Expanding the Four Seasons Magazine Content Ecosystem with Flipboard

Glossy celebrity tabloids and paperback mystery novels no longer comprise the vast bulk of summer beach-reading material. Today, with an ever-increasing rise in tablet and smartphone usage, we’re a bit more cautious about getting sand on our fingers. Tapping and swiping our favorite blogs and media sites into view, we command the glowing screens of our mobile devices to reflect a unique, personalized set of interests. One app aggregates the content we love the best: Flipboard.

What is Flipboard?

Flipboard’s mission is to “let people discover and share content in beautiful, simple and meaningful ways,” combining the sit-back-and-relax print experience with the power of social media. After installing the free app you can pull feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social network accounts and select from a list of broad topics such as news, technology, style and travel.

You can also search for specific blogs and media sites like TechCrunch, The New York Times and, as of May 15, (drum roll, please …) Four Seasons Magazine. Flipboard provides a consistent reading and sharing experience that unifies all of these diverse feeds.

Why Four Seasons Magazine?

Featuring fresh perspectives from thought leaders and tastemakers on the best in travel, food and style from around the world, Four Seasons Magazine content has traditionally been published via print and on FourSeasonsMagazine.com.

In creating a new Four Seasons Magazine content experience for the Flipboard lover, our goal was to reach a new audience while continuing to broaden and deepen the reach of the Four Seasons content ecosystem.

The Process and Strategy

We started by defining our Flipboard content strategy, determining that all content in the experience must be timely, highly shareable, visually rich and engaging, and reflective of our expert voice and opinion. Our developers built a custom RSS feed that delivers content links (including images) to Flipboard, which then displays the content from these links within a visually rich, paginated reading experience.

Because the content is populated in reverse chronological order (most recent first) and not organized into various channels (as with the website), we decided to exclude articles from the Weddings channel, which would have felt out of place amidst the more general food, travel and style content.

We also chose not to integrate feeds from the Four Seasons social media channels, which include Twitter and Facebook, because the more frequent posts from these channels would have crowded out the 6-8 content pieces delivered via the RSS feed every week.

Content Promotion

Participation in Flipboard’s brand magazine program includes the opportunity to drive readers to the content experience from full-page ads that appear within other popular publishing brand experiences. While paginating through Vanity Fair’s Flipboard experience, for example, readers see full-page ads for Four Seasons Magazine. Clicking on the ad “flips” them to the Four Seasons Magazine content experience on Flipboard.

Our creative team designed and delivered the ads to Flipboard a week before the media buy began on June 1. Ads will also appear within The New York Times Flipboard experience starting July 1.

What’s Next?

In the coming months, Flipboard 2.0 will enable us to integrate multiple feeds from the niche content channels within the World of Four Seasons, including Weddings, Taste and Have Family Will Travel, along with the various social feeds.

Users will be able to select the niches they want to explore by tapping a menu within the overall Four Seasons Flipboard experience. Additionally, editors will have more control over ordering of the content rather than defaulting to straightforward chronological order. In short, the experience will continue to evolve, delivering the best of Four Seasons Magazine to beaches, pool decks, subways, planes, mountaintops, jungles and wherever else today’s mobile readers want timely travel, food and style content. Happy flipping!

Add Four Seasons Magazine to your own Flipboard, and learn more about publishing to Flipboard on the company’s FAQ page.

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