The holidays are coming: Christmas lights have been switched on and the sound of festive songs are filling shops around the country. As retailers are getting ready for the pre-Christmas rush, so are CMA members. Last week BBC's Good Food Christmas issue revealed a ground-breaking interactive edition. This week, The River Group launched the first digital Christmas gift guide for Superdrug. Copies of the print guide can be found throughout the stores and the new digital variant will be emailed to Superdrug ‘beauty card' holders, as well be available for download from the Superdrug website or via iTunes.
Matt Walburn Customer Marketing Director comments "Producing this digital Christmas Gift Guide with River is about exceeding the competitor offer while being sharply focussed on delivering sales at this crucial time of year. Online transactions are an increasingly important factor in the business and this year we have made it easier for customers to buy within an even more engaging environment."
River has also been shortlisted for two Digital Magazine Awards for The Co-Operative Food digital magazine. The Co-operative Food magazine launched in the spring of 2012 with a print distribution of over a million copies across more than 500 Co-operative Food stores and a digital magazine full of rich content such as video recipes.
Another new launch this week comes from Cedar, which has worked with its client British Airways to produce two new kids' magazines to help combat inflight fidgets. The titles, Spread Your Wings and Wing It, are aimed at 3-5 and 6-12 year olds respectively and are all about learning to love travel and relish the thrill of flying. Spread Your Wings introduces Cuthbert the Cat, a character developed by Cedar, and is filled with stories, puzzles, crafts and games. Wing It on the other hand is packed with tall tales and great flying facts, and the cover can be used as a cut-out-and-keep pair of wings after the flight. The magazines join the rest of the BA's inflight portfolio at Cedar, and will go in the Skyflyers packs given out to all children on overseas flights.
In more digital news, Progressive Customer Publishing (PCP) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have launched an app to accompany the successful monthly business, finance and accountancy magazine, economia. The app is already available in Apple's App Store, and other versions, including one for Android, will be launched in early 2013.
Richard Cree, group editor, economia, said: "The launch of this app is an important step in bringing us closer to achieving our ambition of making our great content available to ICAEW members in whatever format is most convenient for them. We set out with a plan to adopt a true multi-platform model for economia that allows readers to get what they want, when they want, where and how they want it."
Meanwhile, Auto Trader, the UK's number one digital marketplace to buy and sell new and used cars, has chosen FuturePlus to create a unique interactive tablet publication called ignition, using the award-winning app creation software, FutureFolio. Designed to make life easy for consumers looking to buy a new or used car, readers can use the integrated search functionality of ignition to load dedicated search results from Auto Trader's full classified listings. The app also includes a live Twitter feed with information about the different vehicles for sale via Auto Trader and readers can post straight to their own Facebook profiles from within the app.
Auto Trader Director of Mobile Nick Gee said: "Mobile is an extremely important and growing channel for Auto Trader. With over one million unique users per month accessing Auto Trader on iPad we wanted to create an interactive and innovative publication that the audience can engage with at their convenience."
Available now on iPad through the Apple Newsstand, the launch price for ignition will be £1.49.
Congratulations are in order for August which took home two awards at the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) Awards 2012. August's Donna Hardie won Editor of the Year, Customer Magazines (consumer readership) for the second year running for her work on Completely London on behalf of estate agent Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward, while Katy Davis was awarded Editor of the Year, Digital Customer Titles for her digital title ikeafamilylive.com, a project which was launched just over a year ago.
More celebrations may be just around the corner for August, as the content marketing agency has also been shortlisted for an IPA Effectiveness Award for new launch Our World, produced on behalf of P&O Cruises. The magazine has been responsible for an amazing uplift in bookings and has received a record response from readers since it launched in March 2012.
Redactive Media Group's Melody Bartlett also won at this year's BSME Awards, after being crowned Editor of the Year, Customer Magazines (business readership) for her work with The Marketer, the multimedia magazine of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Outbrain, the content discovery solution, this week announced further expansion into the Italian market, including the launch of external paid-for links. Outbrain is used to help readers find the most interesting and relevant content online through providing personalised links across a network of premium publishers worldwide. Read more here.
In other digital publishing news, Mag+ has introduced a new software development kit, which has opened the Mag+ engine to publishers, agencies and app developers, making it easier than ever to build and deliver fully immersive content and brand experiences to users. Now publishers can choose between using Mag+'s award-winning white-label app or building their own app with the SDK, while still taking advantage of the Mag+ creative toolset and powerful distribution backend. Hundreds of leading publishers already use Mag+ to create top-selling magazine apps, easily optimized for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
We're only two weeks away from the 2012 International Content Marketing Summit, and the full programme and speakers have been announced. We have 21 speakers including 2 keynote speakers, presenting in 5 sessions that discuss key topics in the content marketing space. Check out the complete programme here.
Video is becoming a powerful marketing tool and disseminator of information, evident in the results of a recent report by Cisco. The company explored a number of ways that video is positively affecting its return on investment (ROI) and found that people who view videos on its site were twice as likely to engage in high-conversion activities. These users visited 44 % more pages, resulting in more time on Cisco's site, and video was found to be good for click-through rates as well - Cisco's audience was five times more likely to click-through on video blogs and was twice as likely to click-through on emails that contained video. Read more here.
An interesting article on leading business and finance website Forbes.com this week by Sunil Rajaraman, founder and CEO of freelance writing platform Scripted.com, in which he asks: Is content marketing more valuable than search?
Having analysed the effectiveness of the articles written by Scripted.com since its start in late 2011, Rajaraman notes that they discovered that content marketing performs are significantly better than search at gaining new customers - and it is more cost-effective as well. You can read more details about the process and findings here, but Rajaraman offers a few key takeaways for inbound marketers and business owners. For one, you should not just lob a press release out when you release a product and expect customers to come to you. Two, distribution is key: Email bloggers directly if you want distribution on certain types of blogs, and focus on trade/industry blogs. You will find more often than not that blogs are willing to accept guest posts as long as the content is useful. Finally - and this is the most important takeaway of all - use every content opportunity you get to educate your customers, not sell them.
Another article to note this week appeared on popular digital marketing blog Econsultancy. It looks at six reasons why content marketers need to think mobile. As it notes, the world has fallen in love with their smartphones and tablets, to the point where they have an emotional connection with their devices, some even naming them. Technology research firm Gartner estimates that 70% of devices to be sold worldwide in 2012 to be ‘smart devices', and predicts that a staggering 39 million smartphones and tablets to be sold by 2016, so there is really no surprise that as content creators need to think mobile. Take a look at six good reasons for going mobile and some fascinating statistics of the mobile market here.
To find out more about content marketing and its power to engage, join us at the CMA's 2012 International Content Marketing Summit. This year, the theme is 'Telling Brand Stories', a theme that gets to the heart of why content marketing is so successful.
Weds 28 Nov, Old Billingsgate, London