Posts categorized ‘Rich Media’

Build Amazing Online Publications With The Resources You Have

Many companies, and brands for that matter, have adopted a ‘do more with less’ mantra over the past few years. Marketers in particular are being asked to take on more responsibility and technical tasks they are not accustom to, which has lead to more outsourcing to various consultants to meet the marketing needs of your company.

Waiting on things such as content and design revisions, and for someone to go into a program or tool you utilize costs time and money. Even reaching out to more technical employees within your company to help you with certain tasks can take time that you cannot afford to lose.

When it comes to creating and publishing online publications, marketers tend to think the production process is just another area where a consultant or a technical co-worker is needed. However, that’s not the case.

Sure, your IT team or another technical source outside of your department might need to be involved somewhat in the initial implementation of your online publication. That being said, once your eCommerce platform has been integrated, you run the show from there.


Linking Image


Keeping it in-house

Your eCommerce platform has been integrated, your PDF is ready to be uploaded and your “to-do” list continues to grow. You think you don’t have the resources necessary and you think you need to scramble to get help with the production of your publication. Think again.

Once a Zmags client have gone through the customer success program, they are able to link on average 80 products an hour. So let’s say the average publication has 40 products to link, you would be able to produce your catalog in about 30 minutes! What it boils down to is that anyone (and I do mean anyone) on your marketing team can link a publication.

Adding rich media and interactivity

Not only does Zmags’ software make linking your publication a breeze, but it also makes adding rich media, such as videos, an easy process as well. You can use videos that are currently on your website, upload them through the media section in the Publicator tool, drag and drop them to where you want them on your page, and have it go live immediately. There are many benefits of adding rich media and interactivity to your publications, and you can easily implement them into your publication without any outside help.

Zmags gives you the tools to build amazing publications, but you ultimately hold the power and ability to produce them yourself. So what’s stopping you? Learn how you can quickly and easily start producing your own Zmag.

Why Marketers are Scurrying to Provide Video Based Content

Comscore reports that as of April 2012, almost 85 percent of US audience viewed online video. An adult viewer watches 21.8 hours a month on an average and this is double the corresponding figure in 2010.

How to use video in your digital catalogThe emergence of multiple digital touch points with enhanced multimedia capabilities has further facilitated the popularity of videos as a content medium. A 2012 study by the etailing group sponsored by Invodo revels that one in two smart phone users and more than six out of ten tablet users watch one or more product videos in a three month period.

Such a steep increase in the popularity of the video is forcing marketers sit up and take notice. The Social media examiner reports that 76 percent of all marketers plan to increase the space of video in their marketing plans in 2012. This is likely to yield good results, with the Internet Retailer reporting that 85 percent of the prospects who view product videos would most likely make the purchase. Those who view video are 17.4 percent more likely to make a purchase versus those who do not watch videos.

There are many reasons for such a high conversion rates:

  • Videos provide the most appropriate engagement medium for those who prefer visual or audible communications over written or verbal communications. Such people constitute about 60 to 70 percent of all shoppers.
  • Videos help consumers progress to a “ready to buy” state by educating them with product information and specifications. Evidence suggests that people who watch videos spend more time on the website and engage better. When they purchase, they purchase with confidence, with lesser cart abandonment compared to those who do not watch videos. After making a purchase they are less likely to return the product.
  • For the marketer, incorporating video provides an added benefit of improved SEO optimization, resulting in improved search engine ranking and thereby better visibility.

How are you using this medium to increase conversion rates?

Enhancing the Brand Experience Through Online Magazines

Many brands understand the importance of digital presence and invest much effort in their online magazines. However, such efforts do not yield any perceptible results to either the bottom line or the brand image without a sizable readership base. To attract people to their digital magazine, merely replicating the print version of the magazine into a digital format and providing some hyperlinks are not enough.

Audi Denmark digital catalogToday’s customers are more demanding and seek to make informed decisions. They not only look out for an enhanced digital experience that would make their quest easy and seamless, but also require high level of access and in-depth information.

To provide a positive experience that would attract new consumers and make existing consumers come back, brands need to bring to life the imagery and editorial content of the digital magazine. One way to do so is by making the online magazine interactive and dialogue based. Most online buyers in today’s digital age consider the one-way monologues that characterize the traditional print magazines as drab and a drag on their efforts to seek relevant knowledge fast.

Seamless accessibility of the content across multiple touch points such as iPad and smart phones is a basic requirement. Brands need to go further and ensure easy accessibility and seamless integration with popular channels, especially social media channels such as Facebook, as well.

At the back end, the brand needs to power the online magazine with a powerful analytics engine that would allow them to monitor results and make tweaks based on what viewers prefer in real time.

Today’s consumers are fickle and spoilt for choice. If they do not get the experience they seek for, they waste no time in moving elsewhere. The challenge for the brand is to anticipate what consumers want and provide it upfront, or failing that make amends in double quick time before the consumer gets around to trying someone else.

Audi Denmark applied all of these to good effect using Zmags Professional. Audi launched a new refurbished magazine in November 2010 and embedded the same into Facebook, to provide consumers with an interactive and attractive brand experience through a medium to which they are anyway using. By November 2011, the magazine increased its viewership by a whopping 1500 percent, with three out of every four views coming from Facebook.

How can an online magazine help your brand?

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.

Tablets Spruce Up Delivery of Custom TextBooks

Technology has thrown open a world of possibilities, and one Pearson digital textbookpossibility is the ability to create  custom textbooks.

The concept of custom textbooks allows students to refine their textbook content to align with their course objectives. The tablet, with its powerful multimedia features, converts such customized text into fun and interactive content, providing a powerful and pleasurable learning experience. The powerful features of the tablet allow students to tap into concepts, access the relevant articles and news related to the subject in real time, view the related audio and video content without going elsewhere, and do much more.

The portable and dynamic nature of the tablet also offers unmatched convenience and flexibility, further confirming the superiority of tablet based custom-books to conventional paper textbooks. Delivering custom textbooks through tablets makes the content available much easier at a considerably reduced cost. Digitally delivered custom books improve accessibility of content to a wider range of consumers, overcoming the physical limitations such as availability of stock, or working hours of bookshops.

Pearson Learning Solutions offers such custom textbooks, using Zmags as its partner to deliver its dynamic Mercury Reader Brochure. The brochure encapsulates the best that technology can offer to create personalized textbooks, allowing both students and teachers to apply personalization and make the purchase seamlessly.

The brochure, containing order codes from the master textbook, leverages the power of simplicity, allowing users to simply tap on the order codes to add the required content, drag the selected content to the required order, click on confirm and then input the contact information. Pearson emails the book summary to the consumer for purchase or for further changes. The provision to print, mail or make a PDF copy, the ability to zoom into a page, the provision to search for the required text directly, the ability to proceed to any page directly without flipping through each page, helpful pop-ups such as the Wish List and other intuitive features spruce up the brochure to deliver a truly engaging experience.

Tablets and Smart Phones Boost Digital News Consumption

The emergence of digital news may result in the death knell for the print news industry. With customers transitioning their loyalty to the digital media, traditional news media is suffering from loss of circulation and consequently ad dollars.

Business news at digital tabletNow a churn is happening within the digital media. Older generation digital devices, such as television, are feeling the heat from newer and more nimble entrants such as the tablets and the smart phone. These new devices leverage the power of the Internet to deliver instant and customized news to consumers, drawing away the consumer’s attention from the stale and generic news content offered by television channels.

The television retained its dominance as the most popular source for news during the desktop era. Even though web browsers delivered real time and customized news to desktops and laptops, the migration from television to the news websites accessed through desktops and laptops was at a steady and gradual pace, primarily owing to the limitations of accessibility and connectivity. However, the emergence of even more flexible and portable devices such as the smart phone and tablets, the development of Internet technology such as wi-fi connectivity and the popularity of news apps that increases convenience multifold has accelerated the pace of migration.

A June 2012 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press place digital mediums just 16 percentage points behind TV as the primary source for news content, among US consumers.

A September 2012 study survey by Mojiva, a mobile ad network, reveals that smart phone and tablet owners still use the laptop, followed by television as their primary source of news, but indications are that this would change shortly.

In fact, television still holding its ground may be due to demographics. The Pew survey reveals that three-quarters of US news consumers ages 65 and older watched news on TV. In contrast, the percentage of respondents in the age group of 18- to 29-year-olds who watched news on television was just over one-third, and this group has actually dropped TV news consumption by 15 percentage points between 2006 and 2012.

Digital news is taking over – what have you noticed about your content consumption habits?

Digital Magazines Allow Marketers to Engage with Customers on a Consistent Basis

Digital magazines are a godsend for marketers in an increasingly competitive world where they seek to capture the customer’s attention on a relatively ‘permanent’ basis.

There are many advantages to having a digital magazine.  It provides a low cost, easy and reliable method to engage with the customers on a regular basis. Apart from regular informative content about the brand, these magazines provide a good opportunity to disseminate news and updates, latest offers and promotions, showcase new products and more. With customers subscribing to such magazines, delivery is more or less guaranteed, a marked improvement from emails or other delivery mechanism where the chances of the customer actually viewing it depends on many factors. Moreover, once downloaded, subscribers can access the content without Internet connectivity, especially useful when on the move.

New digital touch points such as the tablets make digital magazines even more popular. The portability, rich media and dynamic functionality offered by the tablets makes it easier for the consumer to navigate the magazine. Marketers can leverage these same features to provide an enchanting experience for the consumers.

Costco Connection, the monthly lifestyle magazine for the members of Costco, is a good example of a digital magazine. Rather than directly showcase and promote products, the magazine provides articles of general interest and useful tips related to Costco’s services or products available at Cosoco, making the magazine as good and interesting as any other general magazine that a reader would read.


Costco Connection Digital Magazine


The magazine replicates its print version, and as it is with the case of all digital content, provides hyperlinks that allow the reader to delve into any subject or product of interest without leaving the page. It also provides a host of other features including table of contents, search options, a side bar and more to allow readers access the required content directly without having to flip pages.

Can your business use a digital magazine to increase engagement?

The Mobile Shopper Yearns for More

Speed and convenience is not the only thing that drives customers to online shopping. Today’s mobile shopper likes to research reviews, compare prices, and share photos as part of the shopping experience. They consider it a positive and enriching experience when they can do all these in seconds, on-line, and in-store.

Mobile shopper increaseMobile digital touch points such as tablets and smart phones make all these possible. Smartphone and tablet owners use their devices to understand products better and enhance their shopping experience, and the success of the online marketer depends on the extent to which they facilitate the customer in this regard.

A study conducted Moosylvania, an ad agency reveals that 30.1% of smartphone owners research products on their mobile device when away from home, 19.6% do so while watching TV, 13.4% do so on the weekends, 12.4% do so when shopping in-store, 10.9% do so while at work and 2.7% do so when on holidays. Only 10.9% of smart phone owners do not research products before purchase. Of shoppers who research products while in a store, 73.9% compare prices among other retailers.

80% of smartphone owners prefer more mobile-optimized product information even when shopping in conventional brick and mortar stores. Among other mobile optimized tools that provide information and make shopping better, 76% prefer mobile coupons, 44% prefer mobile wallets to make payments, 31% prefer mobile apps, 26% prefer QR codes, 20% prefer text messages, 19% prefer links to informational videos and 17% prefer mobile display ads.

The survey also confirms the multi-device trend – where people access the Internet through multiple channels. 97% of respondents (all smart phone owners) have access to a personal computer and 43% of them have access to a tablet.

Are you appealing to the mobile shopper?

Digital Catalogs: A Perfect Fit for Luxury Retailers

With tablets and smart phones steadily increasing in popularity, the multiple digital touch point world is here to stay. Brands trying to woo an increasingly tech savvy customer base must indulge in a host of innovative digital marketing strategies.

Publishing online magazines and digital catalogs lead the list of strategies aimed at wooing the digital consumer. Publishing this type of content provides multiple benefits for the high end retailer. It not only provides immediate ecommerce benefits, but also ensures the development of the brand in the long term.

* Attractive content increases brand visibility. The brand remains in the mind of the viewer even if they do not make an immediate purchase.

* Such content creates an excitement centered on the brand. It creates a positive buzz that helps marketers to engage prospects and customers better

Many high end luxury brands have used Zmags to produce attractive product catalogs and other rich digital content to such ends.

Kenneth Cole has released a simple yet powerful catalog that allows the viewer to get a realistic feel of the product and simply click on the required product in its natural setting to make a purchase. The catalog entices the viewer with sleek and attractive images to create a favorable impression that lingers. It solicits the viewers email, promising a special offer, both increasing the chances of conversion and generating new leads for the marketer.

Neiman Marcus has transformed its traditional look into an exciting virtual shopping experience. While it retains the usual easy to use features such as ability to make a purchase with a single click and attractive images, it also adds premium features such as the ability to zoom into any portion of the page for a richer and detailed view. An innovative layout offers a view of related products in the same page without taking the focus off the product showcased.

Neiman Marcus catalog by Zmags

How can you use Zmags for your digital brands to increase conversions?

Digital Catalogs Get Rid of Customer Frustrations

Having a good product is not enough to drive online sales. There are many other customer frustrations that inhibit sales.

The survey reveals that 39 percent of shoppers are put off if they do not find enough information on the products they plan to purchase. 34 percent of the shoppers are put off by slow loading websites and 29 percent of the shoppers are peeved at product images being too small.

Rich content overcomes frustration and drives purchasing. 48 percent of the shoppers prefer detailed product descriptions, 42 percent of them want detailed product reviews and 31 percent of them want product ratings.

Online catalogs are best to fulfill all these requirements while still overcoming traditional impediments that create customers pet peeves in the first place. For instance, emarketers upload smaller images to prevent slow loading of websites, but that does not obviously help. A digital catalog helps to overcome a Catch-22 situation.

A good case in point is the digital catalog from Spanx:

  • Large, high-resolution images deliver maximum visual impact and provide alternative views to narrate the product story, doing away with the lack of adequate product information while still making the page visually pleasing.
  • Information such as “Fit Tips” and “Size Charts” provides detailed information on the product specs and educates customers on how to use such information. This information comes up as pop-ups when the user hover above these links, which means that the catalog delivers rich information without clutter or intruding into the browsing.
  • A “You may also like” bar at the end provides links to related products, providing the viewer with easy access to the relevant alternatives in case the customer is not convinced about purchasing the product on display.
Spanx Digital Catalog by Zmags
Want to learn more on how you can create a great digital catalog that will encourage your customers to buy? Download our survey How to Make a More Meaningful Connection with Connected Consumers.” 

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