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 person." Suddenly they expected us IT specialists 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 this 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, WordPress or other solution, it's time to get on our cloud-based platform that gives you a true advantage. As a creative agency that has 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, editorial, 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 in the current decade. 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 this fact continues to ring true the further we move into the 2020s.

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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Following their launch on RebelMouse in April 2020, Austonia is establishing itself as a great source of local news in Austin, Texas. Austonia combines its authentically Austin news with RebelMouse's cutting-edge platform to grow an audience of loyal subscribers.

The Vision

  • Exclusively Austin news
  • Truly local feel
  • Only promote local Austin advertisers
  • No programmatic ads
  • No paywalls to reach a larger audience
  • Led by a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial advisor, with five full-time staff members
  • Build community through digital media
  • Easily optimize content across platforms in real time

Why They Chose RebelMouse

  • Sophisticated Entry Editor purpose-built for search, social, and emerging digital formats
  • Easily incorporate powerful features to drive engagement
  • Leveraged the RebelMouse Insights Dashboard and real-time analytics data to quickly act on viral hits
  • Track record and impressive client list
  • Trust established during the initial conversations

Austonia’s Three Months Later: Real Results

  • Articles ranked on social and search right from the start
  • After a great first 15 days following their April launch, the growth continued during the next 15-day period leading into May, where traffic grew by 80%
  • During their second 30-day period that ended in June, Austonia saw 12% more growth (no sophomore slump!)
  • By July, 30-day traffic grew by another 80%!
  • And most recently, August gave them another 70% boost in traffic
  • All together, the last 30 days saw 4x more traffic than their first 30 days
  • The growth continues in Q3!

Pageviews

Unique Visitors

April 2020–August 2020 via Google Analytics. Pageviews and User growth, both daily and a 42-day moving average.

And Stuff Like This Happens

When Austonia had the scoop on Joe Rogan moving to Austin, they used the power of RebelMouse to distribute the article across digital channels and maximize the viral impact.

The article started ranking on Google quickly, and as national media sites and social pages linked to their article, Austonia got close to almost 200,000 organic pageviews!

Why Austonia ❤️s RebelMouse

Built-in Modern Technology Integrations: With out-of-the-box compatibility with AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and various other formats and feeds, Austonia was able to avoid an internal technical hire and still have constant technology upgrades to stay ahead of the curve.

Real Knowledge: Austonia considers RebelMouse to be more than just a tech company — it's best-in-class global expertise.

"When we chose RebelMouse, we did not yet fully appreciate what they offer beyond just technology. The best-in-class team is made up of really smart people from all over the world, working for major clients all over the world, and I benefited from that expertise and experience. As an independent local publisher, this was incredibly valuable and I have so much gratitude to RebelMouse for our success"

—Mark Dewey, Publisher and CEO of Austonia

Change Your Publishing Platform

Just like Austonia, all properties on our platform grow at mind-boggling rates, and are built in a way that allows publishers to focus on producing great content, which in turn becomes sustainable, high-growth social traffic and loyal, long-lasting communities. Customers like Austonia who trust their digital strategy to the experts in distributed content are able to compete with high-budget global news corporations and show up everywhere first!

Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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