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Facebook Makes Moves Toward Creator Networks

The much-anticipated internet trends report by Mary Meeker made its annual splash last month, unveiling both predictable and unpredictable insights about the current digital climate. While print consumption continues to decline at a rapid pace, digital consumption has not stopped its relentless growth. Meeker's report found that U.S. adults spent over five hours more a day consuming digital media in 2017 than they did in the previous year. More than half of those hours were spent on mobile. And as adults spend more time online, teens are not-so-shockingly way ahead. New data from Pew Research Center shows that 95% of teens have access to smartphones, and 45% of that group says they're "constantly" online.


As the makeup of digital consumption changes, so does the formula for effective marketing that caters to it. Influencer marketing is quickly becoming a leading strategy for gaining the attention of the social ecosystem's massive audiences. Content from creators provides an 11 times higher ROI than traditional methods. It's a technique that goes beyond age demographics as well. 95% of people say they trust product recommendations from someone they know. And that's the beauty of the creator — it builds a personal relationship between users and consumers that's never happened before.

Platforms like Instagram and Snapchat lend themselves to mobile experiences that are easy to digest for creators and followers alike. But Instagram's partner-in-crime and parent company, Facebook, has a bit of catching up to do, particularly amongst the teen demographic. The same Pew Research Center data found that Facebook ranks fourth in popularity amongst teens, falling behind YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Data from Pew Research Center.

In order to close the gap and stay ahead of the curve, Facebook needs to refine the way they approach influencer marketing. Recent changes within the platform indicate the social giant is already dipping their toes in the creator pool.

Facebook Makes Instagram-like Changes

Facebook has implemented some recent changes to make the platform more friendly for creators, taking many cues from Instagram.

The changes began with the launch of Facebook's Creator app in November 2017. The app is designed to provide more tools for Pages and profiles with large followings. The toolset includes Live Creative Kit, which allows users to add both emoji stickers and intros and outros to their live videos, and features in-depth analytics. Access to Facebook Stories is also available from Creator, including the ability to cross-promote Stories to different platforms.

Shortly after Creator launched, Facebook began rolling out many other Instagram-like tweaks. First, the platform opened up crossposting between the two platforms, allowing you to share your Instagram Stories to your Facebook Stories. When that grew traction, Facebook offered polls in Stories. And once the feature reached 150 million users, it began testing ads within Stories, too. It was a smart move since Instagram Stories have been successful amongst both publishers and creators, serving as a key component to impactful conversion rates.

While Facebook's Creator app has been slowly making its debut since Fall 2017, details about Facebook's greater plan for the app — and the platform's overall efforts around creators — became clear when screenshots of an influencer marketing search engine were leaked in May 2018. Facebook confirmed plans for the influencer tool to TechCrunch shortly after the leak.

A leaked screenshot from Facebook's influencer marketing search engine via TechCrunch.

The search engine is designed to help businesses locate potential creators for partnerships. The tool will start with a group of "lifestyle brands and creators" who can create profiles on the search engine, with details including their own audience size, targeted interests, and examples of branded content. Businesses will be able to search for those creators and see how they match with their own brand through a percentage-based ranking.

Facebook's latest steps toward revenue revitalization will hopefully clean up the current News Feed's oversaturation of traditional ads on the platform. Instead of a quantity-over-quality approach, Facebook has the potential to maximize both user experience and revenue if it can nail down its influencer marketing strategy correctly.

Build a Community of Creators

After Facebook's tumultuous 2016 and 2017, it makes sense for the platform to reprioritize its roadmap. Aside from improvements to user and brand safety, it's wise to shift users' focus to cutting-edge ways to create social revenue. This currently means adapting the best strategies from outlets like Instagram, which currently has a friendlier relationship with its users — including less fatigue around advertising, particularly through creators.

In the current social climate, creators and influencers are experts in certain topics and/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 creators into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

RebelMouse has built an entire platform for communities to form, grow, and flourish. Within the platform, communities can be created, governed, and led by publishers. It's a formula designed around personalized and sustainable engagement. We've also ensured that it's easy to use and poses no risks for publishers. Learn more about our Creators Network here.

Let's Create Together

At RebelMouse, we offer a lean tech CMS built for this next wave of publishing and social revenue. We already have tools within our platform that encourage a universe of creators to help validate the message of your brand, and in turn, deliver more ROI. We're also a group of traffic junkies that operate as a creative agency. So even if you can't replatform your site right now, we can help you optimize your content. We'll make sure you aren't just leveraging potential creators, but that you're also making the most out of your site, search, and social.

Page Speed Is Crucial to Your Marketing Efforts

Most marketers don't prioritize page speed because they don't think it impacts their bottom line. However, page load has a direct impact on conversions and revenue.

Here's a very simple scenario, supported by industry data, to underscore why the way pages are built and powered is crucial for paid media initiatives and your overall business:

Let's say a paid media campaign drives 100,000 new visitors to a landing page that takes five seconds to load. Google says that 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. So of the 100K mobile site visitors you paid to bring to the page, ~50K are leaving immediately due to poor page performance alone.

Some studies even show that bounce rate increases approximately 100% for every two-second delay. So, if site load jumps to seven seconds, you'll pretty much lose all of the visitors your paid strategies brought in.

A Poor Site Experience Costs More Than You Realize

Page load plays a huge part in customer dissatisfaction, too. Continuing on with our previous example, let's classify the ~50K that didn't abandon the page as dissatisfied due to poor page performance. As HubSpot points out, 79% of them are less likely to buy again from the same website. That's ~40K visitors never coming back to the site due to poor page speed. The loss is even greater when you consider how valuable returning visitors are: They represent up to 48% of all transactions and spend almost 2x more than new visitors, according to Business Insider.

Plus, people love to spread the word about a bad experience, probably more than a good one. 40% of visitors who had a bad experience with a website's performance would tell a friend or a family member. So of your 50K dissatisfied visitors, 20K are talking negatively about your brand. If they tell only one person each, that's an opportunity cost of another 20K potential site visitors and customers.

The main takeaway? Your paid media has to work much, much harder when you neglect to optimize your site for performance.

Owned and Paid Media Should Work Together for Better Efficiency

And speaking of site improvements to help the bottom line, marketers can't overlook the value of owned content (e.g., articles, reviews, social feeds, etc.) and its impact on overall traffic and lead generation strategies. Sites tend to see significant lift in audience reach and conversion when content is paired with commerce: For e-commerce companies, content can account for up to 69% of total organic traffic. And, even more compelling, conversion rates have been 6x higher for companies that adopt content marketing.

RebelMouse's CMS makes it easy for brands to systematically optimize page speed performance and organic reach, which allows paid media to be more efficient.

RebelMouse allows clients to easily manage website layouts and components at any time, ensuring sites remain fast and are rewarded by Google and Facebook. Our platform features proprietary SEO tools designed to help clients optimize organic search with every post and better align paid and organic search strategies for increased efficiency. Similarly, our platform also includes proprietary social tools to organically build community and growth, and our data helps clients spot winning organic trends that can inform paid social media.

RebelMouse Is a Partner That Can Guide You

When it comes to content marketing, it's important to be mindful of the relationship between owned, earned, and paid media — it will only help your teams engage and convert more audiences into customers and brand loyalists. At RebelMouse, we're proud of how we work with brands and our ability to provide the expertise, best practices, and modern technology that help teams become better content marketers. If you're a brand marketer, feel free to reach out to us to learn how RebelMouse can help you be more strategic and effective in your content marketing efforts.

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Target High-Value Users With Affinity Categories

Unlock valuable audience data and shape a new strategy

In today's landscape, quality content isn't enough — it's half the battle. Publishers need to produce shareable content backed by data to experience sustainable growth. At RebelMouse, we have a unique pageview methodology that provides an innovative user experience for every reader without sacrificing revenue and growth opportunities for publishers.

To do this, we track massive amounts of data across our platform through the use of custom-built Google Data Studio dashboards.

Click here to see the kind of growth our clients experience every day.

One of the best ways to discover more about your audience is by taking advantage of Affinity Categories. This feature breaks down audience demographics, including age, location, interests, and more. Affinity Categories are usually used to target audiences for ads, but we also use them to gain insights on what topics a site's visitors are interested in overall.

Normally, each category is listed out separately in Google Analytics. In the example shown above, our data experts split categories into separate levels to reveal different levels of audience depth. For instance, by splitting up the category News & Politics, we can better explore the detailed distribution of users interested in specific types of news:

  • News & Politics/Avid News Readers/Avid Political News Readers
  • News & Politics/Avid News Readers/Entertainment News Enthusiasts

From an editorial standpoint, this is useful because it allows publishers to determine and target varying levels of high-value users, improving the efficacy of a new content strategy or ad campaign.

If your site is already powered by RebelMouse, email support@rebelmouse.com to get a breakdown of your audience's Affinity Categories. If you aren't powered by RebelMouse yet, request a proposal today and start receiving the data you need to grow loyal followers at scale.

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Infinite Scroll: An Innovative + Intuitive UX

There is a common misconception that publishers have to sacrifice monetization and professional design to deliver a high-performing, quality user experience to its readers. But in today's modern publishing environment, websites can deliver an unobtrusive site experience that's intuitive, elegant, and prosperous.

To do this consistently, RebelMouse supports infinite scroll as part of our bigger design strategy called Social UX for Media. Much like the news feeds of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, infinite scroll provides an endless stream of articles to its readers so they never reach the "end" of your content.

Infinite scroll is an innovative approach, but it is also a widely adopted standard that has been endorsed and is supported officially by Google, Comscore, Nielsen, and many other industry giants. It's part of a new media strategy deployed by companies with massive valuations and the highest level of visibility in the U.S. market, including Axios, Vice, and The Verge.

In fact, RebelMouse built and launched news powerhouse Axios, now one of the biggest new media companies to date, with our Social UX for Media design featuring infinite scroll. It's still a core part of Axios' successful publishing strategy today. The feature has also been key to the growth of many other RebelMouse-powered properties, including La Verità, Dance Magazine, and United Airlines.

RebelMouse's Social UX for Media design, featuring infinite scroll on hub.united.com.

The primary reason infinite scroll is so successful is because it mimics user behavior in an innovative, yet familiar way, thanks to its similarity to social feeds. On mobile, expandable posts make it easy for users to read "before the jump" and quickly expand to the rest of the article with one click, rather than being taken to another article page. This is similar to when a user expands a caption on Instagram. It's these simple design details that bring massive growth to key stats like return visits and time on site.

Our page view methodology not only keeps the user experience intact, it also includes robust ad serving technology. We use industry standard rules for page views that require at least 50% of the screen space to change before it counts as a new page view. So whether you use Comscore or Nielsen to verify your site traffic, infinite scroll will not have a negative impact on your insights.

If you're interested in launching a site with our game-changing Social UX for Media design, request a proposal today and let's start working together. If your site is already powered by RebelMouse, and you have questions about infinite scroll, email support@rebelmouse.com.

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Particle Assembler: Ads in Slideshows Now Supported

You can now insert ads between slides in a slideshow!

Monetizing users' engagement and page views is pivotal to most digital businesses, and our Particle Assembler has been an invaluable tool in helping RebelMouse clients to insert native ads seamlessly into their content. Now we've taken this functionality one step further by introducing support for ads between slides in Assembler's slideshow layout.

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