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At the Intersection of Creative & Media, Ryan Harwood Has Found Modern Publishing’s Way Forward

Years after the PureWow acquisition, Ryan Harwood has something to say about media’s evolution.

An online presence has been paramount for businesses since the inception of the internet but in today’s ever-shifting social-media environment, it has become harder to stay at the forefront of internet trends. Gallery Media Group CEO Ryan Harwood has made a name for himself and his company on his ability to consistently shift and navigate the balance of websites, social-media, and content creation to help companies be relevant and drive consideration. “The Fortune 1000 doesn’t have an awareness issue, yet they still plan their creative + media as if they do.  Most lack relevance which in turn drives consideration of purchase.”

The Gallery Media Group model encompasses a variety of aspects from the world of advertising, not only creating and distributing content as well as managing social media campaigns but operating truly in a hybrid model – half publisher, half creative shop built on speed & relevance. Gallery Media’s multifaceted approach to meeting its clients’ needs leads Harwood to shy away from any particular label, referring to the company as more of a modern day communications machine.

One of the group’s main platforms for written content is its online publication, PureWow. The digital lifestyle outlet boasts a strong readership of over 16 million women per month, (according to Google Analytics, on their .com alone) specifically upper Millennials and Gen Xers, with strong credibility in wellness, beauty, recipes, and family content.

As a diversified group, Gallery Media has another online publication that caters to a different demographic. ONE37pm skews more male (half the audience is young LatinX and African American men) and focuses on “anything that matters at that moment in male culture.”  ONE37pm has found their footing with authority in sports card culture (their podcast “Card Talk”, in partnership with eBay, is the #1 Sports Card podcast), Gaming and eSports, MMA/Fighting, NBA and hip hop, soccer,, sneaker culture, & entrepreneurship.  “We’re trying to go deep in areas that matter in subcultures. The ONE37pm brand is about to take off like a rocket ship… it took time to figure out who we wanted to be when we grow up, but the vision and strategy to get there is clear now.” 

Naturally, both of these online publications have a strong presence on social media, particularly the newer platform, TikTok. It makes sense that Gallery Media Group, a firm owned by social media star/entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, has a strong grasp on social media. The company uses that expertise not only for its own outlets’ marketing but for its clients’ campaigns as well. “One of the first things we discussed post acquisition, several years ago, was building distribution in places that were agnostic to our media brands. We felt in order to remain nimble and relevant at all times (to consumers and clients), it was important to devote energy to platforms and mediums that were eating up consumer attention such as podcasts, emerging platforms like TikTok, and influencer marketing.”

Harwood told Digiday that approximately 45% of the group’s revenue comes from its work in places outside of their core web properties. In addition to their expertise with TikTok, the group has had a lot of success with Instagram and Pinterest (PureWow is the leading women’s lifestyle brand on Pinterest), allowing their diverse portfolio of accounts on several platforms to give Gallery Media relevance across a variety of content verticals and platforms. On TikTok specifically, Gallery Media has 12 interest-based handles (@recipes, @futbol, @blinkbeauty, @selfcare, @fashion, etc.) in addition to those belonging to PureWow and ONE37pm in order to maximize the reach of their content. 

Aside from distributing branded content thru its own channels, Gallery Media helps clients attack the social-media marketplace by designing marketing strategies and seeding those campaigns to its network of social media influencers and talent relationships. They’ve recently brought on a new hire in Dylan MacNamara, VP, Talent Relations, who spent a decade at Bleacher Report building their talent group, to foster the relationships and rolodexes that come from being inside the walls of VaynerX.  It’s not uncommon to see stars such as John Legend, A-Rod, Kevin Love, Charli & Dixie D’Amelio, Addison Rae, or DaBaby roaming the halls of VaynerX.

Expanding on its social media work, like the Revlon #DoItBold hashtag campaign on TikTok that Gallery Media carried out in conjunction with Revlon’s marketing team and the Movers+Shakers creative agency—a campaign that pulled in over two billion views—the company also manages social media accounts for its clients’ brands. 

The management of clients’ handles is one aspect that sets Gallery Media apart from other publishers. Harwood mentioned that when talking to Digiday, saying, “Most publishers use TikTok for themselves and they put branded content in their channels. We’ve been launching content on behalf of clients as well.”

The success that Harwood and his media group found on TikTok led to the company earning the production rights to TikTok’s inaugural podcast. Podcasting is another facet of Gallery Media Group’s well-rounded approach to marketing, pulling in 10% of the firm’s revenue. 

Harwood’s constantly evolving mindset when it comes to branded content in various channels is what has made Gallery Media Group one of the leaders in digital marketing. The holistic approach Harwood and company take to creating advertising strategies for their clients makes it hard to tag the group with a singular label, but that is the key to their success. In the current landscape of the internet, the boundaries between traditional publications and social media platforms are becoming increasingly blurry and the prototypical online advertising of the past is becoming less and less effective. In order to truly make an impact in the online marketing space, it is important to wear multiple hats and utilize a multi-dimensional approach, something that Ryan Harwood has pulled off in spades. 

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