Week in content marketing: 20 April 2012

This week sees The River Group debunk the myth of the ageless society, John Brown's culinary connoisseur publishes book about history of food, Story Worldwide is honoured by the Webby Awards, The Guardian looks at print versus digital as it visits London event Printout, why compelling newsletter content marketing is crucial and 87% of companies plan to invest more in online content marketing.

This week's issue of Marketing magazine includes a feature - The Myth of the Ageless Society - inspired by a piece of original research The River Group has undertaken with You Gov to explore how marketers represent - or misrepresent - different age groups. River has also created a design for the cover of this issue of Marketing (18th April 2012). Inspired partly by the iconic ‘you talkin' to me' scene from Taxi driver, the cover causes the reader to double take and plays on the ‘you can't judge a book by its cover' idiom.

In an ageing society, marketers are faced with the issue that many of the older generation (55 and above) are feeling ignored by British brands in their marketing and advertising. Unsurprisingly, 58% of UK adults between 18 and 24 disagreed or strongly disagreed with this. Now the younger age group may not feel ignored but they do feel misrepresented, the study found. While commentators like to portray societal conflict as a young vs old struggle, River's research indicates that this is not, or no longer the case. In fact, it is both the young and the old that feel isolated, misrepresented and arguably therefore the conflict lies between both these groups and the working middle ages.

Read more about the Myth of the Ageless Society here.

Global content agency John Brown's own culinary connoisseur William Sitwell has published his first book A History of Food in 100 Recipes, which is all about the ingredients, cooks, techniques and tools that have shaped our love of food. In his book, William, who is the editor the John Brown published Waitrose Kitchen magazine and culinary expert on BBC2's A Question of Taste, takes people on a colourful, whirlwind journey as he explores the fascinating history of cuisine. William joined John Brown in 1999 to work on Waitrose Food Illustrated, a magazine he became editor of in 2002 winning a string of awards for the magazine's writing, stories, design and photography.

Another global content marketing agency, Story Worldwide, has been honoured by Webby Awards Council in the Lifestyle (Tablet & All Other Devices) category for its Endless Vacation Magazine. The title has been selected as an Official Honoree, which is awarded to the top 15% of all work entered that exhibits remarkable achievement. Read more about the awards here.

If you missed Brand Republic's analysis of the customer publishing industry earlier this month, in which APA's COO, Julia Hutchison discussed the evolution of the discipline from customer publishing to content marketing, including issues of convergence and the benefits of a multi-channel strategy, you can read it in full here.

As the battle between magazine and digital media continues The Guardian's Tom Lamont points out that ‘magazines will always have a place on people's shelves' as he looks at how independent magazines are thriving. Attending the bimonthly event called Printout, Tom interviews to some of the 100 attendants, which include magCulture's Jeremy Leslie, co-founder of the event. In his article, Tom notes that at Printout, the crowd seems "mostly optimistic about life in the iPad age". Paul Willoughby, creative director of independent film magazine Little White Lies, says: "People are always going to have their personal space, their flat or whatever, and they're going to want to surround themselves with personal things. I think magazines will always have a place on people's shelves." Despite having been shouted from rooftops, the death of print is not imminent; both Watson and Leslie maintain that affection for old media needn't mean standing against the new. "People like to say, 'This is dead and that is living,'" says Leslie, who has designed iPad apps in the past. "It's not as simple as that. As with most new forms, digital will succeed in various aspects. Print will continue to succeed in others." If you're interested in attending the next Printout, it takes place at the Book Club in London, EC2 on 2 May.

A study has found that 87% of companies are planning online content marketing investment in the next 12 months, much of it which will be outsourced. 70% plan to outsource at least one form of content in the coming months, and only 13% do not outsource online content marketing initiatives. Brafton notes that while video marketing was the most frequently named form of marketing companies plan to outsource, Brandpoint found that several other kinds of content are on businesses' radars, such as blog marketing, news content marketing campaigns and social media marketing.

As mobile email open rates soar, compelling newsletter content marketing is crucial. A report from Knotice suggests that that companies must alter their thinking on email marketing to make sure their campaigns are updated with fresh content for smartphone users who regularly check their inboxes. According to the study, 27% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and the continued growth of the smartphone and tablet industries will likely propel this figure moving forward. As mobile devices is becoming the primary access points for email, one issue facing companies is that click-through rates are lower on smartphones than on desktop computers. A reason for this could be that content that does not engage the user immediately fails to compel clicks. Newsletters must also be optimised for smartphone viewing, Knotice notes.

Social network influence arbiter, Klout is wooing marketers and brand fans with the launch of Brand Squads, the social media site's equivalent of brand topic pages. The concept, a bid to engage fans around branded hubs, is now in beta with Red Bull as the launch partner. The Brand Squads platform is "giving influencers a place to be recognized and have a direct impact on the brands they care about most," Klout's David Temple told TechCrunch. Brand Squad pages offer three benefits to marketers: the reveal of top influencers associated with a brand or topic; a showcase for content; and another burgeoning platform (beyond Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) for brands to reward social media influencers with exclusive perks.

And finally, Liberum Capital and Universal McCann unveiled results from Wave 6, their annual survey into social media trends, this week. The overall message is that, while social media continues to grow its share of advertising, there is some confusion as to the right strategy and whether social media is the right platform for certain types of advertising. Nearly 42,000 interviews took place with active Internet users across 62 countries, which is the largest of its kind.

The key points from the study are: 

1.  Advertisers are shifting money over to social media but slowly

2.  Social media advertising may not work for everyone

3.  Press likely to be the main loser from a major shift to social media, TV should do fine

4.  Brand websites are being impacted by the rise of social media

5.  Disintermediation of the agencies not seen as a threat

Read more about the findings here.

Posted in
20thApr 2012

« Back to news listing