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January 16, 2015

How to Take Your Content Marketing to a Mobile Audience

Photo Credit: garryknight via flickr

Every business knows that having a presence in mobile is now critical to success, but there’s one grave mistake that many still make: The assumption that content is universal. What works in content marketing in the desktop space does not necessarily translate well to mobile. In fact, there’s a good chance it’s unequivocally the wrong fit.

Why isn’t content cross-platform compatible? Because the way people behave on small screens is vastly different. Take search, for example. A Google and Nielsen study showed that mobile searches are reactionary. 85% of mobile searchers are looking for local information, with a whopping 81% taking action. Those are incredible conversion percentages. But you won’t score a single one of them if you’re not catering to the exact content needs of mobile users.

Knowing Your Niche

Any great content marketing strategy starts with the customer in mind. As you navigate the world of mobile, you need to extend that knowledge into understanding how your demographic interacts with smartphone content. How do they discover new content? How do they commonly react with content? Is your audience a video-friendly bunch, or do they prefer articles and blogs? This kind of data will be imperative to plotting out how to reach and engage your customers.

The Importance of Design

Next, define how you will design your mobile content for your audience, based on the behaviors you observed. Your content must be consistent with your website, too, in order to create cohesiveness and brand identity. In other words, don’t design edgy content if your brand has a more traditional feel. You are certainly catering to your demographic, but you have to remain true to your brand ideals as well. If the two are in conflict, that’s a much larger marketing issue to address, way before you dive into a content strategy.

Here are some tips on designing eye-popping content for mobile:

  • Your UI (user interface) must be highly intuitive on small screens. This is where responsive design often falls completely flat; one size does not fit all. Make sure your content looks like it’s made for mobile, because it should be.
  • Bright colors look great on small screens; use them!
  • Text is harder to read on smartphones, so make sure articles and blogs are correctly formatted and easy to read. Be highly selective about fonts and text colors. Function trumps form.

Essential Steps to Great Mobile Content

Once you have your audience defined and your design aesthetic nailed, these are the words you should live by when creating all your mobile content:

  • Video is fantastic for mobile, assuming it’s relevant to your target market.
  • When creating word-based content, incorporate lots of images as well. Text-only documents have high bounce rates on smaller screens.
  • Use short, punchy copy; avoid long paragraphs and overly wordy content.
  • Headlines are essential! You have a split second to draw in users with snappy headlines, so use these as a way to entice your readers.
  • Since we know mobile users are often looking for local content, consider using location-based technologies; you might see a dramatic uptick in engagement.
  • Don’t forget to make all phone numbers and hyperlinks clickable; test this extensively on your content to make sure it’s easy, effective, and accurate.
  • Remember that mobile users are often in the flow of their busy lives. Create content that fills a need for your demographic, and does so succinctly.
  • Always have a call to action on content as well, and make sure it is mobile-friendly. For example, if you funnel folks to sign up for your newsletter, make sure A) the sign-up process is optimized for mobile and B) that your newsletters look snazzy and readable on small screens too.

Stats to Get You in the Game

If you’re still not convinced that mobile content marketing is worth the extra time and effort, let these statistics from Snaphop get you excited about diving in:

  • By 2016, mobile devices will likely surpass the world’s population! This represents and 18-fold increase since 2011.
  • Mobile phones account for more than half of all online traffic, and that is rising fast. In 2012, mobile claimed only 13%, which shows us the climb has been astronomical and is far from over.
  • 68% of smartphone users report they use their phones to shop.
  • 72% of users access email more than six times a day.
  • Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Wikimedia are 4 of the most visited properties on mobile, which proves users are buying, socializing, and reading content on mobile. In other words, the mobile space is limitless, so you should be too.

Mobile demands a blend of usability and creativity to grab the attention of the masses, and it has to load at lightning speed too. Your rule of thumb for all users is to remember that attention spans are very, very short for small screens, so create content that is concise, packed with information, and engaging too. By creating a content marketing strategy that caters to your mobile users, you’ve substantially expanded your brand’s potential reach. And in the end, that’s the name of the game.

What other tips do you have for mobile content marketing? Share your successes with us!


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile