With mobile internet usage about to eclipse desktop browsing, we are about to enter the age of mobility. Yes, optimizing your website is extremely important, and yes, having a mobile-friendly app will take you far, but not far enough. As consumers are engaging more and more in the mobile sphere, it’s your job to meet them where they’re at. To stand out from the crowd, explore the use of apps that are exclusive to mobile use to bolster your brand’s online presence. This means forgetting about the Holy Trinity (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for a moment, and focusing on your mobile device. This is one of the few cases where thinking big means thinking small.
Okay, so I kind of lied, we’re not completely forgetting about Instagram. What are you going to do, put me on the naughty list? Boomerang is Instagram’s answer to Vine. It allows users to take a series of five consecutive photos, and loops them together into a rapid fire, one-second slideshow. The resulting video is a snapshot of a very specific, motion-based moment. This means that Boomerang users must be very precise about when and where they try to capture a motion. If you miss your moment, it’s gone.
Why is this important? Even though Boomerang is the new kid on the block, big brands Benefit Cosmetics, Coca-Cola, and Plated are already incorporating it into their digital marketing strategies (check out their Boomerang posts here).
Triangles, circles, and squares, oh my! Yes, there is swiping, and icons, and no words, and no permanence, but fear not, Snapchat is a powerful force to be embraced rather than feared. Snapchat allows you to give users a slice of life view of your brand, with an increased level of authenticity. There are no filters, no blemish correction, and no editing once you’ve captured your moment (aside from text overlays and the ability to draw on your image in a manner that is reminiscent of Microsoft Paint). This is an opportunity to showcase your work, warts and all.
Why is this important? People like your warts! Snapchat allows users to see a bare-bones, unedited glimpse behind the curtain of your brand. Amidst the hyper-curated realms of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the level of level of transparency that Snapchat affords is a refreshing experience for users, and has the ability to turn your audience from passive customers into passionate brand ambassadors.
Okay, okay, now a Twitter asset is popping up in this list. I’ve officially lied to you twice. Off to the naughty list with me. The truth is, you’d be hard pressed to find an app that isn’t affiliated to the aforementioned Holy Trinity. They know a good thing when they see it, and don’t hesitate to acquire rising stars in the mobile sector. It’s the reason that Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013.
Now, back to Periscope. Periscope is a live streaming app that allows you to invite your audience into the daily behind the scenes glimpse into your brand, or give them a strategic teaser with a high-level of exclusivity. Perioscope streams are preserved on the app for 24 hours after the stream ends, but after that, they’re gone. Live viewers can comment (a feature often used to ask questions in a live chat), or show their affinity for your content with hearts.
Why is this important? Periscope lets your audience see inside a world that might usually be inaccessible, can be used to host live Q & As with your customer base, and provide a real feel for your brand’s culture. Much like Snapchat it flies in the face of permanence, but adds an edge of urgency and exclusivity to your messaging.
These apps share three key features in common. They allow for (and nearly force) user authenticity, they are time-sensitive, and they are video-based. These characteristics all feed into each other to create an ideal mobile atmosphere for a different level of engagement. Everybody who’s anybody uses The Holy Trinity, but these mobile-based apps allow you to stand out in a crowd of anybodys. Video-based content is more difficult to edit, and script which makes them the ideal medium for showing your audience the true you. The added element of time-sensitive gives viewers a flavour of urgency, making any calls to action you might include that much more impactful.