At Mediabistro’s Media App Summit today David Steinberger, CEO/co-founder of digital comic book publishing company comiXology, revealed how he built a digital comic book company that owns 85-95 percent of digital comic book market, competing directly with Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. The company grew from releasing about 100 digital comics a month in 2009 and to releasing 1,278 books a month today.
With the vision, “bring comics to everyone everywhere,” Steinberger walked through how the company upgraded its app from Version 2 to Version 3. This update tripled the app’s engagement rate. Here are some tips from his presentation:
1. Think about the material and how a consumer will be thinking about that material. Steinberger recommends to think about what is unique about the content that you are providing and think about how a consumer would be most likely go deeper. For example, reading one issue of a comic book would likely make a reader go to the next issue or jump to another comic with a similar character.
2. Use data to create personalization. Look at how users are engaging and reading your content and use this to create a personalized experience.
3. Make content linkable. ComiXology made ad hoc screens that are flexible and linkable to help encourage readers to go deeper.
4. Create stores within stores. For example, ComiXology makes it easy for a shopper who is reading Spider-Man and go deeper into other Marvel material.
5. Constant human curation of the material. Update content to get people to open the app every day. “Give people a reason to open the app,” says Steinberger. ComiXology changes the curation on a regular basis, and is always adding new content to make the experience fluid. For example, they add 150 pieces of artwork every week to support everything.
6. Editorial merchandising. Turn blog posts into part of a store to help lead people to content. ComiXology does this by guiding people into how to buy. For example, if a movie fan wants to get into comics, content that guides this customer through the digital comic store will help them find the books they want to read, which encourages sales.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post mistakenly identified a comic book publisher.