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We take in content every second we are awake… It’s important that you know how to cut through the clutter!

We all know when writing for social, it’s different. You adopt an altered mindset when you write Tweets, to the style you’d use to pull together a contributed piece for the media. Social has certainly changed the way we consume information. What has been even more influential though is our consumption of that information on the move. So, is communicating for mobile a whole other issue?

To illustrate the scale of mobile momentum, smartphones and tablets have doubled the amount of time we spend online. It’s not simply that we are spending twice the amount of time looking at the same things either. We are expanding our interests and as such, we are absorbing this content in new ways – from what we read, to what we hear, to what we watch. Because of this, the content we create is indeed very different to what we once created.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re to create content optimised for mobile:

It’s about your design. You can’t retrofit your content if you want it to work on mobile. You have to start building it with mobile front of mind. There is so much diversity in terms of device and browser today, from fonts used, to their size, to the formatting, so you need to carefully plan what the experience will be like.

If you want to have even more control over the experience, you might consider designing an app. They aren’t too expensive, depending on how sophisticated you want it to be, but keep in mind the average iOS and Android user only downloads three to five apps per month. Of those, 26 per cent are opened only once, while a further 48 per cent are opened less than 10 times. The point is, you need to create an app that enhances a person’s experience of content consumption! If you think you can, you might want to go a step further and consider what wearable technology you want your app to run on! Expect a much greater need for that moving forward!

If you’re in advertising, it means understanding that mobile content that complements editorial is as good as dead. The frame available is so small, you don’t have that luxury. Advertising must therefore be the content the consumer wants to take in. It needs to be independently valid.

For the 10 best Google Fonts for print, web and mobile, check this out. For tips on building smartphone-optimised websites, click here.

SEO is critical. We all know that search engine optimisation (SEO) determines whether your content will be seen or not. These complex, ever changing algorithms mean you have to see SEO as a primary objective for your communication online. And with mobile, it’s different again. Quality content is becoming more important with SEO, but with mobile, key words and phrases are also interwoven with geosearch – GPS. The connection between ‘content in space’ is intrinsic. Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey projects that by 2015 there will be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs.

The most helpful definition I have seen of SEO is “SEO is the long-term process of enhancing a brand’s opportunity for discoverability in search and social, throughout the prospect’s buying cycle and across any device.” People want to compare before purchase. The synchronicity of content, time and location is paramount. Therefore, make it easier for content to be aggregated. The experience people have of your brand, begins with a swipe. It needn’t be on your site, or app. Be conscious of creating content that can be used easily by other popular sites that do comparisons and reviews!

It must be short and sweet. You’ve heard this before? Well… hear it again! And be under no illusion, I’m not trying to pass this Blog off as having content optimised for mobile! Not all content should be.

Of course it depends on the demographic, but the content most commonly consumed on a mobile is News, Social Media, Short Messages (email or txt) and Music. If you’re of a younger generation, throw in Gaming! In fact 91 per cent of all mobile internet access has a social motive! As such, your content should be ‘snackable’. If it’s snackable, it’s easy to consume, and easier to share!

To state the obvious, if you’re mobile, you’re likey to be on the move. Even if you’re not and you’re viewing your mobile on the lounge at home, you’re probably watching TV at the same time. You need to be able to flick your eyes down, then up again. Bullet points become important, because you don’t have long between glances! It’s part of the reason Memes have gone nuts! Simple word play with an image is powerful. I couldn’t help but chuckle in seeing the hybrid Meme below, where GoDaddy has tried to ad-jack Volvo’s Youtube sensation of Van Damme!

van damm

Remember too mobile and social are bedfellows and there is much power in the right #hashtag!

Sound matters! The human ear responds to air vibrations from 15 to 20,000 cycles per second. Even when you are sleeping, your ears are working! Audio simply must be a part of your mobile content strategy. When you are mobile, you are no longer in control of the environment in which you consume content, which means you can’t always read and you don’t always want to watch a video. Making sure your content can be heard however is a great way to make sure you get your message across! At the end of the day, mobile presents Comms Pros with a fantastic opportunity to expand their relationships with audiences, but only if you approach it the right way!

– My name is Aaron Crowther. Follow me on Twitter @ascommstweeter

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