Three moms and a dad founded SheKnows.com in 1999 on the premise that the Web would play a vital role in women’s lives. The dad, Kyle Cox, was among the group of former publishing and editorial design experts who set out to meet the needs of a new female generation—one that featured a younger, hipper mom who yearned for something more than her mother’s Good Housekeeping or Better Homes & Gardens.
“We wanted to create a community that women could rely on, and we saw the future of how people were going to consume content in a digital age,” says Cox, who remains general manager of SheKnows.com, overseeing the day-to-day operations and vision for the brand.
Today, SheKnows.com tops iVillage as the largest lifestyle website for women, per comScore. With its expansive reach and compelling slate of original content, including that found on its sister properties, FabulousFoods.com,
LovingYou.com, GeoParent.com and ChefMom.com, among others, SheKnows.com attracts a combined 23 million unique monthly visitors. Additionally, SheKnows has drawn recurring major CPG advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever and Kraft, as well as retailers Target and TJX Companies, and even non-traditional women’s market brands such as Harley-Davidson.
At SheKnows.com, a tapestry of articles, videos and blogs is presented in a splashy magazine-style format creating a one-stop destination for women seeking information and advice on everything from parenting to pets, health and wellness, career, beauty, entertainment and dating. Among the most popular features: Mommalogues, where popular mommy vloggers engage readers in discussions on various parenting and lifestyle topics (which will feature celebrity mom Cindy Crawford in April); and SheKnows TV, the company’s branded entertainment offering, which produces over 120 videos per month, including Corner Kitchen and the Emmy award-winning series, BeYouTiful.
“We’re attracting women at critical times of transition in their lives, such as marriage, pregnancy, buying a home or sending their kids off to college,” says managing editor Alison Bills, who is part of the in-house content team that develops all of the articles and video features on the site. “Our contributors are comprised of professional journalists, published authors and industry experts who create a community rich in experience. And because our community is friendly, supportive and empathetic (all things a woman looks for in a girlfriend), our audience continues to come back and look to us as a reliable source.”
Marketers are afforded various sponsorship and advertising opportunities at SheKnows.com. Brands like Old Navy and HGTV’s House Hunters program have had their ads skinned onto the Parenting and Home sections, respectively, and ran rich media banners on those pages. Cheerios sponsored SuperMoms Guide, and other brands have conducted product integration and “brought to you by” sponsorships on SheKnows TV. “There’s no specific formula or ad package; it’s a matter of digging into a brand’s objectives and finding a solution that meets their needs,” says Zach Alter, VP of marketing and sales strategy. “We focus on bringing customized advertiser messages to places with captive and engaged audiences,” not to mention a loyal fan base: Nearly 30 percent of site visitors return more than nine times per month, notes Alter.
SheKnows.com continues to look for ways both on and offline to make its brand more relevant with its audience. Its recent partnerships include a tie-in with Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti Stanger and the 2012 SheKnows Where The Other Sock Went charity campaign, benefitting Autism Speaks, with Toni Braxton, Nigel Barker and Michael Costello. Says Alter, “It’s all about our content, reach and ability to marry advertisers and audience in a way that leaves both coming out of the experience feeling great.”