Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The way readers consume news has changed. Media companies must change the way they write and deliver content to address this new trend.
In 2010, the Financial Times had no mobile audience. Four years later, more than 60% of FT readers access its content via mobile devices. And, in a recent survey of U.S. consumers conducted by the Associated Press and the American Press Institute, 78% say they used their smartphones to get news during the past week.
Some people, especially those in the 18-34 age group, prefer mobile devices as their exclusive source for news content. These mobile-only audiences tend to fall into two camps:
- Busy on-the-go news readers who want something to look at while standing in line or sitting at a coffee shop.
- In-depth news readers who check their smartphones several times a day looking for new or engaging content to delve into.
Media companies around the world are discovering that mobile audiences consume news differently than desktop and print readers. Effective engagement with mobile readers requires a writing style that is appropriate for the smaller screens and larger distractions that characterize today’s in-motion lifestyle. So, with these hurried, harried, and often upperwardly mobile users in mind, here are some tips on writing news content for this cherished audience segment:
1. Provide maximum information with minimum words.
Make every word count. Cut out the fluff and get to the point. Use short, tight sentences, and remove every superfluous word.
2. Create attention-grabbing titles.
Keep your titles brief, relevant, and descriptive. Avoid jargon. And, aim for a length of 65-70 characters max to avoid truncation.
3. Focus on strong introductions and compelling summaries.
Mobile audiences have no time for introductions that dance around a topic. So, just get to it.
4. Use the medium to benefit your message.
Some mobile devices – especially newer smartphones and tablets – are optimized for images. Take advantage of these visual capabilities by using graphics and images to complement your writing.
5. Lists and links are the lifelines of an effective mobile story.
Mobile readers love lists. Ordered or unordered lists; it doesn’t matter. Lists are succinct and easy to read.
When it comes to daily news consumption, we’ve crossed a significant threshold. People now spend more media time each day with their mobile devices than with their desktops, laptops, or printed newspapers.
For the full article and all the juicy content we left out, click HERE!
Zachary T. Brown