SAVEUR’S NEW LOOK: Saveur magazine is improving on its digital game with a new Web site that is set to debut today.
As part of the launch, the food-centric title will add style and home coverage to its arsenal, as well as a less cluttered template that allows for more photos and space for feature stories, videos and recipes. The addition of style and home will be sure to draw new advertisers — although the title’s executives contend that isn’t the central reason for bringing in new content (but it doesn’t hurt).
From Saveur’s test kitchen at its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, digital director Erica Duecy told WWD that folding in new coverage areas is a response to a demand the magazine has seen when it covers home and style.
Giving those stories a “home” or separate vertical is one element of the redesign; what’s really driving the launch, she said, is bringing in original content written for the Web.
That may seem like a no-brainer in this all-things-digital era, but for many magazines stuck in the print first mind-set, it marks a shift in which print and Web editors collaborate on the Web site.
“Over 50 percent of the content online is original,” she said. “There’s a lot online that you won’t see in the magazine.”
The homepage allows the user to search by topic: Recipe, Food, Drink, Travel, Style + Home, Video and Events.
Duecy said a “point of differentiation” for the Bonnier Corp.-owned title is that it is now focusing on short how-to videos, as well as food-centric travel guides.
Another differentiator is the fact that users can conduct food and cocktail recipe searches based on ingredients via their desktops and mobile devices. Duecy added that she personally put an emphasis on longer stories that are “quirky” and, in many cases, are penned by influential foodies. For instance, there’s a feature on John McCormick’s collection of vintage espresso makers, as well as a video series called “Pro tips” by culinary influencers.
“Our stories have to spark excitement. We have to be excited about it to make it happen,” the editor noted. “We aren’t interested in click-bait to drive traffic.” So one assumes there will be no pictures of cats, dogs — or barely clothed people standing over a hot grill.
According to Omniture, Saveur.com garnered 2.4 million unique visitors and 13.6 million page views in March.
Ah, but before one gets the idea that Saveur is truly all about content over commerce, the new site does allow for more native advertising capability — that new strategy magazines are using to make ads look like edit as much as possible. Saveur also is interested in e-commerce on the site, she said, although it hasn’t yet looked into it.