The Challenges of Mobile Publishing and How to Solve It

In their Digital Video Consumer Study, IAB found that people are spending more time online and mostly on mobile according to eMarketer. However, time spent viewing content from online publishers, blogs, and online newspapers hasn’t grown.

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So why isn’t the increase in time spent online on mobile reflected in viewership for online publishers, blogs, and online newspapers?

Your team is putting a lot of thought, time and effort into creating great content. And, you want your audience to view and have a great experience with your content. Perhaps they’re not getting the same great experience on their mobile devices.

You don’t choose through which platform, device, network or feed your readers access your content.  So your content needs to work beautifully everywhere. How do you do that?

Get to the point, quickly.

Copy for mobile has to be concise. This doesn’t mean writing short form content. Long form content performs just as well as short form content.

It’s about optimizing how your content appears in a smaller space. You want to get as many points across as possible with less copy. More swipes and taps means the reader is less likely to finish reading and click away. Cut out the fluff, and get to the point.

Start with the headlines. BBC News suggests making it as short as possible so it fits on top of a mobile screen. They also recommend getting the main point across in the opening sentence. And the gist of the story in the first 2 -3 paragraphs. A mobile viewer is also not going to wait to get what they want.

Grabbing attention early and keeping it as long as possible is essential.

Additionally, try to make paragraphs as small as possible. 4- 5 sentence paragraphs look okay on a desktop, but on a smaller screen they can look like a huge block. Shorter paragraphs also make the article skimmable if someone wants to do that.

Responsive Responsible Web Design

The most prevalent response to growth in mobile traffic has been Responsive Design. But, responsive design doesn’t address a key issue – site speed.

Mobile viewers hate waiting, even for seemingly tiny delays. Just ask Google – they see a 20% drop in traffic when search results are delayed by 0.5 seconds.

According to GuyPo, CEO of Snyk.io, a Web Security company,  72% of “responsive” sites send the same amount of data to every device. This slows down your site and causes readers to click away. Your mobile audience won’t care if your site is responsive when it takes longer than a few seconds to load.

Use Google’s PageInsights tool to see your site’s performance. Use the findings to start a conversation with your web team.

Remember, the end goal is to deliver content to users as soon as possible.

Competition from Video

The IAB study also shows that viewers are spending more and more of their time online to view videos. With larger screens and faster bandwidth, it’s increasingly easier for mobile users to use video to for their informational and entertainment needs. Cisco predicts that videos will account for 80% of online traffic by 2019.

It takes less effort to watch a video about something than read about it. Video content is also more engaging. Here’s a video by Susan Weinschenk, a behavioral expert, giving four very human reasons why video is more engaging:

Maybe, that’s why 92% of video viewers are also video sharers. And video is 12x more likely to get shared than links and text posts combined.

62% of marketers are already allocating a significant budget according to a study by Nielsen.  Isn’t it time you also started using video to supplement your content?

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