Mobile is Waiting in the Wings: Will it Steal the Show?
However, going the paid route has a special requirement, as the next point will prove.
2. Provide unique content.
It makes no sense to charge for content on mobile websites or applications if the same content is free on the traditional Web or in print. Moreover, unless the mobile operation has special content geared for on-the-go consumption, all efforts to erect pay walls will fail.
The Wall Street Journal had the chutzpah to charge for online and mobile content across traditional and mobile sites and applications simply because of its brand power and uniqueness of its business-focused news and analysis content. Publishers should emulate that model, if they can.
3. Pay attention to user experience and site/ application design.
Make sure the reading experience on a mobile site requires minimum navigation. Mobile is a top-down-scroll-and-touch experience.
Design the site or application keeping in mind the right thumb for scrolling purposes. Keep the headlines large. Also, avoid images that take a long time to load.
The ad units should be obvious for brand impression, but should not interrupt the reading experience. But do train readers to expect ads above and below the story, with a unit sandwiched between the copy. Run rich-media ads where applicable.
4. Utilize integrated advertising sales.
If you opt to run advertising on your mobile site(s) and applications—an absolute yes, if you ask yours truly, simply to get readers used to the experience—then the effort should be integrated across all channels.
It makes little sense to have a mobile or online ad sales team. Indeed, have the ad sales executives targeting various industry verticals or regions sell ads across all media–print, video, online and mobile.
For those who complain about measurement, mobile and online media are more measurable than print, at least when it comes to recording articles and ads clicked on. How do publishers know that the reader read the print ad?