Brian Fitzgerald and Aaron Broder are co-founders of Evolve Media, LLC, a unique digital media company that through its 14 years of operation has remained true to its original mandate – create the content people are passionate about and connect brands with those audiences in meaningful ways. Their high standards for life and business are focused on putting forth maximum effort in whatever they do. This common factor brought the business partners together in 1999 and allowed them to grow Evolve Media into the successful digital media company it is today.
Evolve Media is an enthusiast publisher at its core, owning and operating affinity websites across the male and female lifestyle categories, catering to film lovers, gamers, MMA fans, foodies, parents, and crafting enthusiasts. Evolve creates the content people are passionate about.
Like most publishers, Evolve’s business model is predicated on advertising and sponsorship sales. Its mission is to work with advertisers to deliver content, context, and community at scale. Working closely with Fortune 500 brands, Evolve helps create custom marketing programs that allow marketers to tap into and engage passionate audiences across many areas of interest.
In today’s world, consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own DVRs to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and have become so adept at online “surfing” they can take in online information while ignoring banners and buttons. Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute and now search for a better way to sell.
“Evolve Media is an enthusiast publisher at its core, owning and operating affinity websites across the male and female lifestyle categories.”
Content marketing is the answer to this problem. Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating relevant and valuable content with the intention of influencing consumers. Content marketing is the art of communicating with customers without selling. Instead of pitching products or services, it is delivering to consumers content that engages and entertains them, while creating strong brand association and alignment between the marketer, its message, and how it wants consumers to think of the brand and its products. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if businesses deliver consistent, ongoing, and valuable information to buyers, they ultimately will reward companies with business and loyalty.
Broder’s determination for success is rooted in the ideas of working hard and working smart. When he encounters an obstacle, he feels it’s important to understand why the obstacle is there and how best to avoid it in the future. When Fitzgerald sets a goal, he does everything in his power to achieve it. Broder also feels that it is fun to be involved in the sales side of business because he can help marketers run great campaigns to build on their branding objectives in connection with a targeted demographic they are trying to reach.
So how do these two men build a loyal audience? By producing quality content and beating the competition. Fitzgerald recalls, “We wanted to focus on creating the content people were passionate about. We made smart bets, understood the market, and made smart decisions as to how to evolve the business every 6 to 12 months so that we were ahead of the curves.” Evolve also uses household recognizable names such as, Craveonline.com, GameRevolution.com, TheFashionSpot.com, and Momtastic.com.
The co-founders were friends in college and have been business partners for 15 years. A holiday card of the two, wearing matching sweater vests and striking a pose reminiscent of the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Step Brothers, sits on a desk. “We are a bit like an old, married couple,” says Broder. “We each have strong opinions and are good at expressing them, listening, and then reaching a common ground.” It’s a symbiotic balance that hits all the right notes, as evidenced by the pair’s diverse and enduring success.