Content marketing is at an all time high. According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute, nine out of ten organizations market with blogs, social media updates, ebooks and white papers.

Content marketing uses relevant and timely content to attract, convert and retain customers. By pairing content with lead generation forms, marketers can collect vital customer information. Marketers can then use this lead information to determine where a customer is within the buying process and offer that customer the right content for their needs.

In general, blog posts and social media are used earlier in the buying process when customers are still doing research and becoming familiar with a company or brand. When a lead is more qualified, a marketer can leverage long form content such as a case study, buyer’s guide, ebook or white paper to help customers validate the value of their solution or product.

Content Marketing Meets Mobile Browsing

The widespread use of content marketing coincides with another important trend: a rapid increase in mobile web browsing. Every day, more and more people turn toward their smartphones and tablets to go online. In fact, mobile web usage is projected to surpass desktop internet usage as early as 2015, according to a study by Morgan Stanley analysts.

For content marketers, this rise in mobile provides a new opportunity to reach customers. Yet many marketers are still producing their ebooks, white papers and other long form content solely for traditional desktop or even print consumption.

Think about it. Have you recently tried to read long form content like an ebook or article on your smartphone or tablet? Between the mind-numbingly slow download speeds and all of the zooming, scrolling and squinting, it’s sometimes easier to switch to a computer or just ditch the content altogether.

readable-vs-unreadable

Two real-life examples of how whitepapers can be displayed on mobile phones

When you are a marketer, the last thing you want is for complicated access or download requirements and a poor reading experience to frustrate readers and prevent them from engaging with your content.

A report by the CMO Council illustrates just how important it is to mobile-optimize long form content. According to the study, 44 percent of content consumers said ease of access and readability were the most important factors they valued when engaging with long form content. The only item ranked higher than a user-friendly experience was the depth or quality of information in the content itself.

Distributing long form content remains an invaluable tool for guiding qualified leads closer to becoming customers. But as mobile web browsing continues to trend up, content marketers will need to distribute content that is easy to download and read on all smartphones and tablets. Marketers who continue to optimize long form content for a desktop only experience will see a decrease in leads and conversions.

Image courtesy Mario Tama/Getty Images

About the author: Bart De Pelsmaeker is the CEO of Readz – active in the intersection of digital publishing and social media. He can be reached at bart@readz.com or on Twitter @bartdp. At Readz, we’re dedicated to building new publishing technologies that help marketer and brands engage with their mobile audiences.

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