Content marketing is a major focus for marketers. From blog posts to whitepapers, webinars and videos, content is the fuel that helps businesses generate, qualify and move leads through their sales funnels, otherwise known as inbound marketing.
In order to succeed with content marketing, businesses need to tailor content to consumer personas and intent. And that means thinking about how consumers are finding and engaging with content on mobile.
In this post we’ll explore what a content hub is and how content-based apps can help you achieve your mobile marketing objectives.
What is a content hub?
The idea behind a content hub app is simple: it’s a centralized, one-stop-shop for mobile consumers to access digital content. Businesses can use content hubs to bring branded, curated, user-generated and/or sponsored content together in one location, giving them control over context and assisting with inbound lead generation efforts.
Much like the newsrooms or resource centers before them, mobile optimized content hubs serve as a place a community (like employees, investors, bike-enthusiasts) or customers can come together to discover and engage with premium content.
Generally speaking, content hubs can be created for the web or as a native app, which we will explore in more detail later.
Content hubs can be comprised of single article posts as well as interactive, media-rich presentations or PDFs. Single posts and publications are produced with the mobile audience in mind – ie. minimizing lengthy copy in favor for short paragraphs, images and video.
Content hubs are mostly used to help business with lead generation, but they can also be used as a part of an integrated communications plan for campaigns, like product launches, events or even for internal communications, like the examples below.
In fact, content hubs can be used by practically any business to meet a variety of communications objectives, whether they are web-based or created as a native app. However, an app has certain advantages that make it a great choice!
How can an app improve my mobile content strategy?
Simply put: if your business is producing digital content, a content hub app is the next step to increasing mobile engagement.
Content marketing has helped countless businesses increase awareness, boost visitor engagement and drive conversions. But inbound was essentially built for desktop, with mobile as an after-thought.
Traditionally, content apps are used by brands to supplement the lower engagement content on their websites, blogs and social media. With mobile apps, brands offer a premium experience in exchange of user installation, which is a form of gating comparable to lead forms content marketers use.
With a content hub, your business can deliver tailored, relevant and timely content to mobile audiences in a format designed to engage. In fact, it’s important to note that creating an app that supports your inbound strategy doesn’t mean recreating your mobile site. Instead, it’s an opportunity to focus on your mobile users and identify where you can bring more sophistication and interactivity to your content.
Content apps increase engagement
According to the latest ComScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report, desktop usage is in sharp decline as mobile, and specifically apps, are shifting the digital media landscape thanks to convenience and innovation. Smartphone apps have contributed to digital’s massive growth, accounting for 80% of all growth in digital media engagement in the past three years. And while mobile web audiences are generally larger than app audiences, app users spend 20x more time on average in apps than on the mobile web.
So while the mobile web is intrinsic to generating traffic and gaining awareness, it’s mobile apps that will build consumer loyalty and drive engagement. Businesses can be a part of this growth by creating quick-loading, interactive content-based apps that consumers can access anywhere, from any device.
Additional advantages of content-based apps
If driving engagement and loyalty isn’t enough, apps provide other benefits that the mobile web does not.
For starters, content hubs make distribution a breeze. Anyone, anywhere can access the latest post or publication with the tap of an app. This can be an important benefit for content marketers, but also for event or product marketers that need to ensure their audience has the most up-to-date information.
With apps you can even manage access and permissions by requiring users to sign-in – a feature that can be especially useful for corporations that want to limit app users to employees or investors.
While it’s generally not as common in a marketing context, apps can also help businesses monetize content thanks to in-app advertising and in-app purchases, like subscriptions. Businesses can also leverage the growing mobile commerce trend by using shoppable or affiliate deep-links to generate sales and/or commissions.
Finally, while data and automation have helped marketers personalize web visits, tracking visitors across multiple devices has made personalization challenging from a mobile perspective. The interactive experience offered by apps not only makes it easier for users to consume content, but also give marketers better “intent” data to inform personalization and targeting. With a native app, you can pull user data including location and in-app actions, to set up your own mobile marketing automation strategy, encompassing email, social, push notifications and in-app messaging to nurture users towards specific conversions.
Can businesses publish a content app without spending a fortune?
The answer is yes, absolutely.
Mobile development used to cost a lot, but luckily even small businesses can afford to create and manage their own branded app thanks to “drag and drop”, do-it-yourself digital publishing platforms.
Here at Paperlit, we allow businesses to package content into a professional apps, no coding required. In fact, thanks to compatibility with leading industry-standard formats (PDF, .folio, Hpub), if you’re using Adobe InDesign, you can create engaging content-based apps with Paperlit pretty much immediately!
Does you business need to create a content-based app? With Paperlit, your can create content hub apps for virtually any type of content, in any language – the ideal solution for anyone who is looking to publish high-quality content-based mobile apps without the high costs, resources and time required of custom development. Find out more!