When mobile devices first hit the market, they were a small subset of a much larger user group. While a few early adopters were busy surfing the web on their brand-new iPhones, most users were still reading their favorite websites on traditional desktop and laptop computers.
For a time, website owners and content creators could afford to ignore the burgeoning mobile market, but it soon became apparent that handheld devices would play a much larger role. Now that mobile devices account for nearly 50 percent of web traffic, content marketers and business owners are taking notice and embracing responsive web design.
Responsive web design is a highly technical topic and one that anyone who operates on the Internet should delve into more deeply. Put simply, responsive web design adjusts the size and shape of the screen and the look of its content to match the device you are using. You have probably noticed that some of your favorite websites look different on your smartphone than they do on your computer; that is responsive web design.
Leaving aside the technical aspects of responsive web design, the growing mobile market poses a number of challenges for content marketers. Any business owner who relies on content marketing needs to understand how responsive web design is likely to change the industry going forward.
One of the changes responsive web design is expected to bring is less need for mobile-specific websites. As responsive web design takes hold and more companies adopt the strategy, there will be much less need for mobile websites and fewer opportunities for web developers who specialize in such sites.
Depending on the makeup of the company, that could also mean less need for content writing and development. Some companies have gotten used to creating content specifically for their mobile users, but responsive web design should all but eliminate that requirement. For firms that rely on freelancers to produce their content, responsive web design could result in lower production costs and higher profits.
Responsive web design is also changing the way content marketers handle images. Content marketers and freelance writers have long understood the importance of relevant images and how the right image can improve response rates. Now that mobile devices play such a big role, content marketers need to make sure the images they choose will look just as good on an iPhone as they do on a wide-screen monitor.
IT experts are still working out the best way to deliver high-quality images while still keeping them small enough to be practical. In the meantime, content marketers should keep up with the changes and make sure they are prepared for the newest changes in mobile web design.