By Heidi Cohen published May 25, 2011

Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly

Is your content marketing mobile-friendly? Before you answer, look at these five salient mobile marketing drivers.

 

Smartphone ownership rises
U.S. Smartphone ownership is expected to reach a tipping point in the U.S., according to Nielsen.

Mobile changes content consumption
Since the average U.S. adult spends over 10 hours a day consuming content, according to Ipsos, content marketers should consider where and how users consume content.  In particular, information snacking (where users consume content during otherwise wasted time) and time shifting (where consumers read or watch content at  different times), are growing trends. For mobile devices, this often translates to information-on-the-go for content consumption in otherwise “wasted” time like commuting.

Mobile Internet users spend their time differently than computer users
Because people use their mobiles to stay connected, reading email accounts for roughly two out of every five minutes users spend on the mobile web, making it the most popular activity, according to Nielsen. Compare this to computer use where email is the No. 3 activity on computers following social media and games.

Mobile search tends to be local
Roughly half of mobile search has local intent versus 20 percent of Web search, according to SearchEngineLand. This means your mobile search strategy must be different to capture on-the-go users who need information where they are.

 

Mobile goes shopping and brings your competitors with them
According to ForeSee research, one in three shoppers used their mobile phones to gather information in a retail store, and about half of shoppers checked on competitors.

To reach these mobile consumers, different types of content as well as mobile-friendly formats are needed to provide an optimal experience when and where your users want it. Do you have a plan to make your content mobile-friendly or are you hoping that your web-based content works on other devices?

To help you get your mobile content marketing strategy on track, here are six important elements that require mobile optimization.

 

Mobile search
Mobile search helps on-the-go users navigate the mobile web to meet their immediate needs.  Because these  users have different needs and use different keywords, it’s a good idea to have a separate mobile search budget and plan. You need to think differently about the words you use and the content you serve to this audience.

Mobile website
Since website speed and usage differs on a mobile, a mobile website focused on your users’ primary needs is a high priority for content marketers. Your mobile website must load quickly and should be function-oriented, allowing for easy scanning. On a mobile device, less is more. Also, due to the small screen, use larger buttons.

Text messages
Use this granddaddy of mobile communication that doesn’t require a smart phone for time-sensitive information like alerts and sales as well as reaching teens. This text-only (aka SMS) presentation is limited to 160 characters, so good copywriting is needed to keep your message brief and on target.

 

Email
Since email can be handled in small chunks of time and allows employees to stay on top of business developments, it tops mobile Internet use. From a content marketing perspective, optimize email copywriting for the small screen by using short, action-oriented headlines.

 

Mobile apps
Since seven out of ten smartphone users download an app, consider creating your own app. The content marketing challenge is how do you provide useful product related content for users on the go? SitorSquat is a great example of how a major brand is providing useful content for consumers who are (quite literally) on the go. Don’t overlook the need to market the app and to get users to continually use it.

QR codes
The pop art squares provide a way to connect offline to online content and communications. For content marketers, QR codes provide an easy solution for linking offline content and buildings to online content, information and/or communications.

To determine which mobile elements are most important for your content marketing, start by looking at how mobile has influenced and changed how we consume content. Assess how these traits apply to your target audience and which forms of your content offering need to be adapted for mobile consumption. In your assessment, don’t overlook the need to be where your competitors are.

Which aspects of your content marketing have you adapted for mobile consumption and why? Please add your experiences in the comment section below.

Author: Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is an actionable marketing expert. As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi works with online media companies and e-tailers to increase profitability with innovative marketing programs based on solid analytics. During the course of 20 years, Heidi has obtained deep experience in direct and digital marketing across a broad array of products including soft goods, financial services, entertainment, media entities and crafts-oriented goods. Heidi shares her actionable marketing insights on her blog. Find Heidi Cohen online at Twitter @heidicohen, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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  • Faith

    I am curious as to why folks ignore the elephant in the room, in regards to QR codes.  Don’t miss understand me I like the idea of QR codes, BUT the technology has not caught up to the concept.  I find it very frustrating to use….I take picture after picture and maybe after 5 tries I am lucky enough to be redirected.  Now, I am in marketing, so I am happy to keep trying, but the average Joe is not.  Am I really the only one who is experiencing this problem?  Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/gomobileweb Mobile Web

    Excellent resource. Thank you! From the “56 MUST Have Facts” article you are linking to, one of the key element we see is the transition to Mobile for eCommerce: “This means that retailers must be on mobile platform or risk loosing opportunity.” This says it all. Again, great article!