Week in content marketing 4 November 2011

With less than 3 weeks to the second annual APA International Content Summit titled Content + Convergence the list of speakers is being finalised, and it sure is an impressive line-up we have got for you this year. Taking to the stage are the likes of Sarah Tuke, Head of Media Relations at Coca-Cola GB, Mark Challinor, Director of Mobile at The Telegraph, Carla Buzasi, Editor in Chief at The Huffington Post and AOL, as well as technologist, journalist and broadcaster Ben Hammersley and many more. An up-do-date list of the confirmed speakers can be found here and for a look at this year's programme can be found here.

Speaking of the Content Summit, last year's inaugural International Content Summit 2010 was so good that it has been shortlisted in the media sector at the inaugural Brand Event Awards 2011. The awards will take place on 30 November with a number of other impressive brands shortlisted, including Cadbury, Barclays and Eurostar. Click here to read the full article from Marketing Magazine.

While we're on the topic of awards, award-winning Sainsbury's magazine is celebrating its 18th Christmas with the biggest ever issue and an impressive 70% increase in advertising. Published by Seven, the issue has hit the shelves this week and is bursting at the seams with holiday inspiration and value, giving readers more food, more features and more freebies. The massive Christmas-themed 276-page issue - that's 88 more pages than the average pagination for the publication - also sees a whopping 70% increase in advertising, with an unprecedented 119 pages dedicated to advertising. The increase in advertising shows how aware advertisers are about the magazine's readers are among Sainsbury's most valuable shoppers, especially during the holiday season when they spend more on a wide range of goods. Sainsbury's magazine is now the UK's most widely read paid-for-title with over 3.5 million readers every month.

August Media on the other hand has added a new publication to its portfolio. August will work with P&O Cruises to relaunch its Peninsular Club magazine in 2012. With a print run of 200,000, the magazine will form a major part of the cruise operators re-brand of their loyalty club which will be called The Peninsular Club. The relaunch will coincide with the 175th anniversary of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company next year.

Good news from the offices of John Brown this week as well as NatWest Business Sense website receives thumbs-up from The Good Web Guide, Britain's most authoritative guide to web excellence. The Michelin-style guide to the best web resources included the Business Sense website as one of the five best sites for businesses in the UK.

Haymarket Network has launched a ground-breaking new online project for the Volkswagen Group (VWG) that is designed to host questions and approved answers to customer queries and to drive improvements in customer satisfaction. The Knowledge Base editorial team will be based in-house while the Haymarket team will source and publish the answers on the platform. Haymarket has also launched a new asset library for Volkswagen that is to become a central repository of images, videos and key documents. The platform is part of a drive to increase efficiency and end the costly problems caused by assets housed in multiple locations within the brand and its agencies.

Did you miss out on last year's sensation Digital Archaeology, the exhibition that charts the world-changing moments of the early web? Fret not, because the exhibition is returning to Internet Week Europe 2011. From 8th November to 11th November, Story Worldwide will present ‘Ten websites that changed the world'. The exhibition will showcase ten of the most significant sites of the early web, each selected because they re-invented how we play and interact.

Meanwhile leading contract publishing agency PSP Rare is celebrating the publication of its 10th annual Lord Mayor's Show Commemorative Programme. Lord Mayor of London is one of the world's oldest elected offices and the Lord Mayor's Show is the public celebration that has grown up around his journey through the streets of the City of London on the second Saturday in November each year.  The 68-page programme is the only printed material available that records the events of the day and provides complete information of the Show. With a print run of 20,000 the programme is sold by mail order in advance to individuals and organisations involved with the show and with the City of London.

In other branded content news it appears that record labels are ramping up spend on branded content as they look to forge stronger ties between agencies and brands writes Marketing Week. There is no doubt that the music business is changing, having been badly affected by the digital revolution agencies have over the past years been working increasingly with music executives to change the rules of how labels promote their artists through media. With music acts having become media owners they can now offer brands direct access to their audience, particularly through social media and experiential marketing, and brands are recognising that artists as opposed to a music partnership will give them a lot more. Marketing Week continues: "The recognition that emotional connections work harder than rational support points to increase loyalty is propelling innovative record labels and brands to use music acts more strategically for long-term gain." Read the full article here.

IAB has just released the results of a year-long study with FMCG brands Lucozade, Starbucks and Nestlé that looked at cross-media campaigns and the impact of online in building brands and increasing reach. Tim Elkington, Director of Research and Strategy at IAB, summarised the results: "Online advertising is effective in driving awareness and changes perceptions of brands. Online offers FMCG brands incremental reach, works particularly well with core target audiences and does this cost effectively." Find out more about the results here.

In its latest blog post, US based news content marketing agency Brafton makes an argument for why businesses sharing content on social media forums should consider adding bookmarking site Stumbleupon to their marketing mix. With a new study showing that the platform greatly increases the half-life of content to 400 hours on average. Half-life represents the amount of time it takes for a link to receive half the engagement it will ever garner. According to the study by Simply Zesty, the average page view length on StumbleUpon is 72 seconds compared to only 23 seconds on Facebook. Are you using StumbleUpon as part of a brand's marketing mix?

Brands are always coming up with innovative ways to connect with their consumers and we aim to share these with you as and when. This October department store Debenhams launched an augmented reality pop-up store service where shoppers could try on outfits near the UK's tourist attractions. Shoppers with an iPhone or iPad 2 could use their device to scan the scene around five famous landmarks, such as London's Trafalgar Square and Glasgow's George Square, to find the store's selection of party dresses - once located users could virtually try them on a picture of themselves, share and even order the items. The app also gave users an exclusive 20% discount.

Online video giant YouTube is continuing on its quest to get more original content and has officially teamed up with Hollywood as Google - the owner of YouTube - is offering $100 million plus to dozens of creative partners for new "channels" featuring original content and programming from big name brands, personal and corporate. The launch line-up across more than 100 original channels will feature celebrities such as Madonna, Jay-Z and Ashton Kutcher and brands like Red Bull and Lance Armstrong's Livestrong.

We have previously written about Manchester City F.C.'s endeavours in social media and digital, and now Manchester's other - more famous - football club, Manchester United, is making waves online. Manchester United is planning to launch its own branded global social media platform in an attempt to leverage its estimated 500 million fans worldwide, especially in the Asian markets. The platform will offer multimedia content, advertising and sponsorship opportunities for brands. The current Premier League Champions have sponsorship arrangements with brands that include Nike, Aon, DHL Express, Audi and Budweiser so it will be interesting to see how these would potentially be incorporated into the platform. The social network is set to roll out in stages over the next two years, and users will be able to access exclusive content such as videos of star players as well as buy club merchandise and other items through an e-commerce function. The big question will be if they can beat Facebook at their own game?

Finally, Fox's, the biscuit brand, has launched a location-based Facebook treasure hunt game to mark the launch of its new Christmas Pudding range. The Great Christmas Pudding Heist features the brand's panda mascot Vinnie enlisting Facebook fans to help find his stolen treasure, which apparently has been smuggled inside Christmas puddings. As Marketing Magazine writes, users will follow clues on Twitter and Facebook to track down the stolen goods that point to offline locations in cities across the UK in a bid to claim a cash prize of £250. Online entrants who solve all of the online clues will also win a cash prize.

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4thNov 2011

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