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4 Reasons Your Content Isn't Cut Out for Mobile

Date published: November 05, 2015
Last updated: November 5, 2015

At one time, websites were created with desktop and laptop computers in mind. But consumers increasingly use mobile devices to read email, search the Internet and read content, making it more important than ever that businesses give prudent thought to mobile content marketing. When content is consumed on small touchscreens and while readers are surrounded by distractions, it’s essential that brands reconfigure their content marketing efforts to match.

There are several things to consider as you evaluate your current strategies for areas that need improvement. Here are a few mistakes businesses often make when optimizing content for mobile:

1. You’re Following "The Standard”

Marketers often cite examples of winning mobile content marketing strategies when advising businesses on their own content. However, what works for a big brand like Red Bull or Coca-Cola may not work for every business. CMOs tend to watch those big corporations closely as an example of what works, rather than reading content on their own devices to truly get a feel for the user experience.

You must also pay close attention to the demographics of customers who interact with brands on mobile to make sure your content is geared directly toward your likely readers. Millennials between the ages of 18 and 24 are by far the largest users of smartphones and tablets, spending more than five hours a day on their smartphones on average.

The number of hours spent on a smartphone each day decreases with each generation group, with the upper half of millennials spending only 3.5 hours and 35- to 44-year-olds spending 3.4 hours each day on their phones. This is important to realize as you craft your own marketing strategy, especially if 18- to 24-year-olds are a target market for your products or services.

2. You Didn’t Design Content for Mobile

When mobile devices first grew in popularity, businesses scrambled to make their existing sites fit into smaller screens. Some marketers steered clients toward microsites, which satisfied the demand for mobile content while also letting businesses have control over what customers see. But today’s customers expect content to blend seamlessly between devices. Microsites can confuse customers and distract them from the message you’re trying hard to convey.

Instead of continuing to rework an existing site, throw out your current design and start over. Go through your site as though you were a customer on a smartphone, trying to locate specific information. Not only do people have increasingly shorter attention spans, but when they’re browsing on their smartphone they’re also subject to a number of distractions. Try to keep your content short, interesting and easy to navigate using a touchscreen.

3. You Designed a Dysfunctional App

Apps serve as the perfect alternative to mobile websites for some businesses. They can provide a way for customers to easily purchase products, schedule services, or just provide a fun game that builds your brand. With so many customers using Facebook to discover great apps, many businesses now opt for Facebook mobile apps instead of standalone apps that customers find through the app store.

That said, it’s far worse to create a poorly-functioning Facebook app than to have no app at all. Imagine a customer who is excited about downloading the app you’ve been promoting, only to find it doesn’t work. If that customer has paid for the app, the experience could easily turn into a customer service nightmare. Delay launching your app until you’ve ensured you’ve worked out all the glitches that are normally present with a new app.

4. You Don't Have an Engagement Plan

Many businesses get so excited about the fact that they’re developing an app, they neglect to spend time making sure the app is easy to use. Whether you’re crafting an app for Facebook, the iTunes Store or Google Play, user experience is essential for a successful app.

Look at the app through a customer’s eyes and try to remember at all times that a customer will be interacting with the app on a touchscreen. Long forms with multiple fields can be a nightmare for a customer on a mobile device, so it can be a big help to transfer those details over through a customer’s login.

Usability experts can be beneficial when it comes to ensuring the user experience is a good one. If you can’t afford a professional team to offer feedback, consider using a crowd-sourced approach, or ask friends and family members to try the app out. You may even be able to get local college students to help out in exchange for a small fee or free products.

For businesses to succeed in their content marketing efforts, they must make mobile an important part of their marketing strategy. When brands look at their websites and mobile apps through the eyes of the customers using them, they’re more likely to create an experience that keeps customers coming back.


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