For the past 26 years I have advised corporations on how digital publishing and content technology can help them reach their business goals.
Today, in my current position as VP of Content Solutions at Aptara, our corporate clients want to make their content more mobile-friendly for customers and/or employees. Most are looking for help designing and implementing a mobile strategy that will allow them to distribute legacy and new content across the wide variety of mobile platforms.
In reality, however, adopting an effective mobile content strategy has benefits that go far beyond content accessibility on tablets and smartphones, and include collaboration via social networking platforms, multimedia enhancements to static content, interactivity (e.g., quizzes and exercises to test mastery of concepts), content annotations, and much more.
Frequently, I find that when a corporation is interested in expanding or adopting its mobile content strategy, the person tasked with spearheading the mission is unfamiliar with their options. My goal is that this article will serve as a helpful guide or “starting point” resource for businesses looking to create or enhance their mobile content strategy.
What Are My Options?
To embrace mobile content solutions, there are two options that can benefit nearly every organization:
- Interactive eBooks
- Enterprise Apps
Don’t be fooled by the name. eBooks are an extremely effective tool for making stale, one-dimensional content engaging and exciting, whatever your line of business. Through interactive elements like video and audio clips, animated pictures, maps, graphs, and self assessments, readers are more apt to comprehend and retain your content.
Interactive eBooks are a great option for internal and externally-facing content alike. From corporate training manuals and employee handbooks, to product literature, manuals, catalogs and user guides.
Furthermore, because eBooks are so convenient to access and can offer content in more depictive and interactive ways, they reduce customer service and product support calls and costs. Additionally, eBooks can be offered as a paid download to provide a new, unexpected revenue source.
Once used almost solely by gaming companies and niche software developers, apps are a growing trend across all industries. An enterprise app is a sophisticated way to offer users quick and easy access to content. And like an eBook, content within an app can be retrieved using any number of devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets and more. Apps also give users access to updated content in real-time since new content is automatically pushed to subscribers.
Additionally, enterprise apps allow users to subscribe to an entire set of content which can be particularly useful for product manufacturers.
Like the interactive eBook, the enterprise app offers users richer experiences than static PDF content, can reduce support costs, and offer a new revenue stream.
Where Do I Start?
When implementing a mobile content strategy, most companies quickly discover that their content exists in numerous different formats. So as a first step, it is recommended that the content be converted into an agile, mobile-friendly and device-agnostic format, such as HTML5. Converting to HTML5 also allows for best practices like “responsive design,” which ensures that content resizes and displays correctly, regardless of a device’s screen resolution or orientation.
In working with corporate clients, particularly those in international markets, one of the most overlooked, but beneficial aspects of HTML5 is that it supports multi-lingual content. One HTML5 template can accommodate your content, regardless of which languages you are publishing in, today or tomorrow.
Acknowledging the challenging economic environment, enterprises are seeking new ways to engage with customers and employees, develop loyalty, reduce costs and drive revenue. By embracing a smart mobile content strategy to drive content creation and delivery, companies can accomplish all of these goals.
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