'Allrecipes' Pushes SmartCode Strategy, Engages Audience Through Audio Content

Allrecipes’ upcoming June/July issue is marking two firsts for the title.

It will feature people on the cover — in this case, three children eating ice cream — an new editorial direction. The Meredith title is also pushing deeper into its SmartCode strategy with exclusive audio content accessible through a scan from a smartphone.

The audio content, which joins other SmartCode efforts that have connected consumers with digital recipes, ecommerce and videos, features the voice of AllrecipesICTV “Smart Cookie” series star Elise Mayfield. Mayfield is featured in the issue’s “Cook to Follow’ editorial feature.

Over the past six months, Meredith reports consumer interaction with SmartCodes increased up to 10 times with thousands of scans per title.



Allrecipes EIC Jennifer Darling is using her editor’s letter to educate readers about the value of the SmartCodes and how to use them. For example, her team learned through editorial research that it's important to tell readers they don’t need to use an app to link to the content.

“We must keep the reader experience in mind as we explore new options for using SmartCodes,” Darling told Publishers Daily. “Our readers look forward to leisurely reading their magazine when they have a few moments to peruse the pages. We don’t want to disrupt the value of that experience.”

Allrecipes print and digital content offers a fertile testing ground for how to best offer the technology to advertisers.

David Ginsberg, publisher of Allrecipes, said: “The introduction of SmartCodes allows for more holistic, integrated conversations. Advertisers like the fact Allrecipes has the capability to drive consumers to more content, special offers, ecommerce, video and more.”

Meredith’s Better Homes & Gardens has also been making use of the codes to great effect.

“The QR codes help us knit together our content together in a full 360 for the reader,” said Stephen Orr, EIC of Better Homes & Gardens. According to Orr, the codes allow the title greater freedom with its cross-platform editorial strategy.

Since it began using SmartCodes in its April issue, Better Homes & Gardens has counted more than 20,000 scans. BHG's senior vice president and group publisher Stephen Bohlinger noted that advertisers are “excited for the opportunity to drive their product from a relevant story” and enjoy the high demonstrated level of engagement the codes provide.

Ultimately, the multiuse codes are providing the titles with a way to reimagine how they can connect audiences with content.

“There is an inherent limitation on how many pages we can put in the magazine. With these scannable codes, we can send readers to more extensive resources and shopping guides,” said Orr.

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