Snacking Time

MIKEMike Hawkyard, MD at Amuzo, urges brands to make the most of a mobile moment.

Life is full of mobile moments – short digital interactions that become second nature very quickly. Speed of access to specific content, at any time, in any location, has taught digital natives that there is almost no time period too short to launch an app and complete an intended action.

Be it checking the football scores, playing a game, booking transport or sharing a photo with friends – find just a few minutes and you’ll satisfy your desire, before either moving on to the next task, or putting your phone back in your pocket.

With all these experiences and interactions at your fingertips, it is no surprise that trying to keep your audience’s attention on your app for any length of time is extremely challenging. Why should they open your app, not a competitor’s?

Repeatable content
Short, repeatable content is a great start – ensure your audience can complete a meaningful experience in two minutes so they never think ‘I’ve not got time for that’. This could be watching a short video or playing an entire level of a game.

Support this with plenty of additional content too so that, should the user find more time has become available to them, they can continue their experience. Think Angry Birds. You can complete one level in no time at all and there is always plenty more waiting for you, with subtle little treats and rewards to bring you back again and again.

At the same time, try demonstrating progression. You may only be able to squeeze one game of Temple Run in, but the gold you collected will help you upgrade your character, so that next time you play, you have the opportunity to travel further.

Both of these game are great examples of designing for touchscreen devices. Drag, swipe or pinch movements are significantly more engaging then tapping. And it’s not just games – consider Tinder – swiping left or right has huge significance in that app.

Personalising content is a great advantage. The RTÉ Swipe app allows viewers of certain shows to decide the plot of the stories they are watching. A series of short videos are filmed that all end in a decision where the child is asked to choose what happens next.

And the ultimate in personalised content with relation to videos is uploading your own content, recorded on a smartphone or Go-Pro – something many of us have done on various social networks.

Thanks to YouTube, Facebook and vloggers, we no longer expect Oscar-worthy content production from video. Users are prepared to embrace lower production standards in favour of quality content. So why should these clips and principles not be used in work applications as well? With Generation Y in particular being selfie- and video-centric, you have reporters within your company armed with specific knowledge to share and a smart device to record the action. This helps fulfil another objective of good app design; keeping your content fresh.

An app of this nature for a company gives their staff the ability to quickly respond to events relevant to their profession and share them with colleagues to gain feedback and insight. The possibilities are endless; branched scenarios can be created to take staff through complex procedures, sales teams can quickly revise a topic before meeting a potential client and you can get instant front-line feedback to improve your products and services. Gamification and feedback systems can also be used to create opportunities to reward use and refine content to maximize effectiveness.

The final tip is not to wait for someone to open your app – make your app intelligent and help your user. ‘Your windscreen is frozen this morning, click here and I will defrost it for you before you go outside.’
Embracing mobile and attempting to solve the challenges of engagement leads to innovation, discovery and new opportunities. Utilise the habits and skills of digital natives rather than fighting against them. Who knows what solutions you might find around the corner and how it could revolutionise your mobile marketing.

This sponsored article first appeared in the June 2016 print edition of Mobile Marketing. You can read the whole issue here.