Consumer time spent on digital media has stabilized in growth and the distribution of a mobile user’s time has seemingly shifted.
A recent report by Verto Analytics shares how time spent on social media apps has decreased by a small amount while time spent on mobile game apps has remained flat, news and weather apps are losing engagement, and entertainment apps such as Netflix, shopping apps, and lifestyle apps have all gained in engagement growth.
As the ways in which mobile users spend their time online is continuing to fragment, it’s important to recognize what’s driving this fragmentation – the ability to multi-task and the pattern of app usage.
With regards to multi-tasking, a single smartphone session for anyone typically results in multiple apps being open at the same time. According to the Verto Analytics report, it is estimated that approximately 143 million adults engage with four or more apps in a single session daily. For most smartphone users, the sequence in which these apps are opened start with social media or social-related apps and then leads towards browsers and searches.
There are some notable differences between Android and iPhone users however. Android users typically will open a social media app first. iPhone users are more likely to start with their browser. Though it’s not clear what users are doing specifically on browsers or search apps, it can be assumed that it is either direct navigation to a known site, directed by other apps, or with the intention of searching. Entertainment-based apps such as Netflix and mobile games also play an important role in smartphone use but these are largely excluded from the primary consumer mobile pattern of going from social apps to browsers and search.
By understanding how mobile app users are tapping into their apps and identifying where consumer time is concentrated, brands can capitalize on that. Media spending, design keywords, and revenue decisions, for many businesses, are going to be more and more based in smartphone use patterns. For example, if most users are arriving at your site from social media apps, investing more effort into social media-friendly content and campaigns would be recommended.
Ideally, the opportunity that exists here is to create a directed intent in users who are just looking to kill some time on their phone. By taking someone who is bored and creating a need in them to visit your site, you may create another engaged consumer who is ready to connect.
The mobile user base grows every year, as does mobile use and the influence of mobile platforms. Successful brands are going to need to make a switch to a mobile-centric campaign, if they have not already done so. Noting observations on the way apps, browsers, and mobile search are being used, marketing campaigns can be executed with an optimized structure to generate better quality leads and achieve higher conversion rates overall. A strong social media presence, a mobile-optimized website, and search engine-friendly content are each significant in this regard.