If your organization is considering or already producing a digital publication to reach your mobile audience, it’s important to know best practices to achieve the best outcomes. Our app creation blog series is full of tips on how to accomplish this, and our Practical Guide to a Successful App Launch contains 20 tips with step-by-step directions to help you get your publishing app to market successfully.
However, these articles focus on best practices and not potential pitfalls. To learn about possible trouble spots so you can avoid them, the recent article by creative director David Hicks is another point of view to consider. Hicks outlines 10 mistakes that are commonly made when producing digital publications. While showing where the pitfalls are, he prescribes alternatives that will help maximize downloads and reader adoption.
Because of my role in marketing, I have a special affinity for his Mistake #8: A Lack of Marketing – a mistake that is understandable with lean organizations trying to get things done with less people. I focused on this dynamic in my How to Use Your Network to Promote Your App article, which details how your own audience can help you expand your readership in a cost and time-efficient way.
If you have questions about successfully engaging your audience, please contact Walsworth. We would love to help. In the meantime, here is David Hicks’ article:
10 steps to getting more downloads for your digital magazines
Where can publishers look to improve their current digital circulation on tablets and phones? Here are ten reasons that I think are a factor in the poor download numbers up to now, and the steps to take:
1. Download size – If it takes longer than five minutes to download an issue. Forget it. Cut the issue down to size with compression, HTML – anything that means the editorial can be read almost instantly is a very good thing.
2. Don’t embed video unless vital – Video files vastly increase download size, and the majority of users are at home with Wi-Fi so streamed content would work just fine, and it’s easier to measure. Oh, and avoid video covers with autoplay and sound. Can be massively irritating (especially on the tube!) and unnecessary in many cases. Besides, what other apps have embedded video?
3. PDF replicas – Sadly, they still exist, and many digital magazine teams are following the print design too literally. More product development is advisable to create an experience that’s right for the user, the device, and the technology. Break out from the print mindset.
4. Font size – Consider the reader across all devices. Too often we see illegible copy in digital editions, especially on iPhone and iPad Mini. Not a good experience for anyone reading a 2,000 word article. Test it out with a small selection of readers for direct feedback.