There is a seismic shift in media.
The old guard is ignoring it and new upstarts are embracing it. The eyeball domination that made TV “the” media for the last 50+ years is now moving online. Digital is doing to TV what television did to print and radio. Disrupt and disturb.
Digital mobile media is redefining how we read, view and are entertained. This is not a fad but a trend that will be a generational change. Mobile is becoming the default device of choice not the laptop. This device shift will be most prevalent in emerging nations including Asia and Africa as 3 billion more people go online on mobile devices. Not tethered personal computers.
For many people the way they consume is not when they use a PC but when they grab their phone from their pocket or purse or swipe their tablet screen.
This has major implications for content marketers and the future of content marketing.
It’s time to listen to the new generation
CEO’s and senior managers need to understand how their children and younger adults are consuming media in a digital world.
My son does not sit down to watch “News at 6”, but instead shows me the latest Youtube sensation that he heard about from an online search or from his friends on Facebook. The device of choice. His mobile.
Mobile and social media is transforming our world in not just our personal lives but also in business.
We need to design apps, build blogs and websites and create content for people to view on mobiles. Because we now share the information on smart phones and it is amplified with one click to our social networks.
A recent article on Venturebeat.com posed this statement
“TV is over: Mobile has officially demoted TV to second-rung media status“.
The percentage of time spent on digital is now over 46% and TV is only 36%. But there is a mismatch on spend versus advertising. There needs to be a re-balancing to match spend to share of time.
Despite this, the constant querying question posed by the digital agency to the brand’s marketing manager of “Why don’t we lead with a digital campaign instead of TV?” is deferred to the comfortable. The traditional television advertising campaign.
Unlearning old habits is hard. “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones” – John Maynard Keynes.
10 ways to succeed at mobile content marketing
So what will be the keys to success with mobile content marketing? Here are 10 ways to create and market your content for a mobile and social web.
1. Use technology to crowdsource visual content from mobiles at scale
Brands such as Coca Cola realised that engaging with your fans and advocates to produce content for you for free was effective and smart. Research from Octoly revealed that “User Generated Content” (or UGC) from their fans and advocates can be the major source of content for brands.
This has lead to the rise of visual content marketing platforms such as Shuttlerock (Disclaimer: I am on the board and a shareholder) that makes it easy for your customers that love what you do, to create content for you for free from their mobiles.
They can share photos and images to social media networks, your social hub and your website straight from their phones! This is a significant change to the old marketing models as our media consumption and habits are now driven by large global social networks and smart phones.
2. Design mobile “responsive” blogs and websites
There is nothing more frustrating on a mobile than trying to expand a website so you can read it. What will happen is that most readers will give up and move on. That is why a “responsive” site (one that responds to the devices screen size, whether that is a smart phone, tablet or PC) is important. Otherwise you will drive traffic away and miss out on leads and sales.
You are just one click away from oblivion.
If you have a WordPress site that needs to be upgraded then to provide a short term fix, you can load a plugin that allows your site to be read easily on a mobile. One of the top WordPress plugins for this is WPtouch which has been downloaded over 6 million times.
Here is how my blog looks when viewing it via the WPtouch plugin.
This provides a simple intermediary step to ensure that people can read your content before embarking on a new site design project.
3. Create a mobile app
The next step is to make sure that you have an app for your site and your business. An app has some benefits as they are becoming the portal for brands and “go to” content source (especially for the connected generation).
- Brand awareness – It sits on the mobile screen after downloading as a constant brand awareness reminder.
- Builds your email list – Can capture emails when setting it up
- Pushes content out – This is done by allowing people to opt-in to sending alerts to your subscribers
- Buy products and services – This can be made easy via an an app from their phone
A personal trainer Shantelle Saiville (Savi) had an app designed that helps her distribute her video content and build online credibility and trust via her “app”.
4. Prioritize your goals
A mobile site cannot do everything. The small screen does constrain your visual real estate, so you will need to work out the the most important goals that you want to achieve. So that means distilling the message into it’s essence.
“Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.”
Here are a few of the key functions that are currently being developed by my mobile partner AppsWiz for my new mobile app.
- Blog articles
- Bio or “About”
- Buy my e-Book
- Twitter feed
- Facebook page
- Youtube channel
- Follow me on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc)
- Subscribe by email (and get a free ebook )
The home page for the app will need to make sure that the key goals you want to achieve are visible there. Here is an example of a magic illusionist Cosentino and some of his major goals are to:
- Sell tickets to his shows
- Drive product sales
- Build subscribers to his email list
These are not definitive but will be determined by the business model. You will need to prioritize what goals you want to achieve.
5. Include mobile video
The Internet generation (those who have grown up knowing nothing but the web as part of their lives) are consuming online video rather than TV. This means featuring video within apps is essential. To market to them means moving your media to match their media consumption. The success of GoPro in tapping into mobile video has been a huge success in creating a global brand fast!
You can watch it on websites, mobile and Facebook apps.
The power of online video is that it can be used to scale trust. As the Frank Eliason, (the Senior Vice President of Citibank) said. “We tend to trust humans , not some corporate logo, and video is the best way to do that on a scaled basis”
6. Use visual communication
Getting your message across quickly will need to include the use of visuals that convey the message quickly. Studies show that “90% of of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual and it is processed 60,000 times faster than text”
Even if you are a blogger who uses text as his major media focus, visuals can still be a big way of communicating. Here is my “social hub” at Shuttlerock which has imported a photo from Instagram that was shared on Twitter and Facebook.
So communicate with visuals created on mobiles that work on mobiles.
7. Consider podcasts
Podcasts have been re-energized due to the smartphone making it easy to consume audio on the go. No longer do you have to sit in front of a device but carry it with you. You can listen on the go at the gym, the beach or in the car.
Pat Flynn at his blog “Smart Passive Income” creates regular podcasts that provide a personal and engaging way via audio to communicate content to his subscribers.
“Podcasts are a way of adding human touch at scale”
8. Make sure your content is optimized for mobile
Content has to serve many masters. Images, photos and video need to work on many devices, platforms and networks. These include television, print, laptops and now mobile. It’s a case of making sure that the visual content and images are now also optimised for a social web that consumes it’s content on smartphones.
This is a real challenge in a digital world that has splintered into multi-media and many devices.
9. Subscribe to email on a mobile
I was at a conference and a “mobile, connected and 20 something”, said “I wanted to subscribe to you via email you but when I went looking on my mobile it was impossible”. Ouch!
I have taken this on board and in the process of making sure this happens soon.
This shift to mobiles has been so fast that many brands are scrambling or even failed to grasp its consequences.
10. Make it easy to follow your social networks on mobile
Building distribution for your content means social media following buttons that are not just designed for the web but for mobile devices.
Build this into your web design and include it in your mobile app.
But there’s more
There are many more ways to optimize content and your marketing for mobiles. These include
- There will always be a constant tension with short form and long form content on mobiles according to Forbes.
- Headlines will be even more important as mobiles seem to have shortened our attention spans.
- Your introduction or “lead in” will need to “pop”
- Formatting of text content will need to consider mobile
What about you?
How is your content working for mobiles? Could you do better?
Look forward to hearing your insights and stories in the comments below.