How Hearst UK Harnesses the Power of Social To Reach New Audiences

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We sat down with Ian Mackey, director of content and performance marketing at powerhouse publisher Hearst UK, to chat about how his team uses Instagram as an avenue to tap into new audiences, as well as a storytelling medium for the longtime publisher’s legacy brands.

In Conversation With Ian Mackey From Hearst UK

The publishing industry has faced an uphill battle ever since we started swapping newspapers and magazines for new online mediums. The anticipated trip to the grocery store to buy the newest issue of your favorite gossip magazine is a foreign experience for the likes of digitally-obsessed Gen Z’ers. Then there’s millennials. The generation that wakes up and falls asleep scrolling. Everything is fast-forwarded in today’s outrageous news cycle, pushing publishers to share their most topical stories online and foster new digital communities to avoid becoming yesterday’s news.

The Power of Visual Storytelling in Publishing

The art of storytelling will always be the heart and soul of the publishing industry, but in today’s digital era, a robust visual content strategy is essential for publishing brands to capture our attention. Publishers are harnessing the power of social media to reach and connect with consumers. Not only do publishers need to formulate catchy headlines and quality stories, but they also need to generate engaging imagery to lure readers in. Leading publishers like Hearst UK that understand how to convey a message through a single photo or video, are coming out on top amidst this change.

Hearst UK uses Dash Hudson to leverage Instagram as a one-stop visual storytelling hub for each of its unique brands. From content creation to driving followers to each of its brands’ websites, Dash Hudson’s technology ensures a seamless journey on both the front end for readers and the back end for the publisher’s savvy social team. The platform’s visual intelligence technology, Vision measures content performance before it’s even posted, making it Hearst UK’s new data-backed second opinion when choosing between the mid-workout model shot or a curated influencer post for Men’s Health UK. 

Dash Hudson’s link in bio solution LikeShop, is another go-to tool for Hearst UK. Now the team can attach a URL to every piece of content they post, taking their audience to their captivating articles in a matter of seconds. It’s basically the 21st century version of top newspaper headlines. Oh, and we should add that unlike a newspaper, it lives forever in your Instagram bio — no need to recycle here, folks. The best part? LikeShop is helping Hearst UK increase traffic to its website from Instagram by leaps and bounds.

Hearst UK has fully embraced the digital era and is redefining what social media means to the publishing industry as a result. Ian Mackey is one of the amazing brains behind the company’s social media strategy, and his leadership of the team’s strategic approach to storytelling through visuals has given new life to Hearst UK’s legacy brands. Ian gives credit to Dash Hudson for helping to reimagine the publisher’s approach to Instagram. Through the use of data-backed content curation, the team works to ensure every piece of content resonates with its audience, ultimately strengthening conversions to the web. It’s the perfect example of monetization via innovation. Let’s just say that Ian and the team are riding the digital wave, and aren’t looking back.

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