5 Rules We’ve Learned From Apps

Digital magazine publishing can succeed with the help of well-designed apps

Digital magazine publishing relies on app and tablet success. Fortunately, these two markets are growing quickly; global tablets are predicted to reach 760 million by 2016 and digital publishing apps are expected to account for 80% of app downloads in 2016, alongside games, social networking, and e-commerce.

What makes for a good digital magazine publishing app? Here are some factors we’ve seen help apps stand above the competition.

#1: Make shopping easier: In the past, publishers would offer third party products that would drive the shopper back to an affiliate’s website. Today, digital publishers can create apps that allow for direct, in-app purchases. This way, you can keep customers active in your app, as opposed to driving them to other websites.

#2: Reusable content should be considered: Branded apps have made headlines for some companies. The popularity of apps makes it possible for any number of businesses to get involved with the smartphone and tablet markets. As brands look to expand and develop new audience members, they need to find content that will not only suit the brand, but will be a hit with audiences.

Nike’s Football+ app is one example of an app that has a lot of reusable content. The app gives coaches access to training schedules and instructional videos. These tools create value and provide a reason for users to continually use the app.

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#3: Operationally stable: Once you develop a great app, test it and assure there aren’t any bugs. This level of quality will be expected from you anytime you produce new apps or make changes. Having an operationally stable app relies on adequate load time and a product that does not freeze or incorporate bad hyperlinks.

#4: Compatibility: Your app needs to be compatible with the mobile device you have designed it for. Take into account that each platform has specific requirements.

#5: Think beyond the traditional advertisement: New technology cannot be viewed like everything else before it. Tablets offer much more than other devices ever have. The touch screen, for instance, connects users to its offerings, and allows for engagement with friends and community members. The digital capabilities – including interactive gaming, media-rich audio and video – and the device’s size make it a truly high-quality mobile device.

Digital marketers have recognized the need to provide better advertisements and have created ones that utilize the tablet’s characteristics. The findings have been impressive. According to textPlus, interactions with ads on the iPad are six times longer than similar interactions on desktops.

Punch is one company that is approaching advertising on the app differently. The company recently partnered with the Tribeca Film Festival on an app that presents an interactive guide to the films, maps out the city, and provides previews of each movie.

What do you look for in a great app? What features do you put into your own apps? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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