10 questions for Pauline Breeuwsma, senior digital editor of Vogue Netherlands

Tell us about your role as senior digital editor of Vogue Netherlands, and what it entails.

As digital editor I’m responsible for the content and the content strategy on all the digital channels of Vogue Netherlands, from the website to the social media channels, together with the digital team. I’m also consulted on wider business activities such as marketing and sales.

What was the decision behind relaunching Vogue Netherlands website? What has been the response since the relaunch?

Vogue was launched in The Netherlands in 2012 and the design, the back and the frontend of the site dated back to that year. Although this seems quite recent, in the digital world, the website was really almost a dinosaur. Yet, in 2012, we really were one of the first media websites in The Netherlands with a responsive design, can you imagine? For our 2015 redesign, we saw that most of our content was being read on smartphones, so we really had to make a design and user experience that was mobile first. Our articles are the new homepage, since most of our traffic comes directly on article level, from social media channels and search. 

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What future plans are there for Vogue Netherlands?

Well, we have different brand extensions coming up this year, so expect a lot more digital content next to our extensive daily fashion, beauty and culture content stream. And of course video and animated content, that is going to be a big thing on our digital channels this year.

In your opinion, what is the best way to connect with your readers? What type of content do they respond best to?

As Vogue, we bring an authoritative curation on fashion, beauty and cultural news, but for our digital channels it is especially important that we don’t keep too much distance to our followers, since social media is, of course, such a “social” exchange of updates and news. Our followers expect that our tone of voice is more like the intelligent, cool and nice best friend. Regarding the content itself, we are of course Vogue “Netherlands” so our followers expect and love it when we bring news, interviews and background stories around our very successful Dutch models, photographers and designers around the world. Since we are such an international recognised brand, we have access to many people in the fashion, movie and other cultural industries, so we are able to bring that world into the Dutch homes. We actually sit front row at the Chanel shows and next to the movie stars at the Cannes Film Festival and spend time backstage with the Victoria’s Secret angels. We can call Viktor & Rolf directly for a quote! 

How closely do you work with editors of the other international editions of Vogue? Even though the audiences are different country-to-country, how are they also similar?

We don’t work together on a daily basis, however, we do have some shared content projects, like street style photographers for fashion week and of course, Suzy Menkes, the renowned fashion journalist, who writes reviews as International Vogue Editor on a weekly basis for most of the Vogue websites. 

Vogue 360 aimed to create a team, producing multi-platform content. Has this been achieved?

This is not gathered in a day, since it is a cultural shift that must be realised, but we are already working very multi-platform with the whole of the editorial team: our editorial meetings are multi-platform and we manage our workflow with digital project management tools, for example. 

In terms of monetising the site, what is the business strategy behind working with advertisers?

The strategy is three-fold: of course display advertising, but mainly a growing focus on native advertisement and monetising our events, for example, Vogue Online Shopping Night and Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. 

How has the social media landscape influenced Vogue Netherlands? What is the biggest social media platform?

In The Netherlands, Vogue is one of the biggest media brands on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Like almost every content platform in the world, most of our traffic comes from Facebook. So, a challenge is how we can grow the traffic flows from other sources, such as search and newsletters, but also testing out how apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat could work out for us. In The Netherlands there are now more people sharing pictures via Whatsapp than Facebook, so there must be opportunities there. 

How does your team work together? For example, do you have separate teams for print, digital and social?

Our core team exists of five people: next to me, a junior digital editor and a freelance digital editor and two digital trainees. But we work with a lot of freelancers who produce content for specific channels of Vogue.nl: a cultural editor, a food editor, shopping editors, an editor who writes a monthly sex column. The magazine editors produce a lot of digital content as well, from video concepts around a certain issue to fashion show reviews. We work in the same space as the magazine editors, so we really hear what is going on between the teams. 

Melinda Lee, VP, digital content and audience development at Hearst Magazines International, recently said that ‘video was the superhero of content’. How important is video to Vogue’s digital strategy? And if so, how do you utilise this?

I totally agree, but I’d like to extend video to “animation”, so my strategy is more aligned to the mantra of Vogue.com’s creative director of digital, Sally Singer: ‘all the images on the site should have an aspect of animation’. From video, to GIFs to a moving curtain in the background. 

Find Vogue Netherlands on Vogue.nl and follow on Instagram via @nlvogue, on Twitter via @nlvogue and on Facebook

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