In your mobile content marketing strategy, there are two questions you have to answer today.
- Does my content provide readers with the depth they need?
- Is it available in a way that makes it easy to access?
People used to think that the only content web readers would read was short articles of less than 400 words. That’s simply not true, and that belief led to the proliferation of content with little depth and virtually no value. Thankfully, things have changed. Long form content is coming into its own.
A recent article on Forbes highlights the rise of long form digital journalism. In it, the founder of Longreads.com says that the increased use of mobile devices, social recommendations, content organization tools and tools that let you save content for later (kind of like TiVo for web content) are what make long form writing so popular.
He’s not the only person to feel this way. On Copyblogger, Michael Brito points out the utility of long form content for telling a whole story, leveraging the power of search and showcasing expertise. And on the State of Digital blog, Barry Adams shows that in-depth articles have long-term staying power in search engine rankings.
It shouldn’t be a surprise. Many of us grew up reading in-depth articles in newspapers and magazines. That thirst for more information on topical issues from an authoritative source hasn’t gone away.
Some of the blogs content marketers read most have been publishing long form content for quite a while. Posts on Copyblogger, Hubspot, Kissmetrics and Viperchill are known for depth – giving each topic the space it needs to do a good job on it. Those blogs reap the rewards of high traffic, excellent search engine placement, acknowledged authority and thousands of social shares.
As Google points out on Inside Search: “sometimes you need more than a quick answer.” That’s why the search giant is now showcasing in-depth articles in its search results.
That means that far from being dismissed as too long to read, long form content has found its place. That means content marketers MUST include long form content in their marketing mix. But they also have to think about making that content as accessible as possible. That’s what Karen McGrane of Bond Art and Science calls marrying content and form.
Mobile Device Usage
And the right format for long form content has to include mobile readability. A recent Business Insider article highlights some key statistics:
- More people than ever are using mobile devices to access content.
- PC shipments are falling while tablet shipments increase exponentially.
- In the US, there are 219 million people who only use mobile devices.
As Google’s report on The New Multiscreen World shows, mobile devices have changed everything for consumers, affecting how we search for information, how we shop (mobiles are causing an increase in showrooming) and how and when we access content. And that’s where the challenge is.
The Problem for Mobile Device Users and Marketers …
Despite these changes, mobile device users are suffering. Many businesses haven’t caught up with the new mobile world and the web is full of unoptimized sites which provide a poor experience for mobile users. Can you imagine the pain of trying to read long form content with images that won’t re-size, poor text flow and faulty navigation? Of pinching, zooming and dragging only to end up on a completely different page to the one you want? That’s what many mobile device users have to deal with.
They don’t want to have to jump through hoops to read your long form content – they just want it to work. And if it doesn’t, they won’t stick around for more. Mobile device users expect content to be optimized and feel that businesses that don’t offer this don’t really care about them. That’s not the message you want to send. So what’s the answer?
…. And the Solution
The good news is that you can successfully marry long form content and mobile optimization. If you want to attract mobile users, your content needs to be attractive and readable on all devices, immediately adapting to the device used. It needs to be easy to navigate with on screen controls. It should take advantage of touchscreen features without forcing users to do too much work. In other words, it needs to be mobile optimized. That’s not just our view; it comes from Google too. Here’s how Business Insider writer Alex Cocotas sees it:
“Google is revising its rankings to favor sites that are optimized for mobile, placing a renewed importance on mobile search engine optimization. Not to mention, Google recommends responsive design as a best practice. ”
The bottom line? As a content marketer you need a mobile-optimized site which includes mobile adapted long form content to give your readers the best experience.
Where can you get that? Right here at Readz.