One of the most important things to remember when creating content for your mobile city guide is that you need to keep it interesting. A nicely designed city guide app can quickly fail if it is filled when boring content. Remember, you are not writing a research paper on the history of your town, you are providing cool and interesting local information. It’s also important to keep in mind that people are reading this information on their smartphones or tablets. No one is going to take the time to read a 10 page bio about a historical fountain. App users are are thirsty for the highly useful and highly relevant local information.
Doing the Research
So how do you go about creating great content for your city guide app? Let’s start with the research. Read as much as you can about the topic at hand and then pick out the most interesting facts and leave it at that. Your mobile app has the potential to become the spark of interest that will motivate people to check out that historical fountain.
Find The Coolest Stuff
Next, you need to decided what type of information you will include in your mobile guide. To begin with, make sure to cover all the basic information such as where it is, when it was founded or made, and a few interesting facts about it. You can also include local history, trivia, or insider tips that share something with your reader which they might not know unless you told them. Sometimes including tips or insight that only a local might know will make your app even more interesting and intriguing. For example, “sunset can offer visitors a scenic view and a great photo opportunity.” Your goal is to keep the app short and sweet. You don’t want people to wade through paragraphs of irrelevant information in order to find the cool facts… that’s your job. Find all of the coolest and most interesting stuff and then put that into your app.
Think Long Term
Last but not least, when creating content for your app, make sure that content will remain valuable and interesting for years to come. Boring and outdated content will award your app with negative reviews and poor download rates. If your app does offers time sensitive information, be sure to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. Keep track and schedule routine app updates. We also encourage you to go out and visit, and become personally engaged with the topics you are promoting.
SAMPLE APP POST:
Diﬃculty Level: Moderate
Directions: From the center of town, head southeast down Siskiyou Blvd to Tolman Creek Rd (the intersection has a blinking yellow light). Take a right on Tolman Creek Rd. After 1.2 miles the road turns to a one lane road with turnouts. At 1.7 miles the road will fork, be sure to take a hard right. After 3 miles from turning onto Tolman Creek Rd. you will arrive to the trailhead.
Background: Toothpick Trail, the third and last trail discussed here that is part of the Ashland Watershed Trail system, is a well- known spot just a short drive from town that is quite popular with hikers, mountain bikers and dog owners. The trail is about 4 miles round-trip and has an elevation gain of roughly 300 feet. The trail starts oﬀ with some incline for about 15 minutes, but then ﬂattens out for a large majority of the trail. About half way along the trail there is a bench and an opening in the forest for a beautiful view of the higher reaches of Mt. McLoughlin. There is a trail map at the top of the trail in the event you’d like to continue your hike along either Lamb Mine (rec- ommended for beautiful views) or Caterpillar Trail. The latter could lead you all the way back into town via either the White Rabbit (this will drop you south of town to Park St.) and Alice in Wonderland (this would lead you towards downtown) trails.
Anyone can create a city guide but can you actually make it cool? Creating highly relevant and interesting local city guide apps take time. Not only should it be engaging to your audience, it should also act and serve as valuable resource which will turn your guide into a go-to resource.
Building a great city guide is easy and you can do it!