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mobile content

Top tips on writing engaging mobile content

By | Content, Content Marketing

Today’s constantly-connected consumers crave content that’s simple to digest and can be accessed from anywhere, and from any device. Hence why mobile is booming.

Rather than me try to put forward a convincing argument, I’ll let the figures speak for themselves. The latest IAB and PwC Digital Adspend report, which we contribute to each year, unveiled that half of UK internet time is now spent on smartphones. This has caused mobile’s share of digital ad spend to rocket from 35% to 43% in just one year, or £2.37bn.

Mobile’s growth means that it now accounts for 57% of all display ad spend and a whopping 77% of all content and native ad spend.

If you’re yet to optimise your content for the small screen, you’re already missing out on an unprecedented opportunity to win over your target audience.

So, if you want to perfect your penmanship skills and fine-tune your mobile copy, here are some top tips for writing compelling content to engage your readers:

mobile content

Short ‘n’ snappy

Did you know that humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish? Which, coincidentally, has been blamed on our use of digital devices. Mobile readers don’t want the arduous task of scrolling through lengthy paragraphs – they’ll switch off in seconds. So, break up the text into short, digestible chunks whenever there’s a natural break. Just remember the golden rule: say what needs to be said, using as few words as possible.

Hook ‘em with headlines and subheads

Continuing the short-and-sweet theme, your headlines need to be to the point, pack a punch, and have a pinch of mystery to them that’ll encourage readers to click through. I know, it’s a lot to ask. The best piece of advice I can give is to think like you’re tweeting (even though you’re not). You want your headlines to be worthy of a re-tweet – scan the social site when you next have five minutes for some inspiration.

Now you’ve got your readers’ interest, you need to keep hold of it with equally engaging subheads. The most effective ones guide readers through the article; they’re snappy, yet provide new and insightful information. Tie-in your subheads with the title, make the font bold and you’ve got yourself a seriously scannable piece of content.

mobile content

Frontload fantastic copy

In the same way, a film trailer entices us to watch the full-length flick, the first few sentences of your article are absolutely crucial for drawing readers in. And so, it must be your very best, attention-grabbing writing. You need to tee-up your article in an original and exciting way. Potential readers will be asking, ‘How will this article benefit me?’ and it’s your job to answer them.

Break it up with bullet points and visuals

Subheads make for scannable content, but you can break up the text even further with bullet points and images. Bullet points, for their part, allow you to convey the article’s key messages in a more digestible manner. They can be used to summarise the content, explain product features and/or benefits, or as a checklist in an advice piece.

Readers can’t get enough of visual content. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember 10% of it three days later. But add a relevant picture and they’ll remember 65% of that information. And, get this: articles with an image every 75-100 words receive double the social media shares as articles with fewer images.

mobile content

As consumers are so stimulated by visual content, you should strive to embed engaging, relevant images and videos within your articles whenever possible.

Writing marvellous mobile copy doesn’t mean writing fewer words. Instead, it’s about making every single word on that digital page count. It’s about formatting articles in an eye-catching way, whilst communicating original ideas that’ll resonate with your audience long after they’ve closed the page.


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Native – copywriters, hacks, content creators in ad spend battle

By | Content Marketing, Native advertising

The subject of good and bad writing, or rather, good and bad content, is very much centre stage in the speculation on the heady surge in native advertising’s popularity. The issue in question is who holds the moral high ground in the claim to be the best producers of ‘sponsored content’, as some of our more delicate publishers like to call it.

Before we start the contest, let’s just remind ourselves of the rules of the native advertising game. Instead of glaring banner displays, which research tells us the punters have learned to tune out; and dramatic and expensive photography which is then amortised across a broad spectrum of titles, we actually produce our native content tailored specifically to that one outlet, whether it’s print, broadcast or online. The logic for this being that, if that punter went to the magazine/site/channel in the first place then the chances are he/she went for the content rather than the ad; give them more great ‘content’ and they should be very happy. If some of that content is branded in a useful, relevant and not too distracting manner, then that’s OK too.

The proof as ever is in the stats. Research to date indicates that those punters spend as much time looking at the sponsored content as they do the editorial content and tend to associate the values of the advertiser with the values of the publisher. Thus a major oil company sponsoring/branding articles in an environmental mag, about the work they are doing on coastal wildlife protection, starts to develop a nice rosy glow, in branding terms.

So, that’s the name of the game; back to the battle of the word smiths for the prize of preferred creator.

In the blue corner we have the copywriters; those traditional mongers of advertising words and ideas. Usually good for a headline and some lyrical copy that can raise the life enhancing characteristics of dishwasher tablets to near ecstasy.

In the red corner we have the journalists and the editorial zealots. Their claim to the crown is that they represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Never will their values be desecrated at the altar of murky commercial values, nor their words driven by a bag of coin. Of course, after Watergate and its offspring we all believed them implicitly; well, that is until the affectionate label of ‘hack’ started to take on a whole new meaning.

In the, well let’s call it the purple corner, we have the youngest contenders; the content creators, children of the new digital world who are of, and can speak for, generations x, y and z. Their masters are not the pie sellers nor the evangelical truth slaves; no, the content creators have been raised and nurtured under the all seeing eye of the search-engine algorithm; they can certainly lead the virtual consumer horse to water but can they make it drink?

So, which do we trust most with the future of native advertising? Let battle commence!