During a recent announcement made to media agencies and advertisers at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Bauer said that it would be investing $1.2 million in a marketing campaign to announce the launch of its new digital properties.
Bauer head of digital Michael Fuyala says that this investment is in addition to the ongoing editorial, marketing and social funding support Bauer already gives to the titles that fall under its umbrella.
Fuyala says the key campaign aims to drive traffic to its recently updated publications across all the available digital channels.
Fuyala started by pointing out that Bauer would be launching ‘Food to Love,’ a new hub that will serve to consolidate all the food-related content that Bauer publishes across its portfolio.
“It’s a … food and recipe destination with three times more content than our nearest local competitor,” Fuyala says. “We’re creating more recipes than anyone else in this market: 5,000 a year; that’s almost 100 a week.”
He says the website will be targeting 25- to 65-year-old household shoppers and that Bauer is aiming to surpass 200,000 visitors per month within the first year. And while this is an ambitious goal in a competitive niche, Fuyala is confident that it’s achievable.
“Every time you see recipe in any Bauer publication, it will be branded foodtolove.co.nz,” he says. “We’ve already got over 100,00 food visitors. So, Taste.co.nz has grown its audience by 300 percent over the last six months to 45,000 and Women’s Weekly has a food audience of 75,000. So we’ve got a fantastic base.”
Fuyala explains that investment in search-based marketing will also be integral in ensuring that the evergreen content on Food to Love ranks well on search engines.
An equivalent website has already been launched across the ditch, and Bauer will no doubt use the experience garnered from this to ensure that the roll out runs smoothly on this side. The Austalian site has also partnered with Woolworths, and this could be something that Bauer aims to do with a Kiwi retailer as well.
Similarly to Food to Love, Bauer also unveiled Homes To Love, a hub that will serve to house all its home-related content.
“This is a new brand in its own right but it’s also going to be home for popular existing brands like Your Home and Garden, Home magazine and more,” says Fuyala. “There’s no shortage of articles about house prices, but if all we’re trying to do is find out what colour to paint our kids’ rooms or what the latest trends are, then those articles are pretty useless.”
The website will feature new and existing content, and Fuyala says that it is aimed at home-owning women between 30 and 55 in the high socio-economic bracket. And he has set a target of attracting 130,000 visitors per month.
“We already have a quickly growing Home magazine audience. Those guys doubled their online audience over the last six months. And a real sweet spot for us online is Your Home & Garden’s social community, which grows every day. They added 1,000 people to that community just last week alone and now have a social reach of 294,000. That community is so highly engaged that they’ll click on anything that we serve it.”
In addition to these two new products, Bauer has also restructured the web properties associated with its weekly publications.
Fuyala described this strategy shift as “a revolution more so than an evolution” given that Bauer was set to move away from the approach of feeding content from one source to legacy platforms.
“The new model for Woman’s Day is going to be based on the global news desk. So, they’ll have access to more celebrity content, up-to-the-minute as it comes through. Think New Weekly, OK magazine, Grazia, In Touch. No one has more celebrity content on a global and on a local basis.”
This consolidated publication will be targeted at 20- to 49-year-olds and Bauer has set an objective of reaching 220,000 users per month.
Bauer’s flagship brands Australian Women’s Weekly and New Zealand Woman’s Weekly will be conflated into a single online destination hosted at Womensweekly.co.nz.
“The new digital lifestyle brand will be positioned as mass premium and draw on the deep, broad content archives of market market-leading brands such as Next, Good Health Choices, and relevant features from North & South and the New Zealand Listener,” Fuyala says.
Considering that these are two of Bauer’s major publications, Fuyala has set a relatively modest target of 200,000 visitors per month for this new site.
“Our position is mass premium, so let’s keep in mind that half of food traffic from Woman’s Weekly will be repositioned to Food to Love. So this is a new premium audience that we’re going to be delivering.”
Youth-targeted Cleo is also being revamped, and Fuyala hopes that the changes will drive the publication to overtake NZ Girl in terms of reach in the target demographic.
“In the very elusive quest to reach young women online, Cleo online is number two and we’re going for number one. We’ve had some changes in recent weeks, and we’re confident these will have a very positive impact on this brand. For them, it’s about finding their brand and voice online. Our audience online is already up on the total from last month.”
Fuyala says that Bauer aims to double the Cleo online audience from 50,000 to 100,000 over the coming 12 months.
To promote this slew of changes, Bauer will roll out a marketing campaign that spans search, video, display and integration over the coming months. In addition, the conglomerate will also be tapping into its publishing partnerships and commissioning social media influencers to expand the reach of each of the online publications.
And while much of this budget will be dedicated to reaching consumers, Bauer is also eager to connect with clients.
Over the course of his speech, Fuyala consistently referred to the fact that each of the websites were designed with a view to accommodate content integration and native advertising.
Notably, none of the new publications feature a paywall. And asked whether Bauer had any plans to incorporate paid content in the near future, Fuyala said no.
“There are three ways you can make money online for magazine publishers: one of them is to try sell goods and services; another is through paid content; and the other is building engaged audiences and having a great advertising and sponsorship model. Short-term our focus is all about the advertising and sponsorship model, which is about connecting great audiences with great content.”
Fuyala also said that content published in Bauer’s magazines would be re-purposed for the online space, but he doesn’t see this as removing incentive to purchase the print publication.
“The more compelling proposition is to extend on those stories. So if we’re talking about The Bachelor Art Green in 800 words in Monday’s Woman’s Day, we actually want to have daily updates with him during the week. We want to have some video, some insights and some behind-the-scenes content. So it’s about taking that content and then building on and extending proposition.”
This marks a major shift in Bauer’s approach. Just last year, at the Magazine Publishers Association Conference, Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul pointed out that a major difference between the newspaper and the magazine industry was that magazines didn’t give their content away for free. And yet, this is exactly what the new approach does.
If anything, this again illustrates how quickly things change in the digital age. And while Bauer is lagging behind the pack in terms of its digital play at the moment, Fuyala and his team are confident that they can close the gap.
“In 12 months, we’ve gone from zero to half a million visitors a month and as we chase down half a million more we couldn’t be more excited and optimistic about our digital business.”
However, clicks and views don’t necessarily equate to dollars and Fuyala concedes: “Ultimately, our success will be judged by our ability to connect your brands with our audiences.”