Posts Tagged ‘Content Marketing’

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?

The Need to Sync Content Across Multiple Devices

In today’s multi-touch point world, the content matters more than the device. People no longer use specific devices to access specific content, but use multiple devices. For instance, they may watch a video or browse a website through the desktop, the tablet or the smart phone. In this scenario, only the content that remains resilient enough to adapt to the multi-touch point world stand a chance of widespread acceptance.

syncing data across multiple devicesOliver & Ohlbaum (O&O)’s annual survey on media consumption trends corroborates this view. The survey reveals that almost half (48%) of all tablet users use the device to watch TV. The corresponding figure last year was 33%.

A bulk of the multi-screen viewership for television is for content strongly linked to apps. 12% of the survey respondents actively use companion apps when watching TV through tablets, and 65% of those who did so felt that it as an engaging way to add value to the TV viewing experience.

However, popular demand is for  free catch-up services rather than subscriber video-on-demand services (SVoD). The former is growing at a rapid pace whereas the growth of the latter has flattened out. The survey also reveals that the three most popular video channels viewed in tablet are BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD in that order. YouTube takes the fourth place.

For marketers and content creators, success depends on not just optimizing the various inherent features of the device to provide a truly immersive and enchanting experience, but also on syncing content across various devices to provide consmers with a consistent and integrated experience.

How Digital Catalogs Contribute to a Positive Brand Image

Brand image matters. Very often, it is the brand image, or the positive perception associated with the brand, that makes customers prefer it to competitor products.

This image or positive perception depends on not just the inherent quality of the product, but also on how the products are showcased to consumers.

Brands invest in high-end photography, glossy papers and high quality prints to position the products in the best possible manner through print catalogs. Digital catalogs allow such brands to replicate the success of print catalogs to the digital media at a fraction of the cost, and even expand on the strengths. However, mere replication of the print catalog rarely works.

To maintain (or increase) a positive brand image, the digital catalog needs to deliver an optimized yet consistent experience across multiple touch points, including tablets, smart phones and tablets.

Digital catalogs needs to highlight the product as close as possible to its natural form, with multiple views of the product, ability to zoom and do more, exploiting all other inherent features of the device. It needs to offer an immersive shopping experience that deepens the experience.

The digital catalog also needs to fuel purchasing at the spur of the moment. Integrating the shopping cart with the catalog allows the overawed consumer to buy the product without having to leave the catalog. Encouraging social sharing across Facebook, Twitter, PinInterest and other channels helps to spread the catalog across people with similar tastes.

An example of a brand that has applied all these is Brahmin. Brahmin, which takes its brand image seriously, features exclusive handbags that are both stylishly beautiful and functional. The new catalog powered by Zmags Commerce Pro and the new Verge experience has successfully transferred the positive brand image from the print catalog to the digital catalog.

How can you use digital catalogs to create a positive brand image?

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 Catalogs Need to Combine Functionality with Elegance

In an age where the consumers are spoilt for choice, marketers have no option but to combine functionality with elegance.

Digital catalogs and journals are popular and widely accepted, but to convert such popularity into sales via an attractive catalog is not enough, and neither is a purely functional or informative catalog that overlooks style. The most successful catalogs that are both popular and directly enhance sales offer a world of convenient features to the viewers, remain stylish, create an excitement around the products and provide an enchanting user experience.

The Container Store’s new travel sale catalog that helps their customers stay organized ranks amongst the best specimen of innovative digital marketing efforts, showcasing how marketers can use digital catalogs to create excitement around their products, deepen customer engagement and ultimately boost revenue.

Container Store's Digital Publishing Catalog by Zmags

Topping the list of intuitive features in these catalogs, developed by Zmags, is a vertical scroll bar that eases navigation and allows the viewer to preview and enter a page directly.

The individual product pages are spruced up with the ability to zoom into the images for a clearer view. Clicking on the product leads to the product page in the company websites, providing detailed product info and specs and the shopping cart. The catalog remains undisturbed, allowing the viewer to continue browsing.

The search option allows searching for a product directly by keyword or name and lands directly in the pages featuring such products.

The option to share the catalog across the social media, including Facebook, Twitter and many other popular channels, or download the required pages as PDF tops the list of convenient options.

Overall, functionality combined with elegance wins, every time.

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?

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.

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?

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?