LONDON: Guidelines and clean lines around a brand are the typical aims of marketers, but with new media – such as podcasts and Instagram Stories – an unpolished edge brings significant advantages.

Condé Nast glossy, Glamour UK, has been exploring Instagram Stories, according to the Drum. The Facebook-owned platform’s ephemeral video publishing platform has delivered incredible effects for the business. Click-throughs to Glamour content have increased 1200% year-on-year. This is not, apparently, a fleeting effect, as the magazine notches an impressive 94% retention rate.

The initiative has been such a success that the platform will now host a regular series with a view to driving reader loyalty. “To say it’s been a success story would be an understatement,” said Glamour UK’s editor in chief and chief content officer, Deborah Joseph. “We're creating a seven-day Instagram Stories schedule”, she added.

But the success is not down to the slickness of the output, Joseph believes, viewers love Instagram’s Stories because they don’t feel polished, manufactured. Brands too are getting in on the action, especially in the Glam Drop section, in which the magazine says which new products are being released that week. Firms such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty sending exclusives to be featured on Glamour’s stories.

The spot, says Joseph, “is really popular with brands. They know that we film it on a Friday and it goes out on a Monday and they're giving us exclusives. Even if it's embargoed until a Monday they're sending it to us on a Friday because they know it's a highly-engaging piece of user content”.

Unpolished content feels authentic, just look at podcasts. The consumer feels like they are in on something fresh and raw, closer to the people that made it and to the source from which the information came.

Last year, Bauer doubled down on podcasting, citing the success of its Debrief podcast – among its audience of twenty-somethings, the relatable tone is effective. “We don’t want to talk to 5 million people; we’re not trying to be a massive broad beast. The goal is to gain deeper connections with our audience of 20-something-year-old females”, said Lauren Holleyoake, publisher of The Debrief and fashion magazine Grazia, speaking to Digiday.

In 2015, the Atlantic looked into the research around the emotions attached to audio, and podcasting’s distinctive “neuro ballet”, in which the listener becomes part of a story’s development.

Sourced from the Drum, Digiday, The Atlantic