Have you always asked yourself whether the online shops with the highest turnover also operate company magazines and if so, how? Then you are right here. We took a look at the 30 most successful online shops in Germany: Who runs a company magazine? What content is the focus on? Are influencers involved? You can find the answers in our study on company magazines.
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Number of magazines and origin
In the best case scenario, digital corporate magazines are inspiring, advisory, informative and a channel for successful content marketing. But do Germany’s top-selling online shops also use this communication channel?
28 out of 30 shops have a company magazine
“You get a company magazine, you too” – the way Oprah Winfrey distributes cars to viewers in her talk show, Germany’s most successful online shops founded company magazines. 28 of the 30 shops examined, and thus 93 percent, have at least one blog or magazine.
There doesn’t seem to be anything more, because most of the shops leave it with a magazine. However, there are also a handful of outliers with two magazines each (myToys and Douglas) and 4 (Zalando) or even 5 magazines (Otto). The 30 online shops examined therefore operate a total of 37 company magazines.
What stands out: If an online shop has several magazines, these are also aimed at different target groups. At Otto, the five magazines deal with the five topics of sustainability, living ideas, fashion / beauty / lifestyle, plus-size fashion and technology, and are thus aimed at the target group with an interest in the subject. At Zalando, the three magazines specialize in news from the industry, fashion for Zalando Lounge.
80 percent of the online shops examined each have a company magazine.
The company magazines were born in 2014
How long have the most successful German online shops been running one or more company magazines? Although two shops founded a blog more than a decade ago, each in 2006, the corporate magazines of the majority of the online shops we examined did not see the light of day until 2014, followed by 2016 and 2017. But why this one Start-up boom? One explanation could be that the heyday for content marketing began in Germany in 2014 and the company magazine established itself as a content marketing channel.
As of 2014, most of the corporate magazines were founded.
Target group and content
News or advice – what is the content that is published on the company blogs of the online shops examined. And who is the target group?
The customer is king
32 of the 37 company magazines examined have the customers of the online shops as their target group. Four magazines are aimed at the public with press releases and as a newsroom ( corporate.zalando.com/de , apple.com/de/newsroom , ikea-unternehmensblog.de and westfalia.de/inside ) and only one magazine addresses its own employees (Amazon).
86 percent of the company magazines address their content to customers.
Inspirations and advice instead of news
True to the content marketing credo of “inform and entertain your target group”, the content of the company magazines examined predominates in advice and inspiring articles. 16 percent of the magazines offer their readers news about the company and 14 percent provide information on news from the industry.
Advice and inspiration are the most widely used post categories.
There are new posts several times a week
Content is king and has an audience several times a week, because 40 percent of corporate magazines publish content several times a week. With 16 percent there are even new contributions once a day or several times a day. However, it must be noted here: The scope of the contributions can vary greatly and news is published more often than pure advice content.
New articles are posted several times a week in 41 percent of the company magazines examined.
Authors and influencers
Before the articles are published in the company magazines, someone has to create them. But who is this someone? Do the authors appear in the company magazines?
In addition to the authors, influencers also contribute to the creation of content. But how often do you cooperate with them?
No mention or first name
Unknown instead of mandatory real names – in 35 percent of the corporate magazines examined, the authors are not named. In 32 percent of the magazines, however, they appear with their first name and in 16 percent of the magazines their first and last name are mentioned.
The authors do not appear by name on 35 percent of the company magazines.
2/3 of the magazines work with influencers
Interviews, DIY topics, blogger ideas – influencers are often used in content marketing to use expert knowledge, reach and influence for their own company. The online shops we examined have also recognized the potential of influencers. In around 62 percent of the company magazines, we were able to find at least one article that worked with at least one influencer. Eight percent of the blogs examined, on the other hand, involve internal personalities, such as department heads in news rooms or well-known employees.
62 percent of the company magazines cooperate with influencers.
Company magazine study: conclusion
Successful online shop without a digital company magazine? This is not the German online shop reality, as the result of our study shows. Corporate magazines seem to have established themselves as a fixture in the marketing strategies of online shops.
Of course, we cannot prove whether this relatively young development – most company magazines were only founded in 2014 – also significantly promoted the success of the online shops examined. However, it is clear to see that the online shops with the highest sales in Germany offer their customers not only one shop, but also at least one digital company magazine.
An interesting finding for us: Most of the company magazines examined publish articles several times a week. Of course, this statement must be viewed with reservations, because the scope of the content and the type of contributions (advice or brief news) can affect how much is posted. Nevertheless, the frequency of publications seems to indicate that it is increasingly important to bind the target group to the magazine and to deliver relevant content on a regular basis.
Also interesting: Influencers are a fixture in company magazines, because 2/3 of the magazines we examined incorporate them. The advantages are obvious: Influencers add expert knowledge, creative ideas or personality to the content. In addition, they ideally have a large reach and enjoy the reputation of the target group.
Influencers bring personality, but the authors remain in the penumbra? Another, albeit not surprising, discovery of our study is that the authors do not appear by name on around 35 percent of the magazines. But here the question arises: will it stay that way? Because even now the authors appear with first names on 32 percent of the magazines examined, and with first and last names on 16 percent. With “only” the first name, sometimes entire author biographies can be called up.
The future of corporate magazines
Using the 30 online shops with the highest turnover, our study shows how company magazines are currently operated in Germany and which content dominates. A look into the past shows that this can only be a snapshot. Because the majority of digital company magazines were only founded in 2014 – the medium of digital company magazines is still growing and is constantly developing. Reason enough to throw a few questions into the room that encourage speculation about the future of digital company magazines:
- As the study shows, the “one shop – one magazine” model currently predominates. But will it stay that way or could it be further divided when the target groups become smaller and more personal?
- Will anything change in future with regard to the naming of authors?
- How will the connection between influencer marketing and corporate magazines evolve?
Did our study give you any new insights into digital corporate magazines? What do you think could change in the future? You are cordially invited to speculate and discuss with us about the future of the medium of digital corporate magazines.
You can of course find even more interesting content marketing insights on our blog and we will be happy to advise you on all topics related to content marketing .
The data of the study
We analyzed the 30 online shops with the highest sales in Germany in 2016 (based on an evaluation by EHI Retail Institute ):
Note: Since Redcoon , number 28 of the online shops with the highest turnover, was sold to Media Markt and integrated into mediamarkt.de , the klingel.de shop (number 31 in the evaluation by EHI Retail Institute ) has moved up.
What does top-selling shops mean?
- The e-commerce sales from 2016 were measured
- The shop with the highest turnover ( amazon.de ) had an e-commerce turnover of 8,122.9 million euros in 2016
- Number 30 (moved up from 31st place in our study) klingel.de still had e-commerce sales of 153.5 million euros
What do we rate as a company magazine?
- available digitally
- Regular editorial content in an editorial area separated from the main page
- No PR reports
- German speaking
The online shops were analyzed on the following questions:
- Is there a company magazine?
- How many company magazines are there?
- How long has the company magazine (s) been around?
- When was (s) the company magazine (s) founded?
- Who is the main target audience for the content marketing activity?
- What kind of contributions predominate?
- Are the authors named?
- If you have your own blog / magazine: How often does the online shop share content marketing articles on it?
- How long has the company blog existed?
- Do you work with influencers / external experts?