To help your clients succeed in digital marketing, it’s crucial that your content works in the mobile world. Since I started writing for content marketing purposes two years ago, I’ve seen the consumption—and the demand—for content of every type growing in leaps and bounds. One of the fastest-growing methods of consumption is through mobile devices, with usage expanding at an astronomical 400% between 2013 and 2014. If users aren’t reading your copy when it hits their mobiles, your client isn’t generating leads.
Recognize User Differences
Mobile users might be the same people as web users, but their mobile habits and expectations are different in a number of ways:
They’re on the go:
Mobile users have short attention spans and limited time to read lengthy blocks of copy, so content needs to be brief and easy to absorb. Twitter is popular with mobile users, particularly because the 140-character limit tweets are quick to read and get straight to the point.
The screen size is limited.
Even using a tablet such as an iPad, the screen is smaller than a laptop or computer. Smartphone screens are even smaller and users typically scroll vertically, not horizontally, which limits the width available.
It’s harder to read:
Reading text on a mobile device, particularly a smartphone, takes more concentration and better eyesight than a computer. If you want the user to read it through, it needs to be enticing enough to get him to do so.
Download size matters.
To make your content marketing work on mobile devices, users need to be able to view it. Anything that takes more than a few seconds to load is bound to lose your reader’s attention. Neither does the average person want to use up a precious data allocation downloading content that’s not optimized for size and speed.
Animated content is out.
If you’ve ever checked your phone during a boring meeting only to have a video clip start playing unexpectedly, you’ll know how awkward it can be. Users don’t want animated content that embarrasses them.
Simplicity is paramount.
You just can’t fit the same content that you’d have on a computer onto a mobile device. Besides, the user might be walking and talking when they view your material, so simplify it to eliminate on-screen noise and interference. By displaying one thing at a time, you can present the single most important message you want the reader to take away with them.
Tips for Mobile Content Marketing Success
So, how do you deliver on expectations so that your client gets the desired mileage from your marketing content? By implementing these crucial criteria:
1. Keep your copy concise:
This doesn’t have to mean short. It means presenting the content in a digestible, reader-friendly format that enables users to scan-read using headings, bulleted and numbered lists so they can easily identify what they want to consume.
2. Get to the point quickly:
Tell the reader what you’re talking about in the first 100 words. That’s about all the time you have in which to capture their attention and avoid losing them to the next bright shiny thing.
3. Use imaginative headlines:
It’s harder to read content marketing on a mobile than it is on a computer, so give your headlines and subheads a life of their own and a chance to tell the story. Users typically scan-read, and subheads are one of the first things they scan to decide whether a piece is worth reading in full.
4. Be clear on the purpose of the content:
Say what you’re going to say, say it and then say what you’ve said. It’s an old maxim for writing anything but it still works in the digital world. Don’t leave your reader wondering what you’re trying to tell him and keep the piece focused on your primary point.
5. Use a clear call to action (CTA):
Make sure your copy includes clear instructions for the reader on how to take the next step. I recently came across content that was very interesting and informative, but after hunting uselessly for half an hour through the piece (and the rest of the website) looking for a way to contact the company, I gave up and went to their competition. State your call to action near the beginning of the text, again in the middle and at the end of the piece. Just word it differently each time so your client doesn’t get hit by Google for duplicate content.
When writing web content for today's marketers, remember: keep it short, keep it sweet and keep mobile in mind! To learn more, check out our white paper, "What is Content Marketing? And Why It's So Important."