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Top 3 tips to create actionable content

Mobile devices have changed how many people consume content, but these devices are now also changing the way brands and advertisers create ads. One big step is adding interactivity to what used to be a print-only experience. Print advertisers are experts at creating captivating images, but now, with the tablet, those printed images can come alive with the interactive options available today.

Kristina: What do advertisers need to do to stand out more, so that the reader also engages with their ad?

Scott Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO, ShopAdvisor: Market researcher GfK has found that more than half of tablet magazine readers have used interactive features in ads, so the audience is ready and willing. And, according to a recent study by digital media agency VivaKi, advertising interactivity such as rich media interstitials and video pre-roll are highly effective engagement techniques that have measurable positive uplift in key metrics such as awareness, brand favorability, message association and purchase intent. These perform far better than a simple link to a website, which is more reminiscent to the behavior of a banner ad.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips in creating actionable content for publishers?

• Scroll/tap to see more. When I flip an article in a paper magazine, I can spend as much or as little time looking at text and images and graphics, sometimes reading deeply and other times skimming through content. On the tablet, it is possible to take much of that content and make it "discoverable" - exposing it on-demand at the press or flick of a finger. There is simply something slightly irresistible about content that is slightly hidden away. You almost have to take a look to see what's there. And, once you've made the gesture to expose the content, somehow the experience has become more inviting and engaging. For example, BBC Top Gear magazine found that by adding this type of interactivity to its content (and to ads), the average amount of time spent reading the magazine increased to more than 40 minutes in the interactive issues, up from fewer than 10 minutes in PDF replicas. Now, some of that may come from watching videos or playing interactive games, but the core value of the magazine is its basic content: presenting that content in a way that physically draws the reader into it can be very effective.

• Enable shopping: Many writers are so connected with their readers they inspire purchase decisions based on their recommendations. Why not make it easier for your readers to shop these products, while keeping them within the pages of your magazine? And, bear in mind, shopping does not always mean buying. The ability to add an item from the magazine to a "look-at-this-later" list is a shopping experience many readers recognize and appreciate.

• Encourage conversations: When readers interact with your magazines, it means they're engaged and interested. These lead to loyalty, which is critical for any publication's success. By providing means for your readers to interact with your editors regularly, you're cultivating loyal readers while gaining valuable insight into their likes and wants.

Kristina: And, for advertisers, your top 3 tips in creating actionable content-based ads?

Scott: Over and over it seems like there are the Big Three - video, additional images, and shopping. First, all three of them lend themselves to the "look under here to see more" experience that seems to entice the majority of readers. If people want to learn more, there's nothing like colorful imagery and moving pictures. And, since ads ultimately are intended to move readers further down the sales funnel, there's no place like inside the ad to invite them to take the next step towards thinking about making a purchase (and maybe stepping all the way through to a transaction).