“You’ve got to ensure your content is mobile-friendly.” We’ve heard that time and time again over the past 12 months or so, but what does mobile-friendly content look like?
It needs to be short and in a type font that can be read on a mobile without squinting, of course. Well, yes, but there’s a little more to it than that.
US agency Skyword took the time to list the top eight mobile design mistakes content marketers are making. We thought we’d use their piece as inspiration, flip it on its head somewhat, and highlight eight tips for creating mobile-friendly content. Here they are:
1. Create content that is mobile responsive
We love a good infographic. However, if you’ve ever tried to view an infographic on a mobile device you’ll know that they’re not very mobile friendly. That’s because they’re very much built with desktop users in mind, but the continuing shift to mobile leaves them in a strange position.
The solution is to design an HTML5 landing page instead, allowing you to offer up the same information and stats in a format that is more fitting for mobile.
2. Spend time choosing a typography
When it comes to choosing a typography that’s suitable for mobile, it’s easy to fall into a ‘that’ll do’ approach. However, it’s worth remembering that typography tells a lot about your brand – it’s not simply a means to an end.
Don’t just consider the typeface and point size, scrutinise the line length, line spacing, the letter spacing, and the space between letter pairs.
3. Make your content skimmable
It’s no secret that attention spans are dwindling, resulting in people skimming written content – they’re fine with just getting a gist for what it’s trying to say, rather than reading every word.
Researchers suggest that people are prepared to spend about 20 seconds examining your content – if they can’t get a feel for what it’s trying to say in that time, they’ll move on. Skimming is even more evident on mobiles, as even a few hundred words can look too much.
4. Decipher consumption patterns
To what extent is your content being consumed, i.e. how, when, why and where? This is vital information which will dictate your mobile content strategy. For example, if you find that your content is consumed more on the weekend than it is a weekday you can deduce that you’re better off keeping posts brief during the week, saving the in-depth stuff for Saturday morning.
5. Customise content across channels
Just because a piece of content works well on Facebook’s app, that isn’t to say it will resonate on Snapchat. In fact, you’d be lucky to get away with any written content on Snapchat, whereas on Facebook people are a little more prepared to consume words.
So, you’ve got to customise your content dependent on the channel you’re posting to, otherwise you run the risk of putting up something that clearly hasn’t been designed for the platform, causing you to lose some credibility.
6. Make content connection speed proof
If somebody is viewing your content on their mobile, there’s every chance they’ll be viewing it via a 3G or 4G connection (if they’re lucky). So you’ve got to find a happy medium between fantastic visual content and acceptable load times, otherwise people will move on from your content before it’s fully loaded.
A good way to see how well your content performs at difference speeds is to utilise Developer Tools, built into the Chrome browser, which lets you to set ‘Regular 3G’, for example, as a connection speed.
7. Test your content
While you won’t have the time to test every piece of content, a bit of A/B testing prior to a campaign wouldn’t go amiss. A/B testing comprises serving up two similar, but slightly different, pieces of content to people and analysing which one was better received.
The results of the test dictate what your content will look like – especially handy if you’re not yet sure what works best on mobile.
8. Put yourself in your users’ shoes
It sounds like the most obvious thing to do – user experience testing – but it’s also one of the biggest oversights that content marketers make. Take out your mobile and have a look to see how that new piece of content looks on a four-inch screen. Are you happy with how it looks? It’s much better to decide that you don’t like it now and to make the necessary changes, than after you’ve hit share.
So there you have it. Follow those eight tips and you will have content that can consider itself ‘mobile friendly’. Just make sure that the topic is interesting enough for users to want to read it on-the-go, on their mobiles.Ben Hollom
April 12, 2016