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RebelMouse: The Media-Minded Creative Agency

Why RebelMouse is a Unique Agency with a Better Platform

It's important to spend a little time explaining why we chose to embrace becoming a creative agency. As a founder, the answer is actually very personal to me. I learned to code when I was young because my father started Palo Alto Software, and coding quickly became a creative passion for me — writing games and building things. As my career progressed, I quickly realized that because I knew how to code, people would try to put me in a box as the "IT guy." Suddenly they expected us IT guys to become task and code monkeys, following their visions and fixing their printers. But that was never me. I cared about the core business, the revenue models, the way the product came together, and how changes to the internet and its distribution models created opportunities.

At HuffPost, as CTO, I ran product and design. Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti knew that tech done right was a creative process that could fuel the growth of a company. They didn't want a task monkey to do what was in their head. They wanted a partner to take what was in their head and make it something more — bigger, better, and real. I personally pride myself in building things that move the needle. But that doesn't come just by understanding someone's proposed solution and wireframes. It comes from understanding their problems and opportunities.


During the first years of RebelMouse, we branded and sold ourselves as a software platform. Our tech is cutting-edge, and our CMS is unique and far ahead in its ability to enable creators to learn how the internet works, win search phrases, perform exceedingly well on social, and reach the right audience for what they've created. I'm proud that savvy people can take in all of our strategy and how-to articles to go do amazing things on their own.

But for most of our clients, we're more than just a CMS. We're a roadmap, a compass, and a sherpa that figures out how digital is evolving, and how those changes can be used to their advantage over the competition. We talk with our clients about how content lifecycles work, how to create meaningful relationships at scale with social partners, and how to create something that can organically grow. It takes thinking about how headlines are written, and how content is conceived, curated, and created.

Just like every person is unique, so are the companies we work with. Being a creative agency allows us to spend time with beautiful people in ground-breaking companies to create the next big thing. We've built two massive properties from the ground up — Axios and The Dodo — and we're powering one of the most interesting community-powered properties in the world, The Odyssey Online. There are very few people in the world that have access to the insights we have now.

What Does Our Creative Agency Do?

Not all creative agencies are created equal, but the model for working with a creative agency is clear and enticing to companies who need direction. We take that model a step further, and offer dynamic services beyond simply managing ad spend. Everything from how to engage with readers to the getting the right monetization in place is clearly defined under our services umbrella. For each of our clients, we develop a comprehensive, always-adaptable strategy focused on growth that covers:

  • Monetization Strategy and Tactics: We make sure you're taking advantage of the most efficient path to revenue with our data-backed monetization strategies.
  • Audience and Influencer Engagement Strategy and Tactics: We understand that engagement is key, and guide you on how to create deep, meaningful connections within your social sphere.
  • Organic Loyalty/Affinity Strategy and Tactics: It's not just about creating great content. The experience you deliver has to nurture your audience into loyal visitors.
  • Organic Distribution and Reach Strategy and Tactics: Most creators are blind to the efficient things they can do to reach the people who would love what they've created. Growth teams, product teams, and edit teams end up in conflict with each other because they come to the table with siloed expertise. We see across all departments to create a culture that is fun, happy, and iterating off success.
  • Website Builds: We get your site to be fast, clean, social, and in your voice, and we do it quickly. If you're still on a custom CMS or WordPress, it's time to get on our cloud-based platform that gives you a true advantage. As a creative agency that has very deep technology, we understand how to migrate content in a way that creates growth and deepens engagement.

What Separates Us from the Other Creative Agencies

There is simply no other creative agency in the world today that has a better understanding of technology, product, design, edit, and the algorithms of the internet. Creative agencies today don't understand how organic works. And that's problematic in a digital realm that constantly changes direction. If you need a team to manage ad spend for you, most agencies are well suited for that. But if you need a team who understands how to get the most out of content and product, then other agencies are behind the times.

We understand the role organic plays in the media world. Publishers who utilize a pay-to-play strategy aren't going to survive 2018. You simply cannot create a successful, sustainable business without cementing deep, meaningful connections with your audience. These are the connections that foster organic growth and bring in real revenue.

Not only do we understand the importance of organic loyalty, but we've built the concept into our tech — creating tools that allow you to prioritize and nurture relationships, and create the kind of content that keeps readers coming back for more.

The Media-Minded Creative Agency

We started this business on the premise that content would become the new marketing. The return of the writer is more important than ever, and that fact continues to ring true the further we get into 2018.

As one of the few, if not only, creative agencies that has access to data across a ton of properties and media sites, we can better set up the next steps for our clients' growth. A common creative agency that only manages your ad spend simply couldn't have built HuffPost or The Dodo. It's something only a media-minded creative agency could accomplish. It's allowed our properties to see amazing stats that are crushing industry standards during a time when the fate of publishers is in question.

We're here to help you develop the concepts and strategies that not only allow you to prosper in the age of social, but propel you into the future of media. Request a proposal today to see how we can help you.

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Meet RebelMouse

Build on a better platform that supports far-reaching content distribution, impactful conversion, and unparalleled loyalty.

The world's largest companies trust us to power their global, multiplatform content experience. As a platform, we're now one of the largest in the world, reaching 50+ million people every month. As a creative agency, we build mass pop culture hits that grow organically to become household names — Axios and The Dodo, for example.

We work strategically with United Airlines and many other brands to establish the new media roadmap for their future and implement it. RebelMouse was founded by the CTO who built The Huffington Post. The founding vision and mission is still the same today: to be the right new media platform for both media companies and brands. It's working exceedingly well, and we're delivering some staggering results for our clients.

Read our latest deck here!

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NEW! Beta Posts Dashboard: Filtering and Search UI Upgrade

New Filters in Posts Dashboard

We've implemented new filters that allow users to easily find exactly what they need in their posts dashboard. You can now customize your search results by:

  • Creators You Follow
  • Rating
  • Post Status
  • Post Type
  • Period
  • Sections
Here's what the new filter menu looks like:

Easy-to-Use Search Queries

In the same slick user interface, you can also create search queries and combine them with your filtered results:

  • Post Search
  • Creator Search With Ajax Autocomplete
  • Community Search

This is an exciting step forward in enhancing the editorial experience for our users. It should now be much simpler to narrow down results to exactly what you're looking for.

Here's how the workflow looks in action:

If you have any questions about these dashboard updates, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

Higher SEO Audit Scores With RebelMouse

SEMrush Reports Help Keep Our Sites Optimized for Search

Even the most brilliant and successful marketers will admit that chasing a perfect search strategy is a full-time job in and of itself. Google's algorithm is fickle at best, with frequent algorithm updates that can turn a site's rankings completely sideways.

At RebelMouse, we obsess over Google's algorithm updates and the latest SEO best practices so that our publishers can focus on doing what they do best: create quality content. This means our traffic experts work around the clock to make sure our sites are optimized for search, and are even a few steps ahead of what Google's next move will be.

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Our Obsessive Approach to Caching

Site updates appear in a flash with our cache process

When it comes to growing your site traffic and audience, we all tend to think of the same things: great content, beautiful design, fast load times, interactive experiences, etc. But one thing that often gets overlooked is the role of caching. A web cache is the temporary storage of web documents, like images, article pages, and multimedia assets, to reduce unnecessary repeat loading from a server. Any platform that doesn't focus on caching performance usually has poor uptime stats, which means that you're going to experience downtime issues.

RebelMouse obsesses over these things so that you don't have to, and that's why we're able to handle massive traffic spikes without any degradation in service. Just ask RebelMouse-powered PAPER Magazine, who recently had an article receive 20 million page views in one day (!) with no noticeable change in site performance.

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A PSA to Brands: Control Your Context

Resonate with your audience the right way

Programmatic Advertising Is a Gamble

For years, brands have relied on display ads and programmatic levers as a cheap and easy solution to spend large portions of marketing dollars. But the major frustration with programmatic advertising has always been the lack of control and transparency on where ads actually show up. And as banner blindness spreads, ad-blocking technology becomes more prevalent, and subpar or broken sites crop up at increasingly high rates, programmatic advertising will only become more expensive, unsustainable, and a huge risk.

According to a recent study from Integral Ad Science, when your programmatic ads happen to show up in high-quality environments, it could lead to a 30% lift in brand recall. But on the flip side, when your ads appear in low-quality environments, the consequences can be brutal: Ads in low-quality environments were perceived 74% less favorably, and even harshly, compared to the same ads seen on high-quality sites. Overall, users were four times less likely to think a brand cared about them after seeing the brand surface next to inappropriate content. Finding your ad in poor-quality environments creates a stronger impression among audiences, and it's not the kind of impression you want. Plus, it means that your paid marketing needs to work harder to boost your brand reputation, convert customers, and do damage control.

It's Time for Brands to Become Publishers and Take Control

As a brand marketer, you need to reclaim ownership of where and how your messaging shows up. One key way to control your context is to become a publisher. According to NewsWhip, 70% of people would rather learn about a brand through content than through ads, and 68% feel more positive about a company after engaging with the brand's content. And it's a good time for brands to go all in and create an advantage with content, too. Now, more than ever, page performance matters for audience reach, retention, and revenue. Google, along with Facebook, have explicitly made page speed a factor in search results and News Feed, while site visitors will quickly leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load. Media companies that have survived in the past with broken sites now feel the consequences of their low-performing properties due to their inability to provide solid returns to advertisers.

As a CMS platform and creative agency, RebelMouse partners with brand teams on best practices and innovative ways to build content experiences that will break through and resonate with audiences. For example, our work with United Airlines has produced a better-performing site and helped them beat out media companies to win travel search phrases for organic audience growth. Our partnership is a key reason why United Airlines' content now drives the most web engagement in their industry.

Choose Your Media Partners Wisely

If you plan to rely on media partners to place your messaging, then be selective and spend on the right context. Build direct relationships with quality publishers that prioritize the user experience and know how to pair editorial with premium advertising (in particular sponsored content) to maximize eyeballs and engagement for brands. RebelMouse powers a tight ecosystem of quality publishers, like PAPER Magazine and Motherly, that have built valuable, new media properties. We can connect brands into this network of quality sites to execute premium and effective campaigns at scale.

Build for the Future

Moving away from the inefficient world and disadvantages of programmatic advertising and creating a sustainable content marketing strategy is not easy — it takes organizational commitment, patience, and the right technologies. If you're a brand marketer, reach out and learn how RebelMouse's full-stack content marketing solution is ideal for your growth into a publishing powerhouse. If you're a media company and sell premium advertising, guide your advertising partners on how to build mutual value on your site when they're tempted to blindly toss marketing dollars on cheaper impressions.

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