Developing a data-driven strategy should be a priority for anyone managing a digital magazine. Good on you for having an interest in exploring this topic!
Leading businesses of today are all obsessed with data. One reason is that data is actually available and fairly straightforward to gather. Second, data can provide insights on how to improve or how to fix broken parts of your strategy.
To adopt a data-driven strategy that will produce digital reader insights from your digital magazine app, you’ll first need to have a digital magazine publishing platform or app that allows you to collect the specific insights that are important to you.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the basic metrics that you can start tracking.
Downloads (total, monthly)
The number of downloads of your digital magazine app is a general indicator of your digital magazine’s popularity. It can be tracked both in its total cumulative number or monthly. Some insights that you can gain from this indicator is the effectiveness of your promotional strategy geared towards new subscriptions. Of course, if you have an effective campaign, this should be reflected in an increase in that particular month’s downloads.
On the other hand, the cumulative total downloads can tell you how popular your digital publication is compared to its competitors. A simple comparison of the total downloads tells you who are the biggest players in the field and how you are doing compared to them. It can also be a rough estimation of each of the player’s market share.
Movements in this indicator can give you clues on whether to run an ad campaign or run promotions.
Total app users
Tracking the number of current users of your app is a useful indicator of how engaging your content is throughout months or even years.
Tracking this indicator is necessary because downloads only tell you how many have installed the app on their phone but it doesn’t show whether these installers have actually opened the app and read your digital magazine or whether some app users are abandoning your app after using it a few times.
Perhaps you notice a much lower app user rate vs. your downloads in the last couple of months? Maybe it’s just a matter of programming a push notification a day after reminding them to view their digital magazine.
A steady decline in app users could signal a change in behaviour from your audience that you haven’t addressed in your digital magazine app yet. It could also be the content - its quality or how engaging it is. Keeping track of this will let you detect weak points in your digital magazine before it’s too late.
Average time on app (reading + live content)
Another valuable indicator to track is the average time on app. Going deeper, you can even track the average time on a certain page or article.
This indicator can clearly show what are the most engaging parts of each issue and will help you produce similar types of articles that your audience prefer. Could it be the topic? Or perhaps it’s because your articles have started to incorporate video lately? The more you track your articles, the more insights you can uncover.
If your digital magazine app has live content functionalities such as live streams, you can see how effective your live broadcasts are and hopefully mimic the same effective live content in the future. Why was the last livestream unsuccessful? Maybe because it was done at 9 AM when your audience was busy at work answering emails. Armed with this information, next time, you’ll then try out live streaming at lunchtime. It’s all about diagnosing the weaknesses and adjusting your strategy.
Top pages viewed
It’s important to know what are the most viewed stories in your digital magazine. Tracking the most popular pages in your digital magazine app will help you understand the types of content your audience prefers.
It will take some time tracking until patterns emerge. But when they do, they allow you the opportunity to steer the direction of your content towards what’s popular. Eventually, your digital magazine will keep improving in its content and your audience will grow.