Consumer-based digital magazines know their audience, and have offered Newsstand apps to meet the demand since the digital option became available. In fact, these publication apps are among the longest standing. Trade publications, however, somehow missed that cue, and are just starting to come around en masse.
Talking New Media suggests that one way to gauge the age of a trade magazine Newsstand app is by simply looking at the list. Newer apps land at the top, and you’ll hardly see a consumer-based magazine there. B2B trade publications in the Professional & Trade category, however, have quite a presence now.
It doesn’t really matter why offering an app to your audience is just now a priority. What matters is that you get it right. Here are 3 reasons why this strategy works, and how it can help engage your audience.
Current Information as Often as You Want to Offer It
Your print publication might still be going strong. But digital offers something that print can’t, and that’s a way to update with new content whenever you like. With digital, you can update a story, add a correction, link to other sources, add new images, and essentially anything else that you want to do, and you don’t need a new print run to do it.
When you offer an app to your readers, you’re offering them a link to the most current content that you can provide. That’s an edge over every print copy on the market, even your own.
Versatility Means Readers Can Use the Device of Their Choosing
Formatting options let you choose portrait or landscape, with portrait being vertical orientation and landscape being horizontal. Each has it’s benefits. With portrait, you’re offering content that’s easier for smartphone users to view, and it also works with tablets. With landscape, tablet readers see your publication in a format that’s more akin to a print layout.
If you really want to cater to your audience, offer both. This doesn’t mean that you need two separate apps, one for smartphones and another for tablets. With smart programming, your content can be optimized for the device that it’s being viewed on.
Digital Brings in the Interactive Element
Print can’t compete in any way with the interactive benefits of digital. Digital lets you link out to other content, add slideshows, and host videos, none of which print can do.
The interactive element means your audience gets more than pictures and words on a page. With digital, readers can learn more about a story, see albums full of related images, and even listen to podcasts that supplement your material.
The bigger the experience, the more there is to see, the more reason your audience has to stick around, share with friends, and come back each day, week, or month.
The more you want to offer, the more digital makes sense for audience engagement. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing strategy, where you choose between print or digital. In fact, offering both lets you cater to a wider range of preferences. And if you charge for your print copy, you can offer digital for free, at least for a while. That’s reason enough for readers to download an app and see what all the fuss is about.