Marketing Best Practices

How to Create Content for Mobile Marketing

By Ashley Taylor Anderson August 20, 2015

I usually have two laptops at home (one personal machine, one work machine) within reach at all times, but I tend to spend more time browsing the web on my phone. If I’m texting, Snapchatting, or IMing on Slack, it’s usually easier to have everything happening on one screen.

Maybe I have a technology addiction problem—but if so, I’m not alone. Many of your customers are just as obsessed with their tablets and smartphones as I am, and they’re spending more time consuming brand content on those devices every year.

If you’re not considering mobile marketing when creating content for your program, you’re not just missing out on a huge opportunity for growth. Your brand or business can actually lose audience members by providing a subpar experience on mobile.

The good news is that going mobile doesn’t entail a ton of extra work if you account for it upfront in your content creation strategy. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure that your marketing content is optimized for mobile web surfers.

Use Small-Screen Friendly Formats

Small Screen Friendly Content

Source: Propoint

With more online browsing time shifting from desktop to mobile every year, you’d think that marketers would have completely abandoned any format that doesn’t play nicely on small screens. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Many companies are still publishing content on desktop-width blogs, creating PDF content for online distribution, or using Flash videos and animations that don’t work on mobile devices.

If you want users to engage with your brand content on mobile, you need to use mobile-friendly formats—period end. Legacy assets that still get decent engagement should be converted, and new content should be built according to the latest mobile web standards. 

Employ Responsive Storytelling

Geo-targeted content

Source: J.Crew

I’m sure you know all about responsive web design, but do you know about responsive storytelling? Basically, it’s a term for storytelling that leverages the device and platform a viewer is using. A few ways to approach responsive storytelling include:

  • Customizing content based on the user’s geolocation.
  • Serving up different content based on the user’s browser or device type.
  • Allowing users to select the type of content they’re interested in before serving them options.
  • Giving users the ability to explore content at a high level or dig deeper, depending on their preference.
  • Providing relevant content based on contextual cues (such as keyword or referral source).

Optimize Your Visuals

Smartphone-friendly graphics

Source: AdWeek

Visual content is a no-brainer when it comes to engaging mobile viewers. However, images and videos that haven’t been optimized for smaller screens can do more harm than good. When developing custom graphics, make sure you use images and fonts that are legible at 320 pixels; same goes for video titles and interstitials.

Additionally, you may want to create different photo and video files that are optimized for faster loading on mobile. With your web team’s help, you can make sure that the right version of your content gets served for viewers on smartphones or tablets and avoid irritating them with slow load times.

Rethink Your CTAs

Mobile-friendly CTAs

Source: ZenDesk

In an ideal world, the  content you share on mobile should be optimized differently than the content you share on desktop. So why wouldn’t you perform the same kinds of optimizations on your calls-to-action?

Here are a few simple ways you should adjust your CTAs for mobile viewers:

  • Redesign your buttons to be larger and placed somewhere that makes sense on a smaller screen (e.g., not over the top of your content).
  • Make your information capture process as streamlined as possible. Cut down the number of fields and rely on progressive profiling to fill in more details later.
  • Eliminate the number of steps to complete the action you want the viewer to take. For example, if your normal gated content download flow is form -> thank you page -> email -> download, simplify to form -> content page on mobile.

The Bottom Line

Creating content for mobile marketing isn’t an additional task on top of creating regular content for your program. Rather, mobile should be included in your content strategy and planning from day one. Being proactive rather than reactive will streamline the process, prevent duplicate work for you and your team, and drive better results from your marketing efforts.

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