Week in content marketing: 30 March 2012

This week sees Cedar Communication's Tesco Magazine take over the top spot as the most read consumer and lifestyle magazine in the country, PSP Rare produces commemorative programme to mark 100th anniversary of Captain Scott's South Pole expedition, APA's Julia Hutchison talks digital trends for 2012, why men's health industry is ripe with content marketing opportunities, tablets continue to be a hot topic and Facebook rolls out Timelines for branded pages.

With over seven million readers and ABC certified circulation of over two million Tesco Magazine is now the most read consumer and lifestyle magazine in the country. The publication was launched by award winning content agency Cedar Communications eight years ago. The latest issue of Tesco Magazine is a special Mum's Issue in support of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards now in their seventh year and the biggest of their kind in the UK. It features Sara Cox as guest editor and Mum of the Year ambassador.

This year will see the UK celebrate both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics, but it also marks the centenary of Captain Scott's last diary entry. To mark the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott and his team's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, leading contract publishing agency PSP Rare has produced a commemorative programme in honour of the explorers. The programme is a 40-page, glossy magazine that charts the history, heroism and sacrifices of British polar exploration since the 18th Century and reflects on how the scientific legacy of these expeditions continues to provide knowledge and understanding today. With forewords from HRH the Princess Royal and The Prime Minister the Programme was given to guests at the commemorative service at St Paul's Cathedral on 29th March, the 100th anniversary of Scott's last entry in his diary.

Telford based printers Precision Colour Printing has received high praise for the printing of the latest edition of a premium quality tropical living and design magazine. The perfect bound magazine has a gloss UV varnish on the cover and is content-rich with high quality images depicting the most spectacular and innovative homes and properties in warm sunny climates. PCP also announced the appointment of David Lightfoot as Operations Consultant. David brings a wealth of experience to PCP having spent his thirty plus year career in the printing industry including senior roles with Polestar, Garnett Dickinson and Communisis.

In a Fourth Source article, the APA's Julia Hutchison talk tablets, online content and her top three digital trends for 2012:

  1. Digital magazines will evolve and extend beyond apps and PDFs
  2. Brands will be focusing more on content than on apps
  3. This might be the year of the tablet

Read Julia's article in full here.

This week, Martin MacConnol, CEO of APA member agency Wardour, has spoken to NMA about how customer publishing - or content marketing as the sector is now called, truly get the power of content with its journalistic insight and the research, and why content marketing agencies are best placed to change the world of marketing communications.  Read his interview in full here.

According to a report from AYTM Market Research, the men's health industry is ripe with content marketing opportunities. The study found that an increasingly high percentage of men are interested in diet advice and fitness advice, which presents strong content marketing opportunities for organisations in the industry. But health businesses need to take the time to target their blogs and articles to this audience, and to understand the need of male shoppers and adjust their strategies to better appeal to them.

Publishing house IPC Media has announced it is to unveil a raft of digital content partnerships following recent deals with brands including Diet Coke and Jack Daniels as it looks to boost digital revenues. The magazine publisher says it is preparing some 40 ‘potential projects' currently, with a view to launching branded content on tablet devices, smartphones and via social networks for brands over the next few months.

Tablets continue to be a hot topic; with tablets growing in popularity there is a great opportunity for brands as tablet users tend to spend more money online than those using just laptops or mobiles and consume a greater amount of media, according to a report revealed by Marketing Week. But the growth in tablet ownership demands clever engagement thinking, Marketing Week's Laura Snoad noted: "[...] if tablet users consume more media, brands have a great opportunity here to drive greater engagement with these high spending consumers. Developing tablet-focused content and ads may be a savvy move, especially those that play on the entertainment-led behaviour of tablet users by creating branded games, or fun, interactive ads."

Could the lock-screen on smartphones become pocket billboards in the future? Conduit, a company that offers web and mobile services, has created a mobile lock-screen app, QuickLaunch, which aims to provide companies with the opportunity to put branded content in front of smartphone users each time they look at their phone. The app will let users jump straight into calls, emails or the phone's camera while a blank space in the middle of the screen would host a widget for content sponsored by a brand. Conduit said companies interested in branding will have to offer a useful feature for consumers in order to continue to make the app appealing to users. The QuickLaunch feature will be available on newer Android phones in the coming weeks.

This week Facebook's Timelines feature was rolled out on brand pages. As brands hurry to choose cover images and add history to their pages, the new Timelines increases engagement per post for brands by 46% according to research by Simply Measured. They also found that it gives a staggering 65% increase in engagement with interactive content such as video and photos.

The redesign is much more visual, focused on interactive content, and provides new features that give brands more control over how their Fan Page looks and feels. All of this is playing a role in how brand and consumers can engage on Fan Pages.

As Wallblog pointed out, "marketers are going to have to keep this new design in mind when creating brand pages, and learn some new tricks". Tabs will no longer be as prominent and so be less effective. It will be interesting to see how brands make use of the new scrapbook style look.

Interested in delving more into our world of content marketing, why not catch up on our industry bloggers here >>

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30thMar 2012

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