What do our phone monitoring habits mean for content marketing?

We all check our phones far more than we realise – how should marketers capitalise on our reliance on the technology?

How often do you look at your phone each day?

A straw poll in the Progressive Content office suggested that most colleagues placed their own phone habit in the range of 20-40 ‘checks’ in any given 24 hour period.

I tried to get some accurate data on this myself last week using iPhone app Checky and was suddenly very aware of what I had seen previously as little more than a casual flirtation with my handset was actually a fully-fledged love affair.

With one exception, I was comfortably exceeding 90 phone checks every day, and it appears that my numbers are in no way unique.

The baseline average sits somewhere between 80-120 for smartphone users, which sounds initially eye-watering, but understandable once broken down into its composite parts.

Check, please

Push notifications from news websites, work e-mails and dating apps are all regular weekday offenders when it comes to great eye distractions and supplement organic checks made out of boredom and habit to push the majority well over the 100 mark.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all partially responsible too – non-personal notifications are on the rise as each platform attempts to improve their own reportable engagement metrics. Where once a notification was only raised if it directly impacted your own social media bubble, all three now offer tenuous information around friends and followers that would not have checked organically.

Stealthy push notifications may be increasing, yet there is little to be done to monetise these sorts of user interactions, so how many visits could really be turned into an opportunity for content promotion?

Realistically, there are not 120 opportunities to hijack attention for every user every single day, but this fact should liberate rather than intimidate.

Marketers, need to look at opportunities to interact with checks at times of perceived quality – an organic visit during a lunch break, rather than a clandestine glance whilst the boss isn’t looking.

When push comes to shove

B2B titles are often slow to reflect mainstream browsing habits – mobile traffic is frequently half that of the levels commonly seen elsewhere. We remain some way from B2B’s ‘year of mobile’ and excitement around voice-activated search, for example, is tempered by far lower mobile browser usage in the workplace.

Yet, it’s important to appreciate these wider trends, where competition lies and how to combat it.

There is merit in attempting to use the algorithms governing social media push notifications to your advantage. You might consider holding off posting for a week with a view to being included in Twitter’s ‘John Smith hasn’t tweeted for a while…” alert, or waiting until you have a sufficiently high follower number before putting together a first Instagram story – triggering a notification for all of your new followers in the process.

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