What does mobile mean for content marketing?

What does mobile mean for content marketing?

Last year, one of the predictions floating out there in the marketing and advertising world’s “what you’ll see in 2014” lists was that mobile content marketing would become a primary, vs. a secondary or tertiary part of marketers’ strategy.

Media outlets everywhere were reporting that mobile web will rule the world in the coming years, as mobile use explodes and is poised to overtake desktop. But what does that actually mean for content marketers?

It means that it’s not just about making your content mobile-friendly: easily read on-the-go, with different formatting (shorter, more visual) and ensuring deeper QA on different kinds of displays to consider various devices. As Jason DeMers notes, you should be using:

  • Large fonts (which is hopefully already part of your responsive design’s style sheet)
  • Eye-catching images
  • Videos
  • Short, simple forms with large, easy-to-fill fields
  • Concise, actionable content

But these are all relatively superficial measures. We believe that in order to truly realize the potential that mobile has for your content marketing, you have to think of mobile as an entirely different customer touchpoint. It’s not about being “mobile-first,” and having mobile trump other mediums. It’s about starting to think of your storytelling as being broken up not just into the chunks that you manage (blog posts, presentations, videos) but as chunks that the consumer is juggling instead.

People move very seamlessly from screen to screen, but not in the way that you, the brand, dictates. One of the very frightening thing about the mobile revolution is that consumers are personalizing their consumption patterns in a way that brands are struggling to understand, to group into patterns that they can then integrate themselves into. Rather than fighting it, we need to adjust our content production and distribution styles for it.

Take a long holiday weekend, for example. Common sense dictates that you shouldn’t release a long-form post or interactive quiz — something that requires more commitment from the reader — on any Friday, let alone one on going into a three-day weekend. Yet people do not disconnect from their mobile devices on these holidays; on the contrary, they are more married to them because they’re not spending long hours on a desktop. Perhaps that Friday evening (not afternoon) is the perfect time to release an in-depth narrative or documentary-style video, a “lean back and enjoy” experience.

Maybe that customer is not only ready for it, but is more likely to share via word-of-mouth, too, since they are most likely about to spend time with larger groups of friends and family within 24 hours of that moment, and needs a thoughtful conversation piece, instead of “did you see that funny Drunk girls are annoying video.”