Content Marketing

October 1st, 2012

5 Ways to Create Better Content for Mobile Users

Mobile devices are taking over the Internet. This summer, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that “17 percent of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone, rather than a computer or other device.”

The Pew Center also found that many of those surveyed are cell-only and do not access the Internet through desktops and laptops.

“Most do so for convenience, but for some their phone is the only option for online access,” wrote Aaron Smith in a report.

Content marketers need to be prepared for small-screen phones and tablets. One of the biggest challenges for marketers and bloggers is to create a positive user experience (UX) for mobile devices. Is the mobile website design streamlined and easy to navigate? Are calls to action clear? Is text concise and browse-able or wordy and tough to read?

When writing for a mobile audience, here are the top content marketing musts.

1. Avoid Content Overload

“A lot of the time, people are trying to access your site on slow cellular data connections,” wrote Shane Ketterman in a Copyblogger post.” And despite attempts by providers to increase capacity, it still feels ‘slow,’ since the more they add, the more we consume.”

Content developers need to avoid content overload, and this process means paying attention to technology. Thinking of embedding a rich media collage? Before jumping ahead to launch this feature, two conversations need to happen first: (1) one with the analytics team to quantify how many mobile visitors are coming to the site and (2) one with the technical team to make sure that the content works well with small screens.

Don’t launch without understanding the technology first.

2. Give Audiences Control

“Always give the user control over multimedia content by not auto-starting video or sound, by allowing the user to skip or stop multimedia content, and be being mindful of the bandwidth it takes off,” wrote Lyndon Gerejo in a blog post for Smashing Magazine.

People have limited data plans and would much prefer to save bandwidth to stream audio or video than watch a promotional ad. People know what their mobile devices can handle.

Content marketers can improve mobile UX by allowing visitors to pick and choose the content that they ultimately see.

3. Build Trust

Privacy is a major concern for people on their smartphones, according to Gerejo. Content marketers should be wary of this trend and make privacy policies available for mobile visitors to access.

“Make it easy for users to control how their personal information is shared in a mobile app by asking before collecting their location data and by allowing them to opt out of targeted advertising,” Gerejo wrote.

4. Write Less to Simplify Mechanics

Nobody enjoys scrolling and zooming through paragraphs of absurdly tiny font.

“You will lose most customers with all of the hassle this creates, especially if you are asking for them to fill out a survey or extended form field,” wrote Duffy-Marie Arnoult in a KISSmetrics guest blog post.

Content marketers should focus on writing less to make every single pixel counts. Human eyesight and fingers are all different, so text needs to be as big as possible.

“Always keep in mind you are making a page where visitors will be using their fingers instead of a mouse arrow,” Arnoult wrote.

5. Don’t Make Assumptions

One common misconception is that all mobile users are on-the-go.

“But today’s mobile user is so much more than that, with the rise in tablet usage further contributing to the growth and variety of their needs,” Laura Hamptom wrote in UX Magazine.

Data is key for understanding where an audience is coming from and what their needs are. Are people shopping from a couch, or are they reading through magazine content during their lunch breaks?

Make content applicable to any and every situation

Image courtesy of Cienpies Design/shutterstock

 

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