Smart content marketers ride the smart device wave

Jun 30, 2015

Around 23 million South Africans have smartphones. And that number is growing as manufacturers bring in more appealing, user-friendly devices at increasingly affordable prices with ever-improving technology. You get the idea. The only way is up. By Robyn Daly.

A recent online survey conducted by the research company, Answered Insights, based on a sample of more than 2 000 South African metro adults aged 18+, revealed that 96 per cent of respondents claim to use a smartphone, either for business or in a personal capacity.

Since its start-up in 2012, Narrative has been investing heavily in building digital magazines, a content-rich marketing tactic that can connect brands to customers and potential customers across desktop, tablet and smartphone devices. This foresight paid off. By the end of that first year, Arthur Goldstuck noted there were about 16,3 million smartphones in use in South Africa. A year later, that figure had grown by 18,5 per cent.

The time is ripe for digital magazines

Before the smart device (phone and tablet) explosion, we would have thought twice about pushing digital magazines. As the penetration of smart devices into the South African population has grown and sales are on an exponential rise, digital magazines have become a key product offering to clients wanting to connect to customers and potential customers through rich, experiential content at a time and place of leisure.

A digital magazine is a great vehicle for brands to tell stories to their customers, building brand awareness and loyalty and ultimately driving sales. With image-rich content and an appealing, engaging reading experience, digital magazines are able to deliver levels of engagement that surprise marketers.

Aligning with the smart device growth in South Africa, we’re seeing that up to 50 per cent of readers of digital magazines access the content on a smart device.

Add to that the number of times we’re looking at our smartphones and tablets, and you get a clear picture of just how top-of-mind content marketing can put brands.

Detailed metrics reveal what customers want

The digital magazine platform offers deep-dive metrics, so we’re able to get a view on readership, devices accessing the magazines, dwell times and in-depth information on content preferences so we know precisely what customers want and how they want to engage with the brand.

As the smartphone climate hots up even more, we’re predicting that brands will increasingly turn to digital magazines to enrich their connection with customers and potential customers.

Robyn Daly is the Content Director of content marketing agency Narrative, a division of the Publicis Machine group based in South Africa. Narrative’s clients include blue-chip brands such as Sanlam, Massbuild, FirstRand, adidas and Jeep. Contact her on or visit Connect with Robyn on LinkedIn at or follow her on Twitter@robyndaly.

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