Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Daily Mail's FeMail Fashion Finder is a masterstroke - and what it tells us about the importance of content

Ok, confession time - I read the Daily Mail website. I know it's not the most intellectual or soul-fulfilling pursuit, but it is impossible to deny its celeb coverage - in sheer volume if nothing else - is hard to beat. And recently it has made an addition to its site that is pure genius.
It has added a content-led online retail offer, called the FeMail Fashion Finder. Now, as the reader browses the TV and Showbiz pages, he or she (but let's face it, it's probably she) scrolls down through the story and comes across a retail box.
In the example above, WAG Christine Bleakley is sporting a deep tan and a beautiful Louis Vuitton handbag. The reader learns about Christine's glamorous lifestyle and up pops the box detailing where you can buy her bag. As well as the high-end product on offer, it also suggests cheaper, similar alternatives to get that celeb look. The FeMail Fashion Finder taps into its audience's glamour-lust in an entirely unsubtle, but clever way.
As the world's most visited newspaper website, the Daily Mail has a pipeline of millions of eyeballs eagerly devouring its content and now they're further maximising the advertising revenue that generates. I don't know exactly how their model works, but I would guess that the retailer pays a fee to have the link to their site - possibly on a pay-per-click basis and I would expect it would be very popular. (We only have to view the Kate Middleton effect in action to recognise celebrities' power to shift fashion units.)
This move towards content-led retail demonstrates the power of great web content. If your content is attracting and retaining your key audience, you are in a strong position to deliver a call to action.

Great content is:

  • useful and/or interesting
  • highly shareable through social media
  • sticky - or the user hanging around your website
What can the public sector and not-for-profit organisations learn from the Daily Mail approach to web content?

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