Winning the Communication Media Lottery

The technology website visitors use to access marketing messages is constantly changing with the addition of devices like smartphones and tablets, smaller laptops, networked televisions and giant dual-monitor displays. Content developers no longer inherently know which format their end users will be viewing, and it can be tricky to make sure nobody gets left out in the cold – technologically speaking.

Accessibility across Platforms

We’ve all probably visited a webpage or two (or hundreds) on a smartphone, tablet or other device. And it never fails that there is always that one site during an average day of viewing that makes it impossible to navigate due to tiny or unresponsive buttons, content spread over too many pages or other common irritations that wouldn’t be a problem if the page was viewed on a regular computer screen. If the annoyance is great enough, we give up and leave the page altogether – and it doesn’t take much to get us to abandon that ship and hop on the next one. No matter how interesting or relevant the message, if it’s formatted so that it’s too difficult to read or time consuming to get to, you’ve lost them.

Recent estimates show between 10-25% of all Internet usage takes place on mobile devices, and this number is sure to continue increasing in the future. These users certainly can’t be ignored. Responsive website design that automatically scales itself for optimal viewing on any size screen is one no-brainer method of making sure your message remains accessible across platforms without having to build multiple versions of the site.

How to Communicate

It’s important to take into account how your target audience will be viewing information and craft everything accordingly. For example, those who use texting as a primary means of communication will probably prefer short, to the point, bite-size servings of text that can be viewed with minimal clicking around. The shorter the attention span of the reader, the shorter the message needs to be.

In addition, users are often switching back and forth between computers, mobile devices and televisions – or just using them simultaneously. Focusing on only one delivery medium isn’t good enough anymore. An effective marketing message should “play” along the whole spectrum of communication media.

Many companies use social media to engage new users, often offering contests, deals or incentives for those who “like” or share their pages. Maintaining a two-way conversation on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is key when engaging users. Rather than blasting sales pitch after sales pitch into the Great Beyond, try to get readers involved by asking questions and soliciting commentary instead.

Where to Go from Here

Content creation training is important when reaching out to all users, regardless of their choice of communication tool. It can be difficult to strike the right balance between professionalism and stuffiness, a casual vibe and overfamiliarity, playful snark and downright rudeness. Whoever will be serving as the voice for your organization needs to know what type of message best serves your needs, what tone is desired and how to effectively communicate in a way that engages readers. A good content marketer should be able to recognize what news, events and activities would be of interest to users, and craft a message to communicate them in a timely, relevant manner.