If you have a publication, whether it’s a newspaper, magazine, catalog, journal, newsletter or any other type of content, the number of options to publish digitally can quickly become overwhelming. We’ve officially entered the age of the app, with more people than ever before are relying on apps to view their content across various mobile devices. Apps are currently a $6 BILLION market, and people are actually using them. So we know for a fact that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, hence they can become a valuable commodity for a publication that utilizes the right approach when creating one.
But what is the right way to go? Should you invest in building a native app, complete with custom designs and interactive features, or choose a platform that creates an app for you from an HTML5 version of your publication? Here are 3 very simple yet crucial financial points to consider before making your decision.
1. Where is your reader?
Depending on the type of publication you have, you know exactly where your reader lives online, which determines how and when they are going to be reading it. For example, if you publish a newsletter within the health care industry for endocrinologists, you know where these doctors are located, what their schedules generally are and what devices they are using to read your pub. Most likely they are not reading it at the desktop in their offices, as they are most likely on the run, so they are probably using their tablet devices or phones. If all they need is to be able to view the newsletter clearly, with some hyperlinks that can take them to further information about specific articles, then a native app is probably an unnecessary investment. You would do well with a sophisticated and reliable platform that delivers stunning publications from an HTML5 version in app form.
Conversely, if you have a magazine about high-end sports cars with a die-hard niche following of paid subscribers relying on the latest trends and news to be delivered to them wherever they are, investing in a native app that gives you the opportunity to build custom design features will undoubtedly pay for itself.
2. What does your reader want?
This seems like an obvious answer, but when you really stop to look at the profile of your specific readership you will find they all have very specific interests in common when it comes to your magazine. For example, Vogue Magazine knows their readers love to see the products they feature in as much detail as possible and have an easy way to purchase them right from the app. So they placed ample emphasis on creating custom features that allow the reader to tap, pinch and enlarge the features, while being able to tap and buy certain items directly from the product’s website. What does your reader value? If they mainly want to be able to link to products mentioned in articles, then hyperlinks could be your main interaction. For that, you would not need to invest in a custom app, but rather go with a great platform that lets you enable all the links you want for a lower price point.
3. What will your readers want to share?
In this day and age, people love to be able to share things they find online as easily as possible with friends. Whether you have a health industry newsletter, a distributor’s catalog or a high-fashion magazine, your readers will share what they perceive as valuable if you make it easy for them. You don’t always need a native app to provide this, depending on the type of content you provide. If you have links to every item in your catalog, which a distributor can easily share with a client or colleague, this is just as valuable as having a native app for your fashion magazine that lets you share an article directly onto Facebook.
All in all, deciding on the type of app to build depends first and foremost on what your readers want and need most from your publication. Knowing how they want to experience your publication and what aspects they want to stress and share can help you determine your ROI and the value you provide.
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