The Real Impact Of Mobile On Marketing: More Visual Content


As of February of this year, there were 2.4 billion people online — a little over one third of the world’s population. That’s a lot of people to keep interested. And while companies are looking for new ways to create agile content (infographics, tweets, videos, etc.) and curate the most relevant content from their partners, employees and customers, there is still a huge gap in the demand versus the supply.

Meanwhile, as I discussed in my mobile marketing predictions post back in January, the meteoric growth of mobile devices and technology continues to change the way we live on a daily basis. What struck me recently, however, is the fact that the real impact of the proliferation of mobile devices might just be their ability to create massive amounts of good, shareable content.

In fact, it will be worth paying attention to the impact that mobile content creation has on the traditionally held 90-9-1 principle — the thesis that 90% of Internet users “lurk” or read content, 9 % comment or contribute to conversations and 1% are the real content creators.

Key Statistics On Mobile Content Growth

Below are some key statistics that speak to the growth of mobile-generated content:

  • Mobile  makes up more than 25% of YouTube’s global watch time, more than one billion views a day. While YouTube doesn’t cite what percentage of videos are uploaded via mobile, I’d have to think it’s in that same neighborhood.
  • The newly launched 6-second video service, Vine, already has 13 million users, and numerous brands — even B2B companies like Mitsubishi Electric — are using the platform.
  • Due in large part to the success of Vine (and to some degree, Qik and Viddy), picture-sharing site Instagram recently announced that members can now upload 15-second videos via its service.
  • And, speaking of Instagram, it now boasts 130 million monthly active users with 16 billion photos shared with over 45M photos uploaded per day.

What is most astonishing about the creation of all this content is the quality of some of it. As an example, you might be surprised to find out that the video below was shot and edited entirely by my 11-year-old son on his mobile phone, using a free iPhone app called Backwards Cam. While it’s not necessarily “brand-worthy,” it’s engaging and entertaining — and with a little polish, it could be ready for prime time.

Factors Accelerating Mobile Content Creation

There are a few driving forces behind this new phenomenon.

First, there are more mobile devices than people on this earth. These phones and tablets are getting cheaper and faster, and many now have cameras that take higher quality photos and videos than some earlier digital cameras.

The second factor is the proliferation of free or near-free video editing applications like DipTic, Backwards Cam and even the native editing functionality of social networking apps like Facebook and Path.

Lastly, mobile and social networking adoption is starting at earlier ages; our children are growing up with tools that many of us adults never dreamed of when we were teenagers.

What we are seeing now is only the tip of the iceberg. Over the next 10 years, mobile devices will only get smarter and faster. More importantly, as GenY-ers move into the workforce, they will bring their savvy content creation skills with them. This shift will have a profound impact on companies’ abilities to create compelling and engaging content.

But What Can Be Done Now?

If the prospect of waiting another 5-10 years before we have a enough talent in the workforce seems untenable, there are a number of things that can be done in the here and now to tap into this mobile content revolution:

  • While many social media practitioners advocate against turning your brand’s social channels over to an intern, it may be time to give some of your younger employees a challenge to create a few specific pieces of content using only their mobile phone. But don’t just leave it at that. Make them train you or other people in your marketing department so that you can scale this practice.
  • Jump in and play around with some of the tools mentioned in this post. You can test different styles and techniques by uploading to your personal social media accounts.
  • Look for people that are creating the best Vines, YouTube videos or taking the best pictures and hire them (or ask your agency to hire them). If that’s too much of a leap, pay them to train you and your staff or agency.
  • Most important of all, don’t be afraid to test new types of content across your owned and shared channels. You can also work with your influencers to co-create content with them or get your new content in their hands to share with their networks.

Have a great pic, vine or other piece of visual content? Tweet it at me so I can take a look! @aaronstrout.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Aaron Strout is Chief Marketing Officer at integrated marketing and communications firm, W2O Group. During his tenure with the company, he has served as President of WCG and head of W2O’s technology practice. Aaron has 20 plus years of social media, mobile, online marketing and advertising experience, with a strong background in integrated marketing. Prior to joining W2O, Aaron spent time as the CMO of Powered Inc. (now part of Dachis Group), VP of social media at online community provider, Mzinga, and as director of digital marketing at Fidelity Investments. Aaron is the co-author of Location Based Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) and writes a monthly mobile/location-based marketing column on He also recently launched the What 2 Know podcast (iTunes) which features industry leaders talking about innovation and best practices.



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