personalized data.
Another optimal tool to add a level of personalization on mobile is implementing chatbots . As Fast Company points out , while not perfect at first, bots have quickly been improving their artificial intelligence to levels that have allowed from some great interactions and innovations. Brands have been figuring out ways to not only improve customer service, but a customer experience, citing the automated system as a way to handle orders, appointments, and other services.
Finally, I’ll note that If you choose to go down more traditional routes such as targeted ads and other growth  hacking tactics, take the time to make sure your data is correct. Everyone has had that notification on their phone for a product they can’t use in a city they visited over six months ago. Albeit, there’s ways from a consumer standpoint to make these go away, but it’s your job as the relationship builder to respect their space.
With all the various approaches listed above that you can use to make your mobile marketing more personal , it’s important to step back and remember that your brand has a living, breathing presence everywhere it goes. As marketers, we’ve all gotten caught up in buzzwords and lingo, hoping that our metrics pan. But then again, those words don’t mean nearly as much as your brand’s story, and that’s one of the most personal things you could share.
Holding Phone  Photo via Shutterstock