By Christopher Altchek
In today’s “mobile first” world, creating content with a laser focus on distribution is more important than ever.
Content consumption patterns have evolved dramatically from just four years ago as smart phones per capita globally has grown from 4 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2013. With content consumption shifting to mobile devices at a rapid pace, businesses that are trying to reach their customers need to very clearly define the audience and its consumption habits.
For example, are you targeting college students who live on SnapChat and Instagram or are you targeting a CMO who goes from meeting to meeting, checking their email and Twitter feeds religiously? Knowing your core audience and understanding their behavior is crucial to building a mobile strategy.
In terms of behavior, you need to know when your audience is checking their devices and what kind of information they are looking for when they do. Once you understand your consumer’s behavior, you must then think about your distribution channels.
For example, at Policymic, our core audience consists of energetic 18-34 year-olds.
In December 2013 alone, we saw 51 percent of our 14 million unique visitors consuming our content from mobile devices (smart phones and tablets).
For us, we view the landscape in terms of three major channels: social networks, e-mail, and content apps. The key is to build a strategy around each, but prioritize them by opportunity. Here are some of the questions we ask when evaluating high impact channels.
- What is the most reliable channel to deliver the content? Social networks are the largest platforms where more and more consumers get their news on mobile. We make that channel a high priority by developing specific strategies.
- What content will maximize impact on each distribution channel? Through Big Data analytics research, we can discover formats that make content resonate for Facebook and Twitter mobile, for example.
- Can we invest in marketing or partnerships to increase our reach? Once you discover how to create and distribute content, investing in promotion through strategic partnerships and marketing channels can help a great deal. Wide distribution through a growing social presence, partnering with other pages, and understanding how content spreads on the network will be key.
Creating and distributing content that resonates with a target audience is essential. It’s also difficult. As you develop the right strategy for your organization, it’s important to think carefully about what you’re producing and to whom you’re trying to reach. Take steps to figure out when and how that audience consumes content before determining the best channel to reach them. Finally, make sure to use testing, data and analytics to improve your efforts in the future.