Something that publishers often fail to realize until it’s far too late is that increasing mobile reader retention often ISN’T the result of any one big change they make. It often comes by way of small but important adjustments made to create a superior user experience and by offering readers something that they just won’t find anywhere else. Here are 9 bite-size tips that you can use to start increasing mobile reader retention TODAY.
1. Make Sure Your Content is Optimized for Mobile
Replicating the exact same print or flipbook experience on mobile is the quickest way of losing your readers, with a whopping 40% of individuals preferring to back out of a site if it is not optimised for mobile. While a flipbook is the reader’s choice on laptops and PCs, it is pretty easy to imagine how off-putting the experience would be if you were to shrink your print replica pages down for a smartphone’s small display.
To make your publication mobile-friendly it is encouraged that you reformat your content so that it is not overwhelming on small screens, and in doing so adopt a mobile publishing strategy that makes it easy for readers to navigate between articles and sections. It is also important that you improve the display of the text and images, make it easier for readers to engage with interactivity by enlarging links, buttons, and CTAs, and recontent to include elements like videos and images, which are much are much more enjoyable to consume than large bodies of text, especially when on the go.
2. Update your Ad Strategy
Using an ad strategy that was designed for desktop (or worse – for print) usually doesn’t translate well to a small device like an iPhone. The good news for publishers is that there are a lot of mobile-first advertising strategies that will allow you to create a user-friendly, immersive experience for mobile. Mobile native advertising is a hot topic in the digital publishing industry as of late, and deservedly so. With purchase intent recorded at 53% more likely with native ads than traditional advertising, it goes to show that readers will respond better when they are presented high-value ads which suit the form and function of the device they are using. Make it even easier for mobile users to engage with your ads by including a link back to your advertiser’s site, or even click to call, or click for directions buttons. (These native mobile features can also be tracked for click-through rates, so make sure to leverage these as up-sell incentives!)
3. Keep Your Readers Up to Date
Make it as easy as possible for your readers to opt into mailing lists to let them know the second a new issue is available. Better yet, allow them to subscribe to specific topics or customized mailing lists to suit their interests. Not only will this minimise the number of unwanted emails they receive, reducing the chance that they will unsubscribe from your mailing list, but having a breakdown of the topics that interest people the most will go a long way in helping you strengthen and refine your content marketing plan.
Instead of communicating to mobile readers simply via email (which usually result in little more than just feeding their spam folders), why not deliver news and updates straight into their hands. With an incredible open rate of 99% (can you get much better than that?) SMS is proving to be one of the simplest and most effective methods of delivering content to mobile readers. One tap is all it takes to launch the latest mobile optimised issue from your SMS, it really can’t get much easier.
4. Increase Value
Create special issues out of the most popular articles across all of your content to actually let readers feel like they’re getting something much, much more valuable than they’re paying for. This is easy to do when your mobile edition is not constrained to the original print format, and is instead built out of your reflowable HTML articles. Repurposing your existing articles is also a great time-saver for publishers, who are already working against the clock to produce content for readers. On the flip side, you can drive new traffic to your mobile edition by inserting brand new mobile-only articles into your issues. Promote these articles in your print and desktop edition, allowing readers to SMS a keyword and automatically receive a link to the mobile edition delivered directly to their phone.
5. Engagement is a Two-Way Street (or it Should Be)
Allow readers to have an active relationship with your publication by ensuring they stay up to date with your content. You could let them send an SMS text message featuring a particular keyword to receive more specialized content.
6. Enhance, Enhance, Enhance
Keep in mind that mobile readers and desktop (or even print) readers engage with content in fundamentally different ways. Mobile readers are sometimes more likely to want to consume content as fast and as simple as possible and therefore are often less receptive to lengthy bodies of text which they need to scroll through. When designing for mobile make sure to incorporate content-heavy elements such as videos and images to keep readers immersed and to ensure that their experience with your content is as mobile-friendly as possible to encourage return visits to your site. Digital Sherpa notes that 80% of online visitors will watch a video in its entirety, compared to only 20% who will read content all the way through, which is a testament to the impact that the creative use of interactive elements can have on your mobile edition.
7. Native Functionality
Play to the strengths of the mobile platform by offering readers features that they simply wouldn’t be able to have through other platforms. Enhancing your ads, product pages, and directories with simple native features like tap-to-call or tap-for-directions can be the difference between a mediocre mobile experience and one that will keep readers coming back.
8. Consistency is King
Go out of your way to make sure that you’re creating a CONSISTENT experience across all platforms. Experiment with an all-in-one HTML5 mobile-first solution so that you can not only practice consistency but so that you also do not need to re-design for every platform as it becomes available. Maintaining a similar design aesthetic across all platforms and mediums will help strengthen your brand identity, increase company awareness, and gain website traffic.
9. Keep it Simple
Mobile users love their smartphones because they’re simple and easy to use on the go – which means that your content needs to match this ideal, too. Make sure that you experiment with a mobile-first solution that appeals to the unique behavior of your mobile audience. Employ the use of simple functions such as tap-to-call, tap-for-directions, and even SMS-to-subscribe.
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If you found these tips useful in helping you devise a mobile publishing plan for your magazine then you may be interested to discover that Realview has recently launched a brand new smartphone-responsive, PDF to HTML5 publishing solution called Partica. Click through to find out how you can take your magazine mobile.