Thirty-Six Tips for Developing a Successful Mobile Publishing Strategy
With the expansion of the smartphone market, mobile seems poised to fulfill its promise as the next great frontier in publishing. Whether that primarily means new marketing opportunities or new avenues for monetizing content may depend on the specifics of one's publishing market, but what seems certain is that this new medium—with its unprecedented interactivity, accessibility and, yes, mobility—cannot be ignored.
"The combination of ubiquitous, cheap computing and massive adoption of mobile devices is providing publishers with a dream scenario," says Dani Essindi Behrendt of mobile technology company Ricoh Innovations. "Publishers can finally develop a direct relationship with their readers, thus creating brand experiences around content."
The following tips, coming from a range of publishing perspectives, offer numerous ideas for connecting with readers and conceiving of mobile as a long-term investment.
Tips From … Colleen O'Connell, director of online marketing, HarperCollins Children's Books
HarperCollins has proven a leader in using mobile to market books, making a splash over a year ago by being one of the first U.S. publishers to use QR Codes in book promotion. (QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes—placed on printed materials such as book covers—that are readable by mobile phones, and used to connect print readers to digital content.)
1. Mobile devices: More than just "another screen."
Content and marketing programs designed for mobile must reflect the medium's distinct characteristics. "You can't just take what you have on a website and automatically put it on this mobile screen," O'Connell says. "It does not work like that." Consider the screen size, the demographic you are trying to reach, and the types of phones [that demographic typically] owns, she says, and design content accordingly.
2. Don't just think smartphone.
They may get all the buzz, but it's likely that a significant percentage of your audience still does not carry a smartphone, O'Connell says. When designing campaigns for teens, Harper Children's offers high-resolution versions of mobile content optimized for smartphones and lower-res versions that "take all the content and displays it in a different way for [non-smartphones]." Whatever the format, start with what you are sure works, she says. "You can always optimize and add to it later."