The consumer decision journey has changed forever and therefore so has media.
Consumers now expect brands to be where they are, when they are, in the format they expect, and on the device they are using at the time. As a result, information is simultaneously found, shared, read, seen, heard and watched as awareness is being generated and decisions are being formed.
Traditional media is being disrupted and becoming more digital. At the same time, content marketing, search and social are being elevated into more integral parts of holistic digital marketing campaigns.
As traditional media and content marketing converge, there lies the perfect storm for brands to become publishers and storytellers across all channels and platforms.
Through owned, earned and paid media, brands now have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their audience and transform into media companies.
Digital mediums such as YouTube are evolving much faster than traditional TV. Brands are using these digital mediums to connect with their audience in a more personalised way – just as consumers now expect.
“Well done guys, the idea with bottles and glasses is great. Could be good ad for coke 🙂 ”
“I usually skip all the publicity on this site, but this time was different, I give it a chance and it amazed me. I hope Coca Cola give you guys a big $ for this, because this is golden.”
It’s a world where people actually want to consume and share branded content.
Content Marketing to Become Content Brands
There are three areas of focus needed to help brands become media companies: strategy, publishing and amplification.
Entire books have been written about strategy so of course we can’t cover it all here. One important rule we follow is to never create strategy in a vacuum.
It’s vital to fuse your market research, SEO, content, publishing and amplification strategies into one. If you do SEO without publishing you end up link building instead of link earning. If you do amplification without market research you end up potentially promoting to the wrong audience in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The following items must be considered when developing an effective content strategy:
Voice and tone
Style guidelines and branding
Personas – audience demographics and psychographics
Content plan – channel integration
Social and community
A proper content marketing strategy that incorporates market research, SEO, brand publishing, and amplification will drive leads while improving search and social as channels.
2. Brand Publishing
In order for brands to connect with their consumers across fragmented digital mediums, they have to become storytellers. To effectively become a brand publisher they need processes, talent, technology and great content.
The significance of the content producer is most evident in Google and Twitter. Google updated its Agent Rank algorithm in 2011, and launched Google+, which they’ve defined as their social network, and identity service. Google’s algorithm is now asking “who” is creating the content and how influential is that producer within his or her niche. In mid-2012 Google began displaying rich snippets including the author’s name and picture in search results for more than 20 percent of all keyword searches. This illustrates Google’s use of authorship as a strong trust signal and one that should, and will, become more prominent.
3. Content Amplification
The industry has exploded with incredible companies and platforms to help brands amplify their content. We’ve partnered with many, if not most, of the companies in the content discovery space and native advertising so that we can help brands get in front of the right audience at the right time. Content amplification makes all content, search, and social efforts more productive, leading to increased visibility, engagement, and revenue. Content amplification is conducted through earned media/digital PR and paid media.
Earned Media/Digital PR
Earned media relates to all marketing and PR that benefits a brand’s visibility without the cost of advertising. Earned media occurs naturally, but can be amplified further through targeted content placement and influencer outreach.
Content Placement – Integrate brand citations and links within relevant stories published on targeted third party publications.
Influencer Outreach – Promote corporate product content and publication content to reputable influencers within the industry or related verticals and design custom engagement plans for promotion.
Paid media represents all forms of digital advertising and is effective at reaching an audience that may be otherwise unreachable.
Access your search audience where you are lacking visibility in organic rankings. Information gathered from Paid Search can fuel current and future strategies. With keywords mapped properly to customer need and intent, ad copy can be hyper-targeted to satisfy customer needs, and landing page optimisation can further improve conversions.
Expose brand messaging and publication content to an ultra- targeted audience. Paid social is excellent at driving awareness on a new product or brand asset.
Native Advertising – Drive publication content impressions through category relevant publishing outlets to increase readership, social fans, and brand advocates. Display & Retargeting – Remind consumers of the brand through calculated display retargeting. This tactic becomes more impactful with brand publishing as users can be influenced from awareness to interest, desire and action.
Similar to traditional public relations, the intent of amplification is to get your strategic and coordinated brand message in front of your audience and consumer at the right time and in the right place. When executed properly, amplification and continuous, yet appropriate, stimulation of your audience and customers will lead them through the purchase funnel.
So what does all this mean?
The big buzzword in the marketing world right now is ‘content marketing’.
You may have heard it nefariously operating under various names: Custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media. However it all boils down to the same thing: creating engaging content that attracts, engages and builds a relationship with an audience which may make a purchase in time.
As with any marketing practice – the definitions of content marketing are manifold and expansive – however, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, sums up the ethos as:
“Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services… they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you”.
Regardless of the moniker du jour – content marketing represents a massive shift in thinking for brands who have historically placed great stock against the interruptive marketing of yore.
Traditionally, brands – in a bid to capture attention – have interrupted consumers to talk about their product; when you’re reading a magazine – you see an ad; if you’re watching TV – you see a commercial; when you’re online – you get a pop-up. Each of these interruptions is an unsolicited marketing message from a brand that you may or may not give two hoots about.
30 years ago, market research firm Yankelovich estimated that the typical city-dweller was subject to 2,000 of these marketing messages a day. When Yankelovich revisited the study in 2008 this number had grown to 5,000.
Consumer research continually highlights that most of these marketing message are irrelevant to their current interests and needs. More importantly, each of us now has increasing control over what marketing we receive from brands; we can opt-out of telemarketing and direct-mail; unsubscribe from email; skip TV ads; and so forth.
The antidote to this has been for brands to start seeking ‘permission’ to gain consumers’ attention. And what better way to gain permission to get someone’s attention than when they are actually looking for you. Or at least something you can help with.
Content marketing has emerged then as means to reach people who are continually looking for information, entertainment or help. Brands can use content marketing to pull people in who aren’t necessarily interested in a specific product but instead meeting a need-state behind the product purchase.
There are many standout examples of content marketing. These include, L’Oreal which has Makeup.com – a site that talks about style and beauty issues without overtly pushing L’Oreal’s own product line; General Mills offers dieting advice and tips at Tablespoon.com; Red Bull has created Red Bulletin – a high-octane magazine for thrill-seekers and sports fanatics; American Express have created Open Forum – a portal of helpful articles which cover issues faced by small business owners.
In none of these examples are the brands explicitly saying buy this, buy that, buy now. Rather, they are publishing and distributing content that engages and attracts customers and prospects and enables their lifestyles. It is lifestyle-centric rather than product-centric.
For sure, forward-thinking major brands have been doing content marketing for decades. One famous example is the Michelin Guide which was originally written in 1900 by Michelin tire founders and brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin, the original publication consisted of 35,000 free guides that included practical information, travel tips, and maps to vehicle fuel and service stations. Since then, these guides been used by warring soldiers and tourists alike and have grown to considerable prestige as an authority in destination travel and restaurant suggestions.
However, it is the rate, ubiquity and variety of content marketing – especially online – that has shown the how far content marketing as a practice has come.
We are increasingly living in a world where content is king and great way to steal and hold attention. Because you have chosen to read this article – you have elected to concentrate your interest here, rather than elsewhere. There is no doubt the information we read has an impact on what we think, what we do – and most importantly for a brand – what we buy. And this is why brands are now rushing to become publishers.
Adobe has let it known that they will be coming up with the technical specifications of .folio format for e-magazines under free license sometime in Q1 2014. An inherent benefit of the .folio format is that it will allow newsstands to launch their own viewing apps for users to read digital magazines that have been built using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite. This, Adobe claims will lead to greater acceptance of digital magazines published using Adobe DPS which has already seen three times the growth achieved in 2013 as it has been the year before it.
What is also heartening for Adobe is that readers have been found to engage with the publications, with them tending to spend about 50 mins on average with DPS digital magazines in a month. Cost efficiency and ease of use of DPS has been attributed to the success of the digital publishing platform though also contributing significantly to the success story are the consumer marketing tools that are an integral package of DPS magazine apps. These features include the ability for readers to share articles using the social networking sites, feature that allows a particular article or an entire issue to be previewed for free and so on.
But what will change effectively for publishers and brands who want to adopt this de-facto standard? This free license will enable any newsstand licensee to implement its own .folio viewer. At this moment the only available viewer for .folios was the ADOBE Viewer, hence the big change.
The common wisdom among publishers and digital publishing solution providers has been that when developing new tablet editions one should develop for iOS first, then Android and other platforms. The reason at first was simply that Apple was first with a popular tablet, and their sales dwarfed the competition. But as more Android, and then Kindle Fire, tablets appeared in the market the reason shifted somewhat: publishers were still seeing far more sales, more paid subscriptions from iPad owners than from owners of other tablets.
The theory for why this was true was that Apple had the top end of the market, first adopters, and those with more disposable income. Apple also had a system that allowed for easy purchases – and they also had all those credit cards on file.
But things have changed in the past year or so. Amazon.com launched the Kindle Fire for the holiday season and along with the tablet came a whole infrastructure that resembled Apple’s. Just as iPad owners were used to buying music and movies from iTunes, Kindle Fire owners were used to buying books and other goods from Amazon.com.
Nonetheless, there remains big differences in the way the various platforms are used and the kinds of publications seen inside the app stores. Replica editions are everywhere, but interactive magazines are more often found in Apple’s ecosystem. Many new tablet magazine vendors continue to choose to launch their solutions first for iOS and only later for Android and Windows. TNM’s own survey of digital publishing platform companies shows that close to 25 percent still do not provide solutions that will result in an app for the Google Play store – and close to 75 percent don’t service the Windows environment.
But surely we are starting to see this change, right? With so many new Kindle tablets being sold, with the soon to be released Kindle Fire HDX around the corner, are we seeing, or at least anticipating a change to the market?
Photo by Yutaka Tsutano (used under Creative Commons license)
“What we see is that there is still very much a stickiness to the iOS platform,” Alex Gruntsev, Chief Innovation Officer, NewspaperDirect, said.
Gruntsev said that the iPad reached people who were early adopters. He sees Android tablets, though, as being in the same category as the iPad, but that users remain more price sensitive.
“Amazon is moving the needle now,” said Graham Farrar of zuuka Group, the maker of the iStoryTime apps and bookstore app. “Which is not a surprise to me, if there is one Amazon know how to do is run a store.”
“As the Kindle Fire, and I think the Kindle Fire HDX, will accelerate this (growth),” Farrar said, though “it’s not iOS money yet.”
“When the Kindle Fire was released about 18 months ago I think that spurred additional uses of devices,” said Lynly Schambers, Group Product Marketing Manager, Digital Publishing Suite, Adobe, “because they were that much more affordable and accessible to people.”
“What we’ve seen, when we look at the growth of the Digital Publishing Suite business, we’ve seen the number of downloads really accelerate, especially over the past six to 12 months,” Schambers said.
Mike Haney of Mag+ said he thinks there may be regional differences, as well.
“I have read that there are real regional differences here—where Android is much more common in Europe and other parts of the world, users tend to spend more,” Haney said. “I hear that many of our customers are having good success on the Kindle, where people are more accustomed to buying content, particularly content to read.”
“I don’t know how soon, but the trend seems to be that like app spending everywhere, spending on Android is picking up, not slowing down. Google has done some nice work in improving the layout and features of its app store, and as more of those Android users—who may not have consciously purchased an Android phone, but rather took the least expensive smartphone their carrier offered—”discover” apps on their device, I think we’ll see spending steadily increasing, even if the price per app or per in-app purchase is driven down,” Haney said.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of people that are willing to pay for content, especially when we look at that year over year,” Adobe’s Schambers said. “Just in the past 12 months we’ve seen the number of digital subscriptions, paid for digital subscription increase almost three times over the past 12 months.”
For Gruntsev from NewspaperDirect, he sees a big difference between what readers are willing to pay for on tablets, and online.
“People are not willing to pay for repurposed web content,” Gruntsev said. “The moment they see replica for some reason it triggers comparison to the print.” (And hence a willingness to pay.)
For Haney from Mag+ he still puts the emphasis on the need to think of the new digital publications fresh.
“Our advice is unequivocally that you need to think of your presence on a tablet or smartphone app as a new product, not just a version of an existing product,” Haney said. “It is a unique ecosystem, with unique usage patterns and unique user needs.”
“If you run a monthly magazine and your publisher asks you to make a book, you wouldn’t just slap a hard cover on the July issue and call it done, would you?”
Haney also says that publishers need to understand that on tablet devices, as elsewhere, they are competing for the attention of the user. “Your replica that you clearly put no effort into is not going to lure me away from Zite or Facebook. ut if you give me a compelling bundle of content that is engaging and easy to consume and fits what I do with that device — Atlantic Weekly being a great example — then you will become part of my app habit.”
Posted: October 16, 2013| Author:digpublishing|Filed under:Trends | Tags:digital publishing, hearts, market trends, mobile, tablet, trends|4 CommentsAlmost one third of consumers read tablet editions of magazines “cover to cover” and few jump around apps using interactive tools, according to research from Hearst Magazines UK released to Media Week today.Hearst used an in-app survey in digital editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health, Red, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Esquire to quiz nearly 500 readers on their reading preferences for digital editions.Of the people questioned, 31.4 per cent said they read a digital issue “cover to cover” in a linear manner.In contrast, only 7.3 percent said they scrolled through small thumbnails of the pages to navigate the app, while 6.4 per cent use navigation features on the front cover or contents section to jump to certain articles.On average, readers claimed to pick up a digital copy and read it four times per issue and read an average of 67.8 per cent of their copy.
In comparison, print readers claimed to read 76.2 per cent of a print copy of a magazine according to the Quality of Reading survey from the Professional Publishers’ Association (then the Periodical Publishers Association) in 2000.
Consumers claimed to spend 103 minutes reading the digital edition, nearly double the amount of time readers claimed to spend on a print issue in the separate PPA research 13 years ago.
When asked what features would enhance advertising, the top two choices were a clickable link to find more about a product (chosen by 30.7 per cent as a feature they would definitely like in advertising) and photo galleries (27 per cent).
Max Raven, the group revenue director of Hearst Magazines UK, said: “Developing robust digital edition metrics and ensuring our advertisers and clients have the utmost confidence in our data is top priority.”
The research also found that 69.1 per cent keep a digital magazine for future reference, while only 11.3 per cent delete it.
Nearly half (45.7 per cent) claimed they intended to buy a mixture of print and digital issues in future.
The digital editions used were enhanced editions, re-designed for devices like iPad and iPhones, rather than a digital version of the print magazine created from PDF files.
Respondents surveyed had a medium age of 37. The survey suggested uptake of digital editions is still on the rise, as 23 per cent of those surveyed were first-time buyers of the edition. The largest proportion (48 per cent) was subscribers.
Hearst claims to be the largest digital publishing in the UK – added together, its digital editions have a larger circulation than any other publisher, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.
In September Hearst launched an Esquire Weekly app edition, a digital weekly edition of the monthly men’s magazine, priced at 99p.
Medical education and reference content to be enhanced by new, intuitive digital platform
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has selected Inkling, the creator of engaging, intuitive digital books for some of the world’s most respected publishers, to power the next generation of its popular Expert Consult andStudent Consult medical reference and medical learning platforms.
All of Elsevier’s leading medical reference and learning content will be available through Inkling’s standard-setting reading and search experience. Both existing and new users will enjoy easy search, consistent structure, rich media, social and community features, and seamless electronic access from any device.
“This is a big step forward in the transition from print to digital publishing,” said Matt MacInnis, Founder and CEO of Inkling. “We’re migrating this valuable knowledge to a more flexible, more searchable format and, in doing so, making it possible to build whole new ways for people to find knowledge. Clearly, this is what tech-savvy physicians and medical students demand.”
As part of this agreement, Elsevier will bring more than 650 leading medical titles to Inkling and will use Inkling Habitat, the industry-leading cloud publishing platform, to build and manage this content so that it’s consistently structured, searchable, and easily updated. Expert Consult and Student Consult users will enjoy the Inkling features medical professionals and students around the globe have come to expect – truly interactive content that brings new meaning to illustrations, and allows readers’ annotations to travel across their devices and be shared with others.
Current Expert Consult and Student Consult users will be automatically upgraded to the new experience. New and returning customers can buy access to specific topics, individual chapters, and complete content sets directly on ExpertConsult.com and StudentConsult.com. In addition, customers who choose to buy physical books will also be granted access to the digital experience. No matter how customers choose to buy and use their medical content, the improved Expert Consult and Student Consult experience will enhance the way they find and learn from medical knowledge.
“Inkling’s technology platform, coupled with our extensive library of medical content, paves an exciting path forward for how we curate and distribute medical knowledge,” said Linda Belfus, Senior Vice President for Content, Elsevier. “We believe our customers will appreciate the interactivity, robust features and functionality, and convenience of the new Expert and Student Consult platforms.”
The content will also be available for purchase through Inkling.com alongside the existing catalog of Elsevier medical content. Inkling plans to roll out hundreds of additional digital titles, ranging from oncology to psychiatry, pediatrics to emergency medicine, and more, throughout 2013.
The new Expert Consult and Student Consult experiences will be available early in the first quarter of 2014.
Inkling is a pioneer in cloud publishing, reimagining the book and providing the technology to organize and distribute expert knowledge. Through Inkling, the world’s leading publishers are building their best content into interactive and engaging experiences. Inkling is moving an entire industry forward, creating the infrastructure to transform words on paper into content in the cloud. Based in San Francisco, Inkling is backed by Sequoia Capital and partners with the world’s leading publishers. For more information, visit http://www.inkling.com.
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions includeScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.
A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including more than 15,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV.
Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.
Newspapers often do not have a long shelf life at your local library and often disintegrate over a long period of time. The Guardian and Observer newspapers have been documenting worldwide news since 1791. If a reader wanted to peruse an old issue and read about life on the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars or the first Wimbledon, suffice to say it would be very hard to locate the original printed version. The Guardian relaunched their digital archive in late 2012, which provides 1.2 million replica pages, 13 million articles and 7,000 photographs. Most newspaper companies do not have such a storied history of content, but selling archived back-issues is good business.
There are no real statistics in the newspaper industry on who provides digital archives and who does not. The largest papers all do, and most offer different payment models to monetize the process and actually make some solid long-term revenue. Digital is growing, and a recent report by the Alliance of Audited Media states that 20% of all online newspapers in the US are digital. Obviously, the entire print sector is not doing too well and there is some debate on how to make money in digital. Some consider paywalls, which allow people to read a few articles for free a month, and then require them to subscribe, and others maintain a fleet of apps. The Guardian presents an interesting case study on how to do something unique.
The Guardian distributes their digital archives from the ProQuest Historical Newspaper program. This is the same company that major papers, such as The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Times of India and The Jerusalem Post use. Companies can upload replica editions in PDF form to their accounts and develop their own subscription or charging method. The Guardianhas developed some tiered access levels, such as a 24 hour pass for £7.95 or a 1 month subscription for £49.95. Users can browse for content using the advanced search engine, which readily supports finding pictures, articles, or any individual section. Once readers discover the content, they can read a free sample to get a sense for it.
The New York Time, on the other hand, does something completely different while using the same ProQuest platform. They do not have advertisements, pictures, charts, or any illustrations. Consumers actually pay a different department to manually scan and email them out. Articles from 1923 to 1986 are available for purchase at $3.95 each. Articles published before January 1, 1923 or after December 31, 1986 are free, but they count toward the monthly paywall viewing limit. A current Times subscriber, is allowed 100 issues a month.
Aside from ProQuest, there are a number of archival websites available online. The biggest digital newspaper site on the Internet is the for-profit Newspaperarchive.com, with 130 million pages. Newspapers.com, a subsidiary of genealogy-titan Ancestry.com, has 34 million newspaper pages. There is also a stalwart hero, based in New York, that has created a website with 5 million, his story is here.
There are currently 419 national newspapers being published worldwide. There are also around 22,000 local and specialty editions being made on a daily or weekly basis. There does not seem to be a cohesive model for digital archives, as some companies just distribute through their own websites or use third party services. Most newspaper publishers interviewed were actually surprised by the interest in their archival strategies, as it’s something that internally is rarely discussed. In a world of sagging print revenues, investing in a solid archive solution is something all papers should consider. The investment costs of scanners is fairly paltry and only a few computers are needed, while outsourcing the sales gives newspaper companies a fairly low overhead.
1. Learn and build long-lasting international relationships:
I went to my first FIPP congress in 1987 in Paris as a bright, thrusting young executive, as the research director for Emap in London, working on new project developments. I met really clever people from around the world talking about case studies and magazine industry trends, and I discovered two things. One was that the presentations themselves really opened your eyes. For a national publisher suddenly to realize that there was a bigger world out there was very exciting. The second thing was unexpected – I realized that the congress was a great networking event. I met people there that I’ve stayed in touch with for a long, long time.
2. Meet influencers. Do business:
The FIPP World Magazine Congress is the place where the industry’s most important people gather, and the programme addresses the hottest topics in the magazine media industry, bearing in mind that the reason FIPP exists is to keep members informed so they can create better businesses. At the World Magazine Congress there will also be conversations that lead to business opportunities. When I was running around the world with FHM, I went to the congress in Hamburg in 1999, and my colleague Simon Greaves and I did seven deals. That element of doing business has always been there. The beauty of the congress is that it’s the decision-makers who go. You’re not talking to people who have to go back and get permission. I fully expect that more deals will be done.
3. Consider the hottest industry trends:
I’ve noticed a significant shift in the last six to nine months, in that the way the consumer is demanding digital content is moving faster than some publishers expected it to move. The analogue world, the print world, still has opportunities and magazines are still being launched. But the trend that I don’t think all publishers have realized is the speed of change – the consumer wants content in a digital form. Furthermore, the Congress will also host a commercial exhibition, where you will learn from and be able to engage with leading industry service providers from around the world (note: the exhibition area is already sold out!).
4. Learn with and from B2B publishers:
B2B publishers saw the digital train coming. Consumer publishers have got a lot to learn from the B2B experience. That’s why at the Rome conference we’ve introduced more sessions to allow more B2B experiences to be discussed. The message I want to get over is, our digital future is no longer in the future – it’s our digital present. If you’re not experimenting with digital now, you’re too late.
5. It’s Rome!
Rome is a tremendously popular destination. I go around the world speaking to people, and they’re very excited about going there. The social side of the conference will be set against the background of the eternal city. What’s there not to like?
To learn more about the speakers, programme, sponsors and exhibitors and glamorous Congress opening and closing gala dinners – or to register – go to www.fippcongress.com. Or contact FIPP’s event manager Claire Jones for more information on this unforgettable event.
The mobile revolution has changed the way people read magazines, newspapers and books. New markets are opening for editors, who are facing the not easy task to publish, distribute and market their goods in a very different fashion compared to printed products.
Tips & tricks for designing digital magazines, technology heads up, what's happening on the market: hopefully this blog is useful for creative folk and designers to make the most of current technology and have an insight on what's next.