Your Content Strategy Must Be Mobile

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Mobile isn’t the future… it’s the present!

According to the 2015 Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the average American adult spends 5.6 hours on the Internet each day. Three hours of that daily Internet time is spent on a mobile device.

Many people are searching the Web exclusively on mobile devices. In 2013, the Mobile Path-to-Purchase study by Telmetrics and xAd found that 46 percent of respondents only use mobile devices when they do online research.

Why does all this matter, you say?

Well, if you’re doing business online and over half the time people spend on the Internet is via a mobile device, you need to consider all the possibilities of how that experience differs from desktop or laptop browsing. And if there is a very significant number of people who do all of their online research on a mobile device, well, if your mobile marketing strategy isn’t being done well (or at all), those are people you might not even have a chance to turn into customers!

Let’s look at some of the factors you need to consider when targeting mobile device users:Mobile Search IntentWhile mobile devices are taking up an increasing amount of our Internet time, there are also differences in how we use those devices as compared to laptop and desktop computers. One of the major differences is our search intent.

While people certainly use their mobile devices when they are not mobile (sitting on the couch, eating lunch, etc), much of it is done “on the go.” Since that inherently implies we are going somewhere, often that “somewhere” is potentially your business!

A 2014 Google-sponsored study by research firm Ipsos MediaCT found that 56 percent of smartphone searches had local intent. Of those who were searching for local information, 51 percent were on the go.

When the study looked at computers and tablets, 36 percent of the people went to a business location. When only looking at smartphone searches, that number jumped to 50 percent.

Let that sink in for a moment…

Half of the smartphone searches weren’t just connected to casual interest in what they were searching for, they actually went to the location where the product or service was available.

The key from a business perspective is that these searches are connected to some level of transactional interest. As you can see, more people in the mobile search demographic can be associated with serious transactional intent. Why “serious”? Because if you are searching for something, then go to a place that offers what you want, would you even bother unless you were seriously considering making the transaction?

Now that we’ve established the intent of mobile searchers, what should you do to make sure your mobile content strategy addresses this behavior?

Create more local-themed content. You have a better chance to rank in search when you create content related to local concerns, events, etc.

Pay attention to your business citations. While any mention of your business name, address, or phone number (NAP) on the Web is technically a citation, it’s best to optimize citations by including all the above. This helps avoid any confusion by Google in identifying what is being mentioned is actually your business. Just as important: make sure those citations are consistent. If the information varies from one site to the next, you lose Google’s confidence because they aren’t sure what, if any, of the information is valid.Other Mobile Content Strategy ConsiderationsBesides addressing local search intent, how should you think about your content strategy differently with mobile users?

Mobile-friendly design. A mobile-friendly design (also called responsive design) is a must. If you don’t have it, your site will not render in a user-friendly manner on the much different screen size and shape of mobile devices. You might have a great content strategy, but if it’s rendered poorly on mobile devices, it won’t matter.

Think fast. The growth of mobile search has helped usher in behavioral changes. One of those changes is that we spend more time on the Web, but much of that is for shorter periods of time. This means content strategies have to strongly consider the ease of navigation and making vital messaging the first thing users see. This affects the kind of content you should consider, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

Have the magic touch. While some computers may come with touchscreen technology, the vast majority of mobile use is done this way. When people are tapping on elements of your page with their fingertips, it needs to be easy to do without the frustration of multi-tapping or easily hitting other navigational elements that take users somewhere they never intended.

Mobile-friendly content. As promised, now it’s time to look at some of the types of content that are particularly good for mobile marketing.

Mobile users love video. The numbers may vary, depending on what research you reference, but they’re all going to show that video content is a mobile user favorite. Last year, video advertising platform Ooyala said that mobile video consumption was set to surpass 50 percent of all Web-based video views.

Short-form videos, most often known by those made as Vines, are videos that convey a message in a matter of a few seconds. They are often humorous viral snippets that aren’t connected to branded campaigns, but they can also be used as marketing content. For instance, you could create quick tips that coincide with the short video and post it in Instagram.

While much of our society is moving towards short attention spans, you might be surprised to learn that you don’t have to exclude longer-form video content from your marketing strategy. The aforementioned Ooyala study found that tablet users spend about a quarter of their time watching videos that are 30 to 60 minutes long. The moral of the story is to not limit yourself. Experiment, and see what works best for your business.

Mobile’s market share will continue to grow. This irreversible momentum towards mobile domination means that businesses need to integrate a mobile content strategy into their overarching marketing plans if they want to stay competitive.

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