Week in content marketing 17 February 2012

This week sees the latest ABC figures reveal a 9.5% increase in customer magazines' circulation; Marketing Magazine looks at how local content can engage global markets; River Group creates food magazine with The Co-operative; Wardour creates Digital Turkey eBook; why content marketing is becoming vital; and why a ‘whole brain' approach is essential when it comes to digital marketing.

We start this week with the news that the latest ABCs reveal customer magazines' circulation increases by 9.5% while consumer magazines' circulation sees a decline. The report shows that the top three magazines by circulation are customer titles: Tesco, Asda and National Trust, with half of the top ten magazines by circulation being customer titles. APA COO, Julia Hutchison, commented: ‘It has been another strong report for the customer publishing industry, a period on period growth average of 9.5%. With the continued decline of Women's Interest categories the report shows that editorialised branded content is bucking the trend with consumers continuing to turn to their favourite brands for entertainment and information. This is highlighted by the growth seen by John Lewis Editions, magazine and the majority of the supermarket titles.' Read more about what Julia had to say about digital editions, monetising content and producing compelling, quality content here.

Julia has also written an opinion piece for MediaTel in which she noted how digital formats have bolstered the content marketing industry, and that print aficionados are becoming digital cognoscenti.

Marketing Week's customer publishing analysis this week featured recent insight from Mintel, commissioned by the APA, as well as worldwide entries from the International Content Marketing Awards 2011, all of which demonstrates the increase in use of branded content in global markets.  Read the article in full here.

In member news, award winning content marketing agency Wardour has produced a series of special reports, called Digital Turkey, for digital security market leader Gemalto. Each edition focuses on a country that is leading the way in introducing digital technology and the work is one of the most innovative digital projects by Wardour yet. Two previous editions, Digital Sweden and Digital Brazil, were both interactive PDFs, but for Digital Turkey Gemalto wanted to go one step further. Digital Turkey is a 32-page ebook that includes in-depth case studies, video interviews, vox pop interviews and eye-catching statistics. Digital Turkey has also been produced as an iPad app which can be downloaded here.

Full service content agency, The River Group, on the other hand announced it is to launch a bi-monthly food magazine, both print and digital, for The Co-operative Food, following a competitive tender process. The million-circulating magazine features simple meal ideas for convenience cooks and everyday recipes for scratch cooks, and supports The Co-operative Food's key ‘Good with food' brand positioning. River Head of Digital, Natasha Jackson, said: ‘The Co-operative Food represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase the power of an integrated content strategy to drive action in consumers. The fact that this contract includes both online and offline channels is both significant and essential in a market which has seen increasing use of mobile devices for consuming content.'

Publicis Blueprint on the other hand has strengthened its team by hiring Global Radio regional account director Tony Pelham in the new role of head of agency sales. Pelham has taken responsibility for leading the customer publishing agency's commercial sales team, which sells opportunities in magazines and media published on behalf of brands including Spar and Heathrow Airport.

Infographics are a great way to display information and statistics in an engaging way and now content marketing has got one of its very own. This infographic by BlueGlass shows the growth of content marketing and that 90% of B2B marketers do some form of content marketing, with 60% of these planning to spend more on it over the next 12 months. It also looks the which of the tactics utilised by content marketers, such as articles, social media, eNewsletters, videos, microsites, print magazines, and mobile content, are most popular. Take a look at the infographic here.

The trends and figures above are reflected in an article in B2B magazine which stated that content marketing is becoming vital and more companies devote more resources to talking directly to customers and prospects. Content marketing has always been a necessary tactic, but in the days before the internet advertising was the driving force in most marketing departments. But the advent of company websites and the rise of search and social media have enabled marketers to move their content to the forefront of the customer acquisition process. Quoted in the article, executive director of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, said he sees many signs that indicate a broad embrace of content marketing within B2B, but while many companies are engaging in content marketing, ‘few do it well'. Pulizzi noted that it is key to separate the brand from the story as much as possible to succeed, something which APA's member agencies do very well.

If 2011 was the year of mobile shopping, 2012 is set to be the year of the tablet, which is why you need a tablet strategy digital marketing website eConsultancy noted. According to a survey, online shoppers indicated they plan to spend even more online in December 2012 compared to last year. A staggering 14% of all respondents indicated that they used an iPad or other tablet to make a purchase over the festive season, which means that in just 18 months from the first iPad going on sale, the use of tablets for shopping almost equalled that of mobile phones (15%). What strategies do your clients have?

An IAB survey of top 200 brands revealed a significant opportunity for digital education at board level with brands seeing benefits from integrating search into the media mix. Key findings of the survey show that a third of brands use paid and natural search to build brand and generate awareness as their primary objectives; 44% of brands don't have a mobile optimised website; and that there is a significant lack of understanding of digital at board level - this is however not stunting digital budget growth, with nearly two thirds of respondents reporting over 20% of their budgets being allocated solely to digital last year.

Finally, take a look at this great infographic on Right Brain vs Left Brain Marketers. Based on this Andy Betts at eConsultancy has written a piece on digital talent: the innovative and integrated marketing brain in which he explores how to best use our brains when it comes to convergence and digital marketing, and why a ‘whole brain' approach is essential.     

Posted in Industry News
17thFeb 2012

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