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How One Country Turned a Fan Following into a Monetization Powerhouse

Country isn't a zip code. Country is a state of mind. That's the core strategy behind One Country — a new media company dedicated to celebrating country music culture through not just music, but fashion, food, and lifestyle.

One Country was originally on WordPress before switching to RebelMouse. But after enjoying publishing on the RebelMouse platform for several years, their ownership changed and One Country's future became uncertain. Everyone — including RebelMouse founder Paul Berry, who served on One Country's advisory board at the time — knew One Country was a powerful asset with the potential to turn a loyal following into real revenue.


Project Requirements:

  • Create a CMS that empowers editors to easily create articles built for social growth
  • Convert social growth into page views
  • Quickly build a new media property with a nonintrusive ad strategy that is monetizable but still preserves One Country's voice
  • Empower a small team by filling in missing roles through mentorship
  • Provide One Country with the tools it needs to flourish as a new media company despite budget and resource constraints

Our Solution

RebelMouse + One Country entered into a revenue-sharing partnership, adding to our robust Site Network.

While a revshare agreement may sound like simply splitting ad revenue, it's actually a methodical partnership that's becoming the way new media operates in 2017. This relationship allows RebelMouse to provide lean tech to partners like One Country, freeing up their teams from heavy developer support, UX designers, and sometimes even a head of product.

More importantly, it means RebelMouse serves as One Country's compass in the ever-changing media landscape. Our team isn't just account managers and product support, but rather a fully functioning creative agency with experts in content, social, audience development, and monetization.

RebelMouse shepherds One Country's site roadmap and works with business development and sales teams to create premium ad strategies. Additionally, RebelMouse helps One Country not only create new revenue streams, but introduces new partnerships and advises on any potential promising — or maybe too risky — deals. Through these new ventures, we advise the sales staff on how to package new deliverables and sell them at scale without disrupting One Country's usability and core goals.

It's an "all hands on deck" effort that's blossomed into a game-changing relationship. Rebels wake up with the One Country team every day and look at their metrics — everything from social insights to ad conversions — and use that data to tweak their content for success. And it's working.

Contributors to Growth

One Country already had the right content and mindset for viral success, but with the help of our Site Network, they experienced 200% revenue growth this year.

These are some of the key factors that contributed to that growth:

  1. Authoring tools. The RebelMouse Particle Accelerator and built-in ad management tools, combined with RebelMouse's understanding of how Facebook Instant Articles work, enables One Country to maximize revenue across their site as well as Instant Articles, particularly on viral content.
  2. Thoughtful A/B testing. The RebelMouse platform allows for site layouts to be A/B tested, which means implementing and testing different ad formats to achieve the right balance of user experience and revenue. One Country's ad mix includes programmatic banners, native ads, and video units woven into our Social UX for Media layout.
  3. Creative agency partnership. RebelMouse worked with One Country to implement smart header bidding to generate more competitive ad CPM rates. Since implementing header bidding, One Country's on-site RPM has seen a 115% increase in just over two months.

Join the RebelMouse Site Network + start reaching your monetization goals in days, not months.

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

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How to Control the Order of Posts on a Section Page

As an editor, you might want to manually control the order of your posts on any given section page. With our powerful CMS platform, this is as easy as dragging and dropping. Watch how it's done in the following video:

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Try This New Video Preview on Facebook Instant Articles

There's a new function for Facebook Instant Articles that shows a video preview on mobile. The option has been successful for some of our clients at RebelMouse, and we want you to give it a try too!

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How to Thrive in a World Without Ads

Mike Mallazzo, Director of Marketing at Narrativ, recently wrote a post on Medium: "Life After Ads: The recent purchase of TIME should remind publishers of the power a strong brand can wield."

He discusses how some media companies are starting to question their total reliance on digital advertising. With Facebook and Google capturing the majority of revenue in the online advertising space, Mallazzo talks about how some companies are diversifying their revenue streams with models that depend on building loyalty and trust through subscriptions and commerce content in addition to just advertising. He writes:

"Media conglomerates have rediscovered the power of brand equity, offering the most plausible hope for sustainability since the proliferation of the internet."

At RebelMouse, however, we are still seeing digital advertising work. Our clients — such as Dance Magazine — are seeing huge success with digital advertising. But what if you were a media company in a world where traditional digital advertising didn't work at all? What would you do? How would you make money and continue to grow as a company?

The key is loyalty. You can't have a brand without loyalty.

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