From 2013 to 2014, Bauer Media Group’s digital properties in the United States have experienced explosive growth. The company reports that InTouchWeekly.com‘s unique monthly visitors grew organically by 745 percent, LifeandStylemag.com by 436 percent and the teen group (which includes J-14, M, and Twist) by 264 percent. On a monthly basis, Bauer’s digital teen division sees 5 million unique users. Three months after the relaunch of J-14.com, the magazine became the fastest growing magazine on Facebook, with more fans than publications like BuzzFeed, Us Weekly and People.
These numbers are impressive by themselves, but even more remarkable considering that just a couple of years ago Bauer in the U.S. did not have a real online department. The company’s success in print — in the U.S., Bauer sells more magazines at retail than any other magazine publishing company — left a hole in its business model in the digital space. As a result, Bauer recruited Christian Baesler from a management post at Bauer Media Group in Germany to take on the formidable task of revving up the company’s online activity. Between the incredible growth that these sites have seen and the fact that major advertisers like Coca-Cola, Adidas and Rimmel London are taking notice, it’s clear that Baesler has proven just how invaluable digital is for Bauer.
After the jump, Baesler discusses the ingredients to the digital department’s success, Bauer’s social media strategy and what the public can expect from the upcoming roll-out of the new and improved InTouchWeekly.com.