Media in 2018: How to Thrive in the Face of Massive Changes

We're not even a quarter of the way into 2018 yet, and the new media world already looks completely different than it did when we said goodbye to 2017. Facebook's apocalyptic algorithm update knocked brands and media companies completely off course, and has left many publishers in chaos mode, searching for answers and new, proven approaches.

That said, there's no time like the present to get in front of these changes, and the imminent success of your brand is contingent on your ability to adapt to the times. This means re-evaluating your current strategies and finding ways to connect with your audiences on a deeper, more meaningful level. In a recent webinar, our founder and CEO Paul Berry discussed how to survive the latest demands the media world is facing, and what you need to do to protect the future of your brand. Watch the video above for the full session, and follow along with the key takeaways we've outlined for you below.


Feeding into the Feeds

Everyone is scrambling to get ahead of the ever-changing Facebook algorithm. 2018 began with brands, publishers, and new media companies worried that whatever social monetization they still had at the end of 2017 was suddenly lost forever.

But the latest change to the algorithm is actually a new opportunity to take back organic traffic and create purposeful content across all platforms. While Google and Facebook continue to spar over who rules ad tech, there's a window of opportunity for publishers to win back traffic with well-thought-out content. Engagement as a trackable metric has become more important than ever. Whether your property is e-commerce, a niche new media site, or an influencer brand, you must create relevant content worth engaging with.

Play the Platform Game

Facebook Instant Articles is still an important format because it's where you can easily monetize Facebook while delivering a quality mobile experience. And it's important to remember that Instant Articles is just another play in the social platform's war against Google's own mobile format, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Use these chess pieces to your advantage to source traffic. With the correct implementation, publishers can leverage Instant Articles to not only create revenue with every publish, but to curate long-form articles with dynamic imagery that keeps readers engaged longer. Average read time on Instant Articles is everything, and it's important to have a strategy in place that keeps readers scrolling.

What Video Looks like in 2018

At the end of 2017, there were rumblings that the pivot-to-video movement was a trap destined to fail. While not completely untrue, social video is still relevant in the News Feed. But you don't have to pump out short-form readable videos to appease the algorithm. Make use of live video whenever you can. It's a personal way to take your audience out of their daily routine and into a world they care about. Think about creating video series on YouTube that you're able to link out to. Content that's published on a regular schedule that your audience looks forward to every week with anticipation. With an abundant supply of cheap, easy-to-use video editing software available to everyone today, even non-video-savvy writers can create beautiful videos in an efficient way.

What It Means to Be Lean

Not only does your video strategy need to be lean, so does the rest of your operation. The new media world in 2018 — which includes Facebook — favors lean business models. Avoid the Walmart effect and instead think small, smart, and agile. When Walmart enters a small town to set up shop, it establishes a local monopoly that usually forces other small business out. But what we're seeing is that Facebook and other platforms actually value the smaller players more. And in today's social and digital climate, lean media companies with effective content can enter the feeds and make their way to the top for half the cost and manpower as traditional publishing giants. The idea behind lean media companies is rooted in meaningful content that resonates, which means treating your audience as fellow creators instead of readers. Take advantage of ways they can be a part of your story's voice.

Play up Personalization

We live in a world full of personalization. Today there are so many sources available to people that let them consume only the content they care about. And the 2016 U.S. presidential election showed us more than ever that every internet user creates their own filter bubble. Filter bubbles are created through how we engage with content coupled with the power of the algorithms. Essentially, a filter bubble occurs when we start to only see content that aligns with our biases — right or wrong — and all other content is deprioritized or never seen.

Understanding the filter bubble and using it to your advantage is important. Create a network of sites or Facebook Pages to reach more people, and create relationships built on sharing with like-minded Pages to expand a targeted audience. This kind of strategic targeting can turn new audiences into loyal followers.

Enter the New Era

No matter what your business objectives are, the new era of marketing is content — not advertising. The only way to succeed in media is with content mixed with social, and it's truly an exciting time to be able to master this balance to reap the rewards. Blogs that were once stale are now exciting again. As traditional publishing continues to fade, the blog is now becoming a media hub that creates revenue and reaches new people. Now the struggle has become, "What is the right content for my audience?" Legacy brands and grassroot publishers can use deliberate strategies around search, social, and audience discovery to answer this question and succeed throughout 2018.

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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The Intersection of Design and Development: Where Your Clients Thrive

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At RebelMouse, we've solved this in a very elegant way. At the core level of our platform, we can natively render different layouts and track the exact differences in performance when comparing a test to your other layouts.

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Create Modular + Reusable Design Patterns on RebelMouse

Content saturation is an industry-wide problem, and the e-commerce space is no exception given that it's filled with big brands, small Etsy stores, and everyone in between all fighting for similar audiences. The best way to fight this symptom is to understand your audience and provide them with what they want.

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Instagram-style E-commerce Features on RebelMouse

Revolutionizing e-commerce on RebelMouse

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Building Premium Communities and User Journeys on RebelMouse

RebelMouse is much more than just a replacement for a traditional CMS. Our platform is a tremendous community-building experience. Today's social ecosystem has given us a seemingly limitless number of premium creators who understand how to create gorgeous and relevant content that drives the growth of their own audiences. These creators and influencers are either experts in certain topics, or heavily engaged in targeted content that drives their interests. They're not only consuming the content they're passionate about, but they're contributing to the conversation, too. The new role of the editor is not just to cover the most important topics and people around their expertise, but also to invite those preferred influencers into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

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Dynamic Voting: Grow Traffic and Engagement Organically

Help your audience find its voice.

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Maximize Your SEO Potential With RebelMouse’s Entry Editor

Take a peek into how our proprietary technology helps sites surge on search

The RebelMouse platform features a rich search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story, as well as how to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that will help Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly. It often leads our clients to experiences traffic surges that look like the following after launching on our platform:

how to increase search traffic

Here's a look inside our proprietary technology that helps our clients experience quick search boosts that turn into long-term SEO wins.

The Search Tab

how to find the right search phrase

Every new article presents a new opportunity to win on search. RebelMouse's Entry Editor features an SEO tab that's designed to help you optimize every post to give it the best shot at winning a targeted search phrase. Here's a glimpse into how it guides editors through a perfected search strategy before the "Publish" button is even clicked.

Define Your Search Phrase

search volume data

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within the SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writes and editors are armed with the right information when optimizing content for SEO. In the example above, the drop-down list is suggesting search phrases that are already performing well on Google. The number next to each recommended phrase is its monthly search volume.

This helps you determine which phrases are easy to win, or perhaps too competitive to strategize for, on an article-by-article basis. Click here to read more about this feature.

Optimize Your Slug to Match Your Search Phrase

submit url to search engines

The SEO tab in our Entry Editor is designed to repeat your desired search phrase throughout your content so that Google's crawler has every chance to index it correctly for search. With this methodology in mind, it's a best practice to have your article's URL slug match your desired search phrase. From the SEO tab, you can click the Optimize Slug button to automatically match your URL slug to the search phrase you want to win. Click here to read more about this feature.

Pick Smart Recirculation Links

seo outlinks

After you've defined your search phrase and optimized your URL slug accordingly, you can select highly relevant links to add as related content to the end of your article. We call these Around the Web (ATW) links. The SEO tab allows you to pick the best links from your own site, as well as from around the web, which leads to truly amazing traffic boosts. This is a proven SEO practice that's rewarded by Google. Since your article will link to pages already winning your search phrase, it can increase your own post's relevance score in the eyes of Google's crawler.

We automate the surfacing of both ATW and internal links for you, so it's as easy as ticking a handful of checkboxes to add them to your post. We've also done the math, and the data is clear: Adding ATW and internal links to the end of your articles can increase traffic coming to your posts from Google by over 300%! Click here to read more about this feature.

Craft Metadata Before Publish

what is seo metadata

When it comes to Google's site crawler, providing clever metadata is one of the best ways to contextualize your content for search. From there, Google's search algorithm will rank your site for search queries that it determines are relevant to your content. Our SEO tab allows you to write your metadata right from within our Entry Editor. Plus, our character counter will help you make sure that your SEO headline and description match Google's best practices for metadata text length.

It's important to make sure your metadata is clearly written in a succinct way so that Google can quickly understand the nature of your content. Click here to read more.

The RebelMouse Particle Assembler

how to optimize an article for seo

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler is a content creation tool within our Entry Editor that makes it easy to transform your posts into media-rich micro pieces of content, which we call particles, that can both be shared individually and crawled separately on search. Our Assembler functionality gives your content more legs, which means more chances to generate more traffic.

The following steps demonstrate how you can use our Assembler to optimize an article to win a search phrase.

Use Particle Headlines to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

how to write headlines for seo

Assembler is accessible via one simple click in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout will be inserted into your article that will help guide you through building out the particles that will shape your Assembler. The best way to think of Assembler is by treating it as an enhanced list format. If your article is about vegan cooking trends, each particle can feature a new trend. But Assembler does not need to be a simple list. It can also cover the main points of your article and feature user-generated content or even related stories.

Assembler is a helpful SEO tool because it can generate a unique URL slug for each particle, maximizing your article's ability to get indexed by Google for more than one key search phrase. Click here to read more about this feature.

Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

how to optimize for people also ask

Particle headlines are also a great way to make use of Google's "People Also Ask" module. This will help you identify search patterns of users who are interested in your search phrase. By tailoring your particles to those patterns, it's likely that your post will move up in Google's search rankings. Click here to read more about this strategy.

Add Media to Every Particle

alt text for seo

Each particle is another opportunity to add relevant media to your post, and Assembler makes it easy to add alt text to every image you upload. Alt text is very important for accessibility and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is text that is added to an image to describe it to search engines, and also to allow people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. You can easily add alt text to any image in RebelMouse from our Entry Editor. Adding your search phase into every alt text field will only bring you one step closer to the top of Google Search's first page.

Make the Most of Our SEO Toolset

RebelMouse's proprietary technology works for any kind of site, whether you're a brand, a new media company, or a legacy publisher. SEO doesn't have to be something that only developers and analysts can understand and augment. Our product is designed to put the power of search in the hands of content creators, editors, and social curators, too.

Start winning on search with every publish. Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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