When was the last time your checked your mobile device? Ten seconds ago? A minute? An hour? (Wow, you have strong willpower.) Whatever the case, you know that mobile is already a significant influence in our lives. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a necessity for content marketing: 57 percent of mobile users wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile website.
However, creating an effective mobile content strategy involves more than repurposing desktop content to fit on a smaller screen. The magic formula, according to MobileMixed podcast host Greg Hickman, involves a restructuring of control between businesses and customers.
Hickman was adamant that if you’re not considering how, when, where, and what devices your audience is using, you’re wasting your time. Mobile is the fastest growing audience, and more people access the Internet from their mobile device than their PC. You need to get your content ready to go anywhere — because it’s going to go everywhere.
Here are the four steps that Hickman outlined to develop an efficient mobile content marketing strategy:
1. Understand the Behaviors of Your Mobile Audience.
It’s a myth that mobile users are distracted when using their devices. Hickman noted that more people are choosing the mobile device as their only form of accessing the Internet. Because of mobile, customers now have greater control over the format and style of content they consume. Businesses must now order their content marketing efforts to be optimized and easily digestible on mobile devices – and even seek to create exclusive content for mobile users.
2. Mobilize Your Site With Responsive Design.
Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches — the amount of devices and resolutions available in today’s market is greatly expanding. How do you deal with different screen sizes? You could do nothing…and lose your mobile customers in the first five seconds.
Or, you could utilize responsive design plugins and tools to adapt with these devices. Responsive design is a fairly new practice which uses media queries to determine screen size, and adjusts the content accordingly. Some of the most common responsive design tools include:
- Responsive WordPress themes – including Themeforest and Studiopress. These themes provide the responsive foundation for the entire site.
- Responsive WordPress plugins: WPTouchPro, available starting at $50.
Alternately, companies can create an entirely separate mobile site (e.g., mobile.walmart.com, m.facebook.com), though development and maintenance costs can increase with separate sites.
3. Design for touch.
Hickman argued that mobile sites should be built with the finger in mind. Use large buttons for call to action events, and make the targets big so they are easy to tap. Ideal mobile CTA buttons should be at least 44×44 pixels, the site should incorporate touch events (swiping, pinching, etc.), and text links should be spaced out. Ensure a smooth and unobtrusive experience for your mobile audience.
4. Distribute your content through mobile.
How can you make your content more snackable for users? Learn to use numbers and short subheads to make content easier and more inviting. Hickman advocated for the “5-7 rule”, which requires all subject links to remain between 5-7 words in length (roughly 60 characters). Anything longer can be wrapped around a mobile screen – or even worse, cut off completely. Challenge yourself to write succinctly.
The mobile audience wants content on demand, and they don’t wait long before going elsewhere. Hickman noted that 74% of consumers will leave a mobile site after just five seconds – and 46% are unlikely to return if the site didn’t work the first time. The initial impressions are even more crucial in mobile, simply because there are so many other sources and distractions to draw away attention.
Your audience is already mobile. It’s your turn to choose to be mobile.
And if you’re looking to add a smartwatch into that mobile mix, the good folks at Reviews.com have a nice comparison guide. I’m currently rocking a Gear S2, and loving the rotating bezel navigation.