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6 Mobile Marketing Ideas for Public Libraries

girl-925284_1920Mobile marketing is quickly becoming an imperative for public libraries. And it’s easy to see why: the number of US adults with smartphones has nearly doubled over the last several years – to 68% in 2015 from 35% in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Not surprisingly, consumers are very attached to their mobile devices. Analyst firm Forrester Research finds that “consumers pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day. In aggregate, that adds up to nearly 30 billion mobile moments each day.”

This data underscores the need for public libraries to integrate mobile into their marketing strategies, especially for those intent on reaching teens and young adults. As Pew points out, the rate of smartphone ownership among younger generations is much higher than overall ownership: 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone.

But adopting mobile marketing is easier than you think. Here are six ways you can incorporate mobile into your public library marketing strategy.

Plan for mobile first.

With the predominance of mobile devices, it’s time to recognize that marketing strategies should re-orient with mobile at the center. Of course, we shouldn’t ignore traditional or digital strategies, but we should challenge ourselves to start our marketing plans by thinking about how to reach mobile consumers.

They skim, we skim.

Because people read differently on mobile devices, be sure to optimize your content so that it can be skimmed. This includes both email newsletters and Web pages. Use subheads, bullets and short paragraphs to make copy easy to read.

Just click to call.

Whether out and about or sitting at home, mobile users want to tap and go. Make sure all of your phone numbers are “click-to-call ready.” This is especially useful for helping your visitors reach the reference line or for contacting the check-out desk.

Mobile test new content.

Before you distribute your email newsletter or publish a webpage, take a moment to view it on a mobile device first. If necessary, fix formatting to make it easier to read: break up paragraphs, add headings, and adjust images and other graphical elements.

Hit play for video

Video continues to be a powerful way to communicate, and it is an especially effective mobile marketing strategy. According to Google, 50% of global viewership on YouTube comes from mobile devices. Look for ways to deliver your message by creating and distributing short videos.

Send a Text

It’s no secret that teens and young adults are prolific text messaging enthusiasts, often sending thousands of messages every month. Public libraries can keep their visitors informed with this method, using it to promote events, renew or hold books, ask reference questions and much more.


Adopting just one or two of these strategies is a great way to begin the shift to mobile marketing. One thing is certain: given the intense devotion Americans have to their mobile devices, you’re not likely to be disappointed in the results.




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