Content strategy for mobile

The only way we’re going to support future-friendly content management—a model that allows for flexible content reuse—is if we give content creators usable interfaces, workflows, and tools to make that happen

Today’s crummy, crippled mobile experiences are inadequate environments to evaluate what people really want to do on mobile.

What if your stakeholders and content owners had to physically move each piece of content to its new home? Would it merit the effort?

You are in the content publishing business. It is your mission to get your content out, on whichever platform, in whichever format your audience wants to consume it. Your users get to decide how, when, and where they want to read your content. It is your challenge and your responsibility to deliver a good experience to them

If there’s one thing we should have learned from the web, it’s that user behavior evolves more quickly than businesses realize. User expectations evolve and move forward, and only later do organizations hurry to catch up.

Mobile experts and airline app designers don’t get to decide what “actually matters.” What matters is what matters to the user. And that’s just as likely to be finding a piece of information as it is to be completing a task.

you should think about how best to encode your content with meaning, rather than just styling.

Businesses want to invest the least possible time and effort into mobile until they can demonstrate return on investment. Designers believe they can guess what subset of information or functionality users want. Everyone argues that they’re designing for the “mobile use case.”

Mobile sites that don’t provide information, don’t enable transactions, and don’t influence purchase decisions really aren’t very strategic

Creating structured content within a content model means making a leap: you’re writing content for the chunk and not for the page.

Content creators need to break free of imagining a single context where their content is going to “live” and instead plan for content reuse

Looking only at your competitors may not exactly inspire you to greatness. You’ll also want to go outside your competitive set to look at best-in-class examples of mobile websites and apps, regardless of industry.

But make no mistake: the content model is bigger than the CMS interface that supports it. The content model needs to reflect the needs and goals of the content authors who will create content (not to mention the people who will read the content).

There is no “how to write for mobile.” There’s only good writing. Period.

This is possible because NPR focuses on creating structured content independent of visual presentation. They permit and enable each delivery platform to make its own decisions about how to style the content, because formatting isn’t embedded in the content. They also create content for maximum flexibility, creating multiple sizes and versions for text, images, and audio formats. And, they make it possible for each platform to query the content to determine which content chunks to display.

When we say someone is on mobile, all we know is they’re using a device that is…not a desktop. We know very little about what they see and how they interact.

A lot of rhetoric about “marketing to the mobile context” can be summed up simply: don’t waste money on advertising if you don’t have a mobile website to back it up.

Don’t forget: mobile is new to most people. Even seasoned digital executives can feel like neophytes when asked to make decisions about this new medium. Other executives often feel “digital fatigue” at the pace of change in our space. Part of your role is to help them feel comfortable and confident making decisions—don’t make them feel like idiots who don’t get it.

Content strategy for mobile by Karen McGrane