Large corporations such as BMW, Audi or Lufthansa have recognized the recent trend and have added digital versions of their customer magazines to their marketing strategies in order to keep its reach. Additionally, this enables improved customer understanding and customization of magazine content. This will lead to greater customer loyalty, higher user numbers and thus increased sales.
In the first part of this blog series, we described the features that customers want and thus need to be considered for the creation of any customer magazine app. In this second part we want to provide tips to facilitate the continuous publishing process.
Part II: A guide for publishers
6 features to watch for when choosing a publishing tool for your customer magazine app
There are countless tools that enable publishers to distribute their content. Choosing the right publishing solution is like searching for the perfect apartment, the perfect wedding dress or the perfect partner. If you make the wrong choice, you might regret it every single day, perhaps even for a lifetime. But what are the features you need to watch out for when choosing the right tools in order to avoid mistakes and frustration? In the following section, we will discuss the most important elements that a publishing suite must have. You will notice that it is not just about intuitive navigation and a well-organized interface.
Today there are several tools that make digital corporate publishing easy. Probably the most well-known among these tools is the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite®. Unfortunately, in the beginning of the year, Adobe’s Single Edition was taken off the market in its original version. Besides others, an excellent alternative offers our SPRYLAB I Purple DS® publishing suite.
When creating an app and its contents, you obviously do not want to forego the opportunity to facilitate or even automate processes. Time is of essence here. Once you have collected the content for the customer magazine, you want to quickly move on to creating and publishing your app. Apps should be personal, individual and intuitive – but it’s hard to achieve that using a generic construction kit. This usually requires finding programmers, designers and developers, all of which are expensive. What you need is a publishing tool than can be easily managed by basically everyone and that offers a maximum of creative freedom – without knowing a single line of coding. The tool should be able to import InDesign, Photoshop, DPS® Folio or PDF files.
An app-publisher needs to keep its users interested and engaged. That means that the app needs to be easily readable on all devices. This impedes the simple 1:1 replica of existing PDF files.
Additionally, interactive elements such as feedback or evaluation forms should be integrated. This offers the opportunity to receive direct feedback from and also to start direct or indirect dialogues with the user. Animations are another means to keep the customer hooked and to contribute to increased customer loyalty.
Besides customer engagement, a regular communication with the customer is important.
Therefore, the app should also support the integration of newsfeeds. This offers the possibility to easily distribute most recent news and keep the customers up-to-date.
To keep your company on the radar of your user’s mind, continuous publishing is required. This can for example be done by “cutting” your print content into “smaller nuggets” that are published in a higher frequency than the print version.
The analysis of customers and customer data is one of the most important elements that a customer magazine app needs to fulfill. It must help you understand your customers, know their needs, and know their interests. With this knowledge, you’re able to tailor the app to be more appealing, intuitive and informative. Trust is good, knowledge is better – with analytics, success or failure quickly become visible. Analytics reveal the number of users as well as information about the number of people who stop using the app, thereby providing an immense advantage over traditional print magazines. With the latter, it’s possible to know how many issues were printed but not possible to measure the real number of readers or determine which content was of most interest to those readers.
With the help of an app, news and articles can be customized to reflect the current location of the user. Thus, the suer can only see content that is of interest to him. This allows users to also receive regional news, which is what motivates many readers to download the app in the first place. Or the user can only see the issues of the customer magazine in the app kiosk in his respective language.
Knowing your users’ location via the app also enables you to collect important information about how the app is used, such as determining where the app is used the most geographically. This feeds again the analytics.
Push notifications for personalized communication
When it comes to an app’s ability to attract attention, its timely relevance, and its regionalization, all of these elements can be enhanced using push notifications. Readers receive messages about important events directly on their displays and can consume the content immediately. With the help of location-based push notifications, it is also possible to customize the app so that it sends out content only when the user is in a certain place. For example, it is possible to send push notifications about events or stories within the user’s proximity using the user’s location data. Apps can also be used to send personalized, location-based advertising via the fastest possible way. Push notifications contain enormous potential for capturing readers’ interest in new articles and in using the app.
To sum up: When you are searching for the right tool to design apps, the key elements you need to watch out for are design freedom, compatibility with standard formats, easy integration of interactions & animations to increase customer loyalty as well as analytics to continuously improve your content.