Best Practice

Four Tips for Optimizing Content in Employee Mobile Apps

You and your team have decided to launch an employee mobile app. You did the important prep work to ensure it’s a good fit for your organization, and your team is fully aligned on goals and processes.

You even have a clever name for your app that is both recognizable and conveys your mission. Nice work! Now, what?

It’s likely you already have mountains of content across your other communications channels that can be re-purposed for the app. (Note: We said “re-purposed” versus “copied and pasted,” intentionally!) Or, maybe you need to create original content. Either way, here are a few simple steps to ensure your messages are optimized for a small screen.

Tip #1: Write clear and interruptible text

Most of us consume information on the go. Imagine standing in line at your favorite coffee shop. You pick up your phone and start browsing. Then you pause to consider your breakfast order. You resume reading for a few more minutes, but you’re interrupted to place your order. You go back to reading while waiting for your order, but then an alert pops up and you’re suddenly clicking your way down a completely different path.

Distracted reading is the reality of the modern era, and your content strategy should adapt accordingly. It means that your mobile content should be interruptible*, easy to skim and easily accessible. Headlines should be short and impactful. Bullet points are helpful for readers looking for quick takeaways. And section headers can help break up the text and provide placeholders for distracted readers struggling to recall where they left off. (For more on writing for mobile check out this helpful Poppulo blog)

And always remember: 73% of mobile app sessions are shorter than one minute.*

Tip #2: Call attention to your call to action (CTA)

Employees should easily understand what you want them to do next, whether that’s registering for a webinar, submitting their health forms or reading a policy update. Use linked buttons or images to make these CTAs stand out. Don’t rely on readers to zoom in or scroll across pages to figure out where and how to take the next step.

If your CTA is for employees to tap a link to learn more, be clear about where you’re directing them and why it’s worth leaving the app to learn more. For example, you may want to hyperlink an article with a written explanation, like “Here’s an excellent article on this topic in the New York Times.”

Tip #3: Give your photos some extra care

Images can be compelling, but keep in mind that not all graphics are mobile-friendly. The remedy? Be sure to use hi-res photos, resize them for small screens and crop them appropriately.

Tip #4: Use your push notifications strategically (i.e. use sparingly!)

You’ve probably had an app on your phone that went overboard with the push notifications – sending multiple per day or week, sending messages that didn’t feel relevant for you, or sending them at odd hours of the day. The risk is that your people may opt out of receiving your push notifications if they start to receive too many, or if the notifications are irrelevant to them and their work.

The bottom line is: Be strategic. Not everything is breaking news. Think about what actually warrants an alert and reserve it for time-sensitive news or important reminders. If you’re using the Poppulo Mobile App, take advantage of the targeting capabilities to ensure each push notification is relevant to the recipient. And never send push notifications before or after work hours. (It may even violate labor laws in some countries!)

Monitor, adjust, repeat

Content optimization is a continuous process, as new content emerges, existing content evolves and measurement data informs your content strategy. Continue to make adjustments to the amount, type and topics of communications on your employee mobile app. Following these tips will help you get started in not just optimizing your content, but making your employee app an engaging destination your people want to visit, again and again. You got this!

P.S. Want more tips for mobile? Be sure to watch our webinar on how to launch a mobile app.

*Source: Nielsen Norman Group

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