There was a good deal of discussion about the future of content marketing in May. At the same time a series of high profile wins, new launches and impressive technological implementations highlighted once again how vibrant the UK content marketing industry is.
One of the big news stories came from Wardour who won a pitch to extend their work with the Heineken brand. They will now help to extend the brand’s presence in initiatives aimed at both consumers and the trade. The first fruit of the new arrangement is a catalogue aimed at licensees, which goes live in June. This will be followed by a rollout of in-bar promotional materials - such as posters, loyalty cards and stamps - to engage new and existing cask ale drinkers. More here.
August also made a big announcement in May that it is extending its long term partnership with Ligne Roset. August designed and built the furniture company’s website and, after winning a global digital agency competitive pitch, will continue to run it for the foreseeable future. More here.
Think scored an important new business win in May when it secured the contract to produce the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy’s (BACP) public-facing website, It's Good to Talk (IGTT). The agency will also develop a content strategy to help the organisation, which is the largest professional body for therapists in the UK and boasts more than 38,000 members, maintain its relationships with its members. More here.
Also in the member sector CPL debuted the first copy of Inspire magazine, the new title produced by the agency for leading patient support charity Arthritis Care. The magazine, which has a lifestyle feel, is edited by Tracey Lattimore and followed the Cambridge agency’s victory in a competitive pitch at the start of 2013. More here.
Tablets move beyond the iPad
The number of CMA members producing tablet editions of magazines continues to grow, and it isn't just for the iPad any more with the growth of Android tablets like the Google Nexus and Samsung Galaxy Tab providing a real impetus for brands to look at non-Apple platforms.
There was also an interesting perspective on the future of tablet editions from Mark Rosselli, Chairman of CPL, who claims that tablet publishing is being turned upside down. He believes that tablet editions need to bear in mind that the average tablet size is getting smaller - he cites the success of the iPad Mini and smaller Android-based tablets as evidence of this. More here.
However not all readers are embracing digital editions. In a fascinating move Virgin has created a print version of its The Roger Collective as it felt that not all of its staff could access the online version. Produced by John Brown this internal communications magazine features Virgin employees from all over the globe telling stories to create a spirit of togetherness. More here.
Congratulations to Sara Cremer who has just landed one of the top jobs in the industry. She is set to succeed Keith Grainger as CEO of Redwood at the end of June. Grainger has been CEO of Redwood for ten years and in that time saw the agency move from being a print-based contract publisher to a provider of multi-channel content strategy and solutions for clients including Barclays, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Volvo, Land Rover and Virgin Media. More here.
The future of content marketing
One of several interesting high profile articles on content marketing in May was published by Marketing Week. It took a look at the growth of content marketing in the B2B sector citing the success of brands like Heineken and organisations like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). CMA members Wardour and Progressive CP featured prominently in a discussion that looked at how widely content is now being used in the space. More here.
The CMA also published an article that touched on the future of content marketing. It looked at how agencies that once specialised in search engine optimisation (SEO) and PR are now billing themselves as content marketing companies and what their strengths and weaknesses are. More here.
From a media technology perspective the story that dominated May was the capture of blogging platform Tumblr by Yahoo.
There has been a good deal of speculation as to how Yahoo might make the platform more brand friendly which prompted articles like this which took a closer look at the demographics of its users and compared them with other platforms. More here.
And while blogging platforms Posterous and Jux bit the dust in May their rival Wordpress celebrated its tenth birthday. More here.
One company that is worth keeping an eye on received a significant boost in May. Skyword, which purports to offer an automated content marketing solution and is aimed at small and medium sized brands, received a huge $6.7 million worth of funding. More here.
Another company that received serious investment cheque in May is Urturn. It enables its users to create basic memes by editing images or adding audio or video content. It looks like it could be one of the hottest platforms to emerge in the last few years. More here.
One of Urturn’s rivals is Vine, the video creation app by Twitter. It has continued to attract brands and there’s a look on Wallblog about how it is being deployed. More here.
Finally there’s a fascinating piece on our own site in which Martin MacConnol, CEO, Wardour, unpacks some of the issues that surround creating a team for a pitch. MacConnol says ‘In the rush to win client confidence, agencies can end up over-promising around this line ‘we want to meet the team'. They can over-play the role of senior management, or over-commit staffers who are already working at close to capacity on other projects.’ More here.