South Africa is poised to experience a rapid increase in the ownership and use of smartphones in the near future. With a current 31% penetration of smartphones in the country, there is already a great incentive for organisations to seriously begin considering the inclusion of more advanced and diverse mobile marketing tools within their overall marketing strategies.

Consider what differentiates the typical mobile user…

Individuals use their mobile phones for different functions than they do their PC’s. For this reason, the content that they consume via their mobile devices and the way that they view that content, differs fairly significantly.

Take into account the following when you are thinking about what may hamper your ability to ensure that your message is clearly heard by mobile users:

Short attention span – when consuming content via their mobile phones, people tend to scan content and focus on the most obvious, easily digestible messages. Their attention spans increase when using their tablets, but are still shorter than when using their PC’s. Bold headings; uncluttered messages and website pages; and a clear call to action every time – these are the elements that make mobile marketing messages more easily understood and successful.

Limited screen space – even though smartphone screen retail is increasing, larger phones currently remain limited to the high end of the market. The average screen is small and content needs to be easily visible and navigable. Consider an average 320pixel screen width limit, when developing mobile marketing content and communications.

Variable connectivity – in South Africa, stable, consistent access to the internet via WiFi remains unreliable. This means that content must load quickly in order to be effective. If your content takes too long to load, you can be guaranteed that the user will move on. Smaller images are your safest bet.

Limited functionality – Remember that iPhones don’t support flash, while many other phones don’t support Java, so avoiding these file types at present, is your best option.


Keep reviewing your audience’s mobile habits…

Consider the following when defining your mobile content strategy:

  • How many people in your audience are using tablets and smartphones?
  • Which mobile operating systems are being used most?
  • How many mobile users access your website and what pages are they looking at?
  • Which blog articles are your mobile users reading?
  • What percentage of your audience is accessing your social media sites via mobile devices?
  • What content is most popular with your mobile audience?
  • How long does your mobile audience spend looking at each piece of content?
  • Is your mobile audience consuming visual content, and if so, what content?
  • Have you been asked about any mobile friendly / specific functions by your clients?

This list will provide you with a good base to work from. Ideally, you should review the statistics relating to your website, online advertising and social media accounts on a monthly basis to ensure that you more accurately understand the trends. This will help you determine how you need to adjust your mobile content marketing strategy to appeal to your particular audience.


What content should you be creating for your mobile audience?

Now that we have a better idea of how we should be approaching our content marketing strategy so that it is inclusive of the needs of our mobile audience, let’s take a look at what sort of content you should be creating for them.


Internet marketers have for a long time, been advising their clients to shift to a responsive website layout that is compatible with mobile phones. With the increase in the use of tablets and smartphones, mobi sites are no longer entirely suitable. Rather, companies need to invest in one website that has been created using a mobile first marketing mind-set, so that it is easily visible across a multitude of devices.

But a mobile friendly website does not end at the layout. Consider the size of the images you are expecting devices to load and most importantly, consider how content, or text is presented on the website. It is vital that all visitors are able to read and understand your core offering quickly, regardless of the page that they land on, or the size of the screen that they are viewing your site through.

As we mentioned earlier in this article: bold, compelling headings that tell a story or ignite interest are an essential element when compiling mobile friendly website content.


Research has shown that longer blog articles are more impactful that shorter ones. The question remains however, as to whether or not someone using a smartphone is really likely to trawl through a 1000 word or more blog article. The trick to ensure that your blog content is delivering the value to your business that you want it to, really lies in the actual quality of the information that you are serving your audience. If your content is interesting, informative and helpful, while being easy to read and navigate, there is no doubt that you will reap the rewards.

Video & Images

Images and videos are a great way to really enrich the content that you are providing to your audience. As the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and can really add so much depth to the message that you are putting across. For this reason, be sure to remain selective and choose images that are sure to enhance your blog posts, website content and social media posts.

Micro videos are also becoming increasingly popular, as they are quick and easy to load for smartphone users, while they provide the opportunity for you to easily deliver a short, but impactful piece of useful information that enhances the content that you are sharing. For more insight into how you can include images and videos into your mobile content marketing strategy, read our earlier post HERE.

Social Media

Internationally, 65% of the time that people spend on social networks is via their mobile device. Locally in South Africa, we follow this trend as most of the population accesses the internet using their mobile phone. It is therefore imperative that our social media efforts are made with a mobile-first approach in mind. This means that posts need to be highly engaging so that they stand out in social media timelines. Text heavy posts or large images should be avoided as far as possible, while messages should always be tailored to suit the requirements of each social media platform.

Applications (Mobile Apps)

Optimising your online marketing efforts for mobile users is absolutely imperative, however as with any marketing approach, catering to the needs of a specific audience is the best way to really drive a deeper level of engagement.

A mobile app can be considered an add-value service that you offer to your customers, as it is one of the best possible ways to deliver valuable content directly and conveniently to them. Instead of asking them to go through the generally tedious and unfulfilling experience of locating your content via their mobile web browser – by providing them with direct access to your valuable content via a creative app, you are actively enriching their lives. Find out more about how The Formula is able to assist you to design, develop and implement your mobile app HERE.

Mobile marketing is generally underutilised in South Africa, yet with such a large portion of the population who rely on their mobile devices to access the internet, and such as massive drive toward content marketing overall, businesses must begin implementing solid mobile-centric content marketing strategies.

If you need some assistance to get your mobile content marketing strategy active, give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call. Our experienced team will ensure that your business experiences, swift, tangible benefits from your mobile content marketing efforts!

Ring us on 021 556 5661 or email us: to set up your FREE consultation. We look forward to helping you and your business flourish! 

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