April 14, 2015 Last Updated 8:51 am

April App Publisher roundtable: app marketing initiatives

What one marketing initiative do you think a publisher can implement to improve the sales performance of their digital edition app? We get the views of industry professionals


The Roundtable question in the April issue of App Publisher is about app marketing and what a publisher can do to improve their chances of gaining downloads and sales. It is, to be fair, a complicated question and one not easily answered in a couple of sentences.

But our panel this month gave it their best shot. Here is a sampling from the April issue:

That’s a great question, and certainly one that we hear a lot. It’s also very complex, as it depends a lot on what the publisher is trying to do with their app (i.e., reach the print audience to convert them, reach a new audience, test new content bundles, sell ads, etc.).

Driving higher app downloads requires a different strategy and tools than driving more sales inside of the app. That said, what we’ve seen a lot is people concentrating on the former and less on the latter, where there is often lower-hanging fruit for increasing revenue.

Mike Haney, Chief Creative Officer, Mag+

App Store Optimization is not a magic but all about improving the visibility of a particular app on the App Store. ASO techniques focuses on two main areas:

  1. Search optimization – This part focuses on adjusting the name of the app and its keywords to improve search-ability of the app.
  2. Behavioral adjustment – This part focuses on humans’ decision making. There are several areas on App Store that trigger human decisions to make an install or to abandon it. These are the most important for us: Application name, screenshots and app description.

(PressPad ran a blog post on ASO which you can find here.)

Wojtek Szywalski, Content Marketing Manager, PressPad


I honestly don’t think there is ‘one’ thing that a publisher can do in this instance. There are so many factors in how a digital edition app performs once thrown into the giant ocean of the App Store, and then there is the pond-life marketplace that is Newsstand.

You can look at a number of factors – do the readers want a digital version of their favourite magazine? Is the app too complicated to use? Does the print strategy for subscriptions overrule all other formats, or is there a bundled offer? Not enough is being done on social media.

David Hicks, Hicks Design


One of the things we will be experimenting with is simple full page ad swap pages. We would encourage publishers to reach out to other digital editions that are complimentary to their own and ask if there is a possibility for exchanging a full page ad. This way, the participating publishers can both get new readers. 

It’s a pretty low tech marketing hack, but if you get your full page ad in a magazine with engaged readers that are passionate about the topic, then there is a good chance you will grow your own readership. And who knows this might even lead to more partnerships and opportunities down the road.

Nick Martin, Co-founder of MagLoft

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