Folio: Show Wednesday Recap
Second full day of programming features breakfast keynote panel, Folio: 30 Under 30 Awards luncheon and 13 breakout sessions.
NEW YORK—The 2015 Folio: Show officially drew to a close here at the Marriott Marquis with a third day of programming, including a morning keynote panel about the current revolution in magazine marketing, the Folio: 30 Under 30 Awards luncheon and a slate of 13 breakout sessions under the banners “Content,” “Marketing,” “Revenue,” and “Folio: Forums.”
In Critical Trends in Mobile Content, Nicholas White, founder and CEO of The Daily Dot, and Kim Lau, VP and GM of digital at The Atlantic, provided overviews of how their titles handle the emerging audience using mobile devices to access content.
“We now see that mobile is the most dominant single platform, although that does not mean that desktop is falling,” said Lau. “We are now in a world where we don’t have to think about just mobile, but about multiplatform applications.”
White remarked, “I always open comScore with trepidation, thinking, ‘At what point does desktop start to decline?'"
White claimed that, for the Daily Dot, nearly every story is first designed for mobile devices before being adapted for desktop. “The desktop version is often designed as an enhanced experience to take care of that core group of users.”
Both White and Lau conceded that, while mobile visits far outweigh desktop ones, desktop advertising rates remain much higher than those for mobile ads.
In the Marketing track, Rhonda Wunderlin, VP of demand generated solutions at Penton, and Brett Keirstead, SVP of sales at Knowledge Marketing, presided over a session called Growing and Maintaining a Clean, High-Quality Database.
Wunderlin noted the new ways audiences are accessing magazine content and how that's impacting the collection of user data—most notably in the different challenges and opportunities raised by a migration from print to digital.
“As our audience has established more of a digital footprint, the places from which we gather data have changed a lot,” said Wunderlin. “One thing we have done as we moved to a digital focus is email validation. When someone enters an email into a form, it’ll immediately ping the server. If it turns out that the email address is invalid, they won’t be able to complete the form.”
Keirstead emphasized the importance of intelligent targeting and personalization. General email blasts to entire databases or broad, cookie-based marketing instead of implicit personalization are examples of poor practices, he said.
“If you can’t target specific audiences within your user base for advertisers, your days are numbered,” Keirstead continued. “You have to have your data organized, but you don’t need to be a huge company to do it.”
Folio: then joined the magazine publishing world at the Folio: 30 Under 30 luncheon in saluting professionals under the age of 30 who are executing some of the industry's most innovative ideas. Honorees included Mike Foss, editor-in-chief of USA Today’s For the Win, and Polly Mosendz, breaking news reporter for Newsweek.
In the afternoon, Lauri Baker, VP of content partnerships at AOL/The Huffington Post, Folio: Insider columnist Michael Winkleman, president and CCO of Leverage Media, and Will Pearson, founder and president of Mental Floss, talked sponsored content in Building a Suite of Native Ad Products That Work, hosted by MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman.
Krizelman opened the discussion with a general overview of native advertising and how it works, including the facts that, this year alone, 6,829 different brands have spent over $10 billion on the relatively new marketing tactic, despite only about 11 percent of media sites currently hosting native ads.
“Eighty-five percent of consumers prefer to learn about a company through content, not an ad,” said Winkleman, adding, “Native advertising is not a flash in the pan. It’s here to stay as a viable revenue resource.”
Baker began her portion of the talk by breaking down native advertising into three specific types: in-feed content, which shows up in the same place a typical article would but links to an external page; recommendation widgets, such as articles “you also might enjoy,” typically located at the end of a story; and sponsored content, a storytelling-based article, leveraging the publishing platform to sell ads.
Pearson emphasized Mental Floss’s drive for quality sponsored content produced by his editorial team. “We felt strongly that if we were creating sponsored content, we wanted to make it as good as our regular content,” he said. “If the sponsored content was of lower quality, it would lose effectiveness for our advertisers.”
Pearson went on to describe the site’s “15 Day” promotion with Geico. “Geico doesn’t write the lists. Geico doesn’t tell us what to write,” he continued. “It gives them the opportunity to ride alongside our content, and the 15th day of each month is one of our best days, performance-wise. We promise that our sponsored content will perform as well as our other content, and we can back that up.”
All three panelists stressed the importance of transparency in native advertising.
“We firmly believe in transparency because it helps our brand,” said Baker. “Don’t hide behind your brand. That’s the whole point. Whenever a reader is presented with native advertising [on The Huffington Post], it is very apparent.”
A new feature of this year’s Folio: Show was a “Gamification” component on the show’s smartphone app. Attendees earned points by posting on social media and visiting exhibitor booths, demo sessions and networking events. Katherine Jackson, audience marketing director at Informa Exhibitions, won the top prize of $1,000, while Brittany Slay, national publications editor for AMVETS, and Larry Davidson, creative director at Rowland Publishing, took second and third place, respectively.
The 2016 Folio: Show will be held October 31 to November 2 at the Hilton Midtown Manhattan.