CPL were given a brief to produce a magazine that offered in-depth, future-focused insight in an appealing and captivating style, while remaining credible and serious. Its work has been praised by Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, who said, ‘A wonderful job has been done by all concerned. Impact is designed to give MRS members a wealth of useful and inspirational content and the new magazine really delivers.'
There's more here.
Meanwhile August has recently re-launched Renault UK's online test-drive booking system, drive.renault.co.uk. The site has been revamped in a bid to increase the number of online bookings of test drives and encourage more people to visit their local Renault dealer.
So far, the new look website has been warmly received by both consumers and the client. The step-by-step booking process already shows an uplift of 28% in visitors completing the journey to the final step, figures which prompted Renault's Manager, Brand Communications (Digital), Matt Lamprell, to say that he ‘looks forward to seeing this convert into increased sales.'
More details here.
FuturePlus, the content marketing wing of Future Publishing, has also been busy for this week it has unveiled an interactive iPad version of Tesco's Technology & Entertainment magazine on Apple's Newsstand.
The magazine, which offers a mix of technology news and reviews of products, as well as updates on music and games, has been created using the company's own FutureFolio interactive app creation solution. Future has already widely used the software to create a large number of iPad magazines .
There are more details here.
There is some very good news this week for Progressive Customer Publishing (PCP) and specifically its flagship title economia. They have been nominated for four prestigious PPA Awards.
Even though the magazine has only been in existence for a year, economia, which is circulated to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), is now the UK's highest circulation monthly business magazine, with a global distribution of 160,000.
The PPA saluted the success of the magazine by shortlisting Richard Cree for Editor of the Year (Business Media) and Ewan Buck for Designer of the Year (Business Media).
The magazine has been shortlisted for one of the most prestigious awards, the Customer Magazine of the Year, while PCP has also been shortlisted for Publishing Innovator of the Year (annual turnover under £10m).
In the contest for the Customer Magazine of the Year PCP faces a strong challenge from three other CMA members. John Brown has been shortlisted for its Waitrose Kitchen magazine, while Think has also got the nod for its Beer publication for The Campaign for Real Ale, which won the award last year and also in 2011. Also shortlisted are August Media for its Completely London magazine which it creates on behalf of estate agents Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward.
The changing world of content marketing
The CMA's MD Clare Hill has been featured in the media again this week. Her article in MediaTel focuses on how the content marketing industry is evolving to keep pace with the digital revolution which is massively changing publishing.
It has also been a really good week for informative and intelligent articles in the marketing press which have raised key issues about social networking, content distribution, apps and, of course, content marketing
There are also some interesting perspectives on how social networking is evolving. New research from Experian, which we featured on the CMA website, highlights how 13 minutes of every hour online is spent on social networking sites and forums in the UK. It concludes that the only other types of sites to get anywhere near the popularity of Twitter and Facebook are entertainment sites (9 minutes per hour) and shopping sites (6 minutes per hour).
Their report also suggests that mobile and tablet use is significantly increasing, and not just on the move. Apparently people are using mobile devices to look at news and entertainment sites in the home, often during prime-time television periods.
Read the full report on Connected Consumer here.
However, Netimperative has some comment on research from Socialbakers that shows that Facebook might have hit its peak and is even starting to decline in some countries. It discovered that a third (33%) of countries on Facebook saw a decline in monthly active users over the last six months, which is significantly more than the 11% over the last year.
One of the most interesting stats refers to the UK, where there was 4.5% drop this month, representing 2 million people no longer logging into Facebook.
She states that, ‘In today's hyper-connected world, the winners of the content wars will be the brands who have created and shared exceptional content. The best brands recognise that people - not ads or messages - are the new voice of their companies.'
In a controversial piece she goes on to argue that most brands' content strategy needs to be radically altered with the focus now on delivering content that's ‘compelling, experiential and that tells a great story or solves a real problem.'
She then goes onto offer some tips on how to she thinks brands can enhance their content marketing offerings, specifically by ensuring that there is someone with editorial experience on the marketing team.
The role of content discovery
Stephanie Himoff is the Managing Director of Outbrain UK a company that some content marketing agencies are using to syndicate their clients' stories.
In a piece for Wallblog she puts the case for content discovery as a key part of the marketing mix.
She argues that one of the most important parts of content marketing is strategy and that sometimes brands, because different elements handle different parts of content marketing, can be light on long term planning.
She says, ‘The importance of having a clear defined strategy before implementing any content marketing campaign cannot be stressed enough - like most things in life, the devil is in the detail and unless you know what you want to deliver, what success would look like and how you're going to get there, it will inevitably become a struggle.'
Also on Wallblog this week is an examination of the various brands who have the highest levels of engagement on Twitter. The research is fascinating in that it shows that brands who have the most followers don't always generate the most engagement.
The writer, Gordon MacMillan concludes that, ‘The problem for many brands on Twitter is that they put out a lot of messages each day, but there is little strategy behind the content being shared and subsequently few pay attention.'
Most content marketing agencies have links with SEO companies and may even have in-house SEO experts. Recent updates from Google though has lead several leading SEO practitioners to change their tune and announce that SEO, in the guise that we have known it for the last few years, is actually on its way out.
Interestingly Adam Torkildson the VP of Operations at Customer Hook, a viral marketing company that helps businesses gain exposure and increase ROI, now thinks that the future of SEO is all about content marketing.
Answering a question on whether he thinks that SEO is already dead, Torkildson replied, ‘I can't give examples of it being dead already, but it has changed dramatically. No more can you pay someone in India to do blog commenting, forum spam, spun content, or any other spamming technique. What works now is all about PR and content marketing.'
The rest of the interview is here.
Two other articles well worth reading this week include an interview with the FT.com managing director Rob Grimshaw in The Guardian, where he focuses on the evolution of apps, HTML5, paywalls and what publishers can learn from BuzzFeed and a video from Andrew Hanelly, VP Digital Experience, TMG/McMurry which looks at what happens content marketing goes wrong.