Scripps Networks Digital hones in on mobile, social via site revamp
March 8, 2013
Scripps Networks Digital has relaunched its HGTVGardens.com Web and mobile site with a design that marries social media and content.
Consumers can visit the new site by typing http://hgtvgardens.com/ into their mobile browsers. The HGTVGardens revamp is part of a broader digital strategy from Scripps Network as the company sees an uptick in mobile content consumption.
“We've watched general trends and see that users want – in fact, expect – a tablet and a mobile experience,” said Vikki Neil, senior vice president and general manager of digital at Scripps Networks Interactive, New York.
“On some of our existing Web sites, we have more than 30 percent of our page views coming from mobile devices,” she said.
“We also did some research that revealed that gardeners are heavier mobile users than the general population, so that was another critical input. HGTVGardens presented a great opportunity for us to think about the mobile experience holistically from the beginning. Our job is to capture users and get them to return often and consume more.”
Scripps Networks Digital powers the digital versions of Scripps Networks’ cable brands. The Web sites are HGTV.com, FoodNetwork.com, DIYNetwork.com, GACTV.com, Food.com, Food2.com, FrontDoor.com, TravelChannel.com and CookingChannelTV.com.
Plant on mobile
The HGTVGardens mobile and Web site is fueled by community content from users. A button in the top right-hand corner lets users either log in or create an account by syncing to their Facebook, Twitter, Google + or Yahoo account.
The site uses a mobile device’s built-in GPS or ZIP code to find nearby plants in a user’s area. Each plant includes information that can be shared via social media or saved to a user’s profile.
One of the main features of the redesign is the Plant Finder tool, which lets consumers track down specific types of plants. Users can filter results by plant type or other factors, including the the amount of water or moisture that plants require.
Approximately 5,000 plants are available for consumers to browse through.
Additionally, consumers can browse through photo galleries and articles via the site. Photo galleries can be sorted by editor’s picks or photo category. Categories include gardens, homesteading or flowers.
Using a mobile device’s built-in camera or photo roll, consumers can upload photos of their own garden to share to HGTVGarden.com users.
According to Ms. Neil, one of the most challenging parts of launching the mobile site was the lack of data on users.
The trick is being able to prioritize content that anticipates what a user is looking for instead of cramming everything from the PC experience into a mobile-sized screen.
Community plays a big role for HGTVGardens, so making sure that photo and content sharing capabilities were up to par was crucial.
Additionally, tying location into the mix with the plant finder taps into a user’s intent by being able to quickly filter through content.
Per Ms. Neil, marketers need to not only understand that smartphones are more utility-based than tablets, but also need to think beyond on-the-go content for smartphone owners.
“You can't overlook the value the phone provides in unexpected downtime,” Ms. Neil said.
“A smartphone gives users the ability to explore their hobbies or interests in ways unknown to us before now,” she said.
“I've found myself dreaming about my garden this spring while waiting at the doctor's office. I go to HGTVGardens and browse through some images and bookmark or share ideas with my friends via Facebook. I'm using those available minutes to inspire me, where I used to wait because the phone experience wasn't satisfactory.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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