The Mobile Content Strategy Challenge

Slightly scary statistic #1: Mobile devices now account for over 30% of all UK website page views.

Slightly scary statistic #2:

90% of mobile internet users regularly start a task (shopping, buying a holiday etc) on one device, then complete it on another.

Slightly scary statistic #3:

By the end of 2013, tablets are set to outsell PCs (smartphones have been outselling PCs since 2011).

Whether we like it or not, organisations no longer control where, when and how people access the content on their websites. Users might start a search for a product on their mobile on the bus, continue it on their tablet while watching TV at home, complete a transaction at their desk on their PC the next day. Almost 50% of consumers in the UK say they’ve used their mobile phone to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping...

Put simply, mobile means your content has to be available everywhere, all the time, on any number of different platforms, in lots of different formats, with lots of different limitations (which may all change next month), for lots of different people, with lots of different needs.

And its all got to join up and work perfectly

Easy, right?

It’s not entirely surprising that almost half of all business still don’t have a mobile-optimised digital offering. How do you produce and optimise content for a variety of different devices? How do you track the performance of that content across multiple screens? When does it makes sense to use an app? How do you know what works best and where?

One thing’s clear: it isn’t just about reduced screen size. As Karen Mcgrane points out, making content work on a variety of screen sizes has always been an issue. At the turn of the century most users had a browser with an 800x600 resolution, a few 1024x768, some 640×480...

“...[but] what you didn’t hear designers talking about was the ‘640×480 context’ and how it differed from the ‘1024×768 context.’ No one tried to intuit which tasks would be more important to users browsing at ‘800×600’, so less important options could be hidden from them.”

In other words: a good mobile content strategy can’t be about delivering less of everything.

It’s about embedding mobile thinking from the beginning.

Start with goals and needs, not content and platforms. What do you want to achieve? What does your audience want? How well does the content you produce match these two requirements?

Get these right and your entire content operation becomes a lot simpler.

And then we can start thinking about how fast your website loads on a mobile phone and whether or not you really have to make those two hundred and fifty pages of legal disclaimers and legacy content available on every platform...