I’m Goin’ Mobile: Not Just for Rock & Roll

I don’t care about pollution  /  I’m an air-conditioned gypsy  /  That’s my solution  /  Watch the police and the taxman miss me  /  I’m mobile  – The Who, I’m Goin’ Mobile from “Who’s Next”, 1971

Mobile content is just starting to get noticed in some corporate management corners. This is very strange since the use of smart phones is one of the biggest opportunity to gain advantage today. While most executives are mobile content consumers, they have owned iPhones for years, they have not moved their own sites as quickly. Leading edge internet marketers are publishing mobile content fast. Pieces are shorter, moving articles down to 150 to 250 words from 600 to 850 for laptops and tablets. Content writing for mobile devices is more of a teaser or headline. Sometimes leading to longer material. There are estimates of up to 50% of consumers using only smart phones in some market sectors. In sectors like technology and leisure travel, mobile content is simply the best way to reach people. Not all content needs to be accessible to mobile users, but most marketing early engagement and nurturing content should be mobile.

Mobile content, especially text and especially product related, was expected to take a top place when the iPhone and Android phones first appeared. Yet more activity seems to be coming from mobile apps and social media sites, than mobile focused writing. While mobile devices, especially tablets, at first seemed like the biggest innovation for reading and communicating, this vision is still some time away. Yet, the short format used today in mail messages, social media posts and direct (and group) text messages is establishing itself as a mainstream format.

In the last ten years smart phones changed more of our communication than any other technology. Even in comparison to email and web sites, mobile communication is faster and more direct. Since smart phones are easier to use and are always connected to the internet, they make for a better communication vehicle. Businesses which need to keep effective communication with an existing client base seem to not move fast enough to mobile (also called responsive) sites. Managers with new products or features which compete better in the market are also leaving their primary format on desktop sites. Yet most managers, even ones who have not kept up with mobile format trends, are still aware of the need for mobile content. This article is a first in a series of how content is changing and how mobile content is used.

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