(with some help from +Jess Hutton
) just published a blog post on how to-do lists can help us understand mobile content strategy. Read the full post below and leave your comments!
Keep It Simple Stupid – or KISS – should be familiar to all of us by now. But today, we struggle with keeping even the simplest things simple, and it’s usually for no reason at all. Many of us have a subconscious need to add extraneous details to a project, beat around the bush instead of coming right to the point when writing, or even getting hung up on a simple restaurant choice during our week-long vacation.
Somehow, in all that clutter, there’s one thing most of us are very good at KISSing: to-do lists. Whether it’s a grocery store list, an around-town chore list, or a honey-do list, we rarely have problems keeping it simple:
- Bananas, milk, bread
- Pick up dry cleaning
- Cake for Amy’s b-dayWhy Can’t All Content Be That Simple?
It can! Now that mobile devices of all different shapes and sizes are taking over the market, the smaller, portable screen sizes are pushing content to become more concise and to-the-point. For a digital marketer, this begs the question: how do we keep the content on our websites as simple as possible without stripping it of the message’s central voice, theme, and strategy?
In the past, mobile content has been displayed in “blob” format. Essentially, developers take the content from the desktop version of the website and cram as much content as will fit on the mobile screen and let the rest drop off. While this may sound like a logical solution, it certainly doesn’t give users a positive experience. Inevitably, content paragraphs, descriptions, lists, recipes, and more are cut off with ellipses, requiring the user to click through to another page to see the full piece of content. This clearly isn’t ideal, but a solution can be achieved: instead of writing in blobs, separate the content into smaller, organized chunks.Write (and Design) Content for Mobile First
Chunks and blobs may sound similar, but when it comes to laying out mobile content, they’re quite different. When writing your copy in chunks, the content is specifically designed for the amount of space that’s available on the different mobile screens. For instance, there would be one chunk of content for an iPad Mini, one for an Android device, and another for an iPhone 5. As the producer of the content, you’re forced to rank and prioritize the information by its overall relevance and importance in order to cut out what’s unnecessary and keep only the most important details. As you increase screen size, there’s more room to include interesting, but nonessential specifics. Think of it as a hierarchy: build your content from the single most important sentence in layers or chunks to the far less important pieces.
You never want completely unimportant information to exist within your content; however, when there’s more screen to work with, more possibilities and options can be included. Instead of having random blobs of content in all different shapes and sizes across different platforms, creating strategic messaging based on the mobile platform being used is a far more effective content marketing strategy. Mobile is the future and you can jump ahead of the curve by not only designing websites for mobile devices, but also by producing carefully designed content for them.
→ Brady Callahan, SEO Copywriter, AREA203 Digital; follow…@BradyDCallahan
P.S. – A special thanks to Jess Hutton for helping me out with this post!