With a young, ambitious, agile and innovative team, Fashion magazine prides itself on testing out ideas and content plans based on the most immediate information and data available.
“Our chief strategy is to be adaptive!” says Noreen Flanagan, Editor-in-Chief of the St. Joseph Media title. “As everyone knows, print magazines and publishing as an industry are radically different than they were a few years ago and it remains persistently unpredictable. That means we constantly have to be both proactive and reactive; we’re constantly refining our goals and tactics.”
So, part of Fashion‘s strategic plans include video, an unique opportunity for the mag to create original, stylish, visually arresting and entertaining content that can be both separate from the magazine and/or a complement to it.
WHAT THEY DO
As a brand, Fashion is all about high-quality content—whether that’s a fabulous photo shoot or an interview with an A-list celebrity—and Flanagan believes video is one of the best methods to tell these stories.
It’s the right format for these types of content, she says, because it allows for shareable and snackable cross-platform marketing, which connects well with the magazine’s audience who tend to be younger, mobile and more social.
It’s the front-row seat to all the things the Fashion girl (or guy—30% of their online audience is male) already loves—fashion, beauty, celebrity, lifestyle. It’s the equivalent of an all-access pass and leads to intimate connection with the audience that might be impossible with static pages and online copy.
To make those connections, Fashion uses video wherever they think it makes sense.
“We are meeting our audience wherever they are. We post videos on all our platforms—YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.” In addition, they add video to their hub property, fashionmagazine.com, completing the loop.
HOW THEY DO IT
Flanagan says the title is always looking to diversify and innovate with their digital ecosystem. They were one of the first publications to leverage guerilla-style Facebook Live videos which grew quickly in popularity. It gained enough traction that Fashion was able to monetize them.
“More recently we’ve been experimenting with live cover video shoots, 360० video, as well as video push via Instagram Stories and Instagram Live.”
With this agile approach, Fashion has reaped the benefits:
- Year over year, they saw a 42% increase in video views on fashionmagazine.com
- On Facebook in 2016, they had 1.4 million video views. The following year, that number increased to 2 million, a 70% increase.
- On YouTube, “likes” have increased by 81% year over year; shares increased more than 500%; subscriber numbers rose by 40%; and comments increased by more than 260%.
- On Instagram, original produced videos generated on average 70 thousand views.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The challenge with producing video is being able to keep up to the constantly shifting social landscape. The key to Fashion‘s success, says Flanagan, is the team’s ability to pivot their video strategy to match what they see in the wild. For example, when Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritize live video and interactive engagement, Fashion made it their focus.
“We have big ambitions in the digital video space and are making significant investments, including hiring a full-time, in-house video editor to help us continue to produce rich, high-quality content. In future, we would love to develop different channels and franchises and we’re interested in experimenting with long-form, scripted or even an original series.”
ADVICE TO OTHERS
Flanagan’s advice for other magazines who are thinking of trying video? “Just do it!”
She says it’s ideal if you’re able to bring on a dedicated staff member with expertise in video production. For magazines who don’t have the ability to do so, then leveling up skills for all staff members is the next best option. Even learning a simple program like Videoshop can be the difference between producing cool video clips or mediocre content.
This Showcasing Success case study was made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.