Mobile is no longer the future of marketing – it’s the present. For marketers, mobile is the “last mile” of effectively connecting with audiences. Pew Research points out that nearly 60% of the U.S. adult population now owns a smartphone and almost half own a tablet. For many people, mobile content is their most common form of consumption. That doesn’t, however, mean that marketers are good at creating content that works well in the mobile environment.
We’re in the mode of creating large amounts of content. But we may be better off if we generated less and thought more about how to better extend it through the channels we use. One of those primary channels should be mobile. Here’s where to start your plan to make content work for the mobile environment:
- Think before you shrink. Look at your content through a mobile lens. Not everything will work at a small scale, and many things will work differently. Don’t just take other content and format it for a smaller screen. Start with the lowest common denominator of what people are looking for and how they’ll interact, and plan from there.
- Know your audience’s mobile habits. In order to know your customers’ habits, you have to know your customers’ needs, and how mobile fits into the bigger picture. Consider why and how your audience will interact with your mobile content. If they’re in the buying mode and looking for information, how do you answer their critical questions at each stage of the discovery and decision cycle? Or can you? What mobile device are they using? Think about the purpose of your content and how people engage with it on different mobile devices.
- Audience need dictates content length. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all for the length of content on mobile devices. What works depends on what your audience needs – what’s your industry, subject and context? Users will definitely engage with long-form content on a mobile device if it will help them solve a problem on the spot. If it’s more along the lines of pure education, does it make sense to break it up into smaller chunks? That may help busy people get “snacks” of content as they have smaller chunks of time here and there. Regardless of length, remember that quality matters most to help with your search results.
- Hone in on design. Visuals should be minimal yet still quick and easy to convey your message. There’s a lot of content formatted in columns on websites and downloads that don’t make sense for a mobile device. Make it easy for people to scan all of your content and read what matters most in a mobile moment. Don’t use long, detailed forms – they’re tedious and you’ll lose people when they want to engage the most. Make sure that your content is “tappable” and easy to share. When people search, they’ll choose another result if yours isn’t mobile friendly.
- Understand conversion and measurement. When people search for answers on their mobile device, most are ready to take action. In fact, iAcquire notes that 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour. For consumers, mobile is key to making a decision in the moment. On the other hand, no one’s going to buy a big-ticket B2B item on a mobile device. So conversion for those buyers on mobile doesn’t have the same path to purchase as it does for consumers. You need to think about how easy it is for them to share content, download a white paper or sign up for a newsletter. How do you measure not only the performance of mobile content, but what action it prompts and the ultimate outcome?
Mobile gives companies a real-time, immediate way to reach audiences – but they have to be willing to stay relevant in this world. The key lies in understanding the role that mobile plays in driving greater engagement for other activities and channels, and then be able to create the right experience through mobile devices.