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The Value of a Good Content Strategy

“You don't get to decide which device, platform, or bandwidth people use,” said Karen McGrane, Bond Art + Science and author of Content Strategy for Mobile, at the ASAE Technology Conference this month. 

Of course this is one of those things that we all know, but we needed to be reminded again in the context of how we should be writing content for our users. 

Karen’s session, The Mobile Imperative, was packed with lots of statistics on mobile usage. Most interesting were the statistics that young adults, low-income residents, and minority users that access the Internet only through mobile devices, not from desktops and laptops.

Our challenge as association and nonprofit executives is to learn to write better and put the correct governance processes in place to ensure our information—our content—is usable and available 

Your digital content should be written for mobile. Period. When developing your content strategy you can create the processes to enable this whether you are redesigning or refreshing an existing site, launching a new site, or simply writing new content. 

First, you need to start thinking in chunks instead of blobs. This technical term is attributed to Kristina Halvorson who spoke at an earlier Tech Conference session. Your headlines should be written in 60-character lengths and, if necessary, 150-character lengths. Do not use truncation as a content strategy. Fun fact! The Guardian has a tumblr of truncated headlines.

Karen cited www.slate.com noting that a change to shorter headlines resulted in a 100% increase in click-through rates.

You also should start thinking of content ‘packages’ vs. content pages. Karen referenced www.npr.org’s Create Once, Publish Everywhere content strategy. NPR creates content with associated elements: headline, body text, audio file, long teaser, short teaser and multiple images.
This strategy enables NPR’s content to be consumed regardless of context or device. 

We are now at a place where we should no longer be asking, “why would anyone want to do that on mobile?” Instead, we should be asking what else can we enable users to do on mobile?