26 Nov 2015 by Krista McLandress

5 ways magazine apps can take advantage of holiday marketing trends

magazine apps holiday marketing trends

With the holiday season quickly approaching, magazine publishers are keen to get in-front of consumers and increase revenues. While holiday-themed editorial, increased advertiser budgets and festive newsstand promotions are key to meeting print circulation goals, what actions are you taking to ensure the success of your digital magazine?

Here are 5 ways magazine app publishers can take advantage of holiday marketing trends to increase revenues, acquire new users and increase engagement:

1. Include premium content exclusive to app users

Your branded app allows you to distribute your digital replicas quickly and easily, but it can also be the vehicle for disseminating exclusive content consumers are looking for during the holidays. Increase engagement in your magazine app by including interactive media like video and image galleries, or live feeds that can be curated to deliver holiday-themed content. For example, an epicure magazines could include a video gallery of the top 10 Christmas dinner recipes, while a fashion magazine could promote editor's lists of top gift ideas. No matter your category, the addition of exclusive content give users something they can't find anywhere else - helping you turn monthly app users into weekly or even daily users.

Quick tips: if you're planning to add new features to your app, be sure to update your app description and screenshots on the app stores. Showing people the benefits of your app will help you stand out in search results and acquire more downloads! Also, people who download magazine apps are looking for your latest issue, so make sure you've got your latest cover as one of your screenshots for easy recognition.

2. Add shoppable links to editorial and advertisements

Mobile is increasingly being used for shopping as we become more confident making purchases over our smartphones and tablets. According to predictions from eMarketer, this trend will continue throughout the holidays as mCommerce sales are set to rise 32.2% —more than double the 14.2% increase forecast for retail eCommerce sales as a whole.

Publishers can take advantage of this trend by including shoppable links in digital replicas. Shoppable links are links to a mobile-optimized commerce site, and can be added to your digital edition to give readers added value or generate revenue as part of an affiliate program.

shoppable links digital magazine

Keeping on the theme of revenue generation, advertisers typically allocate the majority of their annual spend into Q4 holiday campaigns, with mobile becoming the go-to channel to reach consumers. Magazine publishers can capitalize on this trend by creating more attractive advertising packages including shoppable eCommerce links in advertorials and advertisements.  The benefit to advertisers is not only an increase in referral traffic to their websites, but a greater ability to measure the ROI of their ad spend.

3. Promote digital subscriptions across multiple devices

For many magazine publishers, the holiday season represents a major opportunity to sell gift subscriptions, including access to digital editions. While the web is widely used for subscription campaigns, it's increasingly important to ensure that campaigns are crafted with the mobile users in mind. Why? According to Google, over 90% of Internet users are using multiple devices to complete a task, while 30% of online holiday purchases will be via mobile this year.

Get a leg up on your competitors by running multi-device campaigns across the web, social, search and email that use targeting, segmentation and personalization to reach people on any device. For example, re-target website visitors with ads on social media apps, like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, or via email with a personalized campaign that leads them back to your (mobile-optimized) website to purchase a subscription.

Reaching shoppers on their preferred device while they are searching for the perfect gift means that your brand is there when they need you - and that's a huge benefit, especially for reaching those last minute buyers!

multi-device path to purchase

But it's not just your website visitors that you need to catch across multiple devices. Your current app users can act as your best referrals and increase the virality of your campaigns. Reach app users with push notifications and in-app promotions, giving them the ability to share your holiday promotion via social or email, and purchase subscriptions for friends and family.

4. Invest in App Install campaigns

The holidays see an onslaught of new device activations and app installs, with Christmas Day seeing 2.5x as many app installs than an average day in the first three weeks of December. To reach people who are searching for new apps, invest in some well-targeted app install advertising.

app install holidays magazine app

App install ads help people discover new apps on high traffic channels like Facebook, Twitter and the Google search network, as well as directly in the Google Play store.  These channels have a wealth of user data, allowing you to focus your budget on mobile users who best match your target demographic and are most likely to download your app. Not sure who your target app user is? Find demographic information you have about your current app users via Google Analytics or Flurry.

5. Engage new users with push notification campaigns

Lastly, with an increase in downloads comes the responsibility to ensure your new app users download or purchase single issues and/or subscriptions.  App abandonment is a real problem - as much as 90% of app users will leave an app by the 3 month mark, according to a study from Kahuna.

push notification magazine app

The best way to combat this trend is by developing an engagement strategy using push notifications. This holiday season send out push campaigns promoting the content in new issues or leverage New Years' resolutions for promoting subscriptions to users who have only purchased a single issue. The key to success is grabbing users attention with a message that is both relevant and timely, so that they open the app and take action - either by downloading an issue or subscribing.

The holidays are a great opportunity to optimize your digital magazine content and campaigns. What actions will you be taking to drive more downloads and subscriptions of your digital editions?

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Posted in app install ads, engagement, Growth, in-app advertising, increase circulation, shoppable links, user acquisition

Krista McLandress

Krista McLandress

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