IRIS.TV Customer Success Story: Southern Living
SouthernLiving.com is one of the top digital destinations for people who love the Southern lifestyle. Created by a team of experts on Southern food, gardens, home design, travel, and healthy living, SouthernLiving.com offers actionable tips and ideas, plus videos, virtual tours, and other interactive content.
Southern Living Magazine was created in 1966 to highlight the beauty and culture of the growing South. In the decades since its inception, Southern Living, published monthly, has become one of the largest lifestyle magazines in the country.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, SouthernLiving.com presented its fans with a revamped digital experience with an emphasis on video. The results have been remarkable as video views and user engagement on the site have more than doubled.
We sat down with the Southern Living team to learn more about how they achieved such remarkable results.
IRIS.TV: SouthernLiving.com has been around for a while with a very rich library of interactive and video content, what prompted the re-design?
SL: We surveyed our readers and the feedback was very clear: why don’t you have video? While we do in fact have great video, our users had trouble finding it. This redesign was centered around the video experience and the ability to surface video quickly and be agile with creating video entry points.
IRIS.TV: How did you drive awareness and engage your user base?
SL: Our creative team places great emphasis on making the look and feel of our photo and video bring out the emotion and experience of our stories. This lends itself very well for social media. We placed emphasis on crafts with Pinterest and saw success with autoplay on Facebook. The pins and likes were the tease that grew awareness of our brand and drove a lot of people to our site. When they arrived, we were ready.
IRIS.TV: What were the critical actions that you undertook to prepare yourself?
SL: For starters, we made sure that the best way to experience Southern Living was in our home. We maintained high content quality and production value while ensuring that pages load quickly, discovery and wayfaring intuitive, and that the user experience was consistent across all devices. We created several entry-points to video on as many pages as possible, including adding a video landing page to our homepage navigation menu. Finally, we took a data driven approach to content programming.
IRIS.TV: How so?
SL: A couple ways. First was in the video player environment as well as in content strategy. Once the user clicked the video we posted, Adaptive Stream™ surfaced the parts of our library most relevant to the individual user. This not only saved us from creating playlists, but provided us valuable insight into the way our users experienced our content. The IRIS Vision™ dashboard not only helped us measure overall performance, but also allowed us to measure the performance of individual assets in a variety of conditions and context. Armed with this insight, our editorial team can focus on creating great content that our users love.
IRIS.TV: What can users look forward to in 2016?
SL: We’re looking forward to giving our users even more engaging content in 2016. We have already doubled our weekly newsletter and we will significantly increase our video production. We’re constantly looking for new and exciting ways to share video with our users.
Southern Living is a subsidiary of Time Inc. – one of the world’s most influential media companies and home to 90 iconic brands like People, Sports Illustrated, Time, InStyle, Real Simple, Food & Wine, and Fortune, as well as more than 50 diverse brands in the United Kingdom.
Southern Living uses the IRIS.TV Video Programming Platform. Contact us for free trial.