By Matthew Lee
For media, one of the most paramount disruptors in the past 10 years has been the shift toward consuming news through modern platforms. At the turn of the century the threat of mobile technology came in to scope, and the introduction of smart phones in 2007 started a mass shift from desktop consumption to mobile consumption.
When it comes to modern readers of the news, there is almost a 50/50 split between desktop consumers and mobile consumers. However, according to research by the University of Canberra, most people below the age of 44 consume news through mobile platforms, while most people above that age use desktop computers.
This implies that over the next decade there will likely be an increase in the average consumer using a mobile device to read the news.
This simplest takeaway is that every piece of content that goes online must be mobile friendly, especially newsletters and websites. Readers will become quickly frustrated with poor functionality and inefficient use of screen space when trying to consume news. It’s a fast-paced world and readers are constantly on the move; the reality is that if it’s not easy to read they won’t read it.
The best thing you can do for your company, regarding optimising content for mobile consumption, is build a good relationship with an information technology support company. Through your due diligence, establish whether the company has strong networking and website maintenance capabilities and provides mobile support.
Try and touch base with your IT team weekly to develop familiarity, in time they should be comfortable assisting you with getting all your online content in a mobile friendly format.
Remember that any content you produce will be compacted when displayed on a mobile device, which will make it more intimidating for a reader to commit to reading. Shorter paragraphs are better and don’t delay in getting to the point.
In fact, the key message of any news article should be delivered in the first paragraph. If it takes more than 10 seconds for your reader to figure out what they’re getting out of reading the article, something more interesting will likely distract them.
As much as the world of media is changing, it is offering as many opportunities as it is taking away. Embracing technology and the shift in consumer demand is the only way to survive the future. Resistance is futile.