As smartphone use is predicted to increase by 43% by 2022, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) find themselves needing to adjust their approach to accommodate this trend. An important piece of this is optimising content for mobile marketing. Below are a few best practices to ensure your content meets the needs of mobile users.
Understand how your audience is Interacting with content on mobile.
It’s important that your content optimisation efforts are coordinated with your audience’s behaviour and preferences when interacting with your brand via mobile. Before you start, you should have a general idea of:
- the mobile devices being used
- what pages on your site
- are accessed the type of content they seek out
- time on site
- off-site mobile behaviours whether they are watching videos
- the percentage of mobile users vs. desktop users.
Once you know your audience’s habits and preferences, you’ll be able to create content that fits their needs. This is a great opportunity to use a combination of surveys, polls, and analytics to get the information that you need.
Focus on your opening paragraph
It's the first part of any piece of content. It’s what catches the reader’s interest and motivates them to keep reading. This is an important part of any content, but with mobile users it’s even more imperative. On the go, mobile users often want the important information first. Give it to them, so they can get what they need and act on that information accordingly.
In fact, you might consider leading in with a bit of an article summary in the form of bullet points or other easy to read format. Yes, it could mean that mobile users stop reading at that point. However, that’s not a complete loss, as long as you’ve motivated them to take some action or provided them with the information that they need. In addition to this, value is value. Provide that to your readers, regardless of device, and they are certain to return.
There’s plenty of evidence that mobile use isn’t just prevalent, but that it’s overtaken desktop when it comes to engaging with brands. Despite this, content is still frequently designed for desktop with mobile being nothing more than an afterthought.
If most of your customers showed some other preference, wouldn’t you prioritise that? The same should apply to mobile users. Create content that meets their needs first, and that works with their devices. Then, when needed, modify content for larger devices.
Make content mobile friendly with formatting
As you move into a mobile first strategy, formatting is the perfect place to start. One admittedly time-consuming, but worthwhile place to start is your existing content. If most of your legacy content doesn’t serve your mobile audience, it may be time to change that.
Of course, moving forward, your content should be formatted with mobile users in mind. There are some obvious steps to take. This includes using short paragraphs, bullet points, and lots of white space. Here are some things you may not have considered:
- Making CTA buttons easy to read and tap
- Using large serif free fonts and avoiding scripted lettering
- Adding visuals to make relevant points
- Using stand out colours
- Leading with the most important points
Now is the time to look at your visual asset's library as well. Is your logo and tagline mobile friendly? What about your chosen fonts and colour schemes? If you’ve created a style guide, does it work for mobile?
Test on mobile
There’s no better way to ensure that your content works for mobile than to test it on mobile. If possible, view new and updated pages on a variety of mobile devices. Be sure to test different browsers, and different versions of each device.
If you can’t test on the devices themselves, consider testing with mobile emulators. These don’t provide the same level accuracy, but you’ll at least get some insights into what your mobile users will experience.
Take content length into consideration
Content length is a sticky subject. On one hand, long posts are good for SEO. On the other hand, many readers prefer concise, digestible pieces. You’ve got to balance both demands, especially when it comes to your mobile users. As mentioned above, one technique is to lead articles off with a summary.
That’s not your only option though. Depending on your audience, you may have readers who prefer longer, more in-depth pieces. As a result, your best bet may be to publish a variety of posts or offer up both condensed and detailed versions of your content.
Make it super readable
The most successful marketing content tends to be written at a middle school reading level. No, that’s not an indication of the audience’s capabilities. Instead, it’s the reading level that makes it easiest to communicate points in a way that is relatable and easy to understand. It’s also a great fit for conversational writing.
When you’re trying to sell your brand and create engagement, do you really want your audience working hard to keep up? Of course not, you want them engaging with your message.
The rules of readability apply even more when it comes to mobile content. Mobile users have even less patience for analysing complex content. Consider applying tools like Readable.io and the Hemingway app to ensure that your content is concise, helping you avoid needless complexity.
As mobile use continues to rise, it will become increasingly more important to produce content that’s optimised for these devices. By following the tips listed above, your marketing content will gain more traction with this important audience segment.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer.