Week in content marketing 20 January 2012

This week sees August Media acquire digital agency ID Media; John Brown sees former member of staff return to its team; Cannes Lions to reward creativity in branded content and entertainment; content marketing campaigns including blogs can be especially useful for consumer electronics companies targeting women, and own-branded TV boost consumer engagement.

Award-winning content agency August Media has acquired the UK business of ID Media, previously part of a German-based group. ID Media brings with it a great pedigree and clients including Renault UK, News International, Deutsche Bank, World Wildlife Fund and Artichoke.

Already an established digital agency, ID Media brings with it capabilities that will complement the existing content-driven approach of August Media.

John brown on the other hand has bolstered its team with Michelle de Young returning to the successful content agency as Client Services Director. Michelle will be responsible for marketing as well as business growth in the UK working with existing and new clients. She fills the role left vacant since Alex Silcox left the UK to run John Brown's new Hong Kong office. Michelle worked for John Brown 14 years ago.

Setting the benchmark for creative excellence in communications, the International Festival of Creativity - Cannes Lions - will reward creativity in branded content & entertainment, defined as the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded content and entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods. Entries should demonstrate how consumer insight successfully integrated into original content drives audience engagement and creates synergy across paid, owned and earned media. Read more about the prerequisite of entries into this new category here.

A date for your diary next; PPA's Production and Environment Awards are now open for entry. The awards are dedicated to upholding and celebrating excellence in magazine production and environmental best practice. There are 10 awards available to enter, covering a range of categories for publishers and suppliers within the production area of the industry, and four environmental categories. To find out more about the event, and to begin your online entries go to

A couple of interesting findings over on news content marketing agency Brafton's blog this week. According to a report from The Heart Link Women's Network, women represent a substantial portion of global e-commerce spending, accounting for 85% of consumer purchase decisions. This implies that businesses that target female shoppers can improve their overall web presence and conversions by refocusing their web marketing strategies. However, the study suggests that targeting women with content marketing campaigns has proven difficult for some, with businesses often guilty of over generalizations that can turn off some shoppers.

Brafton could also report that content marketing campaigns including blogs can be especially useful for consumer electronics companies targeting women. A report from BlogHer - a guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media - found that 69% of adult females in the US rely on blogs when they research smartphones, computers, tablets and other consumer electronics. Further the study found that social media marketing is also effective, with 53% saying they turn to Facebook, Twitter or another social network for information about potential purchases. Another interesting discovery is that women apparently are more sensitive to the gender of bloggers and are more likely to respond to content written by other women similar to them.

As the marketing landscape has been transformed by new technology, with platforms such as mobile devices and social media, B2B marketers can interact in completely different ways with users who are always connected and increasingly engaged. However, marketers face obstacles this year as well, brought on by a still sluggish economy and global challenges. Key trends are mobile explosion, paid/owned/earned is the new media model, the part of B2B marketing budgets earmarked to content marketing is expected to increase in the coming year, and social integration.

A survey by Screen Digest has found that the majority of Brits are reluctant to pay for mobile apps up front, but are on the other hand happy to make purchases from within the app.

At least 96 per cent of apps downloaded during 2011 were free, while in-app purchases accounted for 39 per cent of the market. This is set to rise to 64 per cent of the total app revenue market by 2015, reaching £3.7 billion. Jack Kent, senior analyst of mobile media at Screen Digest and author of the report, said: "In 2012, it will become increasingly difficult for app stores and developers to justify charging an upfront fee for their products when faced with competition from a plethora of free content.

Dan Zarrella, award-winning social media scientist at HubSpot has revealed the best time to post content online to gain attention more easily. His new report indicates that businesses see different levels of engagement in the web marketing campaigns based on which day the content is posted, shared or sent. In terms of Facebook engagement, Like activity spiked to 40% engagement rates on Saturdays, when users spend more time interacting with the social media website. The lowest day was Thursday. Social media marketing with Twitter was much different with weekdays being the busiest in terms of engagements. Fridays were the most active with content averaging an 18% retweet rate. Both email marketing and content marketing saw the most engagement during weekends. Blog post engagement and email content both seem to shine on weekends, with click through rates being higher on Saturdays and Sundays.

Finally, following the huge success of YouTube, companies have found that own-branded TV channels are a great way to boost consumer engagement, reach new audiences and convert website visits into purchases. Brands are also finding that dedicated online TV channels can provide them with test beds for what can be incorporated into other marketing activity. Read the full story on

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20thJan 2012

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