"We're saying, define your worldview in this product-that might be a combination of things, like editorially-selected top news for chemicals, opinion stories, top news for Asia, the best of the blogs, and so on," Rosen says. "Whatever you can dream up in terms of a query, intermingle that alongside the data."
Understanding how users interact with their devices and mobile platforms is another challenge for content strategists, particularly as the field of competition opens up in the U.S., and companies are forced to think about a unified strategy that can work with multiple standards. "I doubt whether we will or not, in the long term, tolerate the ‘splinternet'-where everything is splintered off into device-centric areas," Salz says. "You have to ask yourself who your audience is. It doesn't make sense just to reach a small percentage of the audience."
DJIBanker offers a web-based portal that is optimized for mobile users, Rosen said. The site was designed to plug into company-specific news portals and FactSet to bring together content into
one compact dashboard designed to be displayed and consumed on a wide range of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.
"The real challenge is that you have to understand your user's consumption preferences and your own content strengths and limitations, and marry them appropriately," Rosen says. "The latest paradigm is: What's the best way to bring the best value to a particular client. What do I need to do given this device's particular strengths? You have to think-what are your clients trying to accomplish?"
Making Content That Fits Across Channels
People's consumption habits take on a very different tone when they're moved from stationary PCs to on-the-go devices of varying sizes, requiring content creators to think critically about what kinds of content make the most sense in mobile packages. "Take the importance of place-shifting products like Hulu or Sling Media," Salz says. "We've been there, done that in terms of just watching it anywhere, anytime. Now I'm talking across time, across TV, mobile, internet and all the other screens. It's about leveraging the screens. If you can leverage it, you can bring more quality and value to the content, with the convenience and flexibility of consuming it."
For content creators, that means strategizing from the perspective of the new mobile user. Custom Marketing Group (CMG), a digital publisher specializing in destination travel content, has created a multiple-channel mobile delivery strategy that requires the company to rethink how it creates content from the ground up. "Up to this point, our content hasn't changed much, nor has the delivery," says Courtney
Cox, CMG's new media and marketing manager. "Now, when we launch major digital campaigns, the content has to change to fit that. While you don't have print costs in the mobile space, it's
still important to use that space wisely, and present your content in a clean simple format."
For CMG, that meant branching out from straightforward text to incorporating videos and photos to make destinations more enticing, as well as adding applications created by Texterity, Inc. that incorporate live data about travel deals and specials via RSS feeds. The CMG destination travel app is offered for free alongside other digitized publications on Texterity's digital newsstand shelf at Coverleaf.
"We use Coverleaf's virtual newsstands to tap into thousands of online visitors looking to consume digital content," says Tom Garzilli, managing partner at CMG. "Destination marketers have a lot of content to get in front of consumers, but often struggle to find the right medium." Texterity's web-based applications deliver digital consumer, business, and niche publications in non-Flash, browser-based formats and iOS applications, designed to function across a variety of popular devices.
"The thing that keeps users coming back is the RSS feed," Cox says. "That's what changes multiple times a day, whereas the guides are updated frequently, but not as frequently as the content, and deals on the RSS feed. That's a reason to come back later that day or later that week. We're constantly putting out information because it's on a mobile phone."
To reshape content for delivery across multiple mobile formats, according to Salz, companies have to take into account the way each device engages its users differently. "You need to consider that you're going to have different devices and different hand-offs," Salz says. "You have to take a multi-platform approach that understands the relations between the content, what users view, and the devices they view it on."