Your readers are important to you. Your magazine reaches your target market, and people are reading it. But how much time do any of us have to sit still and read anymore?
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To extend your reach to new customers, as well as please your current readers, you need to make sure they can read your magazine at their convenience. More and more, this means that your customers need to be able to read your magazine on their smartphones.
If you are like many magazines today, you have some availability of your content through the web available to subscribers. But recent research has shown that, in the case of newspapers, rates of smartphone reading are almost twice that of reading on a computer. If your content doesn’t read well on a smartphone screen, you are losing out on the many eyes that are getting their content on the go.
With rates of reading on mobile devices rising, it is time to consider becoming a mobile-friendly magazine. This may seem like an added difficulty, with all that you do to keep your publishing going these days, but you are not alone. Everyone who is creating anything, from apps to games, to books, needs to go the extra step to make sure that their content appears well on those small screens. Plus, it is getting easier to do.
One of the main reasons this has gotten easier is because of the HPub format, which makes it easy to format your content for publishing on the web without much fuss at all. With the tools available now to get your content into HPub format (HTML5) and templates for various devices readily available, it is not such a hurdle to make sure that your content comes alive beautifully on the tiny screen.
What are readers looking for when they subscribe to a mobile-friendly magazine? For starters, that want content that comes through clearly, with images and text that will fit their small screen. Yes, they are lucky enough to be able to hold the phone close enough to their face to see the text, but they do not want to need to use two hands to scroll around. And they definitely don’t want to feel like they are missing something by reading this way, so all the content has to be accessible and easy to read in the format.
Speaking of missing things, your readers don’t want to miss anything, so if you are moving toward becoming a mobile-friendly magazine, you may wish to publish some of your content more frequently, and in smaller chunks than your print version. Perhaps articles can be available as they are ready or there are daily updates you can deliver, and thus you feed your audience and keep them hooked.
When your magazine becomes mobile-friendly, it unlocks new possibilities of interactivity that you may not have thought of. Navigation can allow readers to easily jump to what they most want to read. They can also choose their favorite sections and have them appear as soon as they click on the magazine. But this is not all. Publishers can get instant feedback if they wish, using polls to ask their readers about what they prefer.
Interactivity has another advantage for magazines that are mobile-friendly: your audience gets to interact with you, getting them more involved and more invested in your magazine. Interaction improves your relationship with readers, and these days, the social aspects of media are so important to people. What a great way to add social features into your content.
Add one more marketplace to sell your magazine: app stores. Once you are mobile-friendly, you can package your magazine as an app and reach a whole new audience. New platforms for distribution will help you reach people, keep your readers, and keep your cash flow going.
So, progress marches forward. Even for those of us who love our paper books and magazines. But becoming mobile-friendly is just a part of the business these days. You can get more readers, interact with the readers you already have, and enjoy using the new technologies of convenience. Wouldn’t you be happy to read a story from your favorite publication when the line at the grocery store is a bit too long? Of course, you would! And so will your readers.
CEO at PaperLit (part of Datrix | AI applications group) a tech company specialised in the digital transformation, distribution and monetization of content via mobile and smart speakers, for publishers and brands, with hundreds of customers worldwide.
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