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Algorithms, Engagement, and Results

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Algorithms, Engagement, and Results

At News360, we strive to deliver our readers the most personalized and relevant content possible, including valuable content from brands. In a past post, we discussed our decision to partner with brands that are creating content we believe our readers will find useful. We’re excited to announce that we have updated the algorithms which decide how we prioritize promoted content to ensure our readers receive the best experience possible on our platform.

Our initial algorithms targeted promoted content based on context. In terms of duration, we’d promote each story based on frequency caps and frequency of content. I.e., if a promoted story was generating great engagement (high CTR and high share rate), but the brand quickly followed up the post with new content, we’d prioritize the newer story. The reverse was true as well. Even if the post wasn’t performing well, we’d still prioritize it if it was the latest post from the brand.

Last month, we revised our algorithms to place top priority on engagement over publish date. We felt this made the most sense to ensure that a popular story reached a larger audience. This builds better brand engagement and thought leadership for brands and delivers the best content to users.

For example, this story from Dell generated an above average level of engagement the first day the story was published. Our old algorithms would have run the story for a couple days and even though the CTR would have been high, the total number of article reads would not have stood out from any of the previously promoted articles.

With our new algorithms, we promoted the story to a more targeted audience and even held the story back for targeted users that had not opened their News360 app in a few days. The difference in results was remarkable. The Dell story ended up being promoted for 10 days and while the CTR remained steady throughout, the total number of article opens skyrocketed thanks to the increased impressions. The average reading time also increased to well over one minute and social shares rose dramatically.

The bottom line? Dell received more leverage out of a great story, which increased their engagement, as well as overall ROI. This example illustrates the importance of constantly evaluating a process and finding better ways to deliver results– something we are very much committed to here at News360.

(Image via: thewritersguidetoepublishing.com)