The story behind Australia’s largest digital women’s network

GM Melissa Overman: “People want to feel like the content is targeted at them”

News Corp recently brought together its women’s lifestyle brands under the With Her In Mind Network. Launching just under a year ago, WHIMN now has, and under its umbrella. The person responsible for the network is general manager Melissa Overman.

The last time we spoke to Overman, which was at the end of 2016, her title was executive editor of NewsLifeMedia’s female-driven content network of digital brands.

“I was just thinking to myself about how much things have changed over the last year and my career journey – especially considering that I started out in magazines. Now here I am [looking after a portfolio of digital brands],” Overman told Mediaweek.

“We always had the plan to bring the three brands together under the With Her In Mind Network. So we have been operating as one newsroom for a while.

“This way we can share insights, stories, ideas and opportunities. My role right now is about managing, growing and communicating about the network.”

In the same week that Kate Middleton announced her third pregnancy, editor Felicity Harley announced hers. She made the revelation to Mediaweek on an episode of the weekly Seven Days podcast.

This week when we spoke to Overman, she revealed that she is pregnant with her second child. “I can’t believe I am signing up to do this again,” Overman joked. This year has been a busy one for her on the personal and professional front.

The addition of Kidspot and body+soul makes WHIMN the largest digital women’s network in Australia. It reached a unique audience of over 1.95 million in August 2017, according to Nielsen Digital Ratings Monthly. Overman plans to keep up this momentum by planning ahead.

“It’s about understanding the insights and identifying where we need to innovate to ensure that we remain ahead of the pack,” she said. “We are way ahead of our closest competitor, who is at 1.2 million. That is exciting, but it is also something I don’t take lightly.”

A key to ensuring that WHIMN stays ahead of its competition is to continually invest in understanding the consumers of the three brands in the network. The audience for each brand is different from each other, Overman said.

“We have to make sure that we are creating content and commercial packages, social, video and audio that targets those audiences,” she said. “One thing that we have found from the internal research that we have done is that you really do have to tackle different audiences in different ways. That’s why even though we have got the scale and reach with the network, we are very much about personalisation and producing bespoke content.”

Six months ago, launched with six content verticals: Talk, Look, Strength, Love, Live and Play. It has previously run content from other News Corp brands such as body+soul. So, will continue with this practice now that body+soul is a part of the With Her In Mind Network?

“That’s an interesting question, because that is my main challenge,” Overman said. “ is smart, honest and fun content for the busy modern woman. Meanwhile, body+soul is targeted at wellness warriors, who want more expert how-to advice. Kidspot is for parents, so they are after parenting advice and news.

“Women are varied…How you talk to different audiences is really important. People want to feel like the content is targeted at them.”

A key motive behind launching WHIMN was to help advertisers reach a large volume of female consumers in one go. “We have a new product called WHIMN Eclipse, where you can buy all commercial real estate across the three websites for a 24-hour period and reach almost 300,000 women in one go,” Overman said.

Photo: Kidspot editor Melissa Wilson, WHIMN GM Melissa Overman, editor Felicity Harley and body+soul editor Melissa Shedden

This is an excerpt of the full article, which appears in the latest issue of Mediaweek magazine. 

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