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To help you select the right digital publishing software or tools for your business, we have also built a straightforward list of must-ask questions that you can use in your own decision process.

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16 Most Effective Digital Publishing Platforms For Mobile & Web
By Bart De Pelsmaeker
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Must-Ask Questions
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As more and more consumers use their tablet and mobile devices to consume content, we have seen major growth in digital publishing software and tools available to brands and publishers. These solutions have begun to vary from each other quite a bit, as they serve vastly different purposes within digital publishing.

Some digital publications are sold as subscriptions for monthly magazines while others are created specifically as free content and are monetized through advertising or used for (content) marketing purposes as digital magazines, ebooks or catalogues.

Some platforms work best for the paid content model, while others are more suited for content marketing and organic search.

We have divided up these different digital publishing solutions into two categories:
  • Web apps or 'digital first' content experiences on HTML/CSS
  • Native apps (and thus available on Apple Newsstand and GooglePlay)
Web Apps: Digital Publishing for Marketing
Native Apps: Digital Publishing for Publishers
IDEAL SCENARIOS:
  • Brand publishing / Content Marketing
  • Advertising-driven Media
The needs and wants of marketing and advertising departments tend to differ significantly from traditional paid content publishing needs. For brands and advertisers, content helps to realize a conversion and needs a bigger "instant rapport" factor.

Therefore, values such as a great user experience, easy & smooth access, fast loading speed, SEO and analytics to name a few features, are of primordial importance to help achieve business results. On the other hand, features such as easy monetization of the content are less relevant here.

Web apps or HTML/CSS-based content applications are stored on a remote server delivered over the Internet through a web browser. This means that readers never have to install anything. The applications can be reached on any web-connected device, whether that be desktop or mobile.

Readz helps marketers and media companies create beautiful digital experiences with an easy-to-use creation platform and integrated marketing stack - no coding or templates necessary. Readz offers a drag-and-drop visual editor, with pre-made modules and a wide variety of animations. Clients include IBM, Deloitte, Nurse.com, Mead Johnson and Nike.

Readz Review ⁕⁕⁕⁕
Readz is undoubtedly the most business-results focused solution in this group of marketing/advertising oriented digital publishing platforms. They offer a powerful visual editing environment and complement that with a powerful marketing stack so marketers and advertisers can drive their content goals: forms, CTA's, a strong focus on SEO, as well as integrated analytics about actual conversions on your content.

Starting at 100 USD monthly with unlimited publications, Readz is an obvious choice for companies looking for a solid ROI on content and/or advertising.
You can check the Readz website
here
.

WOOPIE
"It's your content. In beautiful, digital formats." Woopie helps businesses and organizations create documents and publications that look professional and beautiful on every device. Woopie's name stands for "Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere." Clients include Telefonica, Matter and Wayra.

Woopie Review ⁕⁕⁕
Woopie really lives up to its name. Content created on Woopie looks good on browsers, as well as on eReaders. It handles nicely on mobile and tablet. Woopie uses templates, and the Woopie editor is very reminiscent of the Wordpress editor. As a content creator, you will live in these templates, so you better like them or get started on creating new ones. However, Woopie's system fails significantly short in anything related to marketing. There seems to be no way to acquire leads or sales, page speed tests on Woopie's content reveal rather bad results, and technical SEO seems non-existent. A no-no for marketing, but a use case where Woopie would be suitable is internal communications, where you are talking to an existing audience and you're not concerned with leads or sales.

At 100 USD for a single publication, Woopie starts at the same attractive price level as Readz.

Zmags offers content creation software without the code. Zmags value proposition for its clients is that they will stand apart with rich digital experiences...powered by Zmags easy-to-use content creation software platforms. Zmags is used by Neiman Marcus, Marks & Spencers, Godiva and Vivienne Westwood.

Zmags Review ⁕⁕⁕
Zmags has concentrated its digital publishing efforts completely on the retail sector. Like Readz, Zmags offers integrations with eCommerce platforms that allow brands to create shoppable content. If you are not a retail company, you will not fall into Zmags' ideal customer profile. If you are in retail though, then Zmags can offer you embeddable, responsive (mobile + desktop) shoppable content, allowing you to drive sales directly from your content. On the min side, speedtests reveal that Zmags' content is rather slow (even when surfing the Zmags website a spinner regularly appears), and the quality of their technical SEO is doubtful at a minimum.

Zmags pricing model places them in the mid- to high range.
The Genwi mobile content engagement platform offers you the possibility to find & package the right content and engage prospects with an interactive, tailored experience, wherever they want it - mobile, tablet and desktop. Genwi works with IBM, Computer Associates, Tesla Motors and American Express.

Genwi Review ⁕⁕ In recent years, Genwi has evolved away from digital publishing to become a solution for sales enablement. They offer an SAP-like approach that covers all aspects of sales enablement.

On the very high end of solutions, Genwi is suited for large enterprises looking for sales enablement solutions.

The following publishing tools are for those looking to create native apps (applications downloaded and installed on smartphones or tablets). Mainly oriented towards a publishing audience, tools in this section will help you to create a native app that can be displayed in stores such as Apple’s Newsstand and GooglePlay. The benefits are typically:
  • Out-of-the-box monetization of the content, thanks to the presence on these stores
  • Crisp effects
  • Integration with InDesign.
*Note - while native apps work superbly on mobile, there are still many readers on desktop, so it is important that you double-check how your content will be delivered on desktop.

Here are the best publishing tools and platforms for creating native apps:

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
– undoubtedly the 800-pound gorilla in digital publishing for publishers, Adobe offers a rich product with many features and a large partner base to help you implement it.
appery.io
– a cloud-based platform for enterprises and developers. Create mobile and responsive apps that run on all major device platforms. Samsung, AT&T, and ESPN are clients.
AppMakr
– an app creation platform that lets anyone build their own apps for iPhone, Android, and HTML5 mobile formatted websites. Absolutely no coding required.
Aquafadas
– design apps, eBooks, and digital magazines for mobile devices with no cost-per-download or revenue sharing. Seventeen, Marie Claire, and Cartier are customers.
GoodBarber
– create stunning apps for mobile and tablet in four easy steps: design, add content, preview, and publish. Get access to 50+ themes and a professional photo library, too.
iMirus
– integrates printed content with multimedia interactivity to create branded apps accessible on smartphones and tablets. Clients include Allstate and Porsche.
Inkling
– easily create interactive content that’s both searchable and adaptable to all screen sizes. Plus, you can control who sees that content.
MagLoft
– publish fully branded magazine on iOS, Android, desktop and the web. Simply upload your existing PDF document or use the responsive, drag and drop editor to begin.
Mobile Roadie
– create and manage your own customizable app with built-in geo-targeting, in-app purchasing, user analytics, and more. Disney and the San Diego Zoo customers.
Paperlit
– converts magazines, newspapers, and catalogues into branded apps. The chosen solution for Conde Nast, Vogue, and Wired.
ShoutEm
– whether you’re looking to make an ecommerce, community, loyalty, or branded mobile app, ShoutEm offers everything you need to create superior app experiences.
TheAppBuilder
– design, build, and distribute smartphone and tablet apps. No technical skills required. Specializes in employee apps for improved internal communications and external apps for branding and marketing.
A final word
It is never easy to compile a list of providers in an industry that’s so heavily populated. For every solution mentioned, there must be dozens, if not more, alternatives out there. If there's anything I might have missed that deserves to be on this list, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Bart De Pelsmaeker
Bart is a digital marketing and sales veteran and the founder of Readz, a platform used by brands of all sizes to create superior content experiences. His writing has been featured in Sparksheet, Business2Community, Skyword and other martech publications. Connect with Bart on Twitter
@BartDP
or
LinkedIn
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