“Ask a Communicator” is a new advice column from SocialChorus about internal communications. Got a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear SocialChorus: Our company has a new employee mobile app and our team is totally new to this communications channel. What’s the best way to write internal communications for mobile?
We get a lot of questions at SocialChorus about writing for company apps. With good reason. Deskless and frontline employees now make up about 80% of the global workforce, and the number of remote and distributed workers continues to grow. This means communicators are increasingly leveraging multi-channel solutions, including mobile apps.
Mobile apps aren’t a passing fad. Our recent survey, “The Digital Revolution in Communications,” revealed two-thirds of employees found it easier and faster to access important content on their company’s branded app than on other content sources, such as their intranet, email, and printed materials.
That means there’s no time like the present to figure out a game plan for engaging your audience on mobile apps. Here are six tips to keep in mind.
6 Tips for Writing Internal Communications for Mobile Readers
Tip #1: Stick to “snackable” bites.
Mobile content doesn’t need to be short, but it does need to be “snackable,” which means breaking up long text into short paragraphs and adding images and subheads. Contrary to popular belief, people will read 6,000-word articles or watch 2-hour movies on their mobile devices. Successful engagement boils down to good storytelling in a digestible format. Keep in mind readers use their company app for around 2 minutes at a time, so break up your content into bite-size snacks.
Tip #2: Think natively.
Don’t just copy and paste content from another channel. Something that works in your company email newsletter may not work on your branded app or intranet. Consider the platform and create content natively for it.
Tip #3: Make your point quickly.
Front-load your content with answers. Mobile readers don’t want to scroll forever to find your point, nor will they—your employees are busy! And make sure answers are scannable throughout your article with highly visible signposts in the form of subheads, callouts, and bold words.
Tip #4: A picture’s worth a thousand words.
The old adage is as true as ever. Studies have shown that users favor images over text. Use photos, infographics, and images to both enhance and make your point.
Tip #5: Create compelling headlines and taglines.
A good headline or tagline conveys your story in a few words. In mobile internal communications, you have only eight seconds to do that. It could be the only thing readers remember or, even better, it will draw them into your content.
Tip #6: Link to related content.
The moment you engage readers, take them to other pieces of related content. Embedded links to other articles and information are a great way to gently shepherd your reader to new content he or she may find useful.
Use these tips to reach your workforce, and remember: This is your audience. Experiment, test, and measure to see what works best to reach your employees in mobile apps.
Want more communications strategy advice? Get our guide, 7 Templates for Planning an Effective Internal Communications Strategy.