Earlier this month, Orange released its research study on mobile marketing, and what they found might surprise you. After following the habits of over 2,000 mobile surfers and looking at both quality and quantity, here are a few of their findings:
Mobile Search

  • Picture MMS and Bluetooth are the top two uses of mobile media. Using the Internet came in fourth.
  • 81% of users access mobile media at least once per week mostly from home.
  • 42% of users customize their phones.
  • Users feel content should be made specifically for mobile phones.
  • 72% of all mobile users place an emphasis on consistency and clarity.
  • The top three favored ad formats are coupons, free, downloadable games, and local information. A majority of users are looking beyond banners.
  • Men use mobiles to surf more than women do.
  • The ads favored most were those that clicked through to the brand's website or to a coupon.
  • The most popular content on mobile phones includes search engines and email with news coming in third. However, more than half of all users have no specific purpose in mind while surfing.

The Changing Face Of Cell Phones And Search

According to Limbo (PDF), the US mobile industry is growing at an alarming rate:

  • 255.4 million people used mobile phones in the US. This number has more than doubled in only 7 years.
  • 69 million people used WAP making it the fastest growing mobile media area.
  • 30% of WAP users are 35-49 yrs old, 24% are 25-34, and 23% are 18-24 years old.

Mobile Media Optimization
These statistics paint a very different picture from traditional websites. If you fail to consider these points, your mobile website will fail to reach its full potential.

Mobile sites that will grab the attention of users clearly need to be more visually based than content or information based. The emphasis should also be on using mediums that provide mobile visitors with instant value whether you create a game to give away a free game, ring tones, screensavers, or offer discounts in the form of a coupon for your products and services.

This study emphasized the importance of quality formatting as well as the need to have your site appear in top form on as many mobile browsers as possible. The site should be neat, clean, and draw the visitor directly towards the main target.

Of course, you'll need to optimize for Google, which is currently leading in the world of mobile search. However, you also need to keep in mind that these search engines work completely different from those most of us are used to (more information on mobile search engine optimization can be found at SEOChat.com).

Any written content must be clear, concise, and get the point across as quickly as possible in order to be most effective. This means much of the content will need to resemble refined ad copy rather than the usual web copy. As you might expect, readers place more emphasis on the first 3-5 words in each line, so make sure these have oomph!
Optimized Web Content
For example:

USE: Get widgets in any color from WidgetsRus

INSTEAD OF: WidgetsRus handles a full line of widgets in almost any color you could need.

Your written content should be rich in active verbs to produce powerful sentences and encourage visitors to take action (spends rather than spending). Lastly, you might also want to consider trigger words such as 'fast', 'easy', 'simple', and 'free' (who doesn't like something that's fast, easy, simple, and free??)