Masthead Blogs
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The third of five SIPs from the Legion Magazine this year is set to hit newsstands on August 8, 2016.  As we often do, we have two covers, one for the front of the magazine, and one for the back, so it can be displayed either way, or with double facings to show both covers.

The issue retails for $14.95.

Art Director Jason Duprau chose gritty archival images to provide the realistic context for the the content.

 

 
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The August 2016 issue of Horse Sport is set to hit newsstands on July 25, 2016.

Art Director Sieu Truong has created an elegant, timeless, “classic profile” cover.  This angle shows off the muscular pose of the horse, and the fabulous posture of the rider.

With the rider’s head gear gently kissing the logo, the horse’s tail bleeding deftly off the left hand side, and the red ribbon in the upper right corner working its magic, this cover has achieved the “layering” that gives it pop in all the right places.

Lots of juicy benefit-oriented hooks, but the main image remains the focus and is clean and uncluttered.

Horse Sport is on a roll: 16 issues in a row have sold more copies than prior year’s issue in the respective time slots.

In 2015, newsstand sales spiked 158%!  Plus, this lift was achieved while raising the cover price to $5.99 from $4.95…an increase of 21%.  This combined resulted in a 212% lift to newsstand revenues.

 

 


Friday, July 08, 2016
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
This is the final COPA Digital Media spotlight post, and I saved magazines for last. What I have noticed while looking at all the different forms of digital media, is that a lot of them are becoming more magazine-like as they jump on the “Content Marketing” bandwagon, while magazines are trying to be more ad tech-like, which is ironic.

This observation is all part of the digital media convergence that is happening in the market with all media brands crossing over each other in the digital space.During the course of my career I have met a lot of magazine publishers at various conferences across Canada and I picked out some of the niche publishers that go unnoticed nationally, as they cater to specific geographic area, lifestyle segment or hobby. We created a niche content award category for the 2016 COPAs that will give these brands a higher profile in Canada and recognize their talents.

 

Saltscape is a popular title based in Halifax. The regional lifestyle magazine for the East Coast is known for its  stories on food and drink, homes & cottages, people & culture, healthy living and travel. This integrated brand has a website, paid magazine (print & digital), email newsletter and consumer events as part of their publishing mix. The magazine has a distribution of 425,000, with website traffic of 200,000 visitors per month. Saltscape evokes a sense of community and regional pride that ties in all the provinces on the east coast of Canada.

 

Avenue is a free monthly urban lifestyle magazine for the city of Calgary. It offers its readers content on city & life, restaurants and food, shopping and attractions and events. To compete with mobile local business search ad companies for Calgary retailers, they have a restaurant search widget on their site. This is supported editorially with a Foodie Guide and Best Restaurants Awards to provide readers info on who are the hottest restaurants in the city. Their digital platform includes all the reader touch points with a website that has traffic of over 250,000 visitors per month, a digital edition of the magazine and email newsletters. There is also an Edmonton edition of Avenue that is co-published by Red Pointe Publishing in Calgary and their partner Odvod Publishing in Edmonton.

 

The focus of Homes magazine is to cater to Toronto's new homebuyers. It has all the information you will need to start a search for a new home, that includes profiles of new home builders and new projects. Additional content includes design and décor, financial news, and community profiles. The free publication is available in print and digital edition, website and email newsletter that includes new project alerts. The “Search for a Home” widget enables the magazine to be part of the buying process during the home research stage, in addition to providing stories on homes design, communities and builders.

 

Real Weddings is a regional Bridal magazine in BC that caters to the $4.5 billion wedding industry in Canada. It is estimated the wedding crop each year is 160,000 with the average spend including the honeymoon clocking in at  $30,000. The BC portion is 20-23,000 weddings a year, which translates into a $690 million market.  This niche had to get digital fast as the majority of marriages are between couples 25-35 years old that are digital savvy. The style and form of the website is radically different from other magazine sites as it is more picture oriented and navigation is set-up with a page advance control, that mimics turning a page. There are 27 web pages of content that you can scroll down to see stories on inspiration, style,planning and venues. You can check out their digital edition of the magazine here.

 

Hobbyist’s titles are a staple of the magazine industry, where a reader can enjoy their passion by reading stories about things they love to do from an authority on the subject. Scrapbook & Cards magazine is for the papercraft hobbyist. What started out as a free print magazine that is published 4x year, now offers paper kits, online seminars, local events, and items for sale on their website. They have effectively leveraged their authority on the topic into additional revenue streams so people new to the hobby can learn, play and socialize. They offer a digital edition of the magazine and email newsletter as part of their content distribution model. 

 

Cycle Canada is a hobby magazine for the Motorcycle enthusiast. It's a Canadian institution for people that like a little speed and adrenaline as part of their day. The site has information on new and used motorcycles; product news and video test-drive coverage. Like Homes Magazine, Cycle Canada assists people is shopping for a new motorcycle or a used one with their “Product Search” widget on the website. The widget is supported with editorial that talks about all the products in the marketplace. The video inventory is packaged as Cycle TV to bring event coverage and test-drives to their audience. Cycle Canada is a paid magazine published 10x per year in English and French (Moto Journal) and is packaged with free content on their website and an email newsletter.
 
 

Kayak, a bilingual history magazine for kids 7-12, offers a mix of fictional short stories, videos, games and contests to learn about Canada’s history. The kids can play on the site with quizzes, puzzles and match games. They have created interactive features with one themed “Bubbleology” that asks readers to submit a caption for photo. The site has a list of 75 Heritage Fairs where history re-enactments are held across Canada. This is a non-profit magazine produced by Canada’s History Society that relies on donations, paid subscriptions, sponsorships and grants to sustain the magazine. Canadian Heritage and Hudson Bay Company are key supporters. You can visit the French version at this link.

All these magazines have evolved like other media from their traditional channel to include a website, digital edition and email newsletter as the optimal digital mix with some free and some paid content. Some have also become more sales oriented with “Product search” widgets or the selling of branded products and services online to create revenue beyond web display ads.  The word on the street is for magazines to be more magazine-like according to the discussion held at Digital Day held by the Ad Club in May. They talked about the importance of “Authentic 3rd Party Content” to attract the reader and the “Return of Engagement” metrics for the marketer. This is a good spot to be in and magazines have a leg up, as they already are a trusted 3rd Party source, with lots of engagement stats.

If you have missed the other COPA Digital Media spotlights you can check them out below. The deadline for entries for the 2016 COPAs has been extended to July 15  and you can enter here.


COPA Digital Media Spotlight
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Caitlyn Jenner (formally Bruce Jenner) poses for Sports Illustrated, with her gold medal, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of her Olympic win in the decathlon at the Montreal Games in 1976.

Apparently, the medal typically resides in her “nail drawer” now. Jenner is 66 years old.

The cover features a strong sky bar sell for the main feature, a cut out of an old SI cover, and a gold Double Issue stamp in the upper right area, plus good use  of the “real estate” on the left hand side.

Look for sales to spike.

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
In my opinion, content marketing has its roots with associations that produce content for their members as a form of industry branded content, as their views are not typically neutral like traditional media.

It has been estimated that there are 18,000 associations in 1,500 subject classifications in the Associations Canada directory. To attract members, a magazine subscription has been used as an anchor for the member recruitment package. This has evolve in the digital age to include a website, newsletter and digital and print versions of the magazine. Through the use of digital editions, many associations have saved on the printing and distribution of a print magazine with digital opt-in at 20-40% of the member lists.

As a media planner I have always liked association publications for B2B campaigns, as the audience is equivalent to a paid audience and each firm must be a member to get the magazine. I can also target by vertical market and there are a lot of industry associations to choose.

Companies like MediaEdge Publishing and Naylor Associations Solutions have helped associations in producing their magazines/websites/newsletters and selling advertising to help pay the costs. So lets take look at various associations’ websites and see what they are doing.

 
I noticed that association content strategies differ from traditional media sites. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) uses more of a member service approach with content for physicians like CMA policy and medical industry advocacy, clinical resources, professional development and financial planning.

They provide print/digital journals, websites in both English (CMAJ) and French (Santé Inc.) and an email newsletter. Each issue of CMAJ's digital format is sent to 16,000 medical students and residents, plus additional journals for psychiatrists and surgeons. There are over 83,000 members across Canada and each can receive discounts items such as car rentals, luxury cars, courier, phones, computers, travel and private golf memberships.  

 
The association of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) is one the largest in the country with over 200,000 members. The bilingual website provides the content you would expect geared to the accounting professional with articles that talk about the nitty gritty of the profession, including audit & assurance; finance/investing; financial reporting; management accounting; strategy risk and governance; and forensic/investigative accounting. There is some free content on the site plus paid that can be bought through the online store that has 1,300 titles.  CPA Canada offers a website, two email newsletters and a magazine in print and digital. The bilingual magazine has 250,000 subscribers with 25% opting for the digital version. CPA Canada also has a members discount program for expenses such as hotel, cars, wireless, fitness clubs, courier and clothes.

 
That’s right there is even an association for associations call the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE)with 10,000 members. This modern looking website offers their members a magazine style format for content with a blog, articles, research, bookstore, events and a supplier directory to help their members do their job better.

Michael Bell, from MediaEdge, who works with the CSAE says that long form journalism is alive and well. He says it's needed to explain issues in depth that cannot be done in a snack size article (500 words) that has typically been used by the adtech community as click bait. You can check out the digital version of their magazine at this link
 
 
The Association for General Contractors in Ontario has a wide range of content for its 2,500 members that includes news, events, government relations, health and safety and a store. The store enables members to buy industry related documents and sign up for courses. They have a discount program for members for the purchases of cars, insurance and medical services like we saw with the CMA.  They have also partnered with a company called biddingo.com that enables tenders to be advertised online for subcontractor procurement and bidding. Their magazine is branded “The Generals” and is available in print and digital.

After looking at these sites you will notice they all have similar content style and a reader service approach seen in traditional media models. What is unique about industry associations is that they can use their collective buying power to generate discounts for their members on products and services that you do not see on traditional media sites. For B2B marketing, associations offer media products that are highly targeted and deliver a qualified audience that is like a paid subscriber, the ultimate proof of readership.

If you have missed the previous COPA Digital Media spotlights you can check them out below. Up next and our final spotlight will be on Niche publishers in Canada. The deadline for entries for the 2016 COPAs is July 11 and you can enter here.

COPA Digital Media Spotlight