By Devika Girish published January 12, 2014

How to Create a Mobile-First Content Marketing Strategy

two mobile devicesA recent study by Nielsen and Google suggests that 77 percent of mobile searches are performed at work or home — areas where a PC is also likely to have been available. Yet, mobile website visitors have a 9.56 percent higher bounce rate on an average than desktop visitors. These conflicting stats demonstrate that, while there are tremendous opportunities for marketers on the mobile channel, there are also big challenges that need to be overcome.

Indeed, the 93 percent of B2B marketers who create content (as indicated by CMI’s most recent research) should mobile-optimize their content marketing strategy in order to extend the time visitors spend engaging with their content, and convert more of those mobile visitors into customers.

Here are a few usable tips to help you do just that:

1. Focus on localized content

Most mobile consumers search on the go. The Google/Nielsen study mentioned above also suggests that 40 percent of all mobile searches were performed with a local intent — and this number is still on the rise.

So how do you discover what your consumers are searching for locally?

One easy method is to use Google Trends.

Google Trends lets you research local search trends by geographical area. Simply enter the search terms you are looking to target in your content efforts and choose a geographical location to get some valuable competitive performance insight.

For example, let’s research two possible keyword terms — ”mobile marketing” and “online marketing” — and choose United States as our region of interest.

maps-regional interest searches The above trends results show that if you are targeting customers in Alabama, it may be more impactful for you to use the term “mobile marketing” in your content, while if your company is planning to cater to customers from Utah, then creating content about “online marketing” might bring you more success. Insight like this can be highly advantageous, as localized keywords are less competitive than the global ones.

You can even configure Google Alerts to send you regular updates on regionally trending topics that might serve as inspiration for new content topics.

Visiting online groups on LinkedIn and following Twitter accounts of local organizations are also excellent ways of getting local information to inform your mobile content marketing strategy.

2. Understand mobile search intent

Mobile search intent is entirely different compared to desktop search. Mobile content should be based on a deeper understanding of the mobile context of the user and his or her behavior while on those devices.

Google Analytics can help you find the exact keywords your mobile visitors use to find your site.

  • Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  • Go to Audience > Mobile > Overview.
  • Add a filter to include mobile keywords (including tablets).

content-keyword-search-mobileThis will give you a list of keywords used by both mobile and tablet users while searching for your website. Using these keywords can make your mobile content more relevant to your target audience.

3. Leverage video marketing

According to another Nielsen study, 28 percent of online consumers watch video on their mobile devices at least once a day, making videos the most used content format on this channel. Content marketers have more options than ever for creating video content — including producing short videos on Vine and Instagram — to make sure their messages are catering to the short attention span of mobile consumers.

To get a few ideas on relevant topics for creating video content for mobile consumption, try using the “View YouTube Search” results in Google Trends.

youtube search-online shopping

On a side note, make sure you are choosing relevant hashtags for your videos on Vine, as these tags will help viewers find your content and join conversations on Twitter. Vine also helps drive social signals that will result in better search rankings on Google.

4. Define mobile conversion points

Signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper are both desirable conversions for content marketers. But mobile devices aren’t naturally suited to these tasks, as they generally involve web forms that may be difficult to view or fill out on smaller screens. For this reason (and others), it’s best to carefully define your conversion goals as part of your mobile content marketing strategy, and design your brand touch points accordingly.

For example, while optimizing web forms for mobile, ensure that you ask only for the required information, so that users don’t have to spend a lot of time typing on their phones unnecessarily. It’s also helpful to use auto-populated fields and drop-down menus instead of text fields, wherever possible.

You can also choose to enable contextual keyboards using HTML5 input codes for Android and iOS devices. For example, if the field requires an email address, then you can provide a keyboard with @, hyphens, and underscores for quicker access to these commonly used keys — making it easier for the user to complete your forms.

forms on mobile

5. Be touch friendly

In the absence of a cursor, clicking on an exact element on a smartphone screen can often become difficult. Users can become frustrated if links are too close together to accurately select the link they intend — and this frustration means they are more likely to stop reading your content.

Designing best practices for mobile content requires increased space between different touch targets within your content. This makes it easier for your users to tap on your calls to action and links to your additional content, to your social media outlets, or to your website.

When designing your content and landing pages, follow guidelines provided by different mobile platforms to decide on the size of the touch targets you should use. For example, iOS Human Interface Guidelines recommends a minimum target size of 44 pixels wide 44 pixels tall.

There is an overwhelming number of mobile marketing possibilities. Choose what suits your business needs and will help convert potential prospects to customers. With mobile device usage growing by leaps and bounds each year, perhaps it’s time to start creating a mobile-first content marketing strategy — and then work backwards to cater to your desktop visitors’ needs.

If you have an interesting mobile marketing tip, please leave it in the comments section below.

For more insight on how the unique considerations of mobile content should be factored into your content marketing strategy, read CMI’s Content Marketing Framework: Channels. 

Cover image via Bigstock

Author: Devika Girish

Devika Girish is in charge of marketing content creation at MobStac, a mobile cloud platform for consumer brands looking to create mobile websites and apps across smartphones and tablets. Devika writes about everything related to mobile for businesses that enable marketers achieve their goals. Follow Devika on Twitter @mobstac.

Other posts by Devika Girish

  • staceygrewal

    Brilliant, Devika. Thank you. I’m definitely going to implement these strategies without further delay.

    • Devika Girish

      Thanks Stacey. Keep me posted on the results.

  • Krist

    Hi Devika,
    Thank you so much for a very informative and cogent presentation.
    Happy New Year and God bless.
    Krist

    • Devika Girish

      Thanks Krist. I am glad you found it helpful.

  • http://referralcandy.com/ Samuel @ ReferralCandy

    Thanks for the tips, Devika!

    I think another important point about mobile sites is the loading time. The longer the loading time, the sooner people will close the tab. This is especially true in places with average to poor reception. Making webpages as light as possible can boost loading time, and reduce the amount of frustration and subsequent bounce rates.

    Cheers!

    • Devika Girish

      That’s a very good point Samuel. With mobile devices of varying performance levels being launched every other day, it becomes even more important to keep mobile websites light.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  • http://www.searchlocalhq.com/ Toby Crabtree

    Thanks for sharing this interesting blog. Very resourceful indeed.

    • Devika Girish

      Thanks Toby. I really appreciate it.

  • Clay

    Very Interesting… just curious if the google searches for “Mobile marketing” excluded results that had to do with “Mobile, Alabama”. Alabama seems to be a geographical and metropolitan outlier in that group of Top 10.