DMG Media wanted to build high-performance native apps for their thriving publishing brand.
We built them a strong presence on the App Stores - and got them happier readers, more traffic and more options for future growth - all without them having to take on any technical work themselves.
They’re a great example of how thriving media brands with a lot of reach can use native apps to create a more diverse experience for readers and build channels that they truly own.
One of Ireland’s fastest growing publishers
DMG Media runs several high-profile Irish media properties including two high-traffic WordPress sites that we built native news apps for.
Evoke.ie is a brand targeted at Irish women covering news, fashion, beauty, entertainment, and celebrity gossip hits over 9 million pageviews and a million unique visitors a month.
Extra.ie is another popular brand that covers news, politics and sport for an Irish audience. Extra wasn't trailing too far behind Evoke with an average of 700k uniques a month.
These are impressive numbers for anyone, but even more so when you consider that their target audience are from a country with a population of under 5 million. They’re clearly doing something right and capturing a sizable slice of the Irish pie.
Searching for growth
When media brands get really successful they can sometimes reach the limit of their audience through their existing channels.
The challenge then becomes figuring out a way to keep growing through new channels and increasing engagement with their existing audience. Native apps can be a great way to do this.
As DMG explained to us:
“We've reached the limit of our potential audience in Ireland - for the female audience for EVOKE - so the only way to go is to push on the app and get different kinds of users to interact with the product”
The team did some thinking about which directions could lead to growth and the different ways they could encourage readers to interact with their product.
“You build the website, you expect them all to come through the front door - but they don't always. And that's where we're figuring out new traffic sources and how we could capture the most readers”
As veterans of the publishing industry know, social media traffic isn’t what it used to be.
Facebook in particular is a pay to play game for publishers, and is a constantly shifting landscape. Social traffic can be great to get initial traction, but as your brand evolves it becomes crucial to build channels that you own and control.
“When you're starting out, all the traffic is coming through social media which is pretty much just paying for the same user again and again and again. So we wanted to build a go-to destination where people kept coming back to us - instead of relying on purchasing that reader every time through social media”
We need to build some apps!
The CEO decided that the way to go was building a presence on the App Stores - so they started checking out a few different options to see what was best for their business.
They looked at some of the many DIY app builders on the market. These can be great for smaller projects or local business apps - but they always fall short for high-traffic digital publishers who need premium news apps.
DMG found many of them to be:
“Very rudimentary programs that just give you the basics and there aren’t many styling options”
Another option is going for a completely custom app built through a specialist agency. This can be an appealing option as you’ll get your app built by skilled developers with a lot of experience under their belts. The downside is that the cost can be significant and it can take months.
“We looked at a custom build, but the cost involved for building something from scratch was just excessive. We were getting quotes from £60,000 - up to massive amounts of money just to build a custom app. So, to get it done we needed to look at something that would get us there fast”
DMG came across MobiLoud and saw how we could be a great fit.
We take already successful WordPress news and content sites and convert them into native apps, so there’s no duplication of effort. You’re already doing all the hard work of building a successful website and creating content for it - so why not take this already winning formula and leverage it through native apps?
The process is fast, affordable and straightforward, so our clients are freed to focus on their core competencies - growing successful news sites, creating great content and promoting it to readers.
So why did DMG choose MobiLoud?
“At the time it was mainly ease-of-use and trying to get something on the market quickly because we already had the WordPress sites... Basically we started off just wanting a presence but we've noticed that we've actually gained a wider audience through the apps, which we didn't previously have”
Native success with MobiLoud
After a while, DMG started to see how well their apps were working, despite the “hands off” nature of our service and the simple management through WordPress.
“The app was there and people could download it and it worked. That was for us the best thing because we were so busy with creating this new brand [Extra], that we really weren't too worried about the app, which was great. It just worked!”
We can see DMG pushing onwards and becoming even more successful, with their native apps as a key ingredient in the mix.
Their challenge for them going forward is finding ways to strategically balance what they push through the apps vs their website - and working with us to further adapt their apps to business needs.
“The worry is that you’ll push one product way too much through the app and take traffic from the website. Until you really understand the users – it could be different users or the same user but at different times of the day with a different way of interacting with your product. And now the talk around here is about pushing the app forward a bit with some further customization”
This has taken some smart user research and digging deep into the data.
We help out by integrating with major analytics platforms like Firebase and Google Analytics to help our clients turn data into profitable insights. We’re also on hand to help plan and then implement any custom features that can help clients like DMG to grow. Our solution is designed for high traffic, premium apps on a par with top publishers like the New York Times or the HuffPost - so we know that our clients sometimes need some specialized and unique tweaks.
“(MobiLoud’s) Support is brilliant…….. And they are constantly pushing out updates and keeping it on track. If I ever have any questions that spring up, I email them to Pietro or Vitor; and they get straight back to me”
The future for DMG
Overall, DMG have shown how successful publishers can use native apps to drive higher traffic and engagement, even when they hit a ceiling with their extremely popular news site. It’s been a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to helping them become even more successful in the future.
Check out Evoke and Extra for examples of popular and skillfully built news brands that are ideally suited for leveraging into native apps.
If you’re a content publisher with a high-traffic WordPress site - book a demo with one of our app experts to learn about how we can help you grow too.