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Why Mobile First Means Content First: The Latest Industry Dilemma

Why Mobile First Means Content First: The Latest Industry Dilemma

The ever-changing spectrum of digital marketing provides practitioners with constant challenges and the need to regularly re-think their strategies, in order to create and maximise exposure of high quality content.

One of the greatest challenges posed to marketers is that of mobile content. More and more of us are using our mobile devices and apps to access articles, social media and video content than ever before.

Mobile content matters

Last year £7.2 billion was spent on digital advertising; 22% of which (£509 million) was related to content. In terms of mobile advertising, 46% of spend went towards content, showing the increasing importance of well-targeted content across a range of platforms. 

The number of pages viewed per session on mobile devices is now firmly closing the gap on desktop. These figures are largely influenced by iOS devices which rule the roost and understandably have a large proportion of attributable page views. However practical accessing content on a mobile device may be, there are also considerable disadvantages to it as a platform when compared to desktop computers. 

There are several problems that go with creating content for mobile - including frustrations about the amount of time it can take for a page to load, as well as the space taken up onscreen by traditional navigation tools and adverts. Pictures – the central eye-catcher for many pieces of content – can take extra time to appear on a device which may drive users away from the page before it has loaded.

Lack of brand loyalty can also be a pitfall with mobile content, as readers sometimes have no idea who created content they have read, viewed or listened to. It is important to strike a balance between including the necessary hyperlinks back to a brand’s website without spoiling the readability of a piece of content by over-linking it. This presents a particular problem with mobile, because moving from one page to another on a mobile web browser is less straightforward, and marketers need to find a way to present links in the most user-friendly way which also drives traffic back to the brand itself. 

Video is also a growing area of mobile content, and this is also more straightforward on computers compared with mobile devices because of data issues, size of screen, and the high levels of streaming required. 

Not just a pit stop

To overcome these problems, content needs to become an overall destination and not just a “pit stop” for visitors. It is also important to tailor content for online channels and its users, rather than merely duplicating it. For example, content needs to be shorter and snappier for mobile devices because of accessibility and speed.

The challenge for marketers of producing high quality content that is tailored for each individual platform, including mobile, is becoming increasingly complex. Aside from the feasibility issues of placing similar content across different devices, brands are having to consider more and more the changing desires and expectations of its consumers – and how they are going to keep them interested and on the page for a sustained period of time.

This conversation formed part of Outbrain's 'Content Conversations Forum' about mobile content last month. The event was chaired by IAB UK head of mobile Alex Kozloff, and panellists included deputy group director of Digital at OK, New and Star magazines Jonathan Bown, STA Travel’s digital strategy manager Nichol Callaghan and chief commercial officer at SOMO Thomas Schulz.

Eirini Pan

Eirini Pan

Eirini Pan is Marketing Manager at Outbrain's European team, and manages Marketing, Communications and Design activities across the UK, France, DACH, Italy & Spain. Eirini also manages Outbrain's Social Media strategy globally.


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