Ryan Golden is CEO of Moasis, a geo-centric content delivery company.
Expanding device choices, coupled with lower cost-of-entry points are pulling more consumers into the mobile market. This is exacerbating the next big challenge in mobile: attention span and access.
Access to content is now available everywhere and anywhere. The wide variety of mobile devices and screen sizes provide more opportunities for consumers to digest content outside of their homes.
Publishers need to rethink how they look at the term “connected” and realize that for consumers, it is no longer just about having access to the mobile Web. Publishers who are already looking at ways to connect their content and ads to consumers on the go are positioning themselves favorably. They know content and ads that are connected to consumers from a local perspective draw stronger engagement. By pairing more local content or headlines with local ads that can adjust while the consumer moves around an area, publishers can close the mobile gap.
Let’s face it: humans’ attention span is on the decline. This “tell me now” effect stems, in part, from Twitter and other similar platforms. Consumers are digesting content in small bits that tell only part of the story — presumably, the most important part. There are aggregators of these bits where consumers can select what they want to scan and digest, putting mobile consumers in charge of when and where they interact with content.
The “tell me now” effect is all about simply scanning content and ads, in effect creating a new set of challenges for publishers and advertisers alike, and stronger headlines and calls to action are becoming paramount. It’s not enough to have the consumer know that Michael Phelps won another gold medal; the publisher wants consumers to engage with the full article. And the same goes for the advertisers — consumer engagement is where the money is, after all.
As more and more consumers are becoming hyper-connected and hyperlocal, the shift to “tell me now” becomes heightened. Publishers can capitalize on this through location-specific publishing and location-specific ads. It’s location that supports drawing consumers’ attention because it is relevant to where they are right now.
The challenges associated with mobile have many publishing companies facing a financial cliff. Consumers who have already stepped away from printed content are now spending less time reading from a desktop. Access to information anywhere on the mobile Web is changing consumer behavior. Whereas consumers might have gone to a particular publication for information from a desktop, today’s consumer is more apt to go anywhere for information — as long as it is quick. Consumers want quick snapshots of news and will then decide what to engage with, with less regard for where it comes from.
Publishers should focus on mobile consumers and the way they digest content, understanding that consumers are viewing and acting upon content at all hours of the day and night. The trick for publishers and advertisers is to focus on relevant content and targeted ads that are associated with the consumer’s location at any given moment.
Consumers, too, are hyperactive. The ability to target consumers where they are — and knowing when they are there — is growing more critical. The ability to adjust content to meet the needs of the changing mobile consumer is equally important.