10 tips to get to grips with contract publishing

The basics of creating luxury editorial in contract publishing

Creating a high-end magazine can be the perfect way to engage your luxury audience and contract publishing can be an invaluable resource for any brand. But a glossy customer magazine brimming with creativity, insightful content and eye-catching adverts in contract publishing doesn’t appear by magic – it requires something extra special to produce.

If you’ve been considering a magazine for your customers it can be hard to identify what will amplify your publication from good to award-winning. To learn more about how a luxury customer magazine is put together, we cornered our resident experts in editorial, design and advertising to give us the low-down. In this blog we’re tackling branded content, using the pearls of wisdom from Managing Editor Cathy Wood and Senior Editor Claire Hutchings.

What makes a luxury magazine special?

1. Find something your customer will find fascinating

Forget bland, run-of-the-mill content found in other magazines. Luxury branded content needs to be truly fascinating, with a unique angle to boot. If the story is already doing the rounds, it shouldn’t be part of your contract magazine because your customer has probably already seen it.

2. Keep an eye on other luxury brands

It’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends in the world of luxury marketing and social media makes everything you need easily accessible. Keeping your finger on the pulse by following luxury brands will flag up new and interesting content ideas and that all-important exclusive angle.

3. Use consumer insights

As a luxury brand you’ll know your audience inside out and this insight will be invaluable throughout the planning and writing stages of your customer magazine. Statistics, brand personas and other intelligence can really help to tailor luxury content and design. Trusting in your audience knowledge is one of the best ways to get things right.

4. Be a peer

Having all the latest facts at your fingertips is not enough. Readers of your customer magazine want a peer-to-peer relationship with writers – someone who shares their luxury lifestyle and enthusiasm for their world – so your branded content needs to be on the same level.

5. Find the right balance

The knowledge of your clients is key, but as an editor you should also use your own knowledge about readability. Luxury branded content should always try to meet business objectives while still being something that your target consumer wants to pick up and read. It needs to be perfect for the reader as well as your own needs.

6. Bring in the experts

To produce something astounding, you need to draft in the experts. High-calibre writers who are at the top of their game can offer unique perspectives and their own contacts for some juicy insider information.

7. Keep the objectives

A luxury customer magazine has to work hard and fulfil your objectives. These should be at the back of your mind at all times and each piece of branded content should have an understandable rationale.

8. Show perseverance

Putting together something unique and innovative can take time. When chasing a cover star or feature, you may need to mobilise all your resources. Explore every avenue, every channel and every contact with the help of your team and use your knowledge of the luxury market to your advantage.

9. Go above and beyond

Content should always work hard no matter who you create it for, so it makes sense to juice every last benefit from your magazine’s luxury content.

Once you’ve created a beautiful piece of editorial, what else could your company do with it? An article can be transformed into advertising or marketing material. You can share a snippet on social media to help promote your magazine or share it across other digital channels. Why not consider turning it into a sales tool by featuring it in a case study on your website? You could also re-use a transcribed interview for more content at a later date.

One further step would be to look at producing a behind-the-scenes video or holding a photo shoot. Once your publication is complete you can even look at turning the whole thing into a digital version of the magazine. What you can do with your content is only limited to your imagination.

Planning in the early stages of content creation will help ensure you can provide a complete package of content and have a complementary marketing strategy that’ll allow it to be shared on numerous platforms.

10. Get creative and make something beautiful

Working on a luxury contract magazine can be the Holy Grail. You get to work with amazing people, whether they are cover stars or experts in culture, art or design. You should look at this opportunity to be creative and get the best celebrities, the best writers, the best locations and the best stylists so that your magazine readers have incredible images and content to appreciate.

Learned something new? If you liked this, then look out for our next blog post on designing branded content for a luxury customer magazine.

If you’re considering an in-house magazine for your company, you can contact Jason Elkins at jason@archantdialogue.co.uk for more information on publishing your own customer magazine and creating branded content and cross-platform marketing solutions.