Inside SheKnows Media’s Purchase of HelloFlo
Digital brands team up to bring a new attitude to women's health issues.
SheKnows wants to change the conversation around women's health.
To that end, the 17 year-old digital brand has announced its third major acquisition, purchasing women's health brand HelloFlo and retaining its founder, Naama Bloom, as senior VP of integrated marketing.
Since its debut in 2012, HelloFlo has made a considerable splash in the digital media world—thanks in large part to viral videos like "Camp Gyno" and "First Moon Party," infusing educational women's health content with a humorous-but-no-nonsense approach, one that's resonated with consumers to the tune of over 50 million YouTube views.
Bloom knew that she had built something special, but recognized that HelloFlo needed a stronger platform to truly realize its potential. That's where Samantha Skey, SheKnows Media president and CRO, came in.
"Sam and I met for coffee, and it was just an instant girl crush both ways," Bloom tells Folio:. "We started talking about what Sam was doing and what I was doing, and it was obvious very quickly that we wanted to work together."
For SheKnows, which receives over 81 million unique visitors each month, adding HelloFlo was part of an effort to increase its coverage of women's health issues, something both Skey and Bloom identified as a gap not just across SheKnows's portfolio, but in the media in general.
"We’re interested in women’s health as a platform for empowerment and an area where the conversation could just improve so much," Skey adds. "We had strong mission interests, but didn’t necessarily have the brand or the talent to address women’s health as aggressively as we do now."
A major part of the acquisition is bringing in Bloom to head branded content, not just for HelloFlo but across SheKnows Media's verticals, including BlogHer and Stylecaster. Before establishing HelloFlo, Bloom spent eight years in various marketing leadership roles at American Express.
“I’ve been thinking about marketing challenges for brands much beyond feminine care for way longer than I’ve been doing women’s health," says Bloom. "So the idea that I would be able to work with other brands across other categories was really exciting to me.”
HelloFlo's three full-time employees (including Bloom) will make the transition over to SheKnows. Additionally, Skey says the company plans to further develop and invest in Learn From Her, HelloFlo's newly launched e-learning platform.
All of this at a time when, according to both Skey and Bloom, attitudes about women's health and the female body are evolving rapidly—not just among consumers, but among brands, too.
"You don’t need to have silly images of women running through fields of flowers to talk about menstrual cycles. You can really trust women to handle a more direct conversation," says Skey.
When HelloFlo's first viral video—Camp Gyno, an advertisement for the brand's "Period Starter Kits"—dropped in 2013, acclaim was widespread (The Huffington Post called it "the best tampon ad in the history of the world") and marketers soon came knocking, keen to have their brands ride alongside HelloFlo's content.
"When I started talking to brands about doing other videos and I would get pushback on creative, I was like, 'You came to me because of Camp Gyno but you would’ve never approved Camp Gyno,'" Bloom continues. "If you want to work with me and you want me to create this kind of stuff, you have to take a little bit of a leap of faith that I am going to treat your brand with respect, but I’m going to integrate it into the conversation that my brand has and that I personally have with the women in my life."
Bloom and Skey have high hopes that integrating HelloFlo's content (and Bloom's marketing expertise) into SheKnows will help both brands pursue their similarly aligned missions to unprecedented heights. The HelloFlo acquisition is expected to close this month, but Bloom has already begun in her new role.
"SheKnows has a respect for their audience in a way that felt very in sync [with HelloFlo]," Bloom adds. "I’m running integrated marketing, but I have a strong belief that just because something has a brand’s stamp on it, does not mean it can’t be super high quality content and can't advance a conversation forward. We’re really aligned there. I can’t wait to put my stamp on it."