How to write for a mobile audience

Global traffic on smartphones is predicted to increase 18-fold by 2016. Want to stay ahead of the game? Learn how to write for the small(est) screen. (Hint: Don’t use a marker.)

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Meanwhile, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that global traffic on mobile devices will increase 18-fold by 2016, while connection speeds will increase nine-fold in that time. Smartphone use tripled in 2011, and the average smartphone in 2016 is expected to generate 2.6GB of data per month.

All this points to one simple fact for marketing copywriters: Knowing how to write for mobile could keep you gainfully employed in coming years.

The differences, while often subtle, are important to understand for those who write marketing copy.

Write with a sense of immediacy

Think about the experience of using a mobile device. Typically, you’re killing time. Maybe you’re waiting for your name to be called at the doctor’s office or packed into a train for your daily commute. On top of that, whatever you’re looking at competes with email and text messages, as Words With Friends or Draw Something requests constantly pop up.

More than ever, you have to write with the understanding that you have competition. This means you’ll need to be more clever, wittier, and relevant while keeping it concise. Forget paragraphs. This goes for your Facebook posts as well.

Don’t bury the lead

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