Hear this: shoppers turn to mobile first, yet most marketers still construct their messages with a desktop first approach, and later port it to mobile.
It’s understandable. Mobile rapidly overtook desktop. Even industries normally slow to adopt new technology have joined in. It’s all happened so quickly that many business sites still haven’t fully implemented a mobile web strategy.
But whatever the status of your website, you can start adopting a mobile-first content strategy today. It’s really not difficult once you understand a few of the rules.
1. Write with sound bites.
Keep it short! A few long sentences in one paragraph may eat up three lines on a desktop screen. Compressed to a mobile screen, that becomes a big block of text that quickly tires readers’ eyes.
In the mobile-first world, there’s nothing wrong with one sentence paragraphs.
2. Get to the point.
News style “inverted pyramid” writing is ideal for the web.
Online audiences are impatient; there’s no better way to send them packing than to make them read deep to discover the point.
It’s not that they won’t read further, but they want to know that they’re in the right place before they invest time. If not, it’s very easy to hit the back button and leave.
3. Use bullet points.
If you have a list, use bullet points or numbers. Again, we’re talking about making life easier for the readers. This is one way to do that.
4. Add simple visual appeal.
Even if your content is all text, build in a little simple eye candy.
A graphic story header, varied font sizes for titles, or number icons (like those used here) can help create visual points of reference that make reading less stressful.
5. Don’t fear graphics.
“Meme”-style graphics, where inspirational or humorous words overlay an image, are a perfect fit for mobile.
They’re also easily shared via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
6. Build using a mobile view.
As you write copy at your desktop, adjusting your column width down will provide a sense of how things will look on mobile.
7. Review for desktop.
Content designed for mobile may look awkward when placed into a desktop site that was designed for a desktop-first approach.
It’s usually fairly simple to address this by adjusting the site template. And it is always easier to adjust mobile-first content to a desktop environment than the other way around.
8. Be relevant.
Back to basics: does the final product fit your brand and audience? From the specific wording to the general subject matter to the font choice(s), think it all through.
As you can see, the basics of a mobile-first content strategy are fairly straight-forward. Remembering to put the strategy into use is the hard part.