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Yes, you did it! Congratulations! You have decided to run your own mobile app for an online magazine! In the age of mobile devices users, an app is more than just a popular tool. It is a way to get more readers, expand the business, grow your brand and make real money. How to achieve all that?

Let’s start at the very beginning. You probably know that the content you create can be distributed through different channels: print magazines, social media, websites, emails. A mobile application can become an additional source of a global audience and extra income. Why am I using the phrase “can become” instead of simply “is”?

Every mobile application has a big potential, you just need to dig it out.

Mobile apps for magazines give great opportunities for every content publisher. However, having an application is one thing – making the world hear about it is another. Let’s be honest – the application market boomed for a reason. You can take advantage of every kind of service using a mobile device that you carry with you all the time. It’s easier and more convenient.

It might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that the mobile application is a magic wand which will make your magazine a best-seller in just one move.

But we can show you the most effective ways and channels of promotion thanks to which you will enjoy an increasing number of downloads, you will get new readers and engage them. You will see that the application can be part of the strategy for the development of your magazine.

Different options for different needs

To make the process of mobile publishing easier, we have created two products for different needs and individual business goals: PressPad Magz and PressPad News. They are directed to different types of publishers.

The first one provides an interactive magazine app features that take content from existing PDF files. It’s a digital kiosk app with subscriptions helps to make content distribution strategy more effective.

While the other is a mobile marketing tool for online web magazines and WordPress based blogs. Let’s call it a news app. It’s so engaging that it won’t let readers forget about their most favorite online magazine.

– What should I do to make the application a well-functioning distribution channel and a viable source of revenue?

Having a mobile application isn’t a goal in itself. The real goal is to develop a business using a tool such as an app. Do you remember the beginnings of your magazine? Do you remember promotional campaigns? Leaflets, banners, then social media and emails? There’s no difference between a magazine and mobile app promotion – in both cases, you want to introduce your product to as many people as possible.

So, let’s make your mobile app visible thanks to a few easy and effective means.

A branded news app with instant notifications, offline reading, in-depth analytics, and mobile ads support makes publishers’ and readers’ life easier. It means access to the latest content and reviews at the touch of a button.

Simplifying life and ease of use boost app usage
Simplifying life and ease of use boost app usage.

Take action, boost your revenue

At the beginning we would like to share with you some useful tips, which will allow you to familiarize yourself with the specificity of managing a mobile application and streamline cooperation on the online line magazine-mobile app.

Here are a few growth tips – have a look at them and feel free to use whenever you want. They are all yours.

How to market your magazine among influencers?

Word of mouth is one of the most effective promotional channels for your publishing business. In every area, there are individuals who have influence over potential readers of your magazine. Reaching out to people like them i.e. journalists and bloggers can give you some extra audience and extend your magazine’s reach. With a “Promo code” feature, you can reach out to influencers with your magazine app, without having them to buy anything. Promo codes let you easily market your magazine app among the most important people in your topic area.

Hint: Have you read how to optimize the presence of your mobile magazine app on App Store?

Why should you care about getting reviews?

Only 40% of apps in the Apple App Store have been rated! But people install rated apps much more eagerly. That’s why you should ask your family and friends to rate and review your digital magazine app – even this week. Most importantly, they should rate your app giving the maximum number of stars.

  • Once your app has at least 5 high rated reviews, the star-rating scale will appear on the Smart Banner
  • That’s a great stimulant to install for those who see the Apple Smart banner on your site

Upload sample and/or free issue for better experience and promotion

Before people buy your content they often like to “test-drive” it. A sample issue is a great way to achieve this. This will have a positive impact on sales and reviews. You can treat the free sample as a special Free Edition of your title, where you will place a preview of the most engaging content, which promises fabulous experience in the full version. This is also a place for displaying your ads.

Send your magazine app to review

There are journalist and bloggers who write reviews of new mobile titles. It is a great way to increase your downloads and gain new readers:

  1. Find your auto-updating landing page in here and…
  2. Send it to this journalist along with interesting description and screenshots of your magazine.

How to monetize past issues?

Past issues build your credibility. Readers are more likely to subscribe to a publisher with large archives. People buy subscriptions of your publication due to the fact they can get more for less. PressPad do not charge any extra fees for transfer or disk space, so feel free to upload as many past issues as you have.

Pin your latest covers on Pinterest with a link to your website

Pinterest favors visual content which doesn’t get buried as easily as in other social networks. It stays afloat even for months. Use brilliant pictures and pin them to attract people to your publication.

How to create interactive PDFs?

Use hyperlinks! Properly used hyperlinks allow you not only to point to external content but also to add some dynamics to the navigation through your magazine by using links to specific pages. It works great both for a table of contents and dedicated pages with the headings of specific articles displayed in separate tiles.

Time for the third step

Hey, wait for a second, what were the previous two? Let me explain.

  • First step: it is your stunning magazine with great content.
  • Second step: the mobile app which notifies readers about the news.
  • Third step: multi-channel promo.

It means effort that will bring real results. It is a key to including a mobile application into the business strategy. Think of all distribution channels as a body that consists of elements compatible with one another, rather than a set of separate pieces. Let the site, magazine, social media and application be compatible and let them promote each other.

What does multi-channel promo mean?

Multi channel marketing refers to the practice of interacting with customers using a combination of indirect and direct communication channels – websites, retail stores,
mail order catalogs, direct mail, email, mobile, etc. – and enabling customers to take action in response – preferably to buy your product or service – using the channel
of their choice.

Which channel is the best to promote my mobile app?

A mobile app is a part of your content, part of your strategy, part of your business. Imagine a big shop with high poles and a huge amount of goods. You go in and try to find coffee, for example. When you find the right department, you are faced with a choice of different brands. What determines your choice of one particular product and not the rest?

Analyzing traffic as a key to being recognisable

The most important keynote that will be accompanying us from now on is not “content” but “traffic”. You know your business best, you follow statistics and you know which channels have the most traffic and where it comes from.

Maybe this is the magic wand I wrote about earlier?

If you consider your website the greatest strength of your brand, take care of it even more. First of all, put a clickable banner on it with information about your application. Let me repeat that to make it more memorable: a clickable banner that will link the user directly to Google Play or Appstore.

Hint: Add the Smart App Banner to the top of your site or blog. Both of them are a great place to write the story behind your product – what inspired you to create it, what problems you faced during the development and how you dealt with them. This will help you establish an emotional connection with the users while keeping them informed about future updates.

App Store and Google Play banners
Anime Nachrichten website

Despite the large amount of content, the banner is still visible, right? Anime Nachrichten is an example of PressPad News App which has over 10 000 downloads.

When we click on the banner it takes us directly to the app store where we can download it. But wait. There is something else worth mentioning about it.

news app
Anime Nachrichten on Google Play

Two things: logo and screenshots. In a moment you will find out why they are so important in the whole process of mobile app promotion.

Improve the visibility — a few words about ASO

One of the factors contributing to the improvement of the visibility of a particular app on the App Store is an eye-catching icon. A beautiful, identifiable and memorable logo can have a huge impact on the popularity and success of the app. This is the first thing that you see after a company name.

But how exactly does one make a “good”, unique app icon?

When designing your app, you have to keep in mind that the app will appear tiny on the user’s screen. Having that in mind, try not to include too many colors or too much detail, as it is could prevent your app from standing out.

  • App logo should be simple and easy to remember — less is more
  • Do not overdo it with colors
  • Improve scalability
  • Take care of consistency
  • Ask friends what they think about it
  • Ask yourself: would I pay attention to it?

The icon is identified with the application, magazine, brand. Use it also when you mention the app, e.g. in social media. It will ensure your recognizability.

The relevant screenshots are no less important. Focus on app features — one feature on one screenshot. Just show that your app is easy to use and don’t forget about making your design visible, intuitive, modern.

app features on screenshots
Anime Nachrichten app screenshots on Google Play

With localized app descriptions you can communicate with people across the world and allow them to find your magazine app via organic search in their native language. Go to the translation service available for you.

Open social media doors

Do you remember AnimeNachrichten website with banners link to app shop? There was something else there.

banner links to Facebook

Their website says “Hey, we are on Facebook, explore our profile”. And their Facebook profile had a call to action button: “use app”. That is what I’m talking about!

call to action button
Anime Nachrichten Facebook profile

So find other places to tell your potential readers about your app: on your website, in your emails, and on social media. The info about your app accompanies your potential and current clients wherever they go. Social media allows your readers to share your content with their friends in an easy way.

— Has your website been the biggest source of traffic?

Add banners on top of the website, or short info.

— Have your customers come from Twitter or Facebook?

Encourage them: “All issues since 2008 have just been made available in a mobile app! Download now.” Be sure to include a link to the store – it makes getting to your application much easier.

Make your post more visible by adding rich multimedia content such as audios, images, and videos. When you decide on a short movie showing the operation of your application, focus on app features – show its value. While launching the app, pin this post on top of the Facebook page, to make it visible to all visitors.

3x promotion

Make your app launch a huge event. Promote it before, during and after launch. This journey must go on!

If you want to increase downloads, first make a huge bang for the app launch, build it up and then get to as many followers as possible.

Release your app with a big bang. Hold an online or live event (e.g. via Facebook). Boost popularity by timing the launch of your app to coincide with a live event or trending topic.

promoting mobile app

Attract visitors in creative ways, by building a game or puzzle or just throwing a contest or giveaway. Offer rewards to app users. Mobile app users are delighted with rewards when you offer them in tandem with registration. This can also increase downloads. The reward can be anything from points, discounts to cashback from a popular wallet service. Reward programs can also help keep users for a longer time period.

  • Give out promo codes on Twitter and in the blogosphere.
  • Run contests related to your app. Give away prizes that make sense for your category (e.g. free access to your content)
  • Promo on magazine subscription for everyone who downloads your app.

Why Facebook Ads are so effective?

We would like to show you one more way to successful promotion. Facebook ads are the one of the top sources of mobile app installs, with a whopping 13.08% conversion rate.

Targeted ads are probably the most effective way of reaching your ideal customer. Thanks to advertisements on Facebook, you can target ads to specific recipients who may be interested in your products and services.

When you use analytics, you have the knowledge of your users necessary to accurately target your ads. Facebook offers the opportunity to specify your target group pretty precisely i.e. by location, by age and gender, by interest and behavior.

Hint: Ads should include distinctive, large images and contain one of the well-known elements that arouse emotions and carry specific connotations like animals, scenes with a crowd. It would also be a good idea to add some “call to action” button.

Increase promotion = increase downloads

Mobile users access apps more frequently, but for shorter periods of time than web users. Moreover, users are usually multitasking as they’re on their phones, so they require a simple design for limited attention spans.

This is the secret of effective application promotion.

Integrate your social networks with website or blog and focus on multi-channel promotion: print/online issue, on the website, on social media. I guarantee that it will increase the number of your magazine readers, mobile apps downloads and generally speaking improve traffic.

Mobile app for the magazine should be an active part of your business strategy. Try to use some of our advice, measure results and… share effects with us!