Project Summary

Digital storytelling has advanced rapidly in the past few months. Our work with Our State paved the way for more innovation in the world of magazine publishing.

More on Our State.

Our State is North Carolina’s premier statewide travel, food, and culture magazine. Founded in 1933, Our State is the only statewide magazine in North Carolina. The magazine features are long form stories that cover the best of North Carolina people, places, and things to do. They have 170,000 paid subscribers in all 50 states and 30+ foreign countries and an active audience on social media.

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url: prayer.ourstate.com    |    completed: November 2013

Challenge

In the world of magazine publishing, impressive storytelling is executed on a monthly basis and delivered to your door or supermarket. For magazines like Our State, online storytelling has not caught up with the immersive storytelling you find in the magazine. We decided it was time for that to change.

Solution

Working with the Our State team, we devised a strategy for a campaign site to support their December editorial feature. This approach allowed us to test immersive storytelling with their audience. A tall order since our storytelling had to 1) allow for advertising, 2) provide ways to view related content from previous issues, 3) allow Our State to pair new multimedia content with the current issue, and 4) allow Our State to integrate social media in new ways.

Results

In the first week and a half, the site saw exciting engagement numbers. Our 16 essays enjoyed over 10,000 shares on Facebook. Site visitors spend an average of over 7 minutes on a page. Our State subscribers and OurState.com site visitors have a bounce rate of 39% and view three pages per visit. Our State Facebook likes increased by 2,000+ and @OurStateMag Twitter followers increased by 1,500+.

Project Highlights

Immersive storytelling

In addition to the images and essays from the magazine, we incorporated newly recorded video interviews with the essayists, music, and photos that helped to root the essays in their unique area of North Carolina.

New ways of integrating social media

Social media users have three ways to interact with the essays: 1) visit the Our State social media accounts on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, 2) share elements of the essays on Facebook and Twitter or 3) contribute stories on Our State’s Facebook page.

Content marketing

Our State has an 80 year history of articles and photos. We showcased articles and photos from previous issues, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the long history of storytelling of Our State in NC.

Native advertising

When creating a platform for immersive storytelling, it’s important to incorporate ads that compliment the story. We incorporated native advertising, adopting the philosophy that if it wasn’t relevant to the story, it didn’t belong on the page. Since this was our pilot program all of our native ads lead back to stories from previous issues of Our State.

Responsive design and parallax

The site incorporates parallax elements and looks beautiful on all computers, tablets and mobile devices so users can enjoy storytelling however they prefer to consume content.

Before & After

slide to explore

before screenshot
after screenshot

Praise

We couldn’t be happier with the work done by Cuberis. From the beginning, it was clear they understood our brand, the goals of the project, and the best way to accomplish them. What they created for us was not just a website, but an engaging digital storytelling experience that blends editorial, multimedia, and native advertising content. The site rivals work done by any other major publisher in the country. We are so thankful for the team at Cuberis who went beyond our expectations to create a meaningful experience for our readers and all who love North Carolina

Andy Busam, Digital Manager, Our State Magazine
Our State Magazine

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