If you've paid any bit of attention to marketing trends recently, it seems that everyone is hyped up about mobile devices. As such, many marketers are moving toward targeting the mobile platform, and some have even done away with desktop campaigns altogether. Unfortunately for these marketers, the desktop is still alive and well, and a recent report from Marin Software shows that the desktop is still the most used Internet-connected device out there. This means that, while mobile is nothing to take lightly, you still need to be targeting desktop users in your campaigns.
Why is Desktop Still Viable?
When you stop and think about it, virtually everyone uses a desktop at work. While it's true that many professionals are completing work on the go, most are still browsing the web on desktops, both at home and in the workplace. Additionally, people are still sticking with desktops because they can do more than mobile devices. When it comes to sheer processing power, desktops simply have mobile devices beat, hands down. On top of that, most programs that are available for download via the Internet are incompatible with mobile devices, and mobile apps, in many cases, just can't compete with bigger versions found for desktop use.
What This Means for Publishers
If you operate a publication that produces content online, the abovementioned viability of the desktop means that you need to focus a balanced portion of your marketing efforts to desktop users. Yes, it's important to have optimized versions of web pages, newsletters, and other content for mobile devices, but a strong focus on desktop content is a good idea. For example, you may want to publish a piece of content for download, but not all mobile devices can process certain formats. This is where the advantage then goes to the desktop. In this situation, you will need to consider publishing in multiple formats, including ones that will work on mobile and ones that format properly on a desktop.
Don't Forget About Social Media
Another important factor in the viability of the desktop is social media. It's true that many people turn to mobile for social media networking, but plenty of people are still using desktops as their primary connection. Part of the reason for this is that desktop versions of social media sites generally offer users more options, but also because many social media apps are clunky and buggy. In addition, because display real estate is limited on mobile devices, there is a limited amount of space for advertising, meaning your ads might not get seen if you're focusing only on targeting mobile users.
In the end, it's all about balance. Mobile is certainly not to be ignored as it is an emerging target demographic, but failing to market to desktop users can be a huge misstep that can have your publication missing out on conversions and new customers. Use a little bit of both and you'll be more likely to drive traffic, receive more click-throughs, and see an increase in cost-per-click.