Mobile Content Marketing Means New Opportunities and Challenges

Article ImageIf you work in the digital content business there are probably a few terms that are constantly coming up in your world. Among them are "content marketing" and "mobile." But what happens when those terms collide, and you have to start thinking about mobile content marketing? If you haven't already started pondering how to fit this into your content strategy, it's time to start.

"With today's shift to all-things mobile, marketers would miss out if they declined to embrace mobile content marketing strategies," says Marla Schimke, VP of marketing at Zumobi. "What marketers need to know and understand is that the mobile screen is not only different in size from that of the desktop, but it requires a completely different marketing strategy. Recent studies have shown that consumers are more open and interested in receiving customized communications from favorite brands on their mobile devices. Marketers should take advantage of innovative mobile content marketing platforms that can help deliver fresh, engaging, and personalized content marketing on the small screen to activate and convert their users."

While there are plenty of benefits and opportunities provided by mobile content, there are also challenges. "Mobile isn't defined by the size of the screen, it's the unique context and our heightened emotional engagement with our device that is the key differentiator," says David Skerrett, managing partner at Nimbletank and a contributor for Econsultancy. "People consuming content via mobile want what they want, when they want it and they want it now! They are impatient, and because mobile is the most personal device, if a brand doesn't meet expectations then negative feedback and simple ignoring or skipping the content is very likely."

So how do you keep your new mobile audience happy? "The content needs to load almost instantly and be relevant," says Skerrett. "Media snacking and stacking is a key trend. So consumers are increasingly consuming the content that is recommended to them or is interesting to them during TV ad breaks." This is great news for marketers, who can offer a truly multiplatform experience. Like what you see on brand X's commercial? Visit our app for more information!

However, mobile content marketing presents a few challenges. For instance, Schimke points out that Nielsen recently found that 89% of consumer media time is spent in apps. She says, "Many brands have amazing content-be it an Instagram feed, blog or a YouTube channel-but in order for consumers to access it, they must hop from one app or mobile website to another. Consumers want all their content in one place for easy access, anytime and anywhere." When your customers are bouncing around from one app to the next it can be hard to find them, and get them the right information-which is why you need to make your own app a destination for your customers. And you can do that with great content.

For instance, Zumobi recently helped Target create a shoppable content marketing experience within its app. Now users are presented with videos, blog posts and more about topics like home decorating or which coffee maker is right for different kinds of coffee drinkers. People can then click on the content to buy the items they are interested in.

Apps have other benefits when it comes to content marketing. "Web based is likely HTML5 and search discovery (and therefore optimization) is more important. Whereas in-app content can be richer, and is likely to have location opportunities, along with greater opportunities to access sensors and get ‘closer to the metal,'" says Skerrett. "So for example a car manufacturer could leverage 3D, or a sports brand could use the gyroscope of the phone to turn an image (as Facebook is exploring) and make the whole thing more immersive and interactive."

Skerrett hits on an important point. Part of the appeal of mobile content marketing is the appeal of using the tools that are unique to mobile technology. He says that Nike uses the gyroscope on smartphones "to slow a video down to help you learn a skateboarding trick, so you tilt the phone forward to go super slow-mo."  

One of the basic tenants of content marketing is to understand the platforms you are dealing with and to behave like a native, and that is no different with mobile. When you start thinking about incorporating it into your content marketing strategy, remember to use its unique features to your advantage.  

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)