The Evolution of Content in an Ever-Growing Mobile World

content, content is king

Originally coined by Bill Gates in 1996, “content is king” has served as the catchphrase of choice for many digital marketers over the years. And as the need for “on the go” mobility has increased and widespread smartphone usage has essentially become the norm for hundreds of millions of people around the world, the role of content in this more mobile-focused world is rapidly changing as well. In many ways, it’s causing marketers to question and redefine how they approach content development altogether.

Still, however, there’s no doubt that content is “king” — even more so in today’s information-hungry and media-saturated culture. And given that people are now accessing and engaging with content more regularly on smaller screens than ever before, it’s clear that marketers need to be increasingly mindful of the technological context in which their content lives. Why? Because understanding how people view and consume content will ultimately influence how marketers develop and distribute it.

According to a survey by Flurry, mobile-heavy users now spend just 10 percent of their time on browsers and the other 90 percent of their time on apps – with 51 percent of that time spent on social media or messaging apps alone. These numbers are not only indicative of trending consumer behaviors vis-à-vis their mobile devices, but equally about where brands should ultimately focus their attention to tap into highly engaged, “always on” audiences.

This goes to show how brands – especially national brands with a distinctly local footprint – need to become more proficient at optimizing their content in the face of growing and evolving mobile trends. By placing a greater emphasis on quick, snackable, short-form content on both their mobile websites and mobile apps, their target consumers will readily have access to the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

Targeting Local Users with Local Content

Established national brands tend to have an easier time getting prominent placement in traditional search engine results, due in part to more flexible marketing budgets and an ability to more broadly target audiences at scale. However, when it comes to reaching audiences at a local level and converting them into loyal customers, marketers need to think about the kind of “surround sound” information that could help sway a potential local consumer to move more swiftly through the purchase funnel.

According to a study commissioned by YP℠ in collaboration with IDC, there are a few important links between local search and consumer views on content:

  • 55 percent of respondents surveyed believe it’s important to view content related related to their search queries
  • 54 percent of respondents surveyed say they never buy products or services without doing any sort of price comparison
  • 49 percent of respondents surveyed will only buy products and services after checking online reviews
  • A whopping 78 percent of respondents surveyed prefer to view images side-by-side with their search queries

Given these results, it’s clear that marketers need to be highly aware of what their target or potential customers want, need, and expect to see via their mobile devices. While it may not be the more traditional long-form content that’s regularly consumed via the desktop browsing experience, it’s content that’s no less – and likely even more – important because it can be the make or break bit of information that enables a consumer to make an immediate purchase decision.

What this all comes down to is not really questioning whether the notion of “content is king” is still relevant today or not, but rather recognizing that the staggering increase of mobile web and mobile app usage is challenging marketers to think about their content marketing strategies in more thoughtful, context-relevant ways. By doing so, brands will be in a better position to make the most of their mobile presence by more effectively closing the gap between an initial search query and a final purchase.

To learn more about how your brand can target, reach, and engage local audiences, check out YP Marketing Solutions today.

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