TechCrunch and other outlets have this year reported the disappointment that many media and publishing organizations feel on the limited ad monetization potential Facebook Instant Articles brings, its subscription product and how it leverages its fast load speeds in order to keep users on their app.
Despite this, HipHopMyWay and Teen Mom Talk Now from Nibble, a strategic content monetization solution from Digital Remedy, recently leveraged Facebook’s Instant Articles, to increase overall audience engagement and revenue by more than double within a month between June and July.
“Since the introduction of Facebook’s Instant Articles on Nibble’s owned and operated sites, we have seen a significant increase in reach from our Facebook audiences which has, in turn, resulted in greater and steady engagement and revenue. Additionally, the introduction of Facebook Instant Articles has allowed for a more streamlined and user-friendly experience for our readers, who seem much more enticed by the Instant Articles experience, which removed the need to click through various pages to complete a story”, said Mike Seiman, CEO, Digital Remedy.
For HipHopMyWay, a variety of urban-centric articles that were targeted to Lil Wayne’s fan base and for Teen Mom Talk Now shared articles based on the show and its cast members were the types of content used to help drive readers to engage.
According to SimilarWeb, as it stands Teen Mom Talk Now receives over 840,000 total monthly visits from which 90% comes from social and HipHopMyWay receives 2.7 million total monthly visits, with 93% share from social. The results are especially apparent for HipHopMyWay as shown in the screenshot below.
From Facebook directly, HipHopMyWay reported having experienced a 143% increase in average daily revenue and Facebook referrals more than doubling. With Teen Mom Talk Now, the campaign experienced a 106% increase in revenue from Instant Articles – and also more than tripled the average sessions per day in the same period.
Many publishers would be deterred in adopting new features when reading news of other industry peers losing out, however, this wasn’t the case for Digital Remedy. “In order to maximize the overall profit of content consumption, publishers must start embracing endemic monetization mechanisms of these platforms. As it relates to Facebook and its increase of content consumption, Instant Articles is a product meant to solve for this, and deciding to try out Instant Articles was a no-brainer for us”, said Mike Seiman.
CPXi (the parent company of Digital Remedy) have also been acquiring owned media properties in entertainment publishing since their restructuring in December 2016, in order to expand audience engagement and content offerings for brands, publishers and influencers and as part of an overall strategic move towards strengthening their media technology capabilities.
So what does the immediate future for Facebook Instant Articles hold? Amongst its’ other journalism initiatives, it appears Facebook will forgo early returns in the interest of helping a new feature gain traction before re-evaluating, as it did around the debut of Facebook Live last year. “Instant Articles is Facebook’s attempt to truly partner with publishers to maximize their revenue through this new age of content consumption. Rather than Facebook needing to make a change, our hope is that other platforms where content is consumed will follow in Facebook’s footsteps”, said Seiman.
According to Digital Remedy, they have already expanded its’ use on Celebuzz and Warped Speed and are working on immediate plans to start Instant Articles campaigns on their other sites The Frisky, The Superficial, and Quadra Media and to expand their campaigns with Instant Articles beyond articles, and to try out video next. It is their expectation that the results they will receive with video will be just as high as experienced with articles, if not higher due to the highly social nature of video content.
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