Digital lifestyle publisher The Urban List has unveiled a major suite of investments to many of the country’s biggest brands and agencies in an event held in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Founder and CEO Susannah George shared The Urban List’s journey from humble home-office beginnings in 2011, to its current position as the largest city guide in Australia and New Zealand, before unveiling a suite of significant new investments designed to amplify client outcomes.
George, General Manager, Damien Rossi and Head of Sales and Partnerships, Tamara Pannett shared key learnings from the past six years, and revealed how they will be harnessing emerging opportunities to revitalise The Urban List experience for both readers and partners into 2018 and beyond.
Rossi discussed The Urban List audience’s growing appetite for video content, revealing that the publisher’s video engagement is growing month on month. “In the last three months alone, Urban List videos have generated more than 7.3 million organic views. With increased investment and a robust video content strategy in place, this is projected to grow to between 6 and 7 million views a month within the next 6 months,” he said.
George also sees experiential events as a key growth area. With events content the second most popular category on site, clocking up half a million page views each month, “We know that our audience is dying to engage in real life,” she said.
At the same time, with a surge in visitation to the platform from people outside of the local market, “it’s clear The Urban List has become the ‘go to’ for great local experiences, whether you’re a resident or an out-of-towner.”
Time on site for travel content has increased from just over 3 minutes, to just over 7 minutes. According to George, it’s a clear indicator people know and trust The Urban List brand, and are leveraging the site as a travel research tool.
Australia’s largest ever millennial travel survey, conducted by The Urban List, also revealed that 90% of readers want The Urban List to enter new cities.
Pannett also announced the recent launch of new adhesive display units, a programmatic video offering delivered in partnership with Telaria, and the impending introduction of programmatic display capability.
“The Urban List empowers more decisions, more action, more advocacy than our peers. And we are privileged to share this connection with some of the world’s top businesses and brands,” said George.
“We have identified an opportunity to greatly enhance client and partner outcomes by investing in five key areas: video, events and activations, a new travel vertical, programmatic display and video, and entry into new cities.”
“By the end of this year, almost 75% of all internet traffic will be directed toward video,” said Rossi. “While much of it will go unnoticed, we are happy to say that when it comes to the impact of our video content, engagement is growing month on month.”
“We’ve been moving towards a content strategy that is truly channel agnostic, while ensuring all new content pieces deliver exceptional engagement. It’s part of our mantra to create stories to live by, not just scroll by.”
2018 will see The Urban List invest heavily in events and activations, with 21 consumer events committed to.
“Over the past 12 months, we have been progressively testing and learning in this space: testing our audience appetite for not only TUL partnered, but TUL branded events, as well as finetuning our own capabilities and capacity to ensure that whatever we announce, we can deliver on exceptionally well,” said George.
She revealed that the team already know what the events are, and are currently speaking to brands interested in entering the activation space.
The Urban List travel vertical
As well as an increase in readership from outside the local markets, recent survey findings have led The Urban List to announce plans for a new travel vertical. In November 2016, The Urban List conducted the country’s largest survey of more than 14, 000 millennial travellers.
While more than 60% were planning a trip within the next 6 months, only a third had
chosen their destination, pointing to dissatisfaction with current “uncool”, “not credible” or “out of date” research tools. Meanwhile, 90% expressed a desire for The Urban List to create more travel content, with 94% saying they would use the site for pre-trip research.
“Despite having access to more travel content than ever, millennials aren’t finding the
resources they trust to aid destination decisions. At the same time, we’ve witnessed our travel-specific content triple in views year on year. With travel now in our four topperforming content categories, we see a huge opportunity to influence near-term travel decisions,” said George.
Lunching soon, “The Urban List’s new travel vertical is the perfect opportunity for brands to capture our audience when they’re in that all-important wanderlusting stage of trip planning.”
Programmatic video & display
“Content is our bread and butter, but we know our clients are always on the lookout for robust display options,” said Pannett.
The Urban List has recently invested in a revitalised display offering that includes the
addition of new adhesive display units and programmatic video, with programmatic display coming soon. “Our new display products have been created based off client feedback, so we know demand for these assets will be high,” Pannett said.
Further expansion in Australia and New Zealand
With 9/10 readers wanting to see The Urban List’s entry into new cities, expansion has become a priority. “As consumers look for trusted travel resources, we want to make sure The Urban List is available in as many cities as possible to be that trusted source,” said George.
Rossi added, “We’re looking to travel survey data and audience insights, as well as engaging in discussions with clients, to select which markets to launch into next.”