iOS6. The iPhone 5. Windows 8.
We’re fighting to keep pace with the latest and greatest technology. Upgrade to a new operating systems or the latest smart-phone model and be prepared to upgrade all of your supporting technology too. You know how that goes…
On the business-front, the stakes are higher. Each new piece of “mission critical” technology creates wrinkles in an already complex tapestry of hardware, software and personnel.
Mobile is one of those innovations. Tablets, smart-phones and social media – these platforms have created a world of 24/7 connectivity. New browsing habits. New expectations for performance.
And if you haven’t noticed already, papa’s got a brand new bag!
Verge Pipe Media launched a redesigned version of our website today, taking advantage of mobile browsing habits and better serving the needs of our users and our business. As with any client, we learned a few lessons along the way…
Preparing your Strategy
When you consider investing in mobile technology, there are few things you need to keep in mind when you begin developing and designing content. Forget about your personal preferences. Forget about what’s “trendy”. And don’t bother if you just want something cheap and easy. SPOILER ALERT!: it won’t be good.
Pick two: cheap, easy or good.
Reconcile that decision with what you are asking your internal and/or third party providers to do - and then address a few key questions:
- Who is going to be using your mobile website or application?
- How will they find it?
- What will they be looking for when they arrive?
- What are your ideal outcomes?
Your mobile content strategy should serve your answers - these are your objectives.
A few case studies to illustrate the point: if you are a retailer, your efforts should be focused on a seamless e-commerce portal and online customer service platform. If you are a residential builder, get your work front-and-center and then make it stupid easy (heck, even fun) for people to reach out for a quote. If you are a photographer, nail beautiful transmedia displays. If you are a B2B service provider, then aesthetics may not be nearly as important as a rock star lead generation system.
If you serve multiple needs – many different “types” of users - then consider multiple platforms and multiple strategies to suit each one. Mobile is ubiquitous but it is not a one-size-fits-all medium.
Rich-media is an easy way to make the user experience pleasurable – high-resolution photos, videos and stellar design catch the eye better than text. New methods of streaming video adjust to your phone’s connection. Wi-fi is readily available. Content is being served harder, better, faster stronger.
There are a lot of options.
Our advice: don’t bother with rich media content if you aren’t going to invest in making it good. As displays become sharper and people are exposed to more and more online content, slick design and HD photos / video are expected. Clumsy attempts create an eyesore – an instant turn-off for those that know better, and confusion for those who do not.
Whatever you do, as Micah mentioned, make sure you capture people’s attention right off the bat. Use compelling content to lead users to the heart of the experience.
Optimization should also be a major concern. And this is where different mobile strategies will differentiate from one another.
If you are building a mobile-optimized website, text remains one of your most fundamentally important elements for site performance. Text is how you get found. Search engines are evolving but they are still heavily dependent on text, titles, page descriptions, keywords and the like. You can attach meta-tags to photo and video, but these tags will only take you so far.
Outside of SEO work, maintain a blog, make sure your homepage includes critical keywords and keep social functions / sharing front-and-center.
Now, if you are considering a native mobile application, text is less critical. Keyword-optimized copy will still be a factor in write-ups for the iTunes Store and Google Play – but the in-app experience is all about user interaction.
When presenting your content in a mobile app, take advantage of mobile browsing habits: think “swipe”, “pinch”, “tap” and keep choices limited to 3-4 per screen. Also be cognizant of hogging memory and how your app will impact battery life.
That’s it for now. Verge Pipe Media will be tackling more mobile-related topics in the coming weeks – so send us your questions!
For those of you in the hunt for an Apple TV, grab a pen....
APPLE TV GIVEAWAY CLUE #1: SEARCH "_____ _____ _____ ______"
What's this?! Verge Pipe Media is giving away daily prizes and an Apple TV in celebration of our launch. Collect a clue-a-day and unlock the key to that Apple TV. Check out the details, over here!
Author: Meredith Singer is Head of Ops & Co-Creative at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.