“Do whatever you can get get as much of your content mobile-friendly as fast as possible.” That advice comes from Damon Kiesow, senior product manager of The Boston Globe during an interview with The Poynter Institute.
Damon spoke to Poynter about mobile metrics and how newsrooms can create mobile-first strategies. The first and easiest step, particularly for small newsrooms, that Damon suggests is publishing text in a WordPress blog. He also recommends using his Mobile First hierarchy of needs chart to create mobile experiences:
- Make content accessible (i.e., “viewable”) on mobile devices.
- Make content work on mobile devices using responsive design or mobile sites.
- Make content useable on mobile devices by optimizing for touchscreens and device capabilities.
- Make content useful to specific mobile audiences and create mobile-only features.
- Make content mobile-native focusing on mobile as primary audience and mobile-centric consumer needs where content might not even work on a desktop.
Damon also shared his thoughts on mobile metrics. For subscription-based content, he suggests focusing on the following metrics:
- New users
- Page views
- Return users (loyalty)
- Conversion rate
- App downloads
When asked what the biggest mistake newsrooms are making related to mobile, Damon quickly responded, “Having [content] not work on mobile.” In other words, tweeted links need to take audiences to content they can view on their mobile devices, avoid flash videos that don’t work on many mobile devices, and so on. Whether you’re offering free content, samples of content behind a paywall, or subscription-based content, all of that content needs to work equally well on all devices.
You can view the full video below:
During his interview with Poynter, Damon explained that The Boston Globe expects the future of journalism to be mobile. Considering that in October 2012, 66% of tablet or smartphone owners got news on their mobile devices, and that number continues to grow, prioritizing mobile is a smart strategy. You can check out some more statistics about the growth in mobile usage, content consumption, and more in these recently published infographics:
- The Mobile Landscape in 2013 Infographic
- The State of Mobile Marketing in 2013 Infographic
- 9 out of 10 Lawyers Use Mobile Devices to Do Their Jobs Infographic
Is your content mobile-friendly? You can learn more about taking your content to the mobile audience, in Newstex’s free ebook, “The Publisher’s Guide to Mobile and Tablet Development.” Written by Barry Graubart, President of Content Matters LLC, the ebook is filled with information that explains the differences between native apps, the mobile web, and hybrid approaches as well as the reasons why a publisher would choose one over the other.
Remember, your mobile strategy should include all of the content you publish as well as content you share. Always put the user experience first and make sure they can easily access and interact with you and your content no matter what device they’re using.
Image: Kenny Louie