How we approach monetization without sacrificing readability
The infinite scroll layout has become popular among publishers in recent years. RebelMouse coined it Social UX for Media since platforms like Facebook made the seemingly endless content stream a core part of the user experience. After adopting Social UX, our clients have experienced more pages consumed, more time spent, and more site visitors.
When it comes to implementing premium ads within our Social UX layout, there are some key best practices to keep in mind.
Traffic Sponsored Content as Smartly Designed Creative
Whether you have content partnerships lined up or it's an area of growth for your company, Social UX is a great opportunity to optimize sponsored content campaigns and leverage prime real estate to command more premium ad dollars.
When planning your site layout, style your sponsored content placements to match the design of your overall site so that it's a seamless part of the user experience and users are more likely to engage. Once you have an ideal sponsored content style, you can save it as a template (e.g., "Brand Post" or "Sponsored Content Post") so editorial teams can easily select it in our Entry Editor.
Also, plan to keep sponsored content anchored in a premium spot, for example before or after the lead editorial article. Sponsored content will benefit from views that are naturally generated before users read the article or as they begin to scroll. Plus, you can set additional ad placements to load after X number of editorial posts to generate more revenue as users become sticky and consume more content.
RebelMouse-built Axios is a great example of this approach, where various sponsored content creative is already styled to match their site.
Traffic a Pixel Tracker
Most advertising partners require third-party tracking and data to verify impressions generated on ads, including sponsored content. You can add posts and simply traffic a pixel with the post, based on tags passed into an ad server (e.g., Google Ad Manager). This allows you to track unique views, along with other information.
Traffic Display and Video Ads as Alternatives
If you don't have a sponsored content campaign running, you can opt to run a display ad or a video (either an outstream ad or an instream pre-roll ad within a video player) to drive ad revenue instead.
RebelMouse-powered Task & Purpose strategically places both display and video ads in their infinite scroll.
While display and video ads are more susceptible to ad blockers, ads will still benefit from the premium placements and visibility as long as they're not disruptive to the user experience. Protip: Resist the urge to cram ads everywhere to avoid hurting page performance, annoying site visitors, and losing revenue in the long run.
A/B Test Different Layouts, Formats, and Messaging
With a platform like RebelMouse, you're empowered to be nimble and embrace a test-and-learn mindset. Our Layout & Design tool enables you to whip up B tests and easily experiment with ad placement order or new creative. And remember, revenue is not just limited to advertising: Use B tests to find the ideal layouts that combine ads and important CTAs for newsletters or paywalls. You can also organize B tests into Google Data Studio reports by their unique parameters to easily identify the impact of innovative layouts.
Prioritize Overall Revenue Growth
Social UX is designed to keep users seamlessly engaged and minimize the number of clicks to access full articles, which is important for reducing bounce rates. While infinite scroll drives growth across various audience metrics, it also limits the opportunity to cram ads on a given page view. So, as overall page views and time spent grows on Social UX, focus less on the ads per page view and more on the premium dollars or total revenue growth that you're generating. At RebelMouse, we can work with you to think about the right metrics and customize your analytics dashboard based on the right goals.
Rebels, Come Talk to Us
RebelMouse is not only a modern CMS platform but also a creative agency — we aim to provide guidance on best practices that maximize performance, audience growth, and revenue. If you're a RebelMouse client and want to discuss how you should approach Social UX and monetization, email firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to your account manager to learn more. If you're interested in replatforming your current site or launching a new property with us, request a proposal today.