As we’ve noted before on this blog, a digital marketing campaign often starts with a company’s web developer. And by extension, a mobile marketing campaign should often begin with well-tailored mobile web design. Broader practices should be built upon design principles that keep your specific target audience in mind. And one of the main things that a web developer must consider these days is what type(s) of devices(s) the target audience is likely to be using.
Generally speaking, it’s best to assume that you’ll have viewers who run the gamut from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. But it’s also important for any web developer or digital marketing professional to be aware of the growing share of the market that is owned by users who put mobile first. Mobile web traffic crossed the threshold for 50 percent of all traffic in 2017 and it is still growing today.
This roughly 50-50 split underscores the foolishness of assuming that you can get away with designing a website to accommodate only one type of user or another. Realistically, no professional web developer is operating on that assumption, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that every web developer is equally aware of the various implications that mobile-first design can have on an overall digital marketing campaign.
Of course, there’s plenty of information to this effect on the internet today. To get you started if you’re interested, Business2Community recently published an article focusing on six major trends that can be expected to influence mobile marketing throughout this year. We, in turn, would like to focus on one of them – for now. It is a trend that has particular implications for the web developer who serves as the first link in the chain for a broader marketing strategy. And it is a trend that calls attention to the potential growth of complexity in reflexive web design.
Reflexive web design, we’re sure you recall, refers to the practices whereby a web developer makes a site comparably navigable and pleasing to look at regardless of what device a user accesses it from. It’s one thing to focus on this design principle as it relates to the general layout of a webpage, and quite another to extend that principle to all the specific elements of a site, including the big trend we’re looking at here: video.
Video itself has been a rising trend in digital marketing for years now. But mobile video is a relative newcomer. And yet it already has a place of prominence on the majors of social media, making it a natural fit for both new and established digital marketing campaigns. If, however, your campaign has long-since adopted video production, it’s likely that your web developer will have to make some tweaks to keep it relevant to a mobile-first strategy.
There are a few issues at play here. Bandwidth is one. Mobile users often have lower download speeds, and in some areas they still don’t hold a candle to at-home desktop web browsing. This doesn’t eliminate the demand for video, though; it just rules out long-form and high-resolution productions, challenging the site’s owner, marketer, and web developer to communicate their message in brief, attention-grabbing snippets that are suited for small screens and LTE connections.
Small screens may also call out for re-shaping the video content you’ve previously created, especially if used in conjunction with aforementioned social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. These have grown to accommodate video within a square or vertically-oriented frame, which is substantially different from how an old school web developer would have approached the subject.
The web developer of the future may be able to lean upon the newfound conformity of an all-mobile online landscape. But the web developer of today must usually emphasize reflexive web design and see to it that video content makes the most efficient use of both small and large screens, and of both fast and not-so-fast connections. And as it is for video, so it is for a variety of elements of modern web design. Clients and marketers must understand their users habits as much as possible, in order to reach them in as many ways as are needed.