You probably don’t take your television set to work. And you most likely leave your laptop behind at least some of the time.
But there’s one medium that’s probably with you right now, no matter where you are. You may even be reading this article on it right now.
It’s the one medium that tags along everywhere you go. At home. At work. At school. At the game. On vacation.
It’s your smartphone.
Did you know mobile content marketing — on smartphones, tablets and other connected devices — is also a great way to connect with consumers? There are three big reasons why:
- Reason 1: Because your customers are mobile. By the end of 2016, Pew Research reported that 77% of all Americans owned at least one smartphone. And it’s not just the young folks, either. While smartphone usage is at 92% among adults 18 to 29, adoption has reached 74% of adults 50 to 64 and 42% of those 65 and older.
- Reason 2: Because mobile is now the go-to online medium. Mobile now accounts for 71% of time spent online in the United States, according to comScore. Similar numbers are showing up around the globe.
- Reason 3: Because your customers use mobile for shopping. The Mobile Marketing Association explains that mobile plays an important role at every stage of the customer journey, from searching for product information to making the actual purchase to the post-purchase experience.
So how do you get on board the mobile content marketing train? Here are 7 simple tips for optimizing for the mobile audience across all of your content marketing channels.
#1: Prioritize a mobile-friendly user experience
Famed scholar Marshall McLuhan became widely known for his observation that “the medium is the message.”
A good mobile content strategy starts with an understanding of how the medium shapes the audience experience and how they receive your message.
- Eye movement. Our eyes tend to follow a different pattern on a mobile device than when using a computer. The “golden triangle” pattern for scanning search results on a computer screen doesn’t carry over to the smartphone. Instead, the searcher’s eyes gravitate toward the center of the screen.
- Mouse versus touch screen. Links that work like a charm on desktop may harm the mobile experience. If links are too small or too close together, clicking becomes a frustrating chore. Larger, well-spaced links are easier to use.
- Screen size. The smaller the screen, the more valuable the real estate. Mobile users don’t want to waste time wading through irrelevant content. Only include content that satisfies visitor intent.
- Easy calls to action (CTA). Make forms as short as possible. Collect the most essential information up front, and use follow-up communications to gather the rest. Other tools that may speed up the process include auto-populated fields and keyboards that include “@” and other frequently used symbols.
#2: Optimize all content marketing channels for the mobile audience
You likely already know the value of a good website. But how do you create a positive mobile experience across all of your online channels?
- Website. Now that time spent online is becoming mobile-first, so must your website. Not just a few pages, but the entire site. Design your website so it loads quickly. Mobile users — and search engines — have little patience for slow-loading content.
- Search. With Google’s move to mobile-first indexing, your pages must be optimized for mobile search.
- Social. By 2016, 80% of time spent with social media was through mobile. It’s more important than ever to manage your social accounts for the mobile audience. Create emotionally engaging, informative and memorable content for social media that motivates fans to share with their friends.
- Email. By 2015 69% of emails were opened on mobile devices. Your emails must be written and formatted for the mobile recipient. Place the most important information above the scroll, include a clear call to action and make it easy to respond.
#3: Pay attention to user intent
Mobile users want quick access to relevant information. Your mobile content strategy must meet this perceived need.
When optimizing your web pages for search engines, for example, consider the intent behind the search terms:
- Are they searching for information? They may want to learn about product features. Or perhaps they just want to satisfy their curiosity.
- Do they need help completing a task? Maybe they want to know how to change a tire, how to get in shape or the best way to invest their money.
- Do they simply want to be entertained? They might be looking for videos to watch, music to listen to or something funny to laugh at.
Here are two helpful hints for satisfying user intent:
- Use analytics tools to examine what people are searching for on mobile versus desktop.
- Optimize for your targeted keywords.
- Examine your content as a whole. If someone lands on the page you’ve worked so hard to optimize, will they quickly and easily find what they were looking for?
#4: Think locally
A recent study analyzed more than 50 businesses with both national brand accounts on major social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, along with local pages for individual stores or restaurants.
- Results showed that 84.8% of impressions occurred on individual location pages, while only 15.2% happened on the national pages.
- On Facebook, location-based pages received 25 times more impressions than the national brand page.
- Consumers perceive the local pages as offering more relevant information such as location, business hours, and special offers.
That’s why your mobile-friendly online presence should include geo-targeted content.
- If you have multiple physical locations, create a unique online presence for each one. This can include individual location pages on your website or social media accounts.
- Local listings must accurate and consistent across online directories such as Google My Business.
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner and similar tools to learn what people are searching for in targeted geographic location.
#5: Write powerful headlines
A strong headline instantly lets mobile users know that your content has value.
What makes a strong headline?
- The content experts at Copyblogger recommend including a benefit of some kind. Let visitors know, right up front, what value awaits them in exchange for the time they spend reading your blog or watching your video.
- To avoid a reputation for meaningless clickbait, your content must deliver on the benefit promised in your headline. For example, if your headline promises to explain “How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes this Summer in 5 Simple Steps,” could your reader actually accomplish that goal if they were to implement your 5 steps?
#6: Get to the point
Mobile consumers have a lot on their plate. They don’t have time to scroll through an endless tunnel of paragraphs before finally hitting on the actual nugget of useful information they want.
Look at all of the information you need to present and prioritize it. Place your strongest, most important content above the fold.
That instantly lets people know that they’ve landed on the right page. They’ll be happier with their experience and more likely to engage with your content further.
#7: Serve up valuable content in small bites
Long paragraphs are cumbersome to read.
Create a better user experience by breaking up your content into short paragraphs with spaces in between. Other helpful cues like headings, subheads, and bullet points make your content easier to digest.
When proofreading your content — and you should always proofread before publishing — eliminate unnecessary words wherever possible.
You don’t necessarily have to write all short blog posts. Longer content can be enjoyable to read as long as the writing is concise.
What are your ideas for making your online content more mobile-friendly? Do you have questions about optimizing your on content for the mobile user? Let us know.