Content Development: Content for Mobile – Is It Different?

Content for Mobile – Is It Different?

\"contentThe world of content production, ranging from website product descriptions to New York Times articles is vastly different today than it was even a few years ago. Remember those long, windy paragraphs of the past that resembled a Dickens novel.

Pick up (rather open) any publication today and you will notice a lot of three sentence paragraphs, bulleted lists, images, and videos. Why? Research conclusively indicates that our attention spans are shorter than in the past, likely because demand on our time has accelerated.

We are much more likely to continue reading short, concise content over lengthy verbiage that meanders. So, let’s get to the point.

Website content is a perfect example. Even on a full computer display, it must be compact, yet complete. Mobile devices exaggerate these concepts even further. A short paragraph can easily occupy an entire smartphone screen.

Mobile Website vs. Responsive Technology

To further complicate the matter, you must be concerned with not only the content itself, but also the technology underlying the actual display. Until recently, anyone who wanted their website to render favorably on a mobile device had to have an entirely different website built that favored smaller screens on phones and tablets.

The more progressive website builders today offer the option for responsive themes that automatically adapt to whatever device opens them. This feature is usually less expensive and provides more utility than a separate website.

Soon, the majority of searches will be accomplished on mobile devices and that percentage will continue to increase. If your website is not currently optimized for mobile display, you are at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Five Tips for Better Mobile Writing

While it does not always come naturally, it is important to follow a few simple rules when writing for mobile consumption:

  1. Try to tighten up all writing into as few words as you possibly can. That sentence could just as easily read, “Minimize wordiness.” Reread everything you write several times, looking for anything to eliminate.
  2. There is an old adage that good writers spend half of their time on the copy and the other half on the headline. That is even more important for mobile. Brainstorm ways to capture attention with no more than eight words in each header and sub-header.
  3. The same applies to opening statements. Get to the point quickly.
  4. Stick to the subject. If your topic is smartphone cases, for example, avoid drifting off onto screen protectors.
  5. Make sure the content is easy to scan. Notice how often that as a reader, you naturally peruse the entire piece before committing to reading.
  6. Professional writers have always believed that the content is what really counts. That is still true, but the focus now must be on the reader’s time and the device most likely in use.

Ignore word counts. If you have said everything there is to say, wrap it up. With that in mind…