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The Strategy Behind Facebook Instant Articles Monetization

We see clients make $$ every day.

We're in a very lucky position at RebelMouse because normally you get to only see your own data. We're able to see what's happening across a huge set of web properties with different audiences, missions, strategies, and teams all over the world. We share our learnings in strategy sessions with clients where we brainstorm on how to make this information and these trends applicable to their business.

There is a lot of noise going around about Facebook Instant Articles not performing well. But what we're actually seeing is quite beautiful in many cases. We have clients experiencing up to $25 CPM — and even $35 — on Instant Articles now. They're achieving those numbers not through a sales team, but rather with effective content on sites that are perfectly optimized for social — and this absolutely includes a seamless Instant Articles configuration. Across the board, we're seeing sites hold a healthy $5 CPM a day, and some even regularly come in at $10.


How + Why Instant Articles Work

Let's be clear though: To get the most out of Instant Articles, you have to go 100% all in — every article has to be posted as an Instant Article. This means a video at the top of the post is essential, followed by content worth reading. But this means more than just a set of embeds — you also need correct context and voice your audience thinks is worth scrolling for. And it's especially important to configure your ad units so they display evenly throughout your content to the right audiences.

It's a battle-tested formula that's working for all of our clients: video + engaging, intelligently-designed copy = $ on Instant Articles.

But again, you really have to stick to the formula. Low pagespeed, no Facebook pixel installed, and poor design will all work against your goal of getting better CPM.

How Facebook's Audience Network Works

Collectively, we've all told Facebook more than we probably should have. We haven't learned to lie to Facebook. So the platform knows a lot about us: what we like, what we hate, what disgusts or delights us, and on which days.

Facebook is going to kill Google, because it won't be long before the social giant takes its Audience Network to mobile and desktop to outperform Google with ads that aren't embarrassing. What's important for you is to focus on creating and building an audience that resonates with your content. Repeat visits, loyalty, and engagement are everything in today's social world.

It Won't Work for Everyone

We're still not totally positive about why one out of twenty sites get really terrible CPM on Facebook Instant Articles, with some even dipping below $1. It's rare, and to be honest, it's usually connected to a problem surrounding either being in a developing country or having content in a foreign language. More commonly, it's a problem with original content that just doesn't attract high engagement.

How Long Should Your Test Last?

One month of commitment could change everything for your business, and is often enough time with Instant Articles to know if it's the right space for you.

REMINDER: You have to really do it properly to see meaningful results from Facebook Instant Articles. At RebelMouse, we offer configuration, implementation, and strategy services to make sure you see ROI from your efforts.

Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Quality Assurance Operations

How We've Perfected Stress-Free Publishing

At RebelMouse, we like to refer to our enterprise publishing platform as "lean tech." Most publishers have a natural inclination to start doubling down on teams of developers who try to build unique experiences to help stand out above the noise. But they should actually be doing the opposite: Lean tech is the preferred way to cut through content saturation. By allowing RebelMouse to obsess over your product, content producers, editors, managers, and everyone in between can focus on creating quality content and taking advantage of opportunities to leverage distributive publishing strategies that create real revenue growth.

One of the major reasons we're able to maintain a lean tech environment is thanks to our approach to quality assurance (QA). We make updates to our platform daily to ensure our clients always have access to the most robust, high-performing, and secure version of our platform. Behind the scenes, this means having a solid QA structure that's efficient, creates less bugs, and catches the ones that do pop up before they go live. It's a system of checks and balances that's hard and costly to replicate on a custom CMS. Here's a glimpse into how it works.

Our Tech Stack Toolbox

  • Cucumber
  • Java
  • Junit
  • Maven
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • TeamCity
  • Zalenium (Selenium Grid)

Our Checks and Balances Workflow

Automated Regression Testing Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Product Update

When an update is first made to RebelMouse, TeamCity immediately triggers the start of automated tests to review integrity.

TeamCity Build

TeamCity Agent

The tests run in parallel on TeamCity's Build Agent. Next, Zalenium creates docker containers with browsers that matches the count of parallel threads. An Allure report is then generated from the test results, which shows the state of the application after the update.

Allure Report Pass

If a test doesn't complete successfully, the testing framework receives a video with a failed test and attaches it to the Allure report.

Allure Report Issue

Based on the report analysis, a QA specialist will create a "bug" ticket in our product management software to address the issue if needed. Then, information about the bug is immediately sent to the project manager and we begin the process of correcting the problem.

The media powerhouses we power can publish with confidence knowing that any product issues that arise are met with a tried-and-true process to fix the problem with little-to-no disturbance to their workflow. If you have any questions about this process, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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