In the first part of our New Year Digital Insights edition, we explained why your strategy should be mobile-first in 2017.  Here in the second, we’re going to explain how you can make it so.
We’ll explore the digital themes that are most important to sports rights holders and discuss how to optimise them so that your audience has a smooth and memorable user experience.

1.  Website

As discussed in Part 1, Google is now leading the march towards a mobile-only world. Its recent announcement of ‘mobile-first indexing’ shows the search engine’s preference for mobile-friendly sites over desktop-only.
Two crucial things to keep in check:  1) the speed of your mobile site and 2) its responsiveness to all devices.  Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users.
If you’re looking to re-build your website, your web developer should be clued up on which technical specs are needed to make it mobile-first, for example guiding you through choosing between dynamic serving and a responsive web design. But you can make sure it’s designed around mobile devices and made responsive to desktops, not the other way around.
The best piece of advice for designing a mobile-first website is to get online on your smartphone and ask yourself, what do I want from a mobile website?  A clean, open page that allows the user to navigate easily should be one of your first answers.  Squeezing in all your content onto the homepage will simply not work for mobile.

2.  Content

However you build your mobile-first website, allcontent needs to be optimised for mobile.  Not only will this content be on your website, but on your social media channels that are mostly accessed via mobile.
A good rule to follow is the size of your content should generally match the size of the device, so trim away all the unnecessary extras for mobile to ensure your audience immediately understands your message.  Some other handy tips:

  • Make sure images and videos are mobile-responsive!  Get the correct dimensions, then compress the file so it loads faster.
  • Use large, clear, easy-to-read text.
  • Have a clear and obvious call-to-action.
  • Assume your audience has fat fingers.  Content is much smaller on a mobile device, so make clickable links big enough for ease of use, but not too big so they get in the way.
  • Remove any invasive pop-ups.  No one likes those.
  • Up to 85% of videos on platforms like Facebook are watched withoutsound on mobile devices, so make sure the content works with this trend and even think about including subtitles and text to get your message across.


3.  Advertising

We know more people are now accessing the internet via mobile than desktop, particularly for social media, therefore your advertising campaign needs to be mobile-first if you’re going to reach your intended audience.
There’s a plethora of channels to choose from when it comes to online advertising, so some research into your audience is required before you start spending money.
No matter which advertising platform you choose (and there are loads to choose from), remember content and context is the key to success. Make sure you also follow our tips for mobile-friendly content listed above.
Here’s 3 things to think about for a mobile-first advertising campaign:

  • Target your audience by device and make sure your content is mobile-specific.
  • Geo-target your adverts.  Think about where your message will be most effective.  What do you associate your sport with?  Perhaps a stadium or a sports complex?  Target your ads so they are seen in relevant locations.
  • Have a clear call-to-action.  The point of advertising is to start your audience on a journey.  Think about where you want them to click next and ensure that the experience is also mobile-first.

We hope after this Digital Insightstwo-parter you haven’t thrown your smartphone against the wall.  Working with mobile is easy, we promise.
Pay attention to these themes, maintain a mobile mindset, and watch your audience grow with a mobile-first strategy in 2017.