As more brands opt for native content to connect with their target market, companies like News Corp-owned Medium Rare Content Agency are flourishing.
The company is the publishing home for some of the biggest brands in Australia like Qantas, Foxtel and Coles. The latest to join the ranks is Jetstar.
The person leading the content strategies for all Medium Rare clients is its chief content officer Margaret Merten.
“With specific retention, acquisition and sales goals in mind, I work to understand which audiences brands want to speak to, the best channels to reach those audiences, and the types of content needed to best engage those audiences,” she told Mediaweek.
In a nutshell, every brand has a story and Merten works out how best to tell those stories.
At the most basic level, one of the main differences between a custom and an on-stand magazine is that the former has a guaranteed circulation. An on-stand magazine depends on the number of copies sold. Therefore, custom publications like Woolworths’ Fresh and the Coles magazine are among the most-read in Australia.
However, this does not mean the custom publishing sector has been less impacted by the changes sweeping the media industry at large.
“The biggest challenge is the pace of change,” Merten said. “The trick is coming up with creative ideas, often very quickly, that really resonate with target audiences.”
These creative ideas are not limited to a certain platform. “The number of consumer touchpoints just continues to grow. Our content planning doesn’t just encompass print, digital and social. For many clients it now also includes events, visual merchandise, point of sale and more,” Merten said.
“One recipe created for Coles can reach up to 14 million Australians – that’s an amazing, and very cost effective, reach.”
Medium Rare Content Agency doesn’t divide its staff according to print and digital. “It’s all content,” Merten said. “Whether creating an EDM, a social tile, a video or a print article, our staff works together as one team for the brand.”
Medium Rare Content Agency recently built a content and sales team in Australia and Singapore for Jetstar Australia and Jetstar Asia.
“We put a lot of emphasis on research because the better we understand the audience and how it consumes content, the more successful we will be.
“As brands understand the immense value of their customer databases, the opportunities for ever more finely tuned content are exponential.
“By knowing what content audiences are seeking and the trends that inspire them, we can develop robust content strategies that directly meet customer needs. We can also measure the effectiveness of that content continuously to better drive engagement, action and ROI.”
The uptake of voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home presents a new challenge for brands. Merten asked: “How does a brand sound in someone’s lounge room if you’re choosing what to watch on TV?
“This is going to be very exciting.”
Speaking about the biggest growth opportunities for Medium Rare from a content perspective, Merten said: “The growth opportunities are myriad, but the most interesting are personalisation, data monetisation and chatbots.”