Mobile phones have effectively replaced computers for people who do not need to work with complex software requiring great computing power. Browsing the internet, watching movies and listening to music is now done with a mobile phone. And since we first mentioned browsing the internet, this activity includes many other end purposes: using the social media, writing emails and shopping.
But before people are persuaded to tap on the Add to Cart button, there is a lot of persuasive work to be done by marketers and business owners. There are not many differences between mobile marketing and digital marketing from the point of view of planning a content strategy, ad campaigns and promotional offers.
What is truly different is how you put all these into wording – how you adapt your writing skills to the medium used by people to read your content. You can surely observe how different a block of text looks on a large 21-inch computer monitor, and how it looks on a 4.5-inch mobile screen. Even though the general tendency is towards large screen smartphones (5.5 to 6 inches and larger) there is definitely less space on this type of screen than on any laptop or PC computer screen.
Therefore, you must rethink your entire style of writing copy for mobile websites and apps. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Forget About the F-Shaped Reading Pattern
It must be your mantra by now: format the copy for the F-shaped reading pattern. Well, it is time to forget about this rule. Eye-tracking studies have shown that people typically look at the centre (68%) and upper two thirds (83%) areas of the mobile phone screen.
Thus, the entire philosophy of text formatting must change. The key elements – titles, photos, keywords – should be arranged to fit in the hot spots of the screen. Thus, they will attract the viewers’ attention to a higher extent than text formatted for the web.
- Mobile Phone Users Like to Scroll Down
Another rule for web copywriting which you should put aside is that concerning placing the key messages above the fold. The concept of the fold disappears in the case of reading on the mobile phone. As phones progress in size from as small as 3.5-inch screens, people have got used to using their thumb to scroll down on websites and social media apps.
Therefore, you should organise your copy so that it contains useful and interesting information throughout the text, giving your readers reasons to keep reading, screen by screen.
- Use Short, Simple and Straightforward Words
Mobile websites and apps are not exactly the ideal medium to share philosophical essays. People are waiting for the cab, or they need to get off the tube at the next stop so they only give your text a fraction of attention. Whatever you have to say to them, say it directly and in simple and short words. The thesaurus of synonyms will become your best friend while you are working on your mobile-friendly writing style.
- Purge Your Copy from Any Unnecessary Words
You may have mastered the art of picking short words in favour of longer ones, but the temptation to add an adjective or adverb here or there does not want to go away so easily. It is natural to use these types of qualifiers to describe products and services and create emotions. But your writing needs to win the race with the countdown.
No one will miss a bus or a train to read your beautifully crafted copy. No one will skip lunch or be late for a business meeting to enjoy the endless scrolling needed to finish reading your article. They will deactivate the phone screen and focus on whatever they need to do, forgetting about your copy.
- Two Words: Links and Lists
Whenever you can split your texts into several app screens or mobile site pages, do it. Give people hints of what they can discover there and add a link to the rest of the content. Alternatively, make lists. As many as you can – bulleted, numbered, it does not matter. The visual format of a list with a few compelling words per item is ideal for mobile reading. People can easily get the gist of the information you want to share and will take action at the end of the copy.