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Who Can Sort Out A Problem Like Omni-Channel?

Can you have the same content across every device?

13Feb

I can watch the same video on my phone, desktop and tablet, each is the same video, each is going to attract the same audience, but each needs to be approached in a different way.

This goes beyond the sizing and the way it can appear on the screen, but also in the way that people find the video, interact with it, share it or even just experience it.

The difficulty with this is that the needs of the people who are watching this video will be broadly the same. If they are going to watch a video about road bikes, they are likely to be interested in road bikes. However, what they watch it on is likely to be telling about them.

Watching it on a phone is a very different experience to watching it on desktop, the screen is smaller, the detail is therefore going to be harder to pick out, so they may not be watching for the technical aspects, but instead the overall picture.

If they are watching it on a desktop they may be looking for the larger and more detailed video that the platform allows. This could be to catch more detail or because they are in a different situation i.e. at work.

Watching on a tablet could mean that they are in a totally different situation, perhaps multi-screening in front of the television. Which creates more questions, like was the prompt to look at that content from one screen or another?

Creating digital strategies around these multiple formats creates an issue as they each need to have different approaches, but ultimately have the same broad audience.

Maintaining individual strategies for each would be impossible, so how can you make the most of the content you have across every device?

Having the ability to be agile and make changes to strategy is going to be key, as trial and error will be one of the keys to any new content distribution programme.

This is not just about videos, but about every type of content, it is ultimately going to revolve around balancing multi-device functionality with optimum display across all platforms. Sometimes it is going to be worth having two separate approaches for certain platforms. For instance, a headline for articles on desktops can afford to be longer than those on smartphones, and images can afford to be more complicated on a desktop, simply because there is more space to access.

Therefore, a key aspect is to recognize that different media that works better on different devices should be spread more through that device’s networks.

However, this isn’t always going to be possible. If I send a tweet about an article I have written, that Tweet could be accessed through practically any device, so it is important to be have the content adaptable to any device, even if it works better on one than another.

It is a problem than many companies are having and often solve it only through using totally custom apps, which is a considerable expense for a company who is not traditional publisher. It also does not include aspects like screen sizing within the content itself. Most people would not want to read a full white paper on a smartphone, but then some people may need to if they are travelling. This means that the capability needs to be there and needs to be made as positive as possible. 

Ultimately, if I try to access one company's content on a certain device and I find the experience of using it negative, this has an impact on my overall perception of the company. This goes for any kind of content, even one which is not best viewed on that particular device. 

So is there a meaningful solution that appeases every platform and every content type? Perhaps, and we would love to hear your thoughts on what this may be. 

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