Clique Media Group Unleashes Slackbot To Boost Audience Development

slackbot-clique-mediaData-driven editorial just added a new weapon to its arsenal: a Slackbot.

Clique Media Group (CMG), which owns flagship style site WhoWhatWear as well as MyDomaine, Byrdie and Obsessee, created a Slackbot in November to alert editors when stories over-index the benchmarks set for each author.

The editors receive a Slackbot notification with details about the article’s overperformance and ways they can optimize the article, such as adding a social media call to action to “like” an article.

The Slackbot pulls in data from Parse.ly, an audience analytics tool. Clique Media created the bot using Parse.ly’s API and open source code.

When editors get the alerts via Slackbot and optimize the articles, they receive three times as many page views as an over-indexing article that doesn’t receive that extra attention, according to Sofia Booth, Clique Media Group's executive director of audience development.

The addition of the Slackbot is part of Clique Media's new audience development strategy. When Booth joined in March, she was tasked with bringing together the marketing and distribution teams to “work hand in hand with editorial,” she said.

Adding a real-time Slackbot makes data actionable across the organization.

“We want to push rather than pull information and make data manageable and fun to empower the editorial team,” Booth said.

To do that, Booth developed audience personas for each social platform, including the content affinities of readers on each platform.

Email users are typically super-fans, Booth said, whereas Facebook users are more casual and prefer different content experiences.

“Celebrity content consistently over-indexes on Facebook, but that’s not the case with email,” Booth said. “We often have great celeb exclusives, and email is not necessarily the home for that piece of content.”

The tool, though designed for editorial, also comes in handy for branded content campaigns. Though Clique Media doesn’t change copy that’s already approved by the client, it can optimize branded content through testing. Plus, the Slackbot allows the sponsored content team “to build a large repository of branded content wins, so we can craft our strategy accordingly,” Booth said.

The second version of Clique Media’s Slackbot will include more information about how the article performs by distribution channel, such as search, social or email. And Clique Media plans to add another notification for under-indexing articles, allowing editors to prop up low-performing stories.

Next year, Clique Media plans to track how these suggestions improve editors’ individual performance.

Clique Media hopes that adding information about how articles perform by distribution channel will make it easier to optimize multiple distribution sources. While some publishers have narrowed their focus to only Facebook in recent years, Clique Media believes that that strategy puts publishers at the mercy of algorithm changes. Having a diversified strategy means it can uncover emerging opportunities.

“Search has emerged as a breakout growth platform for us this year, which is an interesting pivot,” Booth said.

As Clique Media identifies such trends, it wants tools like the Slackbot handy to mount a fast response.

“We don’t have giant, heavy data teams and a lot of bureaucracy,” Booth said. “My challenge is how to leverage what we have in house and do it more quickly.”


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