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How to Win on Facebook Right Now

2017 marks another year of changes and updates to the Facebook platform. To no one's surprise, many of those updates were a direct response to both the fake news epidemic and intrusive ads that invaded the News Feed.

Throughout this cleanup process, many publishers who unintentionally violated new guidelines watched their Facebook reach decline. And without a strategy that's adaptive to Facebook's constant algorithm updates, publishers have been scrambling for answers and new ways to keep eyeballs on their content.

We can't really complain that good ol' quality content and an enhanced user experience is again at the forefront of all these efforts. Facebook has since even released News Feed Publisher Guidelines in an effort to bring back quality content that users truly value from publishers.

So if you've got the quality content part down, but still can't figure out how to increase your Facebook reach, there are a number of ways to make sure you're winning on both fronts.


Long-Form Content

Long-form content that is worth scrolling for is gold. We're not talking about long-form pieces that are filled with junk, but rather actual quality content that takes time and effort to produce. This is where you can not only get higher CPMs, but also higher engagement and sharing from your audiences. Long-form, detailed content gets shared more than its short-form alternative, and also ranks higher in Google. It's really a win-win.

Go “All in” on Instant Articles

Going "all in" on Instant Articles means every post has to be published as an Instant Article at least once. We can't stress this enough. It's become a must to winning the Facebook reach game. Not only will converting all your articles to Instant Articles grow your overall reach, but it will grow your website's total traffic too due to the leakage from desktop and mobile web.

Publishers that don't benefit from Instant Articles are simply not doing it right. We have a specific formula to optimize Instant Articles for maximum engagement and revenue.

It's a battle-tested, data-backed formula that's working for all of our clients: video + engaging, intelligently designed copy = $$$ on Instant Articles. And if you stick to it, you'll start to monetize Instant Articles with higher CPMs every day.

Your ad units should be configured so that they display evenly throughout your content, and everything should be perfectly optimized for social. Your website must also be paired alongside these efforts in order to create a fast and social experience because Facebook will kill reach to slow and poorly designed websites. Without these pieces in place, no real Instant Articles traffic can be built.

It’s Not All About Video

We were also onboard the rising video trend and preached its powers, but those powers are shifting. Video on Facebook has grown more complicated. Publishing properties that were purely social video peaked months ago. Those properties were filling a hole in content on Facebook, but they created very little loyalty and brand recognition — and that's super dangerous. Some publishers even experienced as much as a 60% drop in their traffic.

The good news is that writers are very much important again. The Facebook algorithm appreciates quality, thoughtful content. And it's not just writers, but true content curators who can build engaging pieces of content that bring in reach and revenue. Companies who laid off their editorial departments are now stuck because their pivot to video has been overdone. You absolutely need video, but you also need the mix of content that creates deep engagement and repeat loyalty to win on Facebook.

RebelMouse Can Help

Our technology is designed to keep up with the speed of the tech giants. We're obsessed with traffic + how things go viral, and it's allowed our clients to continue to see their Facebook reach increase. With the right mix of technology and strategy, we've mastered a content distribution formula that truly works.

Our CMS is designed to be your roadmap in the ever-changing media world, and encompasses everything from Instant Articles configuration + strategy to website launch. Not only will we help set up your Instant Articles, but we'll help you create a monetization and audience strategy that brings in real loyal, sticky audiences.

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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