Announcement

Keywee Signs 100th Publishing Customer​

Keywee Signs 100th Publishing Customer​

Since launching our solution earlier this year in March, we have worked with a lot of the leading publishers and we have the good fortune to call many of them our customers. We recently signed New York Media as our 100th customer in the publishing segment, and to mark the event, we just put out this press release…

Keywee Signs 100th Publishing Customer

Content Marketing Innovator Drives Tremendous Success in First Year

New York, NY – December 15, 2015 – Keywee announced today that it signed New York Media, the publisher of New York Magazine and digital properties including Vulture, The Cut and Grub Street, as its 100th customer in the publishing segment. New York Media is using Keywee’s content marketing platform to drive social engagement and reach new audiences with its content via paid distribution on platforms like Facebook.

Keywee has signed an impressive list of publishing customers since launching its platform in March. Other Keywee customers in the segment include: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Conde Nast, National Geographic, The New York Times and Slate. In fact, seven out of the top 10 newspapers in the United States now use Keywee. In addition, leading retailers and brands also tap Keywee for their content marketing initiatives.

“At New York Media, we leverage platforms like Facebook for content distribution and strive to reach new audiences and maximize our social engagement,” said Ken Sheldon, executive director of audience development at New York Media. “Keywee has allowed us to better achieve our goals in these areas more cost-effectively and efficiently than we could ourselves.”

Content distributed by Keywee accounts for more than 600 million impressions a month and delivers around an eight percent click-through rate (CTR) — approximately four times higher than the organic CTR of the same content. Using text-mining technology and a vast database of historical content performance to target — and distribute content to — audiences on platforms like Facebook, Keywee is changing how publishers leverage content to achieve business goals. Keywee’s content marketing platform helps publishers grow their audience, increase social engagement and sign up more subscribers.

“There are significant shifts occurring in content marketing. In particular, the majority of content is being consumed in the mobile apps of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google. They are the new browsers. Publishers realize this, and they are making big investments to get their content in front of audiences across these platforms to drive business results,” said Yaniv Makover, CEO and co-founder of Keywee. “Keywee leverages data to find the best audiences across these platforms for content based on a publisher’s specific business objectives.”

From the Blog

The Keywee Facebook CPC Tracker: September Update

We launched The Keywee Facebook CPC Tracker to help content creators understand how changes to the Facebook platform affect their daily work. The findings are based on our analysis of data from hundreds of publishers across a variety of verticals. We release new data on a monthly basis along with relevant insights on content distribution. You can sign up for monthly updates straight to your inbox here and read past months’ updates here.

September Recap

In the publishing world, September was all about teaming up.

There’s been talk for a long time about the duopoly. Digital ad giants Google and Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Amazon) have a lock on the market, leaving publishers increasingly dependent on those sources of traffic and revenue. Publishers often try to diversify by selling their own ad inventories and looking at alternate traffic channels, but even for the bigger players, they rarely scale.

Video advertising, for example, is mostly dominated by YouTube and its endless supply of preroll inventory. To combat this, Buzzfeed, Group Nine Media, and Insider have banded together to sell video ads across all of their digital properties. Apart from scale, this will give advertisers access to a large brand-safe environment — something that can be difficult to guarantee when advertising on YouTube.

Vice Media also made a play to achieve more scale and diversity by purchasing Refinery29. This new partnership will bring Vice’s total unique visitors to over 350 million combined. As an added bonus, the acquisition means that Vice’s employees are now predominantly women. Refinery29 will stay a distinct and independent site editorially, but the acquisition will create a far more diverse and expansive ad inventory for the now larger Vice Media Group.

That wasn’t the end of merger news for the month. Just last week, the ad-tech world had another big shake-up when Taboola and Outbrain, the two content recommendation giants, announced that they were merging.

The companies, with an estimated reach of over 2.6 billion users combined, have banded together as part of an effort to take on the big players and create a sizable alternative for marketers and publishers.

Some publishers have signaled nerves around the merger, as the competition between the two companies may have driven higher revenue guarantees for publishers. Whether that fear is justified or not remains to be seen.

September Data

This September, we saw a significant rise in Facebook CPCs, with prices increasing 13% month-over-month. Although the last month of every quarter is expected to be the most expensive, this is a more substantial jump than we’ve seen in recent years during September. Across use cases, we saw the most significant increases in the cost to distribute content for publishers’ audience development efforts.

Q4 is Upon Us

Pictures of foliage and pumpkin spice everything means that the advertising landscape is about to get competitive as everyone vies for consumer dollars and attention. CPCs are only expected to increase as we get deeper into the quarter. But as you spend your ad dollars, it may be worth taking a step back. Are you optimizing for quantity or quality?

Spending big to attract fly-by-night visitors may make sense in the short-run, but if you want your efforts to create long-term ROI, concentrating on retention and building loyalty are key.

To learn more about optimizing your user acquisition efforts for loyalty during the upcoming months, watch our on-demand webinar, Measuring Loyalty: The Cutting Edge of Audience Development.

Optimizing for Loyalty: Overcoming One of User Acquisition’s Biggest Challenges

In the last few years, publishers have had to make some dramatic shifts in order to stay afloat and competitive in a saturated media environment. The decline of print has forced publishers to look to new revenue streams. The resulting shifts have run the gamut, ranging from metered paywalls to affiliate programs and e-commerce experiences and much, much more. 

The bottom line, regardless of the type of business goal, publishers have had to start thinking like online marketers in order to survive. 

Thinking like a marketer may seem like a simple endeavor on the surface. You may think of your average online marketer as a performance-focused conversion machine, wielding page optimization and CPC bids like a Jedi wields a lightsaber. You see them everywhere — the growth ninjas and acquisition masters boasting about exponential growth and ROI. 

Simple enough, right? 

Well, not really. 

Because online publishing doesn’t really work like any other consumer website. You can’t really compare publishers’ challenges with those of your average digital marketer. That is, unless you compare them with the average brand content marketer. The parallels there are far greater. Unfortunately, so are the challenges. 

It’s All About the ROI

Content marketing’s biggest challenge has always been proving ROI. Content marketing is, by nature, a long-tail endeavor. This is mostly because of user intent. Let’s go back to our performance marketing Jedi: Their job is fairly simple. If they’re selling shoes, they can go to Google or Facebook and target people who have shown a clear intent to purchase. They do so by using a large amount of data to determine that intent, or, in some cases, something as simple as bidding on a Google search for “best cheap sneakers.” 

Of course, the above is an oversimplification of the process, yet intent is ultimately at the core of what your typical “growth ninja” would look for in his or her day-to-day. 

Where does content fit into all of this? Well, herein lies the core of the problem. Again, let’s look at a brand selling shoes. A person reading about the latest shoe trends has only signaled a general interest in shoes — perhaps simply fashion — not an intent to purchase a specific pair of shoes. 

We’ve met with countless content marketing teams over the years and the majority of them have taken great pains to separate themselves from the ROI conversation, precisely because of this challenge. Everyone knows content drives long-term ROI, it’s just that there are very few ways to measure it and optimize for it. 

Which brings us back to publishers. They are, in a sense, content marketers whose brands are representative of themselves. They need to market themselves in order to gain visitors who will complete business objectives and generate long-term ROI. But unlike traditional marketing, and very much like content marketing, there’s no shortcut from point A to point B. 

To make things even more complicated, oftentimes publishers have more than one revenue stream. For example, they may do a combination of page monetization, branded content, affiliate content, and premium subscriptions. The combination can also shift often and vary wildly based on an endless amount of factors from seasonality to regulatory changes. 

It’s pretty difficult to optimize for a moving target. So, what are publishers (and brand content marketers, for that matter) supposed to do? 

The answer here is clear and simple: optimize for user loyalty. 

Loyal Users Drive Revenue 

Ok, so let’s be honest — it may be clear, but it’s not simple. What is “user loyalty,” anyway? And why measure it in the first place? 

Let’s start with the What: a loyal user is someone who returns to your site and engages with your content on a fairly regular basis. There are a myriad of (mostly flawed) methods to measure this, but let’s put that aside for the time being. 

Now focus for a bit on the Why: returning and engaged visitors are strongly correlated with the completion of on-site business goals. 

You probably already know this instinctively based on your own online behavior. If you frequent a brand’s website, there’s a high chance that you’ve developed a relationship with that brand, and therefore are also likely to purchase from that brand. 

If there’s a particular online retailer that you visit often, then that’s probably one of the first places that you’ll go when you’re ready to purchase something. If there’s an online publication you visit on a regular basis, then you’d probably trust them as an information source for a myriad of possible topics, and would probably consider paying for premium content. 

There’s a fair bit of research that has been conducted on the topic. Gallup recently surveyed the public ahead of the expected economic slump to understand if consumer spending was in the midst of a downturn: 

“…The upshot is that consumers are spending money, but they’re more inclined to spend it only with businesses they feel good about.

Our data reveals that a customer who is fully engaged represents an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer.”

In other words, loyalty is a primary driver of revenue. Therefore a loyal visitor generates more revenue. 

A recent benchmark study from Wolfgang Digital also tells an interesting story: 

There is a high correlation between session duration and conversion. Simply put, people who stick around on a site tend to buy more. 

A Barilliance study examined the correlation between visitors returning and adding items to their cart:

Users who come back are users who buy

We know loyalty drives business and that optimizing for it as an interim goal on the path to higher-value conversions makes a lot of sense. The challenge is – how do we measure it? 

The Loyalty Loophole

Measurement is a constant challenge for any marketer. It’s complicated enough when you’re measuring a specific user action (like a newsletter sign-up, for example). Since that’s the case, how can you quantify something as abstract as “loyalty”? 

You can see some of this in your Google Analytics account under “direct” traffic —these are the users who have typed your URL directly into their browser. 

It likely accounts for a big chunk of your traffic, and if you’re measuring against some sort of goal, it’s probably a primary source. Though, there’s a big problem with that “direct” category in Google Analytics. Those users didn’t pull your URL out of thin air. Their journey started somewhere, and attributing that traffic is incredibly complicated. 

You may look at the “Return Visitor” metric, but again, that gives you only a partial view and can’t account for the source of the traffic. 

Time on site, pages per session, and bounce rate are in the mix as well, of course. 

These options can give you a bit of insight, but there’s certainly nothing to optimize around. 

There’s no clear conversion action that you can set and work with as an anchor. What’s more, these metrics only account for single sessions. There are very few options for looking at these metrics in aggregate and over time.

This is the starting point that we at Keywee decided to tackle. What if there was a way to frame loyalty as a clear and actionable metric? 

We created one: the Loyalty Score

Loyalty Score is a factor of page visits and page views that is measured over a 28 day period, giving marketers a clear and qualitative measure of their campaigns. Marketers can compare their acquisition campaigns, understand which ones drive the highest Loyalty Score, and then optimize toward increasing that score. 

Over the next few years, publishers will have to continue to aim for moving targets. Using Loyalty Score, we hope that we make the bullseye a bit easier to reach. 

Measuring Loyalty: The Cutting Edge of Audience Development

If you’ve ever run an audience development campaign, you’ve probably struggled with the timeless dilemma of weighing quantity vs. quality. And on the surface, it makes sense to take the quantity route — the goal of most of these efforts is to bring in the most users possible at the lowest possible price.

This method is problematic, to say the least: It leads to fly-by-night users, and it offers very few levers to pull when it comes to optimizing and scaling these types of campaigns.

Here at Keywee, having seen these problems emerge time and time again, we set out to solve for them. How can we help audience development campaigns become more qualitative? How can we create more growth opportunities for our customers?

This was no small challenge. Whereas performance campaigns have easily identifiable actions, audience development doesn’t have anything that’s as clear-cut. You can’t simply place a pixel, define a thank you page, and head off to the races. Google Analytics metrics like time on site, pages per session, or bounce rate may give you a good snapshot of single sessions or traffic sources, but that doesn’t help you with the big picture: finding loyal users.

Enter Loyalty Score

We’ve developed a clear and concise metric that measures a user’s loyalty over time, giving a clear, qualitative, and quantifiable metric to optimize against.

 

A story’s Loyalty Score is a combination of user visits and page views, measured from a first campaign click, over the course of 28 days.

It’s clear that 1 + 1 = 2. But adding together those metrics, measuring them over a significant period of time across your audiences, can give you a clear and concise picture of how users are interacting with your content.

Put simply: You can easily compare two stories, see which campaign has a higher loyalty score, and allocate your budget in a way that accounts for user quality, and not just quantity alone.

Your Biggest Competitor is You

When sharing the new Keywee dashboard with our beta customers, one of the first questions that we are always asked is, “What counts as a good Loyalty Score?”

Our answer? There is no ideal Loyalty Score. Every publisher’s site has its own user experience and design, and we’ve found that factors like infinite scroll, photo gallery formats, and content recommendation widgets can have a significant impact the numbers. At the end of the day, one publisher’s Loyalty Score of 1.5 could be another’s 5.3.

That said, content type is also a huge factor that can affect a story’s Loyalty Score. A news provider will probably have fewer page views overall because news content is usually consumed in small bursts over the course of a day. A fashion site will probably have fewer visits overall, but more page views because users may visit it when they have more leisure time to consume the content.

To optimize for the highest possible score, you simply look at your own data and work to improve on it.

Endless Potential

The exciting thing about the Loyalty Score metric is that it unlocks fantastic opportunities to optimize beyond CTR and CPC. It’s an anchor from which you can optimize and expand. You can use it to create lookalike audiences, discover the content that keeps users coming back for more, retarget user bases with high scores who will help you achieve high-value business goals, and much, much more.

Interested in learning more? We recently hosted a webinar where we took a deep dive into what goes into the Loyalty Score metric, along with various optimization opportunities and interesting trends that we’ve seen improve reader loyalty.

Fill out the form below to begin watching the webinar:

At Keywee, we make stories relevant and powerful for the world’s best storytellers — like The New York Times, The BBC, National Geographic, Forbes, and Red Bull.

Today, people aren’t coming to websites to search for content — stories find their audiences in feeds and apps. The upshot? Distribution is now the key for effective storytelling. Keywee’s platform unlocks audience insights using AI and data science, and infuses them into every step of the storytelling process: from topic selection, to story creation, to distribution and optimization.

Keywee is backed by leading investors such as Google’s Eric Schmidt and The New York Times, and has been a fast-growing, profitable startup since its inception. To learn more, request a demo here.

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