A few years ago, Morgan Stanley predicted that by 2015, mobile Internet activity would trump desktop usage. It turns out the financial giant was just a little off, since it was at the start of this year that CNN reported, “mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage.” These numbers are specific to apps in particular, but clearly prove that when it comes to online content, more and more people are consuming on the go.
That doesn’t mean having to develop a whole new strategy. Simply optimizing your existing content for mobile is a great way to shift your energy and attention to where it needs to be. It’s not as complicated as you might think – just keep these tips in mind.
Short-er & Sweet-er
If our attentions spans are short while sitting at our desks, they’re even shorter while browsing on mobile. That’s why brief, poppy headlines and bite-sized pieces of information are all-important when preparing content for mobile devices. Remember that most of it’s read vertically, and that less is more – especially when the device could end up in a pocket or stashed away in a bag at any minute, possibly closing your window (of opportunity) for good. Take a look at the Asos Magazine app, which does a great job at drawing in a user in with minimal efforts – while making it super easy to shop and share.
Adopt a mobile-first attitude. This means starting small with tweet-like messaging and growing into more in-depth pieces, rather than beginning with long-form articles and crunching them for easier consumption on smartphones or tablets.
Providing a user with quickly consumable content comes first when creating for smaller screens, but it’s just as vital to make sure that your platform is mobile-ready. First, take advantage of those touch screens and optimize things like buttons and font size. A mobile site like Jimmy Choo’s makes it incredibly easy for a user to scroll, swipe and tap, which translates into simplified shopping.
If your website loads with defects showing an obvious lack of responsive design and mobile foresight, chances are you’re going to lose that user. Same goes for pages that take too long to load – users have places to go and people to see, and they’re even less patient on mobile than they are at their desks.
Timing is crucial in every respect. You need to deliver content swiftly and immediately, without any interruptions, and you also need to figure out the best moments in which to push it out. Countless amounts of research and studies continue to be conducted in this area. ORM’s super helpful infographic, pictured below, is one such example, illustrating average mobile device usage at different times and in various settings.
Use these findings to inform your efforts. In order to deliver the best and most effective content, marketers need to understand the context in which their output is being consumed. Do the homework. Know when your audience is online, what kind of devices they’re using, how long they’re spending with them and where. Are they in bed? At work? In front of the TV? – schedule your distribution accordingly.
Location, Location, Location
As mobile advances further and faster, the gap between digital content and physical space keeps getting smaller. Today’s geolocation technologies are incredibly precise, easily pinpointing the exact whereabouts of any smartphone and its owner. This, in turn, presents a huge opportunity for customized content and for brands to take advantage of users’ locations as well as that of their products. The Domino’s app, for example, allows users to find the closest pick-up location and also features a pizza tracker that follows the progress of an order from oven to front door.
In fields like retail, location-specific information could lend itself to material that enhances the in-store shopping experience. A home improvement center could offer project ideas on an app or mobile site, paired with how-to videos, reviews and recommended products. A clothing store could create alerts for sales sections or fun add-ons like outfit generators and inspiration boards. That said – there has been some backlash to location-based marketing, and brands walk a fine line between inspiration and creeping.
Regardless, the bottom line is clear: in the modern marketing landscape, it’s either go mobile, or go home. If you want to play in the big leagues, you’re going to have to hone in on the smaller screens – and that’s no longer a suggestion; it’s a necessity.
By Anastasia Dyakovskaya, NewsCred Contributor