Great magazine publishing connects readers with their passions and, for content creators, it goes beyond that as well. A strong content creation program establishes thought leadership and brand awareness. At last week’s ACT 6, from Mr. Magazine’s Magazine Innovation Center, James Meyers of iMAGINATION talked about the power of content creation—and the importance of getting it right.
As an example of what a strong content creation program can accomplish, iMAGINATION created Food Fanatics magazine for its client, US Foods. US Foods is a supplier, and its customers are chefs. From what sounds, to an outsider, like a fairly pedestrian start, US Foods positioned itself as an expert in foods, trends, the life of the chef, and the front of the house experience. It accomplished this through a 68-page quarterly magazine, along with focal events and a strong digital component. From its beginning as a magazine, Food Fanatics has grown to a movement, a community, an identification, and a point of pride for US Foods customers.
Publishing, Meyers told the assembled group, is no longer about print versus digital, or, in fact, about any specific channel of content. It’s about creating content that is made available through any channel that’s is most effective in a given situation. And, while that truth has been widely acknowledged, what we need to additionally acknowledge is what it means to the publisher. The corollary is that nothing is standard, nothing the same from day to day.
Print, in this past year, has been re-asserting its primacy, with the print/digital ratio reversing in favor of print. Yet for creators of integrated, omni-channel custom content programs such as iMAGINATION, print and digital are equally important, with the key being the degree to which each can support the other. Print improves brand awareness and demonstrates thought leadership; as a result, 77% of iMagination clients publish in print. According to one study, among U.S. adults, 70% read an average of three print publications in the last 30 days, while 63% said they had not read a digital magazine in the last 30 days. It naturally follows, for many brand publishers, that print becomes a focal point of an omni-platform strategy.
Meyer’s tips for creators of custom content includes:
· Ensure that your business goals drive your content.
· Audiences need you to answer their questions, solve their problems and teach them.
· Content must heighten brand awareness, generate new leads, position the publisher as a subject matter expert, and convert visitors into paying customers.
If you keep these things in mind while creating custom content, you are positioning your product for a win.
Click on the video below to watch Jim Meyres’ presentation at the ACT 6 Experience: