Glamour magazine is finding a way to cover each of its many topics online — fashion, beauty, relationships, careers, weddings, health and more — without bogging readers down with content that doesn't interest them. Instead of driving readers to one main site, the Condé Nast glossy's web team is rolling out dedicated verticals within the Glamour digital umbrella. Two verticals have launched so far: Lipstick, a beauty site, and Smitten, an online destination about love and sex, which launched Tuesday.
"If you create a space that really honors the content and the reason people are coming to that space, it works," says Anne Sachs, executive digital director. In April 2014, Glamour.com launched Lipstick, a mobile-ready beauty site that the brand calls "a digital spinoff" — meaning it has its own dedicated team and site features that make finding beauty tips and purchasing products easier. Lipstick has its own social media handles, but beauty stories are also promoted on the main Glamour site and social media. Traffic to Glamour's site has grown by 2.5 million uniques to 9 million since Lipstick's launch.
The new Smitten site isn't as independent from Glamour.com as Lipstick — and is produced by the main site's editorial team — but it still has its own site features, including as a "boss button" that hides content for desktop users sneaking in visits during the work day and a "mood filter" for different kinds of relationship content.
"People really do love to spend a lot of time reading relationship story after relationship story," said Sachs. "The reason we wanted to start with Smitten as a vertical is because it's a great equalizer. Everybody reads that kind of content, whether or not you are really interested in fashion or really interested in beauty."
The data about how people read relationship stories informed the vertical's design. The content sees significant traffic spikes on Sunday and Monday nights into 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. on mobile, so Smitten now features sex tips that float up on the bottom of the page as a related link during those time periods, only on mobile.
The differentiated verticals are a boon for advertisers, too. "Advertisers have different needs," said Jeff Barish, head of digital sales and strategy for Glamour Digital. "So when we find that one has a need for a touching on the relationship — which is a very human element — this is a place where we can accommodate them to a greater degree." Smitten's launch sponsor is beauty brand Revlon, with a lipstick campaign featuring the tagline, "Love is On."
Barish says he still works with advertisers across all of Glamour.com, but the verticals allow for more options. "We want to provide scale, so that when these women are in other parts of the site [advertisers] are seeing their advertising message there as well," he said. "It's maximum impact in appropriate places as well as scale for when these women are endeavoring in different content areas across the site." It's about depth or breadth, or both — depending on what the client wants.
Readers can expect more Glamour.com verticals to get the Smitten treatment in the future. "The goal really is to have each channel have its own look and feel and personality," said Sachs. "Whether she’s finding us through search or a social media post or passed along from an email newsletter — however it is that she’s finding us, we want to make sure she has easy access to the content and is delighted by what she’s reading."