Maple Media is on the vanguard of digital publishing. Having launched 29secrets.com a fashion and beauty site for women, in 2010, it has grown into an online publisher of several successful online properties: AmongMen.com, BabyPost.com, RecipeGeek.com, SavvyMom.ca, UrbanMoms.ca, and its most recent, Pursuit.ca. All of its sites combined have over half a million visitors a month.
VP of content, Natalie Milne explains that in 2012, they started seeing a gap in content for parenting, which led to the acquisition of SavvyMom and UrbanMoms.
While the content may be online, she is steadfast in classifying the properties as magazines. “We are one hundred per cent magazines.”
What’s different is the publishing schedule, and the amount of content they are able to produce on a regular basis. Drawing from hundreds of writers with lots of different backgrounds, they publish more in a month than the average printed magazine. Articles are published throughout the month, and are disseminated through newsletters and an active social media presence.
“We have long lead articles, but can also stay current, publish news about what people are seeing in their Twitter feed,” says Milne. “We want readers to stay engaged with our content and come back every day.”
In fact, without a print arm to weigh them down, Maple is able to be a bit more nimble, and adapt to digital innovation very quickly.
“We’re seeing a lot of other publishing decreasing, yet we’re actually expanding and producing more and more content,” Milne says, adding they are leveraging social media in innovative ways for advertising using influencer marketing, Facebook live events, and Twitter parties.
That strength – producing a wealth of high-quality content in digital medium – hasn’t always been without its challenges.
“In the beginning when you are a digital first brand, you have to fight for the credibility,” notes Milne. “We’re finally recognized as a strong brand with engaged readers that advertisers can turn to.”
And the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) has been a part of their success, providing funding to get off the ground by leveraging the Interactive Digital Media Fund (IDM Fund) and most recently, to hire a social media manager through the Marketing Support Program.
“Social media is our newsstand, so the manager will be primarily focused on promoting content,” she says, adding “we know how lucky we are to have this body that supports media.”
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