How social-centric Gallery Media is taking on events, TikTok Shop and ever-changing algorithms

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Digital media companies have to be willing to change with the times if they want to make 2024 a growth year.

For Gallery Media Group, publisher of PureWow and ONE37pm as well as over 70 social media-first brands like @Recipes and @Cocktails, this means testing out new social offerings like TikTok Shop, creating social campaigns for clients that will still work despite rapidly changing algorithms and modifying its experiential business to improve the ROI for sponsors. 

On the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, GMG’s CRO Chris Anthony shares how the new ad products and event offerings launched in 2023 are contributing to his sales team’s go-to-market strategy in 2024. 

Below are highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

Testing out TikTok Shop 

​​We are a TikTok Shop partner and we’re exploring experimenting there. I think that we’re definitely seeing some success. It’s very much in the learning phase. Specifically on our @Recipes brand, we’ve seen some success with selling some very TikTok-like kitchen gadgets and that’s been interesting to watch. I don’t think it’s going to represent a massive revenue opportunity in the short-term, but it’s definitely allowing us to understand that audience a bit more. It’s allowing us to gain other insights that potentially can [be applied] to other parts of our business.

Social algorithms have changed, but advertisers still want to stand out

[Our] influencer [network] has always been a core part of our business, but it’s definitely a big growth channel for us. I think we saw almost 20% revenue growth last year on our influencer business and … we executed almost 500 influencer programs in 2023. 

This past year, we built one of the most successful revenue-driving products for using our influencer business … The product [is called] HYPE and really, the idea is … we’re helping really hype up a brand moment.

We create a very intentional headline that is architected to really spark a moment with a consumer … about a product launch or something that’s newsworthy. And then what we’ll do is we’ll launch that article on one of our [publications like] PureWow. And then what we’ll do is we’ll cast a whole team of influencers that [use the greenscreen feature on TikTok for] that article. [They’ll say] ‘PureWow is announcing XYZ beauty product is launching. I’m going to go out and validate and really try this product.’ 

Expanding experiential 

We rolled out a new IP called Gallery House and that really gives us this flexibility to be in really amazing places and spaces … [but] we’re thinking about it through this new lens of events for content … Experiential is expensive. It’s expensive for marketers, it’s a lot of work, and we know that over the last two years, the economy has changed, the industry has become much more scrutinizing on budgets, and we want to be able to listen to our clients while building this experiential practice in a big way. 

Last year, we kicked off in the Hamptons and for a full month in August, we took over an amazing private residence with incredible creators. We partnered with over 30 brands throughout that entire month. At the end of that month, we walked away with over 2,000 pieces of content [and] brands were able to say at the end of that 30 days, ‘Did I buy an amazing experience or did I buy a content experience at scale that I was able to really drive and readjust this ROI through that experience?’ That was incredibly successful for that entire month of August and then we continue that momentum into Art Basel in December at the end of 2023.

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