This month we are featuring Boston and Philadelphia Magazines. The sites provide valuable and interesting information to visitors to the two cities from where to eat, shop and stay to what to do with your time. Ian Zweig gave us some insight into the two sites. Check out his answers to our questions here.
Ian Zweig is the Online Marketing Manager at Metro Corp, publishers of Boston Magazine and Philadelphia Magazine. He has spent his entire working career in the online advertising field helping companies grow their web business. Ian received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University.
Adcision: Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.
Ian: Since we own two City/Regional Magazine websites, a typical visitor comes to our site for lifestyle information. They want advice on where to dine, the scoop on the fashion scene and the VIP insights on events. In sum, these are the socialites of Boston and Philadelphia. They come to our site with a certain mindset, which enables us to engage them in a personal manner. They don’t come looking for general news, sports or weather, our readers come to plan their dinners, weekends, social activities, and shopping escapades. Our highly qualified audience sees our site as a destination based on our expert advice and recommendations.
Adcision: Do your sites have any unique features that you’re proud of?
Ian: I’m proud of every part of our sites. The largest asset to our site is the flexibility in programs offered and ability to work with our advertisers. As with many sites, we offer the standard IAB ad displays or newsletters, but in addition we offer insightful customized programs for our users.
Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?
Ian: Our magazines provide a local perspective that is independent and authoritative. We understand that our online audience wants information fast and easy. As long as we continue to respect our readers, we provide a great advertising channel to reach consumer through a trusted environment.
Adcision: Have you heard of any interesting transactions that have occurred as a result of your site?
Ian: The most recent testimonial we received came from one of our Wedding advertisers. Here’s the story: Our wedding section has a place where the newly-engaged can post their engagement on our site. We have a company who sponsored this section of our site to reach brides and soon-to-be brides early in their wedding planning process. By being contextually relevant in the wedding section, and connecting with the mindset of the users, our sponsor was able to land two deals in their first month. Nice story, huh? Here’s the moral: When we create customized campaigns we try and align content and mindset to connect our users and sponsor. It’s easier to drive results that way.
Adcision: How do you get your content?
Ian: All of our content is created by our dedicated, hard-working, sagacious staff of writers and editors. All of our magazine content is put online. Additionally, online editors are the backing to our rich database of listings, our original blogs, and other online packaging.
Adcision: What’s the best article (or feature) that you have ever run on your site … and why do you think it was so popular (Please include a URL if possible)?
Looking back at 2008, our most popular feature article on Bostonmagazine.com was ‘Best Places to Live’ (http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/the_best_places_to_live_2008/ )and the most popular feature story on Phillymag.com was ‘Single in Philly’ (http://www.phillymag.com/articles/single_in_philly_where_is_the_love/). I think these two articles were particularly popular because they contain intuitive, fresh content that you can’t find anywhere else. It shows that we know how to connect with our readers in a timely fashion with stimulating content. Also, we allowed our readers to engage with the content not just by reading the text, but by creating interactive slideshows that organized all the information in a user-friendly, fun fashion. Talk about alliteration…
Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)
Male/Female – 45/55
Avg. HHI – $115,000
Avg. Age: 38
Top Hobbies: Dining, Traveling, Performing Arts, Shopping, Socializing
We did also ask our readers to provide their credit card limits, but you’ll have to take me out for lunch to find out that highly coveted information.
Adcision: What is the best source of traffic on your website?
Ian: The most popular section on both our websites is ‘Best Of’. Every year our editors choose winners in hundreds of categories ranging from ‘Best Brunch’ to ‘Best Party Dress’ selection. Our three other heavy hitters are the main lifestyles sections: Dining, A&E and Fashion/Style.
Adcision: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ian: Of course, thanks for asking. I would like to emphasize that looking for your target audience doesn’t mean looking at the largest websites. It means looking for the right people who you feel will buy your product. Doing the extra work to figure out where your customers are online will pay dividends and make you look like a superstar when you show the results to the boss. It’s amazing how a little extra work can go a long way.
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