Marketing, Startup Advice

“Create to convert”: Four tips to optimise your mobile content from Facebook client partner Phil Bonanno

Angela Castles /

In an increasingly fragmented and competitive digital landscape, startups need to optimise their mobile content to stand out and engage new customers, according to Facebook Australia client partner Phil Bonnano.

Speaking in Melbourne at the Interactive Minds 2017 Digital Summit on Wednesday, Bonanno said that while multimedia and video marketing are more prevalent than ever, mobile marketing is “still undercooked” despite it driving 90% of Facebook’s traffic.

“Every time someone says ‘mobile centric’ erase the word mobile and replace it with customer — this should be at the heart of every strategy,” Bonanno said.

This is your brain on mobile

The human brain thinks differently on mobile, Bonanno explained, with high-speed viewing practices putting the mind in a state of heightened action.

This has led to a “fundamental shift in consumer behaviour” that requires businesses to “tell an emotional story quickly” to drive engagement.

Bonanno advises startups should “lead with video” because the medium produces the best conversion and engagement rates.

“Create to convert,” he said. A startup’s “biggest challenge is getting discovered” but that with the expansion of mobile marketing “the playing field has been levelled.”

“Five seconds on mobile drives the same purchase intent as 15 seconds on TV,” said Bonanno, who advises marketers to avoid concentrating on traditional forms of engagement metrics, such as completed view rates, which mean little in the mobile medium.

“If you want to put the rules of TV on mobile it’s like putting the rules of cricket on AFL,” he said.

Here are four tips from Bonanno on how the best brands make the most of mobile.

1. Capture attention

Bonanno says it is essential for brands to capture their audience’s attention within 15 seconds by starting video content with your most captivating moments, honing in on the key thing that makes your product shine.

Startups should then engage viewers with short, sharp copy that establishes a clear call to action, while also incorporating branding early; most viewers don’t watch to the end of the video on mobile devices.

Finally, Bonanno advises placing the “hero” of the advertisement — your product offering — front and centre of the content.

2. Design to delight

“Design for sound off but delight with sound on,” Bonanno told the summit.

Telling your story visually, by using text, captions and graphics instead of voiceovers, will ensure mobile viewers — the majority of which will be viewing your content with their sound off — are still engaged with your content.

3. Frame your content

One of Bonanno’s key tips for boosting audience engagement is to adding framing, which can be used to create visual surprises, utilise 3D content, and build interactive frames to capture the audience’s interest and attention.

For startups that don’t have the advertising budget to execute such visual trickery, one easy tip is to build visual stories vertically, in a 9:16 ration, rather than horizontally, in a 16:9 ratio, which doesn’t cost more to run on Facebook but allows for a third more in page real estate.

4. Play around with editing

Bonanno said the most successful advertising campaigns utilise quick, sharp editing, and are constantly experimenting with Facebook’s Creative Hub software to develop optimised and innovative ways of telling a visual story that goes beyond images and video.

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Angela Castles

Angela Castles is a former StartupSmart journalist.

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