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Grow Recommended Content

We’re excited to announce the launch of one of the most-anticipated features for Grow: Recommended Content.

Leif Lessons

  • Personalized content will give users a better browsing experience and encourage them to authenticate and consent to personalized advertisements.
  • Widgets we’ve built in will display content from your site that the user will most likely read based on their favorites, shares and content they’ve clicked on previously from recommendation widgets.
  • You have the ability to adjust your Grow settings and decide where these widgets show up on your site. Recommended content can show up in a header carousel, an inline carousel, or in your sidebar.
  • We’re seeing great initial results from these placements, but like always, we need your feedback on this product. This feature will evolve over time so keep checking in on our blog for more information.
  • For any questions or feedback on Grow, please email grow.me@mediavine.com.

Using artificial intelligence, the Grow platform now has the ability to recommend personalized content to logged-in users.

For anonymous (non-logged-in) users, Grow will recommend the content most likely to be consumed based on context.

screenshot of grow.me recommended content on a phone

As an audience engagement framework, the ultimate goal of Grow is to provide a personalized browsing experience to your readers.

A better browsing experience is the linchpin of what we call the value exchange — what we believe will encourage users to authenticate and consent to personalized content and advertisements.

As such, Mediavine developed a personalized content recommendation engine that elevates the browsing experience for Grow users.

What is Recommended Content?

As opposed to related content, which is content that’s similar to the current post’s topic (and is a common feature on many sites, often shown at the end of an article), recommended content is displayed to the reader based specifically on their browsing activity and is intended to match their interests to encourage further exploration on the site, rather than just show more content on the same subject.

Without a recommendation engine, we couldn’t deliver this personalized content and improved browsing experience that users expect before logging in and ultimately providing first-party data.

I could spend the next 30 minutes geeking out over machine learning and how our recommendation engine works, but I’ll stick to the first feature powered by this technology: Recommended Content.

man using a smartphone outside

The initial way we’re deploying the power of this personalized content recommendation engine is via a series of three widgets that will provide recommended content to readers.

If a user is logged in, the widgets will display content from your site that a user is most likely to read based on what they’ve favorited, shared and clicked on from other recommendation widgets.

If a user is browsing anonymously, or is logged out, we’ll use an engine similar to how Netflix recommends content — showing them content that they’ll most likely want to see based on the behavior of other users who read the same article.

Where will these widgets appear? That’s up to you, via the Grow settings in your Mediavine Dashboard.

To enable these settings, you will first need to enable Grow.

Customize Grow Settings in the Grow Publisher Portal

The Grow Publisher Portal gives you a lot of control over the Grow experience on your site. You can easily change your brand colors, adjust social networks, set minimum display counts, elect to use Grow in your native search and more.

Even more exciting? This now enables Mediavine to launch bigger features like these Recommended Content Widgets, which allow you to choose one of our three introductory placements:

the header carousel of grow.me
Header Carousel

You’ve likely seen similar units, but we’re launching a Header Carousel that will allow users to flick through their recommended content anytime they scroll up on your website.

As a user scrolls back up to look for something new, the Header Carousel will slide down, revealing new content for readers to consume.

the in line widget of grow.me
Inline Content

2. Inline Content

It’s no secret that one of the most engaging spots on your site is within the content itself, and so it should be no surprise that this is also the location for our best-performing content recommendation widget.

You can now opt-in to enable the Inline Widget, which automatically places itself in a desirable location within your content.

It will appear low enough within the content to make sure users have already consumed the bulk of the content — but hopefully before they leave.

We’re already seeing great conversions with this placement and strongly recommend switching it on.

the sidebar widget of the recommended content

3. Sidebar Widget

We definitely recommend you keep a short sidebar to ensure that your sticky sidebar ad unit sees optimal performance.

We also generally recommend running things like About Us, Search and Recommended/Top Content widgets in that space.

As of right now, Grow can help you power the latter by offering a Recommended/Top Content solution right in your sidebar.

While desktop traffic is generally a smaller percentage of your overall traffic, it’s the most valuable, and we see the sidebar widget as a good addition to the Header and Inline Content Recommendation Widgets.

More Coming Soon

It’s important to note that the Recommended Content feature is new, and like so much of Grow, relies on your feedback and testing to improve.

It will also take some time for the Recommended Content engine to learn your site, so don’t judge the initial recommendations too harshly.

While we’re seeing great initial results from these three layout options, this is mostly about implementing the framework for the Recommendation Engine powering these widgets.

With your help and based on your ongoing experiences with them, the actual widgets and placements will evolve over time.

Please consider enabling them today. The more publishers who do, the more feedback we can gather and more testing we can run.

Give Recommended Content a shot and help us learn what will help encourage your users to consume more of your content. Please send your questions and feedback to grow.me@mediavine.com.