Archive for March, 2014

Content, Content, Content

It goes without saying that the success or failure of a magazine brand begins and ends with creating content that speaks to the specific interests and passions of its readers. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Building a team of writers that is well versed in the subject matter and a cause espoused by the magazine is imperative to the success of the publication, including drawing compatible advertisers and loyal readers. Publishers must find writers with a point of view. People who will write about what they really believe in, and who can communicate this to their readers.
The very thing that makes magazines media create solid customer loyalty is that good publications offer content that speaks to the specific interests and passions of its constituents. Readers expect and want each publication they read to speak in a specific voice and style relevant to their brand. Digital publications fill a recently created but permanent need by delivering relevant content via the relevant platform to that particular demographic. Print and digital are not mutually exclusive.


Publishers must use the power of their brand to entice their readers to interact via the numerous and various hardware out there, including smartphones, tablets, websites and print editions. The brand experience must be seamless through all formats, but the bottom line is that content is king. Give the people what they want and they will always come back for more.

The Impact of Digital Advertising

This article by Laurie Sullivan of Online Media Daily provides an interesting overview of the direction and increasing impact of digital advertising over various media. Digital publishers have to consider the increasing reach available to them and their advertisers, and build their ad campaigns accordingly:

Digital advertising will account for 22.7% of all worldwide ad investments this year, or about $117.60 billion — up 13% compared with 2012, according to estimates from eMarketer and Starcom MediaVest Group. In 2014, digital ads will account for 24.4% of all global ad dollars spent.

The Global Media Intelligence (GMI) Report analyzes media use and spending trends worldwide. It analyzes the state of media consumption and expenditure, covering Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, North America, and Western Europe — about 40 countries.

More than 36% of the world’s population will access the Internet this year, compared with 21.7% in 2008. Mobile phone users will account for nearly 61% of the population, compared with 40%, respectively.

Marketers will spend more on mobile too — nearly $15.82 billion, up 79.7% year-over-year, to keep up with the growing number of mobile phones worldwide. eMarketer estimates that 77.9% of the entire U.S. population, nearly 247 million residents, and 68.9% of people living in Canada will own at least one mobile phone this year.


In the U.S. and Canada, more than half of all mobile users will have a smartphone, and 52.6% of U.S. Web users will own a tablet.

Time spent on mobile devices this year should surpass time spent on desktops and laptops, according to eMarketer. Time spent on mobile will reach 2 hours, 21 minutes this year — compared with 24 minutes in 2010, per eMarketer.

Asia-Pacific will lead this year with about 2.5 billion of the world’s 4.3 billion mobile phone users. Asia-Pacific this year will have 738.2 million smartphone users, up from 86.2 million in 2009. Western Europe has 161.1 million; and North America, 152.2 million. The Middle East and African region will account for the second-largest mobile phone population worldwide, while Latin America lags in Internet use. Still, nearly two-thirds of the population will have a mobile phone.

Read more:

Defining and Applying Native Advertising

The Online Publishers Association in partnership with Radar Research published the paper Premium Content Brands Are Native Naturals to understand OPA members’ brands native advertising offerings, marketer goals, metrics for success and surface best practices generated from these programs. Their results have ramifications for the digital publishing industry as a whole.

The Association’s members defined Native Advertising as the following:

• Integration into the design of the publisher’s site and lives on the same domain
• Content either provided by, produced in conjunction with or created on behalf of our advertisers that runs within the editorial stream
• Clear delineation and labeling as advertising content
• Editorial value to the reader and conforms to the reader’s expectations
• Contextually relevant, non-standard advertising units
• Content marketing such as sponsored sites, games, infographics, etc.
• Highly automated advertising content such as sponsored stories, publisher tweets, etc.

Using these parameters, some Best Practices are defined in these areas:

•Clearly differentiate native advertisement from editorial content through labeling
•Develop clear editorial standards and practices to help communicate with marketers what type of content serves audiences best, the process for content review and monitoring audience posts

•Make native advertising content discoverable in the same way other content is –through search and social media
•Optimize for mobile, including tablets and smartphones

•Use a consultative sales approach; think about overall communication goals and voice of the marketer

•Amplify native advertising through paid and social media on and off site
•Promote native advertisement throughout site to drive traffic

•Train regular sales staff in consultative sales as required
•Leverage resources/expertise across the organization

•Include legal counsel in the discussions related to developing standardized/packaged native advertisement programs
•Necessity of clear labeling of native advertising

•Pick content partners which resonate with your brand
•Invest in developing relationships with content publishers; develop native programs which can evolve and expand iteratively over time

The report summarizes its findings thus:
•Three-quarters of OPA brands offer native advertising today with a potential of 90% by year end
•Marketers are leveraging OPA brands deep content expertise with the majority requesting programs featuring newly created or repackaged publisher content
•Marketers seek the brand equity publishers have amassed and their ability to drive consumer engagement through great content
•Marketers are adopting established publishing content metrics including engagement and traffic to measure native advertising programs
•OPA brands are deploying dedicated sales and creative resources to assist marketers and their agencies with native advertising programs

Best practices for native advertising include:
•Transparence: native advertising assets should be clearly labeled
•Discoverability: native should be discoverable as any other content
•Value: native advertising should provide the same value as any other content

More information about this report and the OPA can be found here: