The hushed silence of the train carriage is deafening — a few dozen commuters all ravenously absorbing content on their phones and tablets. Checking the news, keeping up with the latest gossip, mindlessly flicking through a listicle or lost in a Wikipedia rabbit hole; unlimited information and content is available to the mobile user.
Today, a couple of years after mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing in popularity, it has never been more important to create online content that is suitable for mobile users. Regardless of the quality of your online content — if the platform is not mobile-friendly, you risk losing a sizeable chunk of your readership.
Your digital strategy cannot afford to ignore mobile users. These liberated net surfers are not just a sizeable chunk of potential visitors to your website, they’re often the most active users – relying on the internet for information, entertainment and shopping.
Creating a content marketing strategy for mobile users should become central to your digital marketing aspirations. But how exactly is this done without compromising your offering to desktop users?
First Things First – Get Your House in Order
Even if your SEO and content marketing strategy delivers loads of engaged, relevant traffic – many of those visiting on phones will drop off if they arrive at your unfriendly smorgasbord of overlapping links and un-optimised images. This makes it important to ensure your site is fully mobile-optimised before kickstarting a content marketing campaign.
What to do: Head over to Google’s mobile-friendly test page, and check whether your site is mobile-friendly. If it fails this test, you may need to have words with your developer about updating your site to better accommodate mobile visitors.
Once your site is optimised for mobile visitors, now’s the time to set about creating content targeting these fleet-footed web surfers.
But make sure you don’t compromise desktop performance to accommodate mobile-complicity. Users like to be attached to their devices 24/7, and may switch from their phone to the family computer when they’re at home. Their experience on your site should be positive throughout, seamlessly bridging the gap from mobile to desktop.
Target Mobile-Friendly Channels
Now your website is a haven for mobile browsers, make sure your user’s customer journey is painless from A to B. If you’re spreading the good word of your brand by offering your views and opinions on external sites, make sure these sites are completely mobile-friendly so users can get the full experience from their smartphone (and without having to tilt the screen).
Similarly, if you’re looking to source some expert views for your site’s blogs from industry bloggers – check their mobile-friendly status before reaching out to kick-start a partnership.
What to do: During the outreach stage of a mobile-friendly content marketing campaign – compile a list of blogs and sites to reach out to, judged by a selection of quality metrics, including their mobile-friendly status. Use our old friend, the Google mobile-friendly test, and cross off any sites which fail.
Focus on a Local Strategy
The very nature of mobile browsing means people are on the go whilst searching for info. This has led to a high percentage of mobile searches possessing a local intent – search enquiries based around location. Earlier this year, Google revealed that roughly 33% of all mobile searches are location-based, with users feverously searching for their closest shops, pubs, emergency services and more.
Not only is this a large group to target, but it is a focused group. Somebody searching ‘picture framers in Sheffield’ is more likely to complete a transaction than somebody searching for ‘picture framing ideas’. This focus and drive should be targeted by the savvy mobile content marketer – helping turn genuinely interested parties into customers.
So it makes sense to incorporate a local-focus into your strategy – especially if you’re trying to convince visitors to your website to journey to brick and mortar stores.
What to do: Head over to Google Alerts to check the topics trending in the local area you wish to target, by setting an alert for the town, city or region. This will bring up the hot topics, which can help you devise web content that will appeal to the locals, and hopefully, drive traffic.
Additionally, try to get your brand included in those high-performing lists of the best service providers in the local areas. If you’re a coffee shop in Manchester, and you’re not featured in a high-ranking article entitled ‘Best Coffee Shops in Manchester’, you may struggle to bring in the mobile-browsing generation.
Be Succinct – Less Can Be More
With less space available on a smartphone screen than a desktop computer screen, it is vital that every inch is utilised to its fullest. Tolkien-esque world-building is not really a welcome addition for most mobile users, simply looking for vital information or light entertainment. This has led to the rise of digestible listicles and info-galleries.
Consider how mobile-users will view the content, making it as digestible as possible. It should not be a challenge for visitors to view your content (we’re looking at you, sites with pop-ups), and continue their journey through the website.
For example, we’ve combatted the issue of presenting a large amount of information in a mobile-friendly manner by splitting the copy into sections, complete with the ‘What to do’ nuggets offering practical advice. We’ve presented all the copy on a single page, so no exhaustive clicking through to more pages to load (an absolute pain during a commute with varying signal strengths), and stuck our social sharing buttons at the foot of the page. And that’s because we care about you.
What to do: Consider the key takeaway points you want your readers to digest, and position them prominently within the content. This can help provide the answers that skim-readers are looking for, and offer more comprehensive information for those willing to sit and read the whole body of content.
Ensure the Call To Action is Mobile-Friendly
At the end of the content marketing strategy is the carrot which encourages visitors to morph into customers, often the most difficult step of the whole process. This article from CNET reveals that just 20% of shoppers in the US use their smartphones to complete purchases, despite smartphones sitting in the pockets of nearly every adult in the country. This pattern will be repeated all around the world, as users are deterred from completing transactions using their touchscreen smartphone due to the fiddly nature of entering a 16-digit card number on a tiny keyboard.
So, despite our growing use of smartphones, completed mobile customer journeys are not keeping pace. Desktop-focussed CTAs, reimagined for mobile devices, simply won’t cut the mustard – proving too user-unfriendly for mass conversion.
What to do: Offer the user a selection of CTAs, giving them greater freedom to continue their customer journey. Implement one-touch favourite buttons on products, so users can simply revisit the site and identify the products they’ve highlighted. Add one-touch social sharing buttons so it is super easy for visitors to share your site with friends and followers.
And for e-commerce sites, make the check-out process as simple as possible – the fewer steps, the better. After about three steps, most users will lose the will to shop – dropping off your website, and opening up Pokemon Go in anger.
With content marketing, SEO and CRO teams in house, Banc Media can help you develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy for mobile devices. For more info and advice, contact us on [email protected] or 0345 459 0558.