Embrace Your Mobile Audience

Hutch Hicken's article in the Publishing Partners Guide 2018

By Hutch Hicken

Embrace Your Mobile Audience

Why digital? It’s a question we hear often at BlueToad. With publishers already supporting print, web, and social media, they openly wonder where the digital edition fits in. The answer is simple – digital editions (in one form or another) have remained relevant over the past decade because there is an audience that wants the unique experience of a digital edition. Digital editions offer a curated, packaged, and delivered content experience most similar to print but with obvious digital benefits and on the devices that matter most to readers. And now, it’s this experience on phones in particular that is pushing the digital edition model to evolve the most.

We recently reviewed reader data for publishers on the BlueToad Platform and found that over 50% of all views come from a mobile device. If it wasn’t clear to publishers before, it should be now. Translating content well to the small screen is mission critical to a successful digital content distribution strategy.

Seeing this emerging trend several years ago, we began focusing nearly all our energy at BlueToad on this singular objective. We talked to publishers, analysed leading content delivery apps, and explored optimal mobile reading experiences. Through the process, we found that the editorial process of curating and producing great, trustworthy content is still the first step to a successful digital content distribution strategy. Indeed, we saw how important it is to fully present the publisher’s brand to the reader.

It was also clear that good mobile content must be appropriately sized and navigable by scrolling and swiping. It must contain simply formatted text, images, and videos. It should place your website and social media at the fingertips of your readers and effortlessly incorporate available video and RSS feeds. Finally, and as we now well know from the advent of ad blockers, it became clear that ads should be as relevant and unobtrusive as possible on a phone.

The mobile edition has since continued to evolve. Publishers are incorporating audio articles to address the emerging trend of readers wanting to listen to content on the go. They are publishing fresh content direct to mobile without a designed PDF. They are even incorporating virtual reality experiences for key pieces of content or advertisers.

Without question, now is the time to embrace your mobile audience with not only great content that represents your brand but also content delivered appropriately on the devices that matter to your readers. This is what readers are now expecting.

For more than a decade, BlueToad has worked with thousands of publishers in the U.S. to create and monetise beautifully responsive digital editions and web content. BlueToad is now bringing its solution and partner-focused service to Europe with the opening of an office in London. BlueToad is focused on emerging technologies like mobile editions, responsive web content, audio articles, and virtual reality.


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