Month in content marketing: Digital wins for CMA members

Following on from February's excellent ABC figures March has been another landmark month for the content marketing industry with CMA members reporting important wins  while creating acclaimed new magazines and apps. The industry was also the subject of two high profile examinations - one in Marketing Week and the other in The Guardian. March also saw a significant bid from LinkedIn to become a hub for branded B2B content.

Publicis Blueprint scored one of the month's most high profile wins in announcing that it would be teaming up with cinema chain Vue to launch a free monthly magazine. The first issue of Vue went on sale in March and boasted distribution of 200,000 copies.

Cambridge-based CMA member CPL also had some big news. It confirmed that it would be working with leading patient support charity Arthritis Care to launch a new magazine for the organisation's members and stakeholders. The new quarterly was published in both print and digital formats.

There was plenty of other digital activity in March with some important praise from a key industry voice for a CMA member's new project.

August Media launched an iPad app for Christie's International Real Estate and scored a rave review from a high profile blogger. Douglas Hebbard, of the Talking New Media blog praised the app for ‘not trying to replicate a traditional magazine experience but instead taking a Flipboard-like approach.'

The company announced a deal to produce for Alegta, a fast-growing pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel targeted therapies for patients with cancer. It won the contract to develop the corporate website as well as create Algeta's Annual Report for 2012 following a competitive pitch.

And crowning a busy month for the company August has rebuilt the UK's number one graduate recruitment The new site will act as a career resource for students and graduates, while driving the best applications for clients.

This year has been a huge one for the partnership between content marketing agency Cedar and British Airways. The pair's flagship title, High Life, turns 40 in April which led Cedar to produce a special commemorative issue.

In March Cedar also announced that it was going to make British Airways' First Life, available as a free download for the iPad and iPad mini. To the articles featured in the print magazine Cedar has also added a selection of bonus material, such as exclusive images and articles, as well as interactive maps and behind-the-scenes videos.

Both BA and Cedar believe that by offering the magazine as an iPad version they can take the content to a wider, global audience. More on the launch here.

In March John Brown unveiled three key bits of news. Early in the month it announced that it was partnering with Swarovski to create a new website as part of the brand campaign supporting Swarovski's Spring/Summer range of new luxury products. The website, which is the two companies' first-ever digital project together, features high fashion and aspirational travel pieces inspired by a different exotic location each month.

The company also announced that it had signed up a new star columnist for Waitrose's monthly magazine Waitrose Kitchen - the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Pippa Middleton's debut column appeared in the April issue of the title, which went on sale in Waitrose on 28th March, and featured casual dining ideas and recipes.

Pippa commented: ‘I'm delighted to be writing for Waitrose Kitchen, a magazine that's always been a source of inspiration to me, for its extensive spectrum of food and beautiful style. My column, ‘Pippa's Friday Night Feasts' will be an exciting opportunity to share my own passion and enthusiasm for food and entertaining and I can't wait to get started.'

John Brown's third new project is a new magazine it is producing for retailer Pets at Home. My VIP magazine, which is due to launch very shortly boasts 84 pages of content, and features pet news, advice and interviews with celebrity pet owners. John Brown predicts that the magazine will have a circulation of 500,000 - with some copies being sold for £1 in addition to those sent free to members of the VIP club. There are more details and quotes from execs from John Brown and Pets At Home here.

Industry news

This month saw two very high profile examinations of the state of the content marketing industry - one in Marketing Week and the other in The Guardian.

The Marketing Week article is especially interesting to content marketing agencies. For while it reports that Mintel suggests there will be double-digit growth for content marketing in the next five years, it also believes that there are some important issues that agencies need to address.

The author Nicola Smith argues that it is not only the quality of what a brand creates - whether it is a video, website, magazine or app - that is important. Getting lots of the right people to view or use it is equally important. The article then also goes on to say how important social media has become in creating a buzz around articles and also how many content marketing agencies, like Redwood, are now approaching bloggers to help seed their content.

There's also a quote from our very own managing director, Clare Hill, who says: ‘With such an array of platforms made available to brands, the possibilities to create meaningful consumer engagement are endless.'

In The Guardian, Justin Pearse, head of innovation at marketing services agency Bite and former editor of New Media Age wrote a very thoughtful piece about the hype surrounding content marketing.

Pearse says that is essential that brands understand the importance of entertaining and enthralling their customers. Much of his article can be summed up by saying - if you want to create content marketing you need to make sure that it is good.

If you create business to business content then there's an excellent article on The Content Strategist, which highlights how it is more difficult for B2B content marketers to reach their audience than those who operate in the consumer sphere.

It then describes how LinkedIn sees itself as the missing piece of the jigsaw and how it hopes to become a giant information exchange where users can swap exclusive content like white papers, presentations, and expert discussions.

There's an excellent article by Bharati Ahuja writing for SearchEngineWatch who claims that SEO and content marketing aren't at odds but are two sides of the same coin.

March saw Samsung release the phone that some tech journalists believe will finally challenge the hegemony of the iPhone in the mobile market, the Samsung Galaxy S4. If it is anywhere near as successful as the hype, it will mean that content marketing agencies will have to look once again at their mobile strategies and ensure that their content works as well with Android phones as they do with Apple iOs.

Finally Wallblog reported that the video sharing platform YouTube now claims that it is being used by a billion people each month - a 25% increase from last May. It is still a vital weapon in any digitally-minded content marketing agencies arsenal.

Posted in
9thApr 2013

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