This week, Bauer launched the latest addition to its revamped digital arsenal in the shape of the new Women's Weekly website.
While the new site bears the name of a print title already familiar to Kiwi consumers, Bauer's head of digital Michael Fuyala explains that the new site will feature content from New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, The Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition), Next, Good Health Choices, North & South and (where relevant) New Zealand Listener, as well as exclusive digital content.
"We have an important job to do in terms of positioning it as a new brand featuring content from these six titles," says Fuyala.
Bauer has already launched a teaser for a digital video series called 'What I've Learnt', featuring Kiwi personalities Kerre McIvor, Teuila Blakely, Jacinda Ardern, Denise L'Estrange-corbet and Paula Bennet.
Fuyala says this video series is designed to show web visitors that the content will extend well beyond that available in the various magazines.
Fuyala also says that Bauer will be launching a significant brand campaign next week, announcing the arrival of the new online publication to the broader public.
“It’s a huge product for us for two reasons” says Fuyala. “Firstly, the new site is backed by six editorial teams, collectively an enormously influential and respected group when it comes to keeping New Zealanders informed on things that matter. Secondly, it fills a clear gap around intelligent online media for New Zealand women, with a broad and thoughtful content mix ranging from real stories on our greatest local talent to royalty, breaking news, social issues and trusted advice on health, style, career, parenting and relationships.”
Until recent years, Bauer (as well as other publishers) have given priority to print by delaying the process of publishing magazine-based comment online. However, Fuyala says this won't be the case when it comes to Women's Weekly.
He says the timing of publishing online content, which may have appeared in print at first, will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
"It's about relevance," he says. "If something is topical and it's being discussed in the media, then we will publish that content online. But if it isn't time sensitive, then we might hold off on publishing the content for a while."
These statements mirror those of NZME managing editor Shayne Currie, who last week told StopPress that NZME had changed its policy in terms of prioritising the print edition of the Herald.
“We used to have a rule that we had in the past that we had to wait until 5am to release content digitally, but that’s no longer the case," Currie said. "All content is available for the digital editors, virtually once it’s filed.”
Currie sid this approach is more in line with the always-on approach demanded of digital journalists.
Fuyala says he's confident this won't affect print sales of the various publications, because research conducted by Bauer shows there's "only a four percent cross-over" in terms of print and digital readers.
He says much of the online audience is being driven to Bauer websites through social channels, and that online readership presents a complementary opportunity to the publisher.
Fuyala says Bauer initially set a target of attracting a quarter of million visitors per month within the first 12 months of the website's launch, and says the site is already tracking ahead of expectations.
Since its launch, the Women's Weekly site has already run campaigns for Zierra, Procter and Gamble, Tatua, Silver Fern Farms and other brands.
"Often when have content-led campaigns in the food, home and fashion verticals, we’ll use WomansDay.co.nz and WomensWeekly.co.nz to amplify the reach of those campaigns," says Fuyala.
Women's Weekly is the latest brand to slot into Bauer's 'To Love' collection of sites, sitting alongside Homes to Love, Food to Love and FQ. And Bauer says each of these brands are performing well, with Homes to Love pulling in over 60,000 visitors last month, Food to Love attracting over 150,000 and FQ pulling in 64,000.
Each of these new brands have also proving commercially successful, earning revenue from both display and content-led advertising.
Fuyala is particularly pleased with the content-marketing executions across all the sites, pointing to examples in campaigns for ANZ and Dulux on Homes to Love; Huntley & Palmers and Puhoi Valley on Food to Love; and Caci Clinic on FQ.co.nz.
"The content has performed really well as its informative and useful rather than advertorial," he says.
Many of the executions feature video content, and Fuyala says that Bauer recently had to employ a videographer to keep up with the demand from brands.
The growing concerns with ad blockers when coupled with the ongoing viewability issues of display advertising will only make this kind of content marketing more popular, particularly among brands with a premium slant. And Bauer will no doubt be looking to capitalise on this demand.