Moving into Mobile: Should you go there?
Should your organization be moving into mobile? This session will help guide members through the what-to-knows, best practices, and 101′s as they develop a strategic plan for audience expansion, content delivery, citizen engagement and revenue generation through mobile. Moderator: Noel Rabinowitz, ColorLines
- Jed Albert: Mobile Commons
- Prabhas Pokharel: Mobile Active
- Noah Kunin: Sunlight Foundation
- Kate Rados: Chelsea Green Publishing
Noah Kunin, Sunlight Foundation
Noah reviewed several mobile platforms from leading news organizations and discussed the “dos and don’ts” of each. Below are some top line recommendations for a first time venture into the mobile sphere.
- Yes you should move into mobile.
- What is your vision for a mobile site or application? Don’t clone yourself! There’s no reason why you should be replicating you in your mobile space. Think of new or added value and engagement strategies that a mobile experiment could provide.
- Uses the example of the difference between accessing news sites on their site via your mobile phone vs. using their app. Do not make an application just to serve as a platform for their site.
- Structure the information you’re presenting your audience by using a different platform. Actually change the way that your audience engages with your content.
Jed Albert, Mobile Commons
Mobile web is more of a strategy for content delivery than applications. People will generally download an app, use it briefly and then never use it again. Mobile Now, Mobile Commons’ publishing tool, integrates with all of your media, live events, press, and print. Below are some uses and benefits of a multi-pronged mobile strategy:
- Get people to act, via text. When they are engaged, people move to action. With their action then you are also building profile data that people are actively giving you.
- Mobile should integrate with every kind of social media. If you have a call to action that’s text driven, then there usually is a 325% rate of response. If someone got a text then supporters were 77% more likely to donate. Using mobile as a resource to reach out and get information.
- Do not think of mobile as a separate item. It makes things more accessible and also measures your existing media.
Prabhas Pokharel, Mobile Active
Mobile Active pairs social change actors with mobile technology. They have a Mobile Media Toolkit coming soon.
Mobile is different for different people. Think about what your audience is doing on their mobile phones. Some interesting SMS text applications can send out SMS alerts or to directly soliciting commentary.
Mobile web – the numbers on mobile web are around 30% of people in US are using it. Which is not as big as might strike you, but is growing, and that by 2013, mobile will be the primary web access.
One of the best mobile web sites is Facebook, there are 3 versions of the site: Facebook for low end or mid range phones who don’t have a rich experience, and then there’s TouchFacebook that allows for iPhone. When moving into mobile that there are different levels of accessibility for people, and you want to make sure that as many people as possible as able to access your mobile site. Make sure to contemplate the diverse communities you’re trying to access.
Kate Rados, Chelsea Green
There’s a lot of talk about creating apps, enhanced eBooks, or ‘transmedia’, on mobile devices. But what’s got me up at night is not how we can create new versions of our content or how we can develop the next new shiny thing. My insomnia is caused by a distinct lack of discoverability.
How do we expect the reader to access your content in a transmedia environment? Once you move into mobile, you must have a marketing strategy, must determine if your audience even wants this and how, otherwise the product just goes into the void.
We sometimes forget about some essential questions that need answering before promoting our next mobile product:
- What’s the strategy behind bringing your new product to your community? Is it supplemental to the print project? Can you leverage the print publicity to boost your digital version? How is your website a part of your promotion?
- How are you going to measure your success? Is it breaking even? Is it in the number of downloads? Is it in the amount of ‘buzz’ your product has created?
- And the hardest question, which actually should be asked before you even begin creating your product….Is your audience even there?! Do they want it?! Or are we putting it out there because we can? There’s a danger of ‘me too’ publishing, even in the mobile space.
If you’re going to put all this effort and money into putting your content on all of these devices, you need to create an aggressive, long term marketing plan to let your reader discover their next read. If we do it for print, we must do it for mobile.
How much does it cost to develop an app? Developing an iPhone App can cost anywhere from $100K – 15K. If you’re not going to make it for every platform, make it for the dumbest platform and you can do it cheaper for a few thousand dollars. =The lowest amount they charge is $500/month and then based on number of users, etc.
What kind of timing strategy should you use for text message campaigns? Everyone who is part of your mobile program has opted in, but a lot of data regarding timing isn’t there yet. The best recipe for success integrates with your website, your magazine, etc. SMS is not a channel in and of itself, it is a supplement to your channel.