Mobile Content Marketing: How Long-Form Content and Mobile Change the Game

In your mobile content marketing strategy, there are two questions you have to answer today.

  1. Does my content provide readers with the depth they need?
  2. 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.

shutterstock_135932735shutterstock_148427981

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.

shutterstock_121410835

 

 

Subscribe
Our blog highlights delivered bi-monthly to your inbox
Subscribe to email updates
Our blog highlights delivered bi-monthly to your inbox

Builder. Marketer. Technologist. CEO @Readz brand publishing | SixDegrees word-of-mouth | organicfoodie wine-enthusiast | way-of-no-way | father-husband Los Angeles · about.me/bartdp

17 Comments

  1. How Long-Form Content and Mobile Change the Gam... - October 4, 2013

    […] As a content marketer, there are two questions you have to answer today. Does my…  […]

  2. Improve Your Marketing with Metrics in Customer Magazines - Readz Blog | Readz Blog - October 29, 2013

    […] also have data for interactions on social sites, tracking likes, shares and more. But what about long form content, white papers and customer magazines? With more people consuming this type of content on mobile […]

  3. Don't Strike Out with Google: Think Mobile SEO First - Readz - About Mobile & Content Marketing | Readz – About Mobile & Content Marketing - November 14, 2013

    […] While it’s great to provide snippets to whet readers’ appetites, providing long-form content is the best way to answer their questions and get your content ranked in the search engine […]

  4. How the finance industry can benefit from mobile content marketing - READZ BLOG - December 19, 2013

    […] finance industry has many experts who can produce the in-depth and long form content the search engines […]

  5. How to get started in mobile content marketing - READZ BLOG - January 7, 2014

    […] long form content with quickly accessible content to cater for ALL mobile […]

  6. I can't believe my white papers weren't search engine optimized - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] the past, PDFs have been a favorite tool for publishers producing long-form content such as white papers, research reports and digital magazines. But they are rarely properly search engine […]

  7. Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs To Include Digital Magazines - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] been a huge part of content marketing this year. With a digital magazine, it’s easy to mix long form content with shorter snippets to cater for every kind of reader. Even better than that, with the right […]

  8. Santa Brings a Mobile Content Marketing Strategy - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] account of this trend, giving prominence to in-depth articles on different topics – that’s long form content, and it’s here to stay. Include mobile optimized long form content in your marketing mix and […]

  9. 7 Tips to Make Your Content Marketing Succeed in 2014 - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] development this year has been the increased importance of long form content and that’s likely to remain important in 2014. It’s not a big stretch to think that if […]

  10. Mobile content marketing: How universities and schools can benefit - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] of the recent changes from an SEO viewpoint is that Google is giving more prominence to long form content which meets the needs of web users looking for in-depth information. Universities and schools, who […]

  11. Think Mobile SEO First: Don't Strike Out with Google - READZ BLOG - January 15, 2014

    […] While it’s great to provide snippets to whet readers’ appetites, providing long-form content is the best way to answer their questions and get your content ranked in the search engine […]

  12. Content Marketing With Annual Reports - READZ BLOG - January 30, 2014

    […] interest readers, you can use that information to guide blog and social media updates and any long form content you […]

  13. What is Mobile Content Marketing? - READZ BLOG - February 4, 2014

    […] that’s hard to read or resize (no-one wants to pinch and zoom through a piece of long form content) or that doesn’t automatically expand for best readability on the […]

  14. Why SEO is Essential for Online Magazines - Readz - February 20, 2014

    […] High-quality, in-depth and long form content. […]

  15. What Users Want From Your Online Magazine - Design Plus Content, by Readz - March 3, 2014

    […] interviews and features, an online magazine has to cater to readers who want short snippets and long-form content, what Jay Baer calls feathers and bricks. While you’re at it, make sure your online magazine […]

  16. Inbound Marketing vs Content Marketing - Content+Design, by Readz - March 19, 2014

    […] Long form content. Google’s in-depth articles update shows that people are looking for content that goes beyond […]

  17. 10 Powerful Ecommerce Marketing Trends that will Dominate 2014 | Scoop - April 22, 2014

    […] blogging will push ecommerce marketers to create better and more targeted content. We will see the rise of long-form content that is more closely related to the products and services offered by the […]

Leave a reply

Current day month ye@r *