Posts categorized ‘Publishing’

5 Pressing Publishing FAQs Answered

Zmags is in the business of providing solutions – part of that is helping to answer the pressing questions right now in digital content publishing. For existing, as well as potential publishers, here are 5 questions we’ve been frequently fielding.

1. What Are the Benefits of using HTML 5 in “Layman’s Terms”?

HTML 5 is a code language used for building and developing web content, so the publisher or marketer need to know very little about it. But what everyone should know is its growing popularity, and that it is viewable across all channels and devices, easy to maintain, includes rich media elements right in its code, and is the most straightforward way to develop for mobile.

2. What is the Difference Between a Mobile App and Mobile Web-Based Solution?

At the basic level, and app is downloaded on a particular device or operating system, while web-based mobile site is a site that is specifically designed for mobile and renders automatically on mobile devices. The key differences are that a web-based solution is easier to deploy, creates an easy browsing environment, and tends to be inexpensive. A mobile app can perform some functions offline, is more customizable, and can be expensive, but also can cost money per download, becoming an additional source of revenue for the publisher.

3. Is a Lookbook a Catalog or a Magazine?

A lookbook can be a little bit of both, and you can build one and define it however you like. A lookbook probably looks and feels more like a magazine in its focus on images and thematic editorial content. A lookbook can be like a catalog in one way: you can make it shoppable. However, if a lookbook is ever confused with a true catalog, it probably isn’t doing its primary job, which is creating an enticing preview of the upcoming season’s offerings.

Publishing FAQ

4. How Should I Track Performance of Ads in Digital Content?

First, track the ads placed within your digital content based on that particular ad’s or campaign’s goals. So, if it’s a click or sign-up, track those. But if, for instance, the campaign employs a promo code, usage of those should reflect the performance of an ad.

For any ad, however, there are two main factors to consider for context. The first is total reach, or total number of views the digital content is garnering. The second factor is ad engagement, such as dwell time, click-through rate, total clicks. If you start with those metrics, you can segment them out further for better learning on performance.

5. Can I have multiple publications online simultaneously with Zmags?

You can create unlimited publications in the preview stage. In order to publish, you’ll need to activate the publication, though, and that requires a license. De-activating and re-activating that same publication won’t require a second license, but a second new publication will require purchasing an additional license.


These are five of the most frequently asked publishing questions that we’ve seen recently, but are by no means the only ones we’ve seen. If you have any additional questions, let us know and we will help you find solutions to your questions. For more information on how to create the best digital experience possible, visit our world of solutions.


(Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Zmags Global Ping Pong Tournament

If there’s one thing that can ignite a competitive spirit here at Zmags, it’s ping pong. Each of our offices has a table, and we’ve found that a friendly game is a great way to reduce stress, connect with other employees, and of course, have some fun.

Recently we took the competition up a notch and held the Zmags Global Ping Pong Tournament, which due to its great success will surely become an annual event. Congrats to each of our winners, who in addition to earning serious bragging rights, also took home some pretty awesome trophies.


Ping Pong Champ




Zmags Runs the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

Last Thursday, a group of employees from our Boston Zmags office joined 571 other local companies for the 30th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. The event, a 3.5 mile run/walk, fosters team camaraderie and also raises money for local charities. This year, J.P. Morgan donated all of the entry fees to the One Fund Boston, which assists the victims and families of those most affected by the tragic events at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Finishing among a crowd of 12,000 participants, our Zmags team proved that we are Boston Strong.

Not to be outdone, our Copenhagen employees will also be strapping on their running sneakers this August and running as a team in the DHL Relay Race. Events like these offer a truly rewarding experience – the opportunity to support your colleagues, give back to the community, and of course have some fun!


JPMorgan Corporate Challenge


JPMorgan Corporate Challenge 2

Food & Beverage Digital Catalog and eCircular Benchmarks & Trends

Food & Beverage is one of two industries featured in our Q1 2013 Digital Catalog/Magazine Benchmark webinar and report, which can be downloaded here in full.

These digital publications had the highest traffic levels of any industry, exceeding 46K visits per issue, which was 9 times above average.

Share of visits from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) rose significantly last quarter relative to 2012, increasing from 14% to 26%–or +87%, making it the largest jump in mobile traffic of any industry in our analysis.

Shoppers and readers viewed 14 out of 39 published pages on average in Q1, yet time spent is on the lower side, at 2 min 49 sec spent per visit vs. an average of 4:06.  This shorter dwell time is likely in part due to the higher share of mobile traffic.

Key use cases of digital publications in the Food & Beverage industry include:

1. Weekly flyers and circulars

2. Monthly/quarterly magazines


1. Weekly flyers and circulars:  Many Food & Beverage brands take the first step towards digital by simply uploading weekly circulars to their websites and emailing their shopper base as a notification.  These digital versions allow all potential customers to see what’s on sale and what’s fresh that week–especially catering to those who no longer receive print newspapers with these flyer inserts.   Shoppers can still download to a mobile device or print at home, or even share with others on Facebook.

Some brands take it one step further, publishing content that doesn’t just help sell groceries but really adds value for their shoppers:

- Incorporating shopping list functions lets people mark what they want and email or print it before heading to the store

- Integrating links to digital coupons or QR codes (if unique, these efforts can be tracked and measured!)

- Adding store locators

Grocery Weekly Circular

2. Monthly/quarterly magazines:  Other Food & Beverage brands create lifestyle magazines that only feature their food and beverage products in a supporting role, instead emphasizing content such as:

- Seasonal meals and recipe ideas

- Gift guides during holiday seasons

- Informational articles, such as “How to choose lettuce” in Tesco’s Real Food Magazine.

- Videos, such as of chef inspirations, comments from professional wine tasters, etc.

- Digital ads with links back to advertiser sites

Tesco choose lettuce

Have you seen any additional use cases or good examples of digital content published in the Food & Beverage industry?

As a consumer, are you using online circulars and magazines to plan your grocery trips or get recipe ideas?  Please provide any and all related comments, we want to hear from you!


The Secret to Onboarding

When it comes to the first few days on the job at a new company, many of us have probably had similar experiences: dull orientations, awkward alone-time spent at your desk, hurried trainings (if any), and then it’s sink or swim! I’ve even heard horror stories about new employees starting without a computer or phone.

For HR Professionals and Hiring Managers, the harsh reality is that the first few weeks in a new role makes a huge impact on a new employee’s perception of the company, its culture, and its leadership. Finding and hiring the best talent is only the first hurdle; setting them up for success is the critical next step.

It’s important to note that new employee onboarding should go far beyond the basic first day orientation and office tour. At Zmags, it involves comprehensive and engaging training sessions that expose each new hire to our product, our various departments, and our senior leaders within the first two weeks of their employment.

Our training sessions and meetings are done in small groups or one-on-one, allowing for a more personalized learning experience. The information itself covers everything from company history and corporate vision, to our product roadmap and customer support overview. The objective is for each employee to have a solid understanding of the organization as a whole and how their individual role contributes to our company goals.

Finally, we believe that every Zmags employee should be able to understand and use our product – regardless if they work in Sales or Accounting. After receiving several product demonstrations and tutorials, each new hire is asked to publish their own personal Zmag with fun facts and information about themselves. It’s a hands-on product training exercise that also helps the global Zmags organization get to know each new employee.

Check out some real examples of what our new employees have created with the Zmags platform!

Project Manager Tom Majoch’s personal Zmag


Personal Zmag 1


Personal Zmag 2

Delivering a Brand Experience that Drives Revenue Using Online Content is Easy

Building a brand that is unique, consistent and powerful across all channels and at every point of engagement is imperative to your customer experience as well as your company strategy.

Delivering that brand representation online often requires a suite of web assets that provide the same look and feel online as if you are in store or interacting directly with the brand offline.

At Zmags, we recognize how powerful these web assets are. The release of our Commerce solution opens up the possibilities of bringing those directly to your online publication.

An online magazine, catalog, lookbook or other publication is an engaging linear way to drive consumers though an interactive shopping experience that can leverage your rich media assets and commerce suite.  If a consumer knows what they want, they will ultimately use Google to find the product and buy it.  That’s not shopping, it’s buying.  Your shoppers want to feel like they are interacting directly with your brand as they seek for ideas and inspiration.  That branded experience that your consumers know, love and believe in is what then encourages purchase.

The Zmags Commerce Advantage

Your website will already have the vehicles to drive those conversions that occur when a customer knows what they want.  An online Publication or Catalog is the vehicle to drive your “shoppers” through an experience to inspire purchase and it’s at this point you want to bring your commerce infrastructure to the forefront for transaction.  A branded journey, from click to conversion.

Hello Zmags Commerce.  Using either Zmags Plugins or new ecommerce platform integrations, Zmags enables existing ecommerce functionality to be layered onto your online catalog – ensuring shopping carts can be filled and customers can continue to shop. Shopping behavior translates from in-store to the online catalog: a shopper will walk around the store selection items, making sure he/she has seen everything to make the best available purchase decisions.


InWear Commerce 3





Zmags is a self-service platform that is designed integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure.  Zmags Commerce layers can be married with other powerful rich media assets to drive a fluid shopping experience that delivers true ROI.

In essence, your Zmags-driven online content is “talking” happily to your web infrastructure, so when a customer clicks on a product in your Publication it calls up the product information from your website.  This seamless integration utilizes the quick view and product information you have already designed to be in-line with your brand.   You can add clear call to actions, product videos and other rich media to entice and encourage clicks and embed the Zmags content directly into your site.  Being a self-service tool, it’s quick and easy to build commerce-enabled online catalogs and requires no development, coding or anything “tech-y”.  As our product evolves, additional features become available and as your product views or information changes it is automatically represented across all online content (past, present or future).

I can write with confidence that Zmags have both the product and the service team available to ensure success with the new Zmags Commerce solution.

ShopBAZAAR Provides a Contextual Shopping Experience

In 1867, Harper’s BAZAAR became America’s first fashion magazine. The magazine has now achieved another first with the launch of ShopBAZAAR, a breakthrough online store that allows the viewer to complete the purchase without leaving the magazine, closing the gap between seeing and buying. The readers, inspired by the items on display, can purchase in a fully integrated and seamless experience.

Harper's BAZAAR Online Interactive Catalog

Unlike conventional ecommerce stores where business managers decide what to sell, the editors of ShopBAZAAR handpick items for sale. This brings to life an authentic content-to-commerce preposition, allowing viewers to experience special one-of-a kind products inspired by editorial features and enjoy contextual shopping experience to the fullest. ShopBAZAAR showcases about 1000-1500 products at any given time, with global brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, Derek Lam, Hirshleifers, Les Nouvelles, and Donna Karan Cosmetics.

In March this year, Harper’s BAZAAR embarked on a brand transformation exercise that started with a redesign and culminated in ShopBAZAAR. The BAZAAR Book app provides the monthly mag-alogue and the contextual shopping experience to iPad users. also appears as a sub-domain of, accessible as a “Shopping” tab on the home page. A tab on the Harper’s BAZAAR Facebook page takes the users directly to the BAZAAR Book on The innovations are poised to continue, with Digimarc watermarks that allow readers to shop the pages using smart phones. Expect that in early 2013.

ShopBAZAAR was launched in collaboration with American Express. American Express card holders receive exclusive perks and benefits, including access to specially-produced pieces from key designers, special gifts and private shopping events.

Check out the full online shopping experience to get an idea of how BAZAAR has truly used digital publishing to their advantage.

Traits of Successful Digital Content

The fierce competition among brands means that marketers have to roll out innovative ways to attract and retain customers. A crucial task in this regard is developing digital content that provides an intuitive, rich and engaging experience.

The focus of successful digital content is a neat design. The two essential considerations when doing so include providing a highly interactive experience, and ensuring they provide a consistent experience no matter what digital point he consumer chooses to access the content.

In today’s multiple digital touch point environment, the marketers’ job is not done when he weaves an attractive story to entice the consumer to click on the provided interactive elements such as buttons, navigation panels, forms or other call to action elements, or even by making such call to action elements attractive. The CTA depends largely on how easy the customers can access such elements using their device of choice.

traits of a good digital catalog

For instance, a keyboard-heavy interactive experience would fail to impress the tablet consumers. Rather, a tab button, accessible easily by either a tap or a mouse click would suit all devices.
With consistency a key requirement of success, it is imperative to design in such a way that the consumer has the same commerce experience when accessing the content through the Web browser, smart phone, tablet, Facebook, or any other medium.

Marketers would do well to tap into Zmags vast experience gained by developing over one million digital brochures, catalogs and magazines to design digital content that works.

Digital Journals Offer a Positive Content Experience

Digital journals allow readers to consume content in a much better way than any other delivery medium and nothing exemplifies this more than CVS Caremark Insights 2012, the newest digital publication from the pharmaceutical major CVS Caremarks.

CVS Caremark Digital JournalDissemination of information required either printing a journal or publishing an e-book/website. All these methods have their limitations. The CVS Caremark Insights 2012 publication, developed by Zmags, true to any digital publication, not only combines the best of the print and digital medium, but also delivers several new possibilities that allow the reader to consume the content in the best and most convenient manner.

To a detached observer, the digital journal is a replica of the print journal that gels well with the tablet. The various standard features of the digital journal—such as a vertical scroll bar that functions as a preview-based menu and allows proceeding directly to a page; the ability to email, print, share or download as PDF any particular page of the journal—provide user-friendly options to make navigation and content consumption an enjoyable experience in itself. Among the new functionalities featured in this journal is the option to crop any part of the page and download or email it.

Other enhanced possibilities include clicking on the reference note, which leads directly to the list of references and from there to the external link of the reference, allowing the journal reader to seamlessly pursue the topic of interest with ease.

Needless to say, the video and flash elements add life to the otherwise dry information, keeping the customers connected and visually engaged.

Tablets Power Newspaper and Magazine Readership

Print magazines and newspapers, while providing static and non-interactive content, still hold ground over the more interactive and dynamic content provided by desktop browsers due to its mobility and reading ease. The tablet, however, is set to change that.

Reading news and digital publications on tabletLatest research by ComScore spread between July and August 2012 reveals that almost two out of every five US tablet owners use tablets to read the digital version of print magazines and newspapers. 11.5 percent of people read newspapers daily, an equal percentage of respondents did so weekly and 37 percent did so at least once a month. 9.7 percent of the people used the tablet to read print magazines or periodicals daily, 13.3 percent of the people did so at least once a week and 39.6 percent of the people did so at least once a month. There was no significant difference in these stats across age or demographics, which is probably an indication that tablets, initially a device of the youth, is now becoming popular across the board.

Overall, tablets drive 7 percent of the total page views of newspapers.

The popularity of tablets as a medium to access news and information from traditional print newspapers and magazine sources underscores the ability of the tablets to deliver the best of both worlds. Tablets have the ability to replicate the way people are accustomed to receive news and information through the print medium while at the same time incorporate the advantages of dynamic content, interactivity and ability to customize provided by the digital medium.

How can you use digital publications to increase your readership?