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Claremont McKenna College: Understanding their audience

The Golden Antlers is a campus satire publication for Claremont McKenna College, focusing on exposing the contradictions and hypocrisy inherent in modern college culture in a humorous manner.

Parse.ly gave our publication access to a set of deep, rich analytics that helped gauge reaction to our articles, inspire our authors to write more effectively, and shape the future of our organization.

Parse.ly became the compass for The Golden Antlers, providing key insights to help guide us out of the dark in analytics.

From the outset, Parse.ly blew Google Analytics out of the water. On the very first screen our team sees when opening up Parse.ly — ­­the “Overview” tab — we are able to, at a glance, gather an enormous amount of useful information. Without clicking anywhere, we are able to see whether or not the current day is performing at, above, or below usual (a process that used to take a series of manual calculations) and w​hich ​posts are receiving the most attention. Immediately after releasing a new article, we are able to see whether or not it is effectively reaching our audience, which allows us to adjust and leverage the intensity of our social media advertising accordingly.

Next, the “authors” tab has allowed us to provide immediate and targeted feedback to our writers. Rather than trying to tease out how many views each author brought us out of aggregated statistics (as we would have to do with Google Analytics), Parse.ly simply tells us how each one is performing in real time. Using this, we have been able to reward the authors who wrote the most successful articles each month and spur our newer writers towards actionable and achievable goals. Whereas before, our authors operated in the dark,­ never knowing which of their articles were the most well received, they are now able to receive immediate and quantifiable feedback. Especially in the realm of satire, this feedback is paramount to the long-term success of the publication.

Lastly, Parse.ly has enabled our publication to hone in on who our target audience is. Over the past six months, the most effective articles were written on topics concerning our neighboring college, Pomona, and timely campus politics. While this may seem intuitive in retrospect, there were competing visions for the publication about whether to focus on more obscure and less political issues. Parse.ly provided us with the quantitative data we needed to identify our most receptive audience.

Overall, Parse.ly became the compass for The Golden Antlers providing key insights to help guide us out of the dark in analytics.

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