What is your role at Bauer and what’s your background before moving into this current role.
I’m the Social and Insights Manager at Bauer Xcel and I work across the women’s lifestyle and fashion brands. My role within the digital team sits on the fringe of data and editorial. I do a lot of reporting - we are lucky in digital to be able to pull insights on virtually everything we do - so I get to spend a lot of time within our data platforms understanding our readers on site and our audience on social and then driving insights back to the editorial team. My background is in editorial so occasionally I get to flex my editorial muscles and write some headlines and sells for social.
Before I joined Bauer I was the Editorial Strategy Manager at Mamamia where I managed the social team and was responsible for driving social and editorial insights back to editorial, executing our short and long term content strategies and spearheading our long term brand initiatives.
You work across the social platforms on the To Love Digital Network – what do you see as the key strengths of Bauer’s online destinations?
We create great content for women at every stage of her life that makes her feel informed, inspired and entertained. We are talking to all women and the content you see across our titles are reflective of the conversations Australian women are having every day - whether it be in their workplaces, at coffee with a friend or online.
I think a product is only as good as its people and there is a wonderful, passionate team led by Emily Kerr working across the women’s titles producing well thought out, timely digital first content for our brands. We’re also in the privileged position of working across some of Australia’s most trusted and beloved women’s titles.
What sort of content resonates most with the To Love audience?
Like most Australian women, our readers are interested in anything and everything. She wants to join in on the conversation at work about what was on TV last night but she also wants to know what’s happening in the news - both domestically and abroad. Our audience is happy to jump from the Oscars Best Picture controversy to what’s going on in Canberra and then a look at the best way to sign off of your work emails.
Our sites publish content across news, parenting, entertainment, fashion, beauty, health, lifestyle and career verticals - if there’s a conversation Australian women are having, you’ll find it on one of our sites.
In a world where many businesses/brands are on an average reaching 3 x their community size, some Bauer brands are reaching up to 33 x their community size. What’s the key to good reach and engagement.
I think the key to Bauer’s ongoing success in digital is to be constantly evolving our strategy. What worked in cutting through on social six months ago won’t work today, so we constantly have to evolve our strategy on platform to make sure we’re reaching women but also engaging with them in a meaningful way. We want our audience to consume our content, to tag a friend in a Facebook post or double tap our images on Instagram. And ultimately we want them to keep coming back.
Content is king, but in the social environment where we have a three second window to grab someone’s attention it’s not enough to have great content on our websites, we need to be making sure we’re stopping that thumb mid scroll and getting as many eyeballs on our content as possible.
What do you think of the digital media landscape in 2017?
The conversation you hear again and again is about the battle with the Google and Facebook duopoly and that’s something we will hear more about in 2017. I think a big focus for this year will be on diversifying entry points and making sure we can mitigate the effect of things like Facebook algorithm changes on our properties.
In the past Facebook has shied away from calling itself a media company but this year, we’ve seen a shift in the way Facebook handles its relationships with publishers. I don’t believe anyone who works in digital who says that Facebook isn’t important to what they do, and I am encouraged by initiatives such as the Facebook Journalism Project. I think it sends a really positive message to the industry about Facebook’s product roadmap and we’ll see greater collaborations between Facebook and the media when it comes to storytelling opportunities in digital.
I also think it’s a great time to be in women’s media. For all the progress women have made - and all the work women’s media has done in championing issues such as the gender pay gap and women’s healthcare - it was easy to feel deflated after Trump’s victory.
In a way, Trump’s ascent to power has highlighted how important female focussed publishers are and we’re seeing an increased interest in foreign politics across our titles. Is our reader interested in who will and won’t dress Melania? Absolutely. But she also wants to know how the Trump administration’s immigration rules would have affected the First Lady had they been implemented in the 90s.
Now To Love only launched this quarter but is already surpassing its traffic targets and there’s never been a more exciting time to be speaking to women.
When it comes to social, I think we’re going to start seeing publishers focus on where they are putting their resources. Last year we saw a lot of media companies - particularly in the US - building out huge Facebook Live or Snapchat Discover teams and this year we’ll see if that allocation of resources is sustainable in the long term.
How can brands partner with Bauer to access and influence this audience.
I think there is so much potential for brands to partner with Bauer to access and influence our audience. Australian women are powerful consumers - they’re more likely to control the household budgets and are largely responsible for family decisions regarding health and education - and if you want to be speaking to Australian women about your brand in a meaningful way, Bauer is the place to be.
We’re truly speaking to women at every stage of their life, and we know what content resonates them and what they want more of. There are so many opportunities for brand integration across the digital network.
Can you share an example of advertising integration success on the To Love Digital Network?
There have been a number of successes for our brand partners this year across the Xcel network that have been amplified across various social platforms. On Elle, we currently have an advertorial for Dermalogica live on site about why activated charcoal is the new black that has been supported with social amplification across Facebook and has already hit its campaign benchmarks. Over on Elle’s Instagram account there are numerous examples of posts that we have disclosed as sponsored content but that fit seamlessly with the aesthetic of the title’s Instagram presence and allow our commercial partners access to our following of over 153,000 people. On Gourmet Traveller, we’ve collaborated with American Express to produce a video series and our video that explores the best places to stay, eat and play in New Zealand has driven almost 500,000 views on the YouTube platform alone.