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How COVID-19 Has Changed Four Key Components of Marketing

Picking up the pieces and the importance of building trust in a pandemic

As the second half of 2020 begins to pass us by, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on throughout the global community. The longevity of the pandemic has left thousands of industries struggling to find an appropriate position in the marketplace that will allow them to sustain themselves alongside daily tragedy.

The pandemic is far from over, but publishers and marketers are beginning to sift through the aftershocks of what COVID-19 has done to the web. Here's a quick look at the decline in conversion growth during the first few weeks of the pandemic in the United States:

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How to Use the Custom Feeds Dashboard

The Custom Feeds Dashboard allows you to create custom RSS, Atom, and JSON feeds. You can access this dashboard by appending the following to your site's URL: r/dashboard/custom_feeds.

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Display Your Site's Sections Easily With Current Sections Element

At RebelMouse, one of our primary goals is to give you every opportunity to keep readers on your site for as long as possible. A big part of increasing your visitors' time on site is through optimizing your site's stream of content. The Sections dashboard makes sure your website is a well-organized content destination.

The Current Sections element pulls a list of your sections to be displayed as a sidebar on your page. It can also show subsections. Click + Add Element and scroll down to Current Sections.

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How to Add Links in Entry Editor

To insert a link into any article, highlight the text you want hyperlinked in Entry Editor, and then click on the chain icon in the formatting toolbar and select Insert Link. You can also insert a link from scratch without highlighting existing text.

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Austonia Launches a Truly Local Austin Source for News

Following their launch on RebelMouse in April 2020, Austonia is establishing itself as a great source of local news in Austin, Texas. Austonia combines its authentically Austin news with RebelMouse's cutting-edge platform to grow an audience of loyal subscribers.

The Vision

  • Exclusively Austin news
  • Truly local feel
  • Only promote local Austin advertisers
  • No programmatic ads
  • No paywalls to reach a larger audience
  • Led by a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial advisor, with five full-time staff members
  • Build community through digital media
  • Easily optimize content across platforms in real time

Why They Chose RebelMouse

  • Sophisticated Entry Editor purpose-built for search, social, and emerging digital formats
  • Easily incorporate powerful features to drive engagement
  • Leveraged the RebelMouse Insights Dashboard and real-time analytics data to quickly act on viral hits
  • Track record and impressive client list
  • Trust established during the initial conversations

Austonia’s Three Months Later: Real Results

  • Articles ranked on social and search right from the start
  • After a great first 15 days following their April launch, the growth continued during the next 15-day period leading into May, where traffic grew by 80%
  • During their second 30-day period that ended in June, Austonia saw 12% more growth (no sophomore slump!)
  • By July, 30-day traffic grew by another 80%!
  • And most recently, August gave them another 70% boost in traffic
  • All together, the last 30 days saw 4x more traffic than their first 30 days
  • The growth continues in Q3!

Pageviews

Unique Visitors

April 2020–August 2020 via Google Analytics. Pageviews and User growth, both daily and a 42-day moving average.

And Stuff Like This Happens

When Austonia had the scoop on Joe Rogan moving to Austin, they used the power of RebelMouse to distribute the article across digital channels and maximize the viral impact.

The article started ranking on Google quickly, and as national media sites and social pages linked to their article, Austonia got close to almost 200,000 organic pageviews!

Why Austonia ❤️s RebelMouse

Built-in Modern Technology Integrations: With out-of-the-box compatibility with AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and various other formats and feeds, Austonia was able to avoid an internal technical hire and still have constant technology upgrades to stay ahead of the curve.

Real Knowledge: Austonia considers RebelMouse to be more than just a tech company — it's best-in-class global expertise.

"When we chose RebelMouse, we did not yet fully appreciate what they offer beyond just technology. The best-in-class team is made up of really smart people from all over the world, working for major clients all over the world, and I benefited from that expertise and experience. As an independent local publisher, this was incredibly valuable and I have so much gratitude to RebelMouse for our success"

—Mark Dewey, Publisher and CEO of Austonia

Change Your Publishing Platform

Just like Austonia, all properties on our platform grow at mind-boggling rates, and are built in a way that allows publishers to focus on producing great content, which in turn becomes sustainable, high-growth social traffic and loyal, long-lasting communities. Customers like Austonia who trust their digital strategy to the experts in distributed content are able to compete with high-budget global news corporations and show up everywhere first!

Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

Select JW Player in Layout & Design Tool

RebelMouse has a seamless integration with JW Player so that you can easily embed videos into your articles.

You can select to use JW Player within our Layout & Design Tool. This option is available for the Post element when the "Show Video When Available" checkbox is selected.

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Never Miss an Opportunity for Engagement With Social Share Buttons

It's important to make sure your readers never miss an opportunity to share your content. On RebelMouse, you can easily add social share buttons to each one of your articles. These buttons make it easy for a user to share a story with one click.

Here's a example of what social share buttons can look like:

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How to Set an Article’s Embargo Date and Time

Protect your posts from early publication

It takes a lot of preparation to make sure your site's content lifecycle runs smoothly. RebelMouse's front end has a dynamic set of tools designed to make sure writers and editors have everything they need to support a content strategy that's designed to fuel growth with every publish.

One of those features is the ability to embargo any article. The Embargo setting prevents an article from being published until a particular date and time.

You can set the embargo using the caret drop-down menu next to the top-right Publish button in Entry Editor. Once expanded, click the Schedule option. From there, you will see a checkbox that enables you to configure the embargo.

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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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Layout & Design Tool Optimization Checklist

One of the best parts of RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool is that it isn't just for developers. Anyone on your team can learn how to use the tool and manage it completely on their own. The flexibility of our platform allows you to use it as much or as little as you feel comfortable. If you're managing at least some of the workflow in your site's Layout & Design Tool, here's a quick checklist to make sure you're getting the most out of all of its features. This checklist was put together by our Senior Solutions Architect Lika Nikanorova.

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Instagram Rolls Out New “Shop” Section

Users can browse personalized product recommendations with new in-app experience

Instagram has begun to roll out its new "Shop" section in the U.S., and will make the new e-commerce feature available globally in the coming weeks. Shop is an in-app shopping experience where users can discover products and brands across the platform.

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Explore Careers at RebelMouse

Join RebelMouses's modern and distributive workforce responsible for the websites of media powerhouses, including legacy brands like United Airlines and new media darlings like PAPER Magazine and Protocol.

If you feel like you've never quite fit into boxes or labels within the tech space, we want to hear from you. Built on a foundation of site performance, our cloud-based platform reaches 50+ million people a month with an always-modern approach to product and strategy.

Our fully remote team spans 25+ countries and has very flexible schedules. If you don't want to be confined to an office chair, and like the idea of being able to work from any place in the world you choose, we're a match.

RebelMouse is dedicated to pursuing inclusion for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity, sexual preference, ethnicity, religion, age, or disability. We work hard to form meaningful relationships beyond our platform, and it's this passion that has formed what is now a diverse software company and creative agency that's bucking industry norms. For us, diversity is a company pillar, not just a statistic.

Click here to browse our current opportunities

How to Categorize Your Post Order

Use the Order Property feature to set up your content's best flow

Creating content isn't just a simple process of writing, editing, and publishing. There's an important amount of strategy needed to ensure your articles get the visibility they deserve. Nailing down a solid plan for your content's structure and order is important to make sure every post has the opportunity to reach its maximum audience.

In Layout & Design Tool, there's an Order Property feature within a Posts element that allows you to order the posts on your page by several different categories, including title, recency, and primacy. Here's what the setup looks like:

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Introducing the Paywall Element

Customize which content your users see for free

The rise of the subscription model has continued to climb over the past few years, and it took an even larger upward turn after the start of 2020's COVID-19 crisis. For publishers, a smart paywall strategy will not only improve user experience, but build sustainable revenue for your business to thrive. Subscriptions can also be a golden ticket to strong user loyalty. It's estimated that 80–90% of the people who are paying for digital subscriptions now are at least somewhat likely to still be paying for access next year.

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Cater to New Users With Silent Login

Bypass the sign in process for special events, contests, and more

Since RebelMouse supports creating online communities, we make it easy for users to sign up for sites on our network using their email address and social profiles. Now, there's a Silent Login element for when you would like one of your users to silently log in to add a post.

The Silent Login element gives new users the ability to sign up for your site without needing to complete the typical email sign-up process. This is ideal for sponsored posts, contests, events, and job postings. For example, if you're running a contest for the best Halloween costume photos, you can use a Silent Login element to create a workflow that allows users to submit their photos for review via Entry Editor without first having to create an account for your site. The experience for non-logged-in users is completely customizable.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Regression Testing

Even the smallest software update can change how entire systems function. Running tests after each update, called regression tests, ensures that every element of our platform is still working properly. RebelMouse runs regression tests continuously to increase efficiency as our functionalities expand and new features are introduced.

For each update of a production branch, we automatically begin regression tests. After tests are completed, we generate and review reports, and if there are any unexpected changes, we create tickets to revert changes and fix issues.

Here's a rundown of the different kinds of regression tests we perform:

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How to Add a Link to User Names

Use code to link users to their profiles

RebelMouse makes it easy for content creators to build dynamic and engaging communities. Each user can have their own username, permissions, and profile. A user's profile can also be linked to via their username anytime it appears on your site.

There are two ways to add this link:

1. Add the Username as a Link to an <a> Tag

HTML:

<a href="#" id="my_username">PROFILE</a>

JavaScript:

<script type="text/lazy-javascript" priority="10">
var user_data_for_use;
setTimeout(function(){
{{require}}(['settings'], function (settings) {
user_data_for_use=settings;
document.getElementById("my_username").setAttribute("href","/u/"+settings.user_site.name);
});},1000);
</script>

Upon page load, the code above will change the value of the href attribute to href="/u/username_of_user" for any element that uses id="my_username.".

2. Insert the Username as Text Inside a <span> Tag

HTML:

<span id="my_username"></span>

JavaScript:

<script type="text/lazy-javascript" priority="10">
var user_data_for_use;
setTimeout(function(){
{{require}}(['settings'], function (settings) {
user_data_for_use=settings;
document.getElementById("my_username").innerHTML=settings.user_site.name
});},1000);
</script>

Upon page load, the code above will insert the username inside a <span> tag as text by referencing id="my_username."

If you have any questions about this feature, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

How to Include Your Site in Google's Knowledge Graph

Tips to boost your site's visibility on Google's page one

Google's Knowledge Graph is a panel of additional information about a user's search query that's displayed to the right of traditional search results. This feature helps users find reliable information easily and quickly in a strategic location on the first page.

If you're a website owner that wants your site or company to be included in Google's Knowledge Graph, here are some steps you can take to improve your chances:

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Writing for Structured Data

RebelMouse has a structured data integration straight out of the box. This helps manage your structured data strategy with every article you publish. For example, in Entry Editor you will see a warning when a headline's word count goes over 110 characters. This is too long for Google's standards for structured data.

Please note that this is just a warning, and it will not prevent a user from publishing long headlines. If you have any questions about writing for structured data, contact support@rebelmouse.com or your account manager today.

How to Mention Facebook Pages in Social Scheduler

Learn the current @mention workflow

RebelMouse's Entry Editor is a one-stop shop for content creators. It's so much more than an editing interface — it's a command center to optimize every article for social reach.

We wanted to let you know that there has been a slight change to our social scheduling functionality. Facebook changed their limit on APIs which is preventing users from being able to @mention Facebook Pages from our social scheduling tool. We will be in communication with Facebook to fix this issue, but in the meantime there's an easy workaround you can use to maintain the ability to @mention Pages in your Facebook posts.

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How to Ingest Content From PA Media

On RebelMouse, we have the ability to ingest PA Media content as drafts in your Posts Dashboard every few hours.

Currently, a direct feed of content from PA Media will be ingested as drafts that are added to your Posts Dashboard. However, it can be configured so that the articles are published to your site automatically. The post author is listed as "Press Association" by default, but this can also be changed to an author of your choice.

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Use Discovery Listener to Reach Facebook Targets

Take advantage of Discovery no matter how you schedule to social

Using proprietary technology, RebelMouse Discovery is designed to help you figure out the social ecosystem that's already having conversations related to your content. Through various levels of outreach, content creators can use Discovery to reach out to target audiences through email and social channels. Click here for an overview of how Discovery works.

Within Discovery, you can use keywords to find Facebook Pages and reach out to them in a few ways. One of these methods is to "like" a recent post from a target Page, or what we call "pinging."

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New Filters Available in Library

Quickly find what you need in your database of media

It's important for content creators to have access to all of the elements they need to create stunning, dynamic articles. Our Add Media Bar allows you to search for user-generated content through social channels, in addition to finding assets within your own media database, which we call Library.

Now, you can apply filters to your Library to quickly find the correct media file you need to make your content shine.

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Introducing Our Microsoft Single Sign-On Solution

RebelMouse promotes a community of content collaboration. This is why we make it easy to log into any of the sites on our platform through various methods, including email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, we're excited to announce a new single sign-on (SSO) solution for Microsoft accounts.

Our Microsoft integration is an enterprise-level solution that allows members on your team to log into your RebelMouse site using their Microsoft Office credentials. Here's how it looks once implemented:

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Trigger New Pageviews With “Keep Reading” Feature

RebelMouse supports an infinite scroll feed of content that is mobile-friendly by using expandable posts. Your users can read the beginning of your article that is "before the jump," but instead of jumping to a new page, the story expands upon click to show the rest of the post. We do this with our "Keep Reading" functionality:

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How to Create New Articles From Particles

Use Particle Assembler to instantly create new articles

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler breaks down your article into micro pieces of content called particles, which can then be shared individually on social, and can even stand on their own. This is why it's now possible to transform your particles into their own articles. Here's how it works.

After you have created an Assembler in Entry Editor, click the gear icon in the right-hand corner of a particle. Next, toggle on the Turn into post feature to turn that particular particle into its own article.

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RebelMouse Outperforms Every Other CMS. Here’s the Data to Prove It.

Our Core Web Vitals drastically outpace every competitor, and we have the receipts

In an effort to build user retention and increase conversions, publishers are making a common mistake. They're adding more features to their websites, including ad placements, but losing sight of the main revenue driver: user experience.

The key to unlocking user retention lies completely in site performance. Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but fail to deliver an experience that checks all their boxes and prioritizes their readers. It takes less than a second of delayed load time to turn away a user. This is why Google has made page speed a top ranking factor on search, and shepherded the entire open web's newfound prioritization on site performance.

Game Changer: Google's Core Web Vitals Announcement

Google cemented its seriousness about page experience with the announcement of its Core Web Vitals measurements in Google Search Console. Core Web Vitals are three specific metrics that Google uses to determine a site's overall usability. While these data points will evolve over time, the 2020 version of vitals consists of three specific metrics:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): This metric quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. This usually occurs between First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and Time to Interactive (TTI) (more on what these two mean below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift Score (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.

From Google.

Google says Core Web Vitals scores will be considered across every page, and will be a ranking factor in its Top Stories feature. While relevant quality content will always be the most important, the page experience ranking is now a make-or-break metric for your site's survival.

"A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search." —From Google's page experience announcement, May 2020

Core Web Vitals will determine every site's performance score. You can see your site's Core Web Vitals specifically via Google Search Console, but your website's overall page performance is measured using Google's PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools.

At RebelMouse, we guarantee a performance score of 90 or higher via PageSpeed Insights. To do this, we've built out a platform infrastructure that exceeds industry standards on Google's key metrics, particularly its Core Web Vitals, outperforming most industry leaders.

You can read more about how we've mastered Google's KPIs here. But the truth is in the data. Below is table that provides a snapshot into how RebelMouse-powered sites score:

And here's what the scores look like for some of the biggest sites on the open web:

As you can see, there's a lot of data Google takes into account even outside of Core Web Vitals. Here's a quick summary of the other important metrics that Google trusts to measure page performance:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): This metric measures the time from click to the time when a user's browser renders the first bit of content from the Document Object Model (DOM), which is your site's HTML structure. According to Google, this is an important milestone for your readers because it provides signals that your page is loading.

First Meaningful Paint (FMP): This is the amount of time it takes the most important content, what Google calls "hero elements," to load on site. Hero elements are different for every site, but should be intuitive based on your content. This metric helps determine your site's usability.

Time to Interactive (TTI): This is the most important metric to keep an eye on. This is when the site is fully rendered and ready for user action. This is a critical point when slow load time can occur, usually because JavaScript or other complex content hasn't fully rendered. So, in short, think of TTI as how long it takes for your site to load in its entirety.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT measures a page's load responsiveness to quantify how long a page is non-interactive prior to becoming interactive. You want your site to have a low TBT to maintain its usability.

Speed Index (SI): SI is the measurement of how quickly the contents of a page are populated. You want your speed index score to be as low as possible.

Creating quality content is only half the battle in 2020, and publishers are already burdened with the around-the-clock task of creating content that resonates. This is why quality content must be supported by modern technology that can keep up with the speed of the web. RebelMouse provides publishers with a CMS that supports the new content lifecycle with an editorial suite designed for reach on site, search, and social.

Click here to read more about our modern approach to web performance. If you want to make performance a priority, request a proposal today. We can easily transform your site into one of the fastest on the web, giving you increased user retention and better conversion rates than ever before.

How to Update Groups and Users

Easily adjust your group settings and user profiles from Posts dashboard

The content lifecycle is rarely a solo effort. This is why RebelMouse supports a network of online communities to streamline the publishing workflow among administrators, content creators, and everyone in between. Learn more about our online communities here.

Managing many creators means constant change. To help meet this need, we've provided you with the ability to view, edit, or ban user profiles within a community or group.

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Keep Readers Informed With Date Modified Element

This element will make sure readers know when an article is updated

There's a new element in our Layout & Design Tool that allows users to see the date an article was last updated. The Date Modified element can be found within a Post element. You'll find it under the Element Order menu:

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A Modern Story of Web Performance From RebelMouse Founder + CEO Andrea Breanna

If I had more time, this website would have loaded faster

In the first months of 2020, we've focused at RebelMouse on page speed and performance. We worked very hard and found ways to take 90% of the sites we power to 90+ performance scores via Google's PageSpeed Insights tool — even with sites that are loaded with ads, embeds, third-party analytics, and other typical slow-loading elements. You can read more about our victories here.

A few months after we started this process, COVID-19 hit the world very hard. Suddenly, every media company was faced with a huge problem: Advertising fell off a cliff in what seemed like seconds. The only way to survive this unprecedented downturn is to grow traffic and control costs at the same time. So we started to shave our code and made our websites faster. We dropped costs just as dramatically as we were increasing scores.

Here are some surprises we found when doing this: If you want truly exceptional performance, none of the JavaScript and CSS frameworks that developers love so much make the cut. We thought the React version of RebelMouse was going to be the huge page speed breakthrough, until we realized the only way to achieve this goal was to write the code carefully and refactor it endlessly until it was as short as possible. As any author will tell you, like editing a book or a blog post, the revision process is never really done. By stepping away from frameworks, and methodically shaving vanilla code, our customers continue to see major improvements in performance.

As we announced this to our site network and rolled it out publicly, many of our clients asked me personally, "How did you do it?" The answer is easy to understand regardless of how technical you may be. It's perfectly summarized in this wonderful quote attributed to Mark Twain:

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
—Blaise Pascal, 1657 (and later, more famously Mark Twain)

The universe is sometimes very beautiful, and especially when you keep it simple. If you would like to start publishing on a site optimized for both speed and sustainability, request a proposal and let's start working together.

How to Format a User’s Joined Date

With RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool, it's quick and easy to change how a user's information is formatted and displayed on their profile page.

In this post, we'll go through the steps necessary to expose and customize the way a user's joined date is displayed and formatted.

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AMP on the RebelCMS Platform

How to guarantee your media and ads are approved for AMP

RebelMouse makes rich, dynamic and flexible implementations of AMP simple to deploy. The platform has a suite of out of the box tools for editors/journalists/creators as well as tools for developers and product managers.

Easy to Enable Rich AMP Options on Any Post

RebelMouse makes it easy for product managers to quickly design AMP pages that outperform industry standards with an average of five pages per user. With the RebelCMS, you can choose to enable AMP by default or implement it across articles individually with one click in our Entry Editor. This level of granular control sets us apart from other CMS solutions and allows you to decide how deep you'd like to go with AMP.

Pure AMP (Canonical AMP) Features out of the Box

To maximize the speed benefits of AMP, RebelMouse also provides a way to force AMP for mobile and desktop traffic on a per-article basis. When enabled, traffic for the article will be redirected to the AMP version of the page for better performance.

Google will still see your AMP-enabled pages as usual and provide all of the normal benefits for search, but now you'll also get faster-loading pages that increase user engagement and drop bounce rates regardless of the traffic source.

Simplified AMP Layout Creation and Management

Our Layout & Design tool allows you to easily implement dynamic AMP layouts either through the default canonical usage or when forcing AMP on mobile and/or desktop. Using this tool, it's possible to create complex, multi-column layouts with ease that will be served as lightning-fast AMP pages to your visitors. The RebelCMS intelligently serves the proper layout depending on the device that a visitor is using to view your site's content.

Add Conversion Units to Maximize Audience Retention

Interstitial conversion units can be placed within your content so you can build a mailing list, get leads, or just highlight a new feature to your audience.

Beautiful Support for AMP Stories

The RebelCMS has an gorgeous integration with AMP stories. Read more about that here.

Related Articles

Data-Backed Instincts: How Google Trends Can Elevate Your Search Strategy

Adopt a forward-thinking SEO mindset during breaking news events

As every type of industry imaginable re-evaluates their positioning in what's been dubbed "the new normal" since the outbreak of COVID-19, communication has never been more critical.

But like every aspect of life, the global crisis has turned the world of marketing, branding, and content creation upside down. More people than ever are not just socializing online, but living online, and this means the nature of search — the number one way humans get their information on the web — has completely changed, too.

Publishers are looking for ways to upgrade their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to survive. In fact, Search Engine Journal analyzed data from Google Trends and found that the search term "SEO" and related queries spiked dramatically in the United States beginning in February 2020.

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The RebelMouse Guide to a Modern Instagram Marketing Strategy

Guidelines to make sure your Instagram profile is optimized for growth

It's estimated that Instagram users spend an average of 53 minutes on the platform each day. That's a lot of time to grab your targeted audience's attention. Whether you're a new media property just getting started, a legacy publisher, or big-box brand, Instagram can be a great way to move the needle on your social engagement strategy.

However, it can feel like an uphill battle to even dip your toe into the waters of such a competitive platform. Although every brand's aesthetic is unique to them, there are a few key points that companies can follow to grow on Instagram.

Of course, since Instagram is such a visual application, it's essential that your feed has high-quality photos that are visually appealing. Here are some quick tips to help guide and optimize your Instagram marketing strategy for audience growth and engagement.

Refine Your Feed

Apart from maintaining on brand and quality content, all of the best Instagram feeds have one important thing in common: visual consistency. RebelMouse client 7X7 Bay Area is a great example of an Instagram feed with consistently beautiful photography that's equal parts refined and fresh.

Instagram accounts with a harmonious and attractive feed have a higher chance of retaining new visitors and converting them into followers, which helps to grow your brand's account overall.

Here are some tips to achieve visual consistency in your feed:

Use the same font for all text:

It's important to note that it can become visually overwhelming to users if there are too many photos collaged into one picture. The aim is for the feed to not look overcrowded with imagery.

If you would like to use multiple photos for the same post, use the multiple-image post functionality so that users can swipe through photos one at a time.

Try to make sure that each of your Instagram photos has a high resolution so they're clear and sharp. Colors should not be overly saturated, overly opaque, or too zoomed in.

Also, make sure your images are cropped correctly. Here's a link to Instagram's recommended image dimensions.

Find Your Filter Balance

The colors of pictures and videos can be enhanced with editing software, or by using Instagram's built-in filtering options. It's a good idea to be consistent in your editing or use of filters so that your feed maintains color uniformity.

It should be noted that Instagram's own filtering options often result in an overall aesthetic that is too strong, whether it be through the use of contrast, opacity, or saturation.

Too much contrast:

Not enough saturation or too pale:

A good rule of thumb is to not use more than 50% of any filter:

Use On-Brand Captions

Captions should always be on target and suitable for your brand's audience. This will vary greatly depending on the type of brand or website you power, as well as what your target audience looks like. It's important to recognize who your audience is, and how this aligns with your own brand's values, to maintain a consistent tone.

This is a great example of a fun caption that caters to RebelMouse-powered PAPER Magazine's audience. Their use of informal language is fresh and on brand:

Here's a more professional approach from RebelMouse-powered Work It Daily that still keeps the tone on target for their brand and community of support for the modern workforce.

Hashtag Usage and Management

The usage of hashtags can greatly benefit an Instagram post because it allows the post to be found by users looking for a particular hashtag. This can lead to an increase in traffic to the post, as well as the account as a whole.

Developing Instagram accounts such as Work It Daily can benefit from hashtags.

It's important when using hashtags to make sure that they're relevant to your company overall, as well as to the post's content. Furthermore, it's also a great idea to use different variations of the same key hashtags to capture as much traffic as possible.

One thing to note is that the larger the account, the less necessary hashtags are since the account will already have a large reach. Figuring out how many hashtags to use will require a little trial and error, but the main takeaway here is that the number of hashtags to use is not static and will need to change over time as an account grows.

Currently, the limit on hashtags is set at 30 per post.

Aim for Engagement

Interaction with followers and other Instagram users who comment and like your content is also an extremely important part of a successful Instagram marketing strategy.

Instagram's algorithm currently prioritizes accounts with high levels of interaction. The greater the amount of interaction, the more your account's content will get prioritized when appearing in a user's feed.

Post New Content Regularly

Regularly posting new content shows users that a particular Instagram account is active, which is especially important for media and news companies that need to demonstrate to their users that their content is relevant and up to date. Besides helping to increase followers, this practice also helps accounts maintain their current followers.

One thing to always keep in mind when deciding when to post is that "quality over quantity" should always prevail. It's much more efficient to have two great posts a week with high levels of visibility and engagement versus five posts with low visibility and engagement.

Instagram Stories and IGTV

One of Instagram's newest and most popular features is IGTV. To access IGTV, tap the IGTV button located in the navigation bar of your search page.

From there, you'll be brought to a personalized feed of curated IGTV content. The content is pulled in from accounts you follow who have IGTV content, as well as IGTV content from similar accounts that you're not following.

Because a user's IGTV feed is composed of content from both accounts a user follows and new accounts that post similar content, any IGTV content that appears in a non-following user's feed has a greater-than-normal chance of seeing the person view the content and converting into a follower. This makes IGTV one of the most effective Instagram post-types in terms of user growth, since it provides higher levels of accessibility, opportunity, and possibility to reach new users. IGTV will soon feature in-stream ads as well.

Create IGTV Content

Although any sort of format can be used successfully when creating IGTV content, one of the most effective ways that we recommend is to create an IGTV series.

Series on IGTV are essentially short videos with a common format or related theme that help draw in users so that they become familiar with the type of content and format they can expect to see on an account. They're useful at driving loyalty because users will want to see what the next part of the series will cover, and will therefore be more likely to convert into followers.

Win on Instagram

At RebelMouse, we believe that the social ecosystem is made up of a universe of creators. Your brand already has a community of collaborators waiting to engage with your Instagram content — it's just a matter of nurturing your social strategy to find them.

If you have any questions about what's working or not working for your Instagram account, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

How to Configure Your Site's Time Zone

At RebelMouse, we strive to make our platform as simple and intuitive as possible by continuously providing high levels of customizability.

This is why we've added new functionality that allows you to easily set your site's time zone in Layout & Design Tool. If your site is currently registering time through a different source, it can now be synchronized under one setting.

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