As anyone who has made a living in the publishing industry knows, it would be foolish to discredit the importance that print has played in forming and fostering the strong relationships between your brand and your loyal readers.
The problem arises however, when publishers fail to update their publishing strategy to appeal to the rapidly growing mobile market. Many publishers have already taken the first step and digitized their content in a print replica flipbook format for online, but may have yet to consider the importance of revisiting their strategy for mobile. Scaling a print replica page down for small screen smartphones like an iPhone is going to be ineffective and offer a poor user experience. In light of this, it is important for publishers to revisit their digital publishing plan and employ a mobile-first strategy that allows them to create first for mobile, and then easily expand out for all other platforms.
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On smartphones or tablets, as freestanding sites or web apps, mobile is the future of digital publishing. The undeniable reality is that consumers are shifting markedly to mobile devices as their primary means of reading and seeking information. Some publishers have been reluctant to embrace online platforms. However, with improved technology and inexpensive, larger memory capacity available on smart devices, mobile is the forward-looking direction of the publishing industry, whether you produce magazines, brochures, guides, catalogs, or even reports.
Data shows a shift to mobile
A look at the data shows the dramatic shift in how people use mobile devices today. According to a 2014 Australian Communications and Media Authority study, 21 percent of Australians do not have a fixed internet connection in their homes. Instead, they rely on mobile technology due to its affordable costs, wide coverage areas for 3G and 4G broadband networks, and increasing access to free WiFi networks.
Among Australian internet users, whether exclusively mobile or not, 68 percent use the internet for entertainment, 79 percent for research and information, and 65 percent for browsing and surfing.
There are a vast number of options for mobile reading, too. A 2014 Deloitte Australia study showed 53 percent of Australians owned three mobile devices — a smartphone, tablet and laptop. Other studies show 77 percent of Australians own a smartphone, 56 percent own a tablet, and 55 percent of use mobile as their primary means of accessing the internet, On average, Australian mobile users spend 6.7 hours a day viewing media on their devices.
In short, the majority of people are already reading regularly on mobile.
Mobile publishing solutions
Shifting content to the mobile space means finding the right platform for your content. Whether it’s publishing a PDF online magazine, converting a PDF to mobile, or using a mobile publishing platform, digital publishing is the way to reach your readers in the space where they are. In doing so, you’re likely to find new opportunities to market products and services.
“Publishers must benefit from fresh developments in mobile to enhance the development of their own digital products – to push for compelling content experiences … and potentially create new revenue streams,” wrote David Hicks in a February 2016 FIPP.com article. “Nothing stays the same in this area, change happens sometimes on a weekly basis, and you have to be flexible and open-minded in your approach and willing to invest, learn, and switch direction.”
Effective mobile publishing platforms allow for publishing, whether magazines, catalogs, brochures or reports, on any type of mobile device and deliver rich content, including photos, graphics, articles and advertisements to mobile readers. The best platforms will allow users to not only convert content to mobile-friendly formats, but push that content to mobile apps, social media, or other major online publishing sites. Print-ready PDFs and digital replicas will be ready and accessible.
With more people reading on mobile, getting your messages on mobile devices expands your potential market penetration, improves your credibility with consumers, and meets those consumers where they are today.