Think big. Be different.

Why Mobile Will Change The Way You Think About Content Marketing

By Garrett Moon on January 30, 2013 in News.

Do you remember what happened inside your brain the first time you used your smartphone to do something amazing? Maybe you used it to find a new recipe while standing in the middle of your kitchen, or to do a price comparison at a big-box store. Whatever it was, there is a moment like this for all of us. Suddenly, we understand that mobile computing connects us to the content that we need at the very moment we need it.

Content Marketing For Mobile Devices

Content has gone mobile, but where is it going next?

That is why mobile should change the way you think about content marketing, but why stop there?

No one needs to tell you that mobile computing matters. One look around a doctors waiting room proves that people love their smartphones. In fact, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet Project, 25 percent of people use smartphones, not computers, for majority of their Web surfing.

[Quote "Users insist on consuming content on the device most convenient for them. A content strategy that limits access to a particular channel or device will simply alienate readers and send them to a competitor. –Karen McGrane"]

[See Content Strategy For Mobile]

There When You Need It

Have you ever wondered how to make the perfect mojito? I have, and I used my smart phone to do it. Not only that, but I watched a video on the subject while standing at the cutting board in my kitchen.

So much of the time when we create our content, we imagine our reader sitting in front of the desktop PC casually scrolling through pages and pages of our blog. Content marketing is usually considered an activity made for the web, but the truth is that content marketing isn’t made for anywhere – it is made for everywhere.

Mobile content marketing gives us the opportunity to connect with our audience at the moment and time when they need us most. Would I have ever searched for a mojito recipe on my computer? Perhaps, but it was a heck of a lot more useful when I was standing next to a glass of ice and a bag of limes.

Content marketing is about making connections with users on their playing field rather than ours and providing them with something of value. With that in mind, this whole mobile thing couldn’t work out better for us as content marketers. The opportunity to earn that trust is actually better than ever, because now we have the means and motivation to go where our readers go.

I think the big problem with mobile is that we are still used to creating content for a singular purpose. We are either writing a blog post or a newspaper article, but we are rarely doing both at the same time. Content is typically characterized by a single outcome, but not anymore.

Mobile is the catalyst for us to think differently about our content. The content that shows up on the web should show up on mobile. The content that we create for the web should be able to transform itself to print. The printed work that we complete offline should carry back over to digital. It sounds complicated, I know, but it really is quite simple. In order for our content to be ready for the future, to be ready for mobile, it has to break out of the cycle of where it is now.

Think for a moment about your local newspaper. How many pages of content has it created in the last year? The last five years? The last 10? The amount of content is simply unbelievable. But where is all of that great content? At best, it is in a file box in the basement of the local library. Tons of content that no one can get to. What if they would have made it digital from the start? Technically, it would have been possible. Once more, what if it was in a format that would have allowed that content to live in a web browser, on a mobile phone, or printed on e-paper. What if we created our content to go anywhere rather than just somewhere?

Tools Will Be Needed

The obvious limitation right now is our tools. Most tools are singular. Blog software for blogging. Ebook software for ebooks. And, layout software for publishing. We will need to find ways to bring them all together, but that doesn’t mean that we should be waiting for them. There are things that we can do now.

Making Our Content Mobile

Mobile is only the beginning. How we consume, share, and distribute content is changing. If we are smart content marketers, we will learn to adapt. But, hopefully we do more than that. Hopefully, we can also evolve as a species. When you write your next blog post, imaging someone reading it on a mobile device in the bathroom (admit it), or listening to it read to them while they drive their car.

Or maybe, they  are reading it from the middle of their kitchen.

But don’t stop there. Mobile is new for now, but it will be old again someday. What’s next? How can your content transcend the device and day. How can your content live forever? Let mobile be your first step, but don’t let it be your last.