In the modern world, smartphone-friendly content is vital. Mobile is no longer man afterthought when it comes to producing content, and quite rightly – the stats for users accessing websites on phones and tablets are up year on year. With phones increasingly the primary – and even sole – device for users, it’s no wonder so many brands now follow a mobile-first approach when designing their content. Luckily for us, travel content thrives on mobile.
For those of us in the travel industry, there are several advantages when it comes to making travel content work for mobile. Effective travel content is fundamentally very visual, and lends itself well to mobile-friendly formats that tend to prioritise images and concise information over reams and reams of text. So if you’re planning your travel content for the months ahead, here are some of our top tips to ensure it’ll be a hit with phones and tablets too…
Cut to the chase
If someone is viewing your website on a mobile device, especially a phone, there’s a good chance they’re on the go. And even if they’re not, small screens don’t lend themselves well to prolonged reading. That means mobile-friendly content needs to be delivered in small, manageable chunks. Keep your word count relatively low and your customers won’t have to scroll and scroll to find what they’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to use your imagination when it comes to formats for your content. Here are some ideas that work:
Listicles: A standard listicle article, with an image and a few lines of text for each item, is a tried-and-tested travel content option that will always work well on mobile. But they’re also everywhere… so try to be creative with them.
Swipe-through galleries: These are ideal for presenting image-heavy content on mobile. There are different approaches you can take here – this National Geographic example and this BBC Travel one show two of them.
Videos: Videos are another mobile-friendly way of delivering your content. But you should always add captions, not only to make the video accessible to viewers with hearing impairments, but also to increase the likelihood everyone will watch your video to the end. In 2016, it was found that as many as 85% of videos are watched with the sound off (read more about this on Digiday). When you consider how many people watch phones on transport or in other public places, it makes sense; it can take a lot to make someone get out their headphones.
Make it pay
It’s always important to include at least one clear, prominent call to action in your travel content – but this is even more true when it comes to mobile-friendly travel content. On a phone, too much scrolling can quickly cause even users who are actively interested in your services to give up. Therefore, ensure your calls to action are at the very start and/or end of your content, rather than lost in the middle (although you can incorporate additional links to your services or products throughout if it feels natural). If you’re investing in travel content, you probably have a clear idea what you want to achieve with it; make sure that purpose is as clear to mobile users as it is to you.
Using a variety of formatting styles makes content far easier to consume on small screens. For a start, you’ll need a headline in bold, which ideally shouldn’t be too long. Next, an intro paragraph or summary in italics or in bold (but a smaller font size than the headline) will offer an easy way into your content. Throughout your body copy, include a bolded subheading every paragraph or two, and use bullets for any long lists of information.
And finally, if your closing call to action is going to be a text link rather than a button, it’s a good idea to bold or italicise the text around it, to set it apart from the previous content. After all, you don’t want readers to miss this!
Looking for more handy travel writing tips? Then take a look at this section of our blog. You can also see how we implement them in our travel content with a look through our projects. And you can follow us on Twitter!