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2016: The Year We Watched (and Read) All the Videos

A lot has happened in the social sphere this year — but the rise of video, especially readable video, is the most impactful content shift of 2016. It's part of the the mobile takeover. This year, mobile is responsible for 65% of digital media time, making desktop a "secondary touch point," according to Marketing Land.

Videos are super easy to watch on mobile, and, so far, they've morphed into two very friendly beasts.


Two Big Social-Friendly Beasts

Friendly Beast #1: Live — The rise of live video on platforms like Periscope and Facebook put the power of audience growth into the hands of the creators for the first time ever.

Whether it's a brand, company, social influencer, or anyone with just an ounce of ambition and an Internet connection, they have the ability to go live instantly. That ability includes the potential to reach a larger audience than daytime TV, if not more. This power used to be owned exclusively by large networks, people with extraordinary circumstances, or just the straight up rich and famous. No longer.

In 2016, we saw this new opportunity impact everything from citizen journalism to a mother with a Chewbacca mask.

Video is not reserved just for YouTube and Facebook, either. The explosion of Snapchat and the creation of Instagram Stories gives us more opportunities for social success through distributed video content.

Friendly Beast 2: Readable — If it's not live, you better be able to read it. Brands like NowThis birthed this format and it's now the makeup of social feeds on nearly every platform.

This strategy works because it feeds the attention span of the modern scanner. Since sound is optional, viewers can consume readable videos everywhere (on their phone mostly), but also at work, in waiting rooms, etc. The dynamic nature of media-rich content makes the videos not only easy to digest, but easy to share.

Bonus: With no narration, readable videos are easy to create. Unlike big-budget news videos, simple GIFs, photographs, and amateur footage are acceptable forms of b-roll.

BuzzFeed's digital food empire, Tasty, features cooking videos with no sound. Each one racks millions (this one has 10M+) of views.

The Players

Anyone with content, period, can get in on the video game. Here are some benefits we've seen from the major players in 2016:

Brands: 84% of professional marketers and 55% of small business owners have produced or outsourced a video in the last 12 months. 76.5% of those marketers and small business owners have experienced results from those efforts. (Adweek)

E-commerce: 90% of users say product videos are useful in their decision-making process. (HubSpot)

News outlets + media companies: One-third of online activity is spent watching video. More video content is uploaded to the internet in 30 days than all three major U.S. networks combined have created in the past 30 years. (HubSpot)

An Easy Place to Start

If you haven't even dangled your toes in the water of video yet, Facebook is the #1 place to start and the place where most of your focus should be.

It's the biggest social platform and where the bulk of your audience lives. Facebook has 8.4 times the impact on marketers and small business owners compared to other social platforms. It's also super simple to track insights and success.

We Can Help

If you're still perfecting your video content skills, you can still benefit from video content through sharing. Facebook's algorithm favors shared content and it's an automatic engagement boost, at zero cost.

Our proprietary technology helps fuel organic growth on any CMS (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.). We've built in features to our platform which make sharing more strategic.

RebelMouse helps you identify social accounts through a search API you won't find using Facebook alone. You can reach out to your discovered target accounts via a variety of social signals, including a "like" of a recent post, an email, or sharing their video.

In comment sharing: Share video from your targeted social community within a comment of your relevant article. Since you tagged your targeted account, they will be inclined to see where their video was shared.

In article sharing: If you're publishing on the RebelMouse Distributed Content Management System (DCMS), you can also share a target account's video at the bottom of your article.

Bonus: Also on the RebelMouse platform, your own video content is easy to embed within an article. It's also viewable on both Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.

If you relate to this bear right now, it's OK. Distributed video content can be tricky at first. That's why you need your Rebels. Download our Guide to Social Media Content Strategy today for more tips.

Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

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Why Premium Creative Agencies and CTOs Choose to Develop on RebelMouse vs. WordPress and Drupal

The Intersection of Design and Development: Where Your Clients Thrive

We started RebelMouse seven years ago knowing that there was a fundamental design flaw in the world of traditional CMSs: Every instance, on every platform, had to be updated independently. It's similar to an era when users had to manage their own Microsoft Exchange Server for email. The costs of managing, maintaining, and iterating on a CMS to keep it awesome and world class is typically a $10 million-a-year endeavor. But even then, these cost-prohibitive CMSs are still behind the times.

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Native Multivariate Testing at Scale With RebelMouse

What Differentiates Our Approach

There are many popular tools that allow you to perform experiments and A/B tests on your users — primarily Google Chrome Experiments and Optimizely. But all of these solutions are JavaScript additions to your web page that sidestep the problem of old, outdated, and clumsy CMSs. These solutions work by calling on a third-party JavaScript library that rewrites a page after it's rendered. This approach adds extra page weight and creates strange user experiences due to having to wait for everything to load and be rewritten on the fly.

At RebelMouse, we've solved this in a very elegant way. At the core level of our platform, we can natively render different layouts and track the exact differences in performance when comparing a test to your other layouts.

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Modern E-Commerce: Blur the Line Between Content and Design

Create Modular + Reusable Design Patterns on RebelMouse

Content saturation is an industry-wide problem, and the e-commerce space is no exception given that it's filled with big brands, small Etsy stores, and everyone in between all fighting for similar audiences. The best way to fight this symptom is to understand your audience and provide them with what they want.

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Instagram-style E-commerce Features on RebelMouse

Revolutionizing E-commerce on RebelMouse

Whether you're a brand with a blog or a media company with a site, driving purchasing behavior and building an audience that uses your content to find things they love to buy is vital. We're very proud to have built out the same functionality that everyone is now used to on Instagram, with layovers on images that lead to products with attribution.

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Building Premium Communities and User Journeys on RebelMouse

RebelMouse is much more than just a replacement for a traditional CMS. Our platform is a tremendous community-building experience. Today's social ecosystem has given us a seemingly limitless number of premium creators who understand how to create gorgeous and relevant content that drives the growth of their own audiences. These creators and influencers are either experts in certain topics, or heavily engaged in targeted content that drives their interests. They're not only consuming the content they're passionate about, but they're contributing to the conversation, too. The new role of the editor is not just to cover the most important topics and people around their expertise, but also to invite those preferred influencers into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

Read our deck here...

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Dynamic Voting: Grow Traffic and Engagement Organically

Help your audience find its voice.

Creating quality content is no longer on marketers alone. We live in a universe of creators who are willing to not only consume content that resonates, but play a role in the creation, promotion, and conversations surrounding it.

Since the start of RebelMouse, we've been on a journey to create dynamic media that is easier for content creators to curate and amplify on social. It's why we've built an online engagement platform centered around the power of communities that thrive naturally in the digital ecosystem.

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How to Monetize Your Website in Today’s Publishing Environment

In order to define distributive publishing, we have to ask the following question: If you have quality content, but nobody sees it, does it even exist? The answer is no, because your content needs to be supported in a way that lets it move seamlessly across all channels, especially site, search, and social. But let's take this question a step further: If you can't monetize your content to generate the support it needs, how do you create quality content in the first place?

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Facebook Offering Small Business Grants Program During COVID-19 Crisis

Program to provide $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for small businesses

Publishers big and small all over the globe are grappling with the financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to find the right brand messaging in this unprecedented time is a balance that none of us have ever faced before.

We've developed a live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. Keep your audiences up to date by the second as they turn to you for the latest news, updates, and guidance. This feature is free to government and healthcare organizations for immediate use.

In an effort to help ease the strain on publishers, Facebook has announced a Small Business Grants program for publishers. The social network is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits during the crisis. The offer is available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses across 30 countries.

More information on how to apply for the program is forthcoming. Click here to learn more and sign up for updates. Check out Facebook's COVID-19 Business Resource Hub here.

Live-Blog Feature: Publish Real-Time Updates + Maximize Search Performance

Make sure your audience never misses an update

Many organizations are facing communication challenges after the recent outbreak of COVID-19. With so much information available everywhere, it is harder than ever to control the message of your own audience.

At RebelMouse, we're constantly iterating on our platform to help you make your content as relevant as possible. In the current news environment, staying on top of breaking stories using live blogs is incredibly important.

We've implemented our own version of the live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. We power this new functionality using WebSockets, which allows for near-instant updates.

The advantage of creating a live blog using RebelMouse is that we index each live-blog update for search so that you receive SEO credit for every single update. This means if one of your live-blog updates hits on a key search phrase, it can drive a lot of traffic from search. This is superior to the traditional way of doing live updates where it was simply embedded JavaScript loading posts.

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The RebelMouse Creative Agency

  • Built for Times of Uncertainty
    • RebelMouse has had a distributed, remote workforce for years:
      • Our team collaborates easily across time zones.
      • Leaders in the company excelled within an ethos of remote work.
      • Our growth-centric team has worked closely together for years.
      • RebelMouse is made up of 60 people in 28 countries, exempt from any risk of a centralized shutdown.
      • Iterative culture that allows us to adapt rapidly to change
      • Diversified portfolio - we have clients across every vertical and every business type. Our solution works for brands and media companies of varying sizes and any content vertical
    • We're the best in breaking news and crisis communications:
      • Our digital services agency built the version of Axios that fueled their rapid growth, making them a new media giant over the past three years.
      • United Airlines uses RebelMouse's agency and tech services to power their content hub and communicate with customers.
      • We're the agency behind La Verità, a subscription-based news site in Milan, Italy that has been at the center of the COVID-19 crisis.
    • We build products designed for a mobile, office-less world:
      • Editors, writers, reporters, and creators can keep up with breaking news and vital edits, and can create content all on their mobile device.
      • In times of crisis, being fast to respond is critical. Solutions that require a desktop environment to create and edit content are no longer appropriate.
    • We don't require any new capital:
      • Our business can elegantly move up and down like an accordion to fit in the current publishing climate.
      • RebelMouse has not required capital for over three years, and is in a strong cash position to survive hard economic times.
    • "No business travel" has been our company policy for many years:
      • It's our policy to avoid business travel if possible. We haven't required a single in-person meeting to close a new deal or launch a new property in years.
      • We know how to work with clients through technology to understand each other and deliver what's needed for success.
      • Our unique work culture makes us very resilient in times where business travel is shut down.
  • Lower-Cost Products With Bigger Returns
    • We build best-in-class digital experiences:
      • The RebelMouse CMS will outperform any platform on page speed, stability, and breadth of features.
      • We power massively popular websites and scale without breaking a sweat.
      • Our CEO is a technical, product-focused person who built HuffPost. The team she's built at RebelMouse since 2012 is passionate about products that outperform.
  • Digital Growth Specialists
    • RebelMouse + Media companies:
      • We grow RPMs.
      • We improve ad visibility.
      • We create new opportunities for digital revenue.
        • Paywalls
        • E-commerce
        • Native advertising
        • Programmatic advertising
    • RebelMouse + Brands:
      • Our digital agency helps brands reach potential customers at scale by winning in search and social.
      • We put in better conversion units and the data systems to track iterations on the metrics that matter.
      • RebelMouse technology builds smarter, faster pages that convert better for paid campaigns.

Learn more about the team at RebelMouse.

No More Website Updates: Publish Like It’s the 2020s

These are the next-gen updates you need to stay ahead of the competition

Content creation is still the most powerful engine that propels every publisher forward. But in 2020 and beyond, quality content won't sustain a site on its own. The modern content lifecycle hinges on a number of things working together in unison — including page speed, intelligent SEO, and effective distribution, just to name a few.

However, there's one thing that can throw a wrench in the entire system, and that's platform updates. Whether you're publishing on a common CMS solution like WordPress, using a custom in-house CMS, have access to a dedicated team of developers, or any option in between, platform updates can be both costly and frustrating.

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