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Do More With Less: Get Reach + Drive Loyalty on Facebook

Is Facebook Still Worth It?

It's been more than three years since Facebook's fake news fallout of 2016, and more than one year since the friends-and-family algorithm update that deprioritized updates from Facebook Pages. Now more than ever, publishers are left wondering where they stand on the platform, and more importantly, how much effort they should devote to it.


Facebook's shaky ground over the years has created space for Instagram, search engine optimization, and YouTube to fill in the gaps and stir more audience growth. Still, Facebook owns much of the world's social audience with 69% of adults in the U.S. reporting to actively use the platform, and 2.38 billion monthly active users worldwide.

How to tap into Facebook's massive, but seemingly complex, audience remains a puzzle for most publishers. While there certainly is less dependency on the platform than ever before, opportunity exists to make bountiful strides on the network without making it part of your core strategy. And given that every digital media team is dealing with less resources, Facebook is a good place to simplify and strike a narrowed focus on what works. Let's take a look at what's new at Facebook and what kind of content is generating the reach publishers need.

What's New on Facebook

Facebook continues to make frequent tweaks and updates to improve its transparency practices as a result of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Worldwide, political ads must now go through a transparency process before approval. On the other side, the platform has expanded its "Why am I see this ad?" function on sponsored content so that users can see how they were targeted by marketers. Users also have more control over what appears in their News Feed.

The more data Facebook can provide to both its marketers and its users has certainly been the platform's priority in 2019. After fixing a vulnerable bug, Facebook brought back its Custom Audiences feature, which allows marketers to see an estimate of their campaign's reach so they can better determine bids and budget. The function was previously deactivated for more than a year. The return of Custom Audiences, and the platform's continuing efforts to open up data distribution, is a great segue into how publishers can get the most out of the platform without exerting too much time and effort.

Leverage Where You Can: Simple Strategy Steps

The hidden treasure of Facebook continues to be its massive audience. When shaping a strategy for the platform, it's now better to do more with less. Instead of trying to achieve massive engagement like in 2015, it's more fruitful to aim for targeted wins through audience discovery. Learning more about who consumes your content on Facebook and what they like to read, rather than casting a wide content net and hoping it sticks, is what matters.

Know Your Audience: The return of Facebook's Custom Audiences is a great reminder that you can learn a lot about your Facebook followers, and people like them, through the network's tools. Small ad spends on Custom Audiences by engagement and customer lists, and corresponding Lookalike Audiences, can teach you a lot about what kind of content works on your page and the makeup of who is interacting with it.

Similar ad buys that target interests or basic demographics can also be beneficial for audience discovery at a reasonable cost. Learning more about your audience is knowledge that can transcend Facebook and help shape your organization's holistic growth strategy.

Pay Attention to What Is Trending: Distributed publishing isn't linear. Different content and content mediums perform differently across platforms. Analyze your Page's data, understand what your best-performing posts are, and devote energy to creating similar content.

News and politics tend to dominate referral traffic on the platform. Even though you may not be a news publisher, think of what kind of content you can create that can spark emotion and conversation in a similar manner.

Don't Be Afraid to Mix It Up: While it's important to stick to what resonates with your audience, it's not bad to beta test new ways to reach them, especially if your numbers are plateauing. For example, social and native videos can still generate millions of shares on the platform. If you decide to try something experimental, like say a video or a custom image, remember it's all about doing more with less. Spending extra time on a new type of post can be the entirety of your efforts on Facebook for the week and still see big returns.

For example, RebelMouse-powered Higher Perspectives ranked in the top 25 publishers on Facebook in June 2019 with just 80 articles published, according to NewsWhip:

So while your efforts on Facebook don't have to be reminiscent of what they were several years ago, it's still a place for growth.

Less Is More

Data from the social listening tool Parse.ly found that referral traffic was roughly the same between Facebook and direct traffic sources. Direct traffic is acquired through communication methods such as text messages and email. While direct traffic can prompt users to view a wider range of content, like in an email marketing campaign, Facebook referrals usually come from one single article.

"The chances of you 'going viral' on Facebook are smaller, but the impact from a Facebook referral boost can be much bigger on a per article basis." —Parse.ly Data Summary

Parse.ly data from March 2018–March 2019.

Lessons From Our Data

Thanks to the massive scale of our platform, we live close to data-driven content from media properties of all sizes. Because of this, we are often able to identify social trends like algorithm changes before they even happen. When we spot major shifts or small swings in what's creating movement, we're able to help guide our clients' strategy to make sure they're seeing success across social. This means sites on RebelMouse often avoid any tanks or plateaus in growth.

Here are some social strategy lessons we've learned from monitoring data closely:

Utilize Instant Articles: If you want to grow website traffic seriously, your content needs to travel across channels easily. Facebook Instant Articles is an elegant format, particularly given the use of videos in the splash media. Instant Articles may not direct readers to your website immediately, but it's a tool that provides an unobtrusive, memorable experience to users that fuels loyalty. Click here to learn more.

Take Advantage of Facebook Live: Facebook still favors native video on the platform. Facebook Live is a great opportunity to amplify reach and create video material that can be repurposed into new and evergreen content. We have a client on our platform that repurposes live videos as the main subject of articles on their site, and the posts perform extremely well.

Grow Organically: Facebook's ability to spread content organically through Pages with high engagement is still one of its golden features. Users who love to share content on high-engagement Pages help spread quality content without spending a dime. This sharing economy is how media companies like The Dodo was able to create an empire. Click here to learn more.

Make Page Speed a Priority: You can't get the same traffic out of Facebook's algorithms without better site performance scores, and a slow page speed can tank your overall SEO ranking. Google's PageSpeed Insights remains the gold standard when it comes to page speed measurement tools. Click here to learn more.

Spark Conversation: Engagement is the key metric for social, not impressions. Make sure your content strategy is built around an ongoing conversation about your brand or company's core objectives. This means always engaging in post comments, asking questions in captions or at the end of articles, and following up on popular topics.

If you would like to see a boost in your Facebook referral traffic, or learn how you can better optimize your social strategy, request a proposal today. We would love to start working together.

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Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

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New: Filter Posts by Primary Tag or Section

It's now possible to filter the Posts element in our Layout & Design tool by primary tags and primary sections. For now, this is only possible via XML attributes on the Posts element.

Below are the new attributes that allow you to filter by primary tags or sections, and how to use them.

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How to Add a Sticky Header Ad With a Timer

Timed stickiness optimizes for visibility on high page speed layouts

Generating effective ad revenue is one the most important integrations for any publisher. If a site's ad experience is not loaded properly, it will not only result in a bad user experience, but also a low PageSpeed Insights score as measured by Google, and this puts your organic traffic at risk.

The wrong way to integrate ads into your site is to load them before a browser has a chance to display other content. This is a tricky balance to get right because ads still need to load quickly to register impressions and generate revenue.

On RebelMouse, we implement ads so that they load quickly while not affecting page-rendering performance. These ads are referred to as "sticky," which means they're always visible on the page even when a user is scrolling — users still see them, and publishers still get the impressions they need.

Using a sticky header ad with a timer so it loads quickly is a great way to optimize for both ad visibility and site performance. Here's how it works.

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Facebook Offering Small Business Grants Program During COVID-19 Crisis

Program to provide $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for small businesses

Publishers big and small all over the globe are grappling with the financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to find the right brand messaging in this unprecedented time is a balance that none of us have ever faced before.

We've developed a live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. Keep your audiences up to date by the second as they turn to you for the latest news, updates, and guidance. This feature is free to government and healthcare organizations for immediate use.

In an effort to help ease the strain on publishers, Facebook has announced a Small Business Grants program for publishers. The social network is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits during the crisis. The offer is available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses across 30 countries.

More information on how to apply for the program is forthcoming. Click here to learn more and sign up for updates. Check out Facebook's COVID-19 Business Resource Hub here.

Live-Blog Feature: Publish Real-Time Updates + Maximize Search Performance

Make sure your audience never misses an update

Many organizations are facing communication challenges after the recent outbreak of COVID-19. With so much information available everywhere, it is harder than ever to control the message of your own audience.

At RebelMouse, we're constantly iterating on our platform to help you make your content as relevant as possible. In the current news environment, staying on top of breaking stories using live blogs is incredibly important.

We've implemented our own version of the live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. We power this new functionality using WebSockets, which allows for near-instant updates.

The advantage of creating a live blog using RebelMouse is that we index each live-blog update for search so that you receive SEO credit for every single update. This means if one of your live-blog updates hits on a key search phrase, it can drive a lot of traffic from search. This is superior to the traditional way of doing live updates where it was simply embedded JavaScript loading posts.

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The RebelMouse Creative Agency

  • Built for Times of Uncertainty
    • RebelMouse has had a distributed, remote workforce for years:
      • Our team collaborates easily across time zones.
      • Leaders in the company excelled within an ethos of remote work.
      • Our growth-centric team has worked closely together for years.
      • RebelMouse is made up of 60 people in 28 countries, exempt from any risk of a centralized shutdown.
      • Iterative culture that allows us to adapt rapidly to change
      • Diversified portfolio - we have clients across every vertical and every business type. Our solution works for brands and media companies of varying sizes and any content vertical
    • We're the best in breaking news and crisis communications:
      • Our digital services agency built the version of Axios that fueled their rapid growth, making them a new media giant over the past three years.
      • United Airlines uses RebelMouse's agency and tech services to power their content hub and communicate with customers.
      • We're the agency behind La Verità, a subscription-based news site in Milan, Italy that has been at the center of the COVID-19 crisis.
    • We build products designed for a mobile, office-less world:
      • Editors, writers, reporters, and creators can keep up with breaking news and vital edits, and can create content all on their mobile device.
      • In times of crisis, being fast to respond is critical. Solutions that require a desktop environment to create and edit content are no longer appropriate.
    • We don't require any new capital:
      • Our business can elegantly move up and down like an accordion to fit in the current publishing climate.
      • RebelMouse has not required capital for over three years, and is in a strong cash position to survive hard economic times.
    • "No business travel" has been our company policy for many years:
      • It's our policy to avoid business travel if possible. We haven't required a single in-person meeting to close a new deal or launch a new property in years.
      • We know how to work with clients through technology to understand each other and deliver what's needed for success.
      • Our unique work culture makes us very resilient in times where business travel is shut down.
  • Lower-Cost Products With Bigger Returns
    • We build best-in-class digital experiences:
      • The RebelMouse CMS will outperform any platform on page speed, stability, and breadth of features.
      • We power massively popular websites and scale without breaking a sweat.
      • Our CEO is a technical, product-focused person who built HuffPost. The team she's built at RebelMouse since 2012 is passionate about products that outperform.
  • Digital Growth Specialists
    • RebelMouse + Media companies:
      • We grow RPMs.
      • We improve ad visibility.
      • We create new opportunities for digital revenue.
        • Paywalls
        • E-commerce
        • Native advertising
        • Programmatic advertising
    • RebelMouse + Brands:
      • Our digital agency helps brands reach potential customers at scale by winning in search and social.
      • We put in better conversion units and the data systems to track iterations on the metrics that matter.
      • RebelMouse technology builds smarter, faster pages that convert better for paid campaigns.

Learn more about the team at RebelMouse.

Digital Asset Manager Renamed to Library

Your RebelMouse image database has been renamed Library and will no longer be referred to as Digital Asset Manager (DAM).

You can access your Library using the hamburger menu (☰) or by typing YourDomain/core/dashboard/Library into your address bar:

In Entry Editor, click the plus icon () to pull up your Add Media Bar. This is where you'll see Library as an available resource for media in the drop-down menu:

If you have any questions about accessing or using your Library, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

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