With the advancement in mobile and social technologies, customers and consumers alike are expecting convenient products and services that offer immediacy, simplicity, and efficiency through a fast, contextual, visually appealing media experience. Mobile has become the manifestation of a cultural shift where the virtual world is controlling the real world. It’s an ideal world for digital agencies and marketers to pitch ideas and sell products and services. Magazines, published works, and books have entered the digital age, adding another dimension to the written word. Some are being digitized and made freely available online. Others are enticing their prints subscribers as well as mobile and wireless shoppers to go digital. Retailers recognized this mass opportunity. Take a look at Sony Reader with its iTunes Store-like interface, Amazon Kindle with its library of media-rich books and magazines, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook with its offerings of digital books and best newsstands. Let’s not forget about the development of a digital newsstand from popular publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, and News Corp/Time Inc. All recognize the opportunity presented by developing a cross platform for digital technology, advertising, and digital sales; thereby, creating a mobile presence that may drive more sales through mobile devices than they do via prints.
In today’s article, let’s focus on how these retailers and publishers are creating a mobile presence that drives sales; thereby, mastering the art of digital products. Digital agencies, marketers, advertisers, brands, online media, mobile apps and content providers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to find a digital niche, take note – this article is for you.
- Be a brand and a brand extension. O – The Oprah Magazine extends Oprah Winfrey’s personal brand. It’s a brand that serves as a marketing platform for brands within their respective categories. Your brand or expertise can be exposed through brand extension. Take note of how they leverage existing technology to translate their brand’s image into the mobile world.
- Have a social network enabled mobile website. Visually appealing websites with social media integration are great, content-rich brand extensions. Like a perfect extension of the magazine, think of it as your extension of your brand’s mobile apps and content. Your site is another way of reinforcing your brand. When designing and developing a mobile website, consider whether you want to create it for the most commonly-used smartphones or also for web-enabled mobile devices and tablets. Also, consider whether you want to redirect your mobile users to your mobile site or provide them a separate URL. Also important is the integration of social media into your site.
- Think disposable content. What do magazines and talk shows have in common? What make them great is that they offer disposal contents that allow readers and viewers to get something new every time. Design and develop a website, mobile app, and video app using the concept found in print and digital magazines, in all talk shows like The David Letterman Show and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and in Internet radio on a smartphone or tablet like Pandora. Think fresh ideas, new entertainment, new guests, and new ways of conveying your brand’s image and message. Think of your brand in terms of “liquid content”; they live, breathe, and survive in many shapes and forms – online, mobile, video, pictures, radio, widgets, and other communication channels.
- Be a multimedia content platform. Online and mobile media involve customers in the production of content. They work because they are centered on social communities of users interacting with rich content as well as with brands that they can engage with. Magazines are a good example because they are adding digital media to their paper version to allow them to deepen their relationship with their existing readers and at the same time allow them to remain relevant in the digital world. They’re also creating value because they’re reaching out to new readers and mobile users and quite possibly winning them over with their interactive content. If they like your content, they’ll buy, subscribe, invest, and even share with other potential buyers.
- Be interactive. The digital generation of mobile devices makes picture, video, sound, and interactivity at the forefront. You want to empower users by providing them the necessary means to encourage their participations. Magazines enter the digital world because they want to create an interactive experience for their readers. Take a look at Esquires’ interactive cover videos or the interactive videos within Wired. Doesn’t it capture your attention and intrigue you to download its digital edition?
- Have vibrant page. Like Glamour and Allure aps, the pictures and quality of your media need to be top-notched. Their quality of their pictures in print did not get lost in the digital world. Remember it’s all about user’s experience. You want to create a visually pleasing experience for your target.
- Tell a story. Books and magazines tell compelling stories, and they sell. Whatever you’re developing and selling for the mobile device, whether it’s a mobile app, a mobile advertisement, or a social media tool, make sure it tells a story that will capture’s your target’s attention and invite them to act (share, purchase, like, follow, tweet, etc.).
- Have engagement goals that are supported by mobile apps. You need to have an engagement goal for any mobile project you’re involved in. If your goal is to empower your customers and prospects, then invest in enabling technologies, such as social networks, to connect them to each other and at the same time, to you and your brand. Take a look at any activity feed apps that keep mobile users in touch and social apps that capture tweets, updates, status, ideas, rants and raves, and ideas. What do they have in common? They simply engage users and connect them to brands. When you create the right engagement mindset, your products and services will reflect that, and your customers and prospects will notice that.
Click here to check out this same topic but from the customer’s perspective. It’s a great read for you and your brand to understand some of the possible perspectives that readers may have as they relate to digital and print editions. When developing a mobile solution, you need to understand the perceptions from both sides – the brand’s and the customer’s in order to create innovative apps and products, or in case of digital agencies and marketers, to create ads that are inviting, interactive, and socially relevant. Relevant comments are always welcome.