Started in 1996, Womensforum.com's biggest changes have come in just the last year, with its acquisition by Escalate Media Holdings, which also operates the Escalate Network, a women-focused ad network.
Partly as a result of that merger last October, Womensforum.com has seen a jump in traffic to 4.2 million U.S. unique visitors as of July, from
577,000 a year ago, according to comScore data.
The site features text and video content across familiar lifestyle categories such as health, love, style, food and parenting.
Womensforum.com also serves as the hub for Womensforum Media Group, which spans over 1,000 partner sites and blogs covering similar topics, which it says collectively reach 45 million globally. The company has lately been building out both its content and ad offerings, in mobile as well as desktop.
That includes a new smartphone-friendly version of its site, tailored to on-the-go activities like shopping. In that vein, it has also released new branded apps focused on areas like coupons and shopping, DIY projects and new moms. On the video front, “Womensforum TV” produces original video segments across its network of sites aligned with its main content verticals. New series debuting this fall include “DIY Diaries” and “Inspiring Women.”
When it comes to advertising, Womensforum.com is focusing on providing custom native ad executions for marketers along with standard display options. One example is branded content and video that the site is running on behalf of Home Depot promoting the chain’s “Do-It-Herself Workshop” program, where women get hands-on instruction in home repair or other projects.
The company is also ramping up its ad sales operation under Lynn D’Alessandro, who previously ran sales divisions at ValueClick and Traffic Marketplace. Womensforum.com now has five full-time sales staff with plans to further expand that group next year. Beyond staff, D’Alessandro plans to integrate ad technologies that help target specific audiences with the women’s category.
As part of Escalate, which is backed by H.I.G. Growth Partners, Womensforum.com will also seek strategic acquisitions under Mike Meyers, senior vice president, corporate development, and formerly head of publisher network strategy at Glam Media. (Womensforum.com is also a partner site within the Glam Media network.)
“We plan to expand by acquiring complimentary digital media assets and developing new and exciting products,” said Meyers, in connection with the company’s announcement of new initiatives. H.I.G. Growth Partners, which has invested in several companies in the online media and advertising space, has $13 billion in capital under management according to its Web site.