New Publishing Tech
4 mins read

Q&A: Keywee, helping connect publishers with their ideal audience

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Founded in 2013 and based in NYC, Keywee was established to make news stories more relevant and powerful for specific audience bases using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Backed by leading investors such as Innovation Endeavors and The New York Times, Keewee works with hundreds of publishers globally, including National Geographic, BBC, Business Insider, and others.

More recently, Keywee was named Best Content Marketing Platform at the Digiday Technology Awards. WNIP caught up with Yaniv Makover, CEO, to find out more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

More so than ever, publishers are facing a complex landscape where they have to compete for users in a pay-to-play environment in order to survive.

Publishers are increasingly diversifying their revenue streams, usually working with some combination of ad revenue, branded content, eCommerce, paid subscriptions and more.

Over the past few years, platforms have become unreliable and volatile as an organic source of traffic for publishers. A change in an algorithm or in the user interface can slash or boost traffic in an instant. This means that the best way to survive is to rely on a consistent stream of paid promotion that is ROI-positive and can support a diversifying revenue model.

Looking ahead, the challenge is only going to grow as the landscape continues to evolve. Though Facebook and Google have made recent overtures to content creators, publishers need the reliability and consistency of paid, ROI-positive traffic. 

The bottom-line solution boils down to this: Publishers need to drive high-quality traffic at the most efficient cost, and at scale.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

At its core, Keywee uses AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to read, classify, and rank content and then match that content with the ideal and most cost-efficient audiences on Facebook.

Yes, there are a lot of solutions available for paid distribution on Facebook, but what makes Keywee different is that our core product was built specifically for publishers, to help answer their particular pain points. We focus on helping to build long-term relationships between publishers and their audiences through paid channels — subscription building, brand-building, and habit-building. We live and breathe publishing and have a clear birds-eye-view of the industry that other distribution solutions just don’t have.

To give a simplified example: let’s say you’re looking to promote an article about strollers. You may instinctively target “new moms.” Keywee’s technology may find that there is a great deal of overlap between that audience and say, “Greys Anatomy fans.” The original audience may drive a cost per click (CPC) of $0.07, while the newly discovered audience may only be $0.02.

This approach to bidding creates two immediate outcomes. The first is decreased volatility and a far more steady cost over time. The second is the lowered overall cost of driving the same quality audience.

But we know that acquisition doesn’t just stop at CPCs. Keywee has developed technology and tools to help fully optimize publisher campaigns for a wide range of business goals.

For example, we recently released a new metric for Audience Development campaigns called Loyalty Score. This metric allows publishers to have a clear view of the value of their campaigns over time by measuring how often users return to the publisher site after the initial click. This allows for a whole new view of optimization, concentrating on quality alongside quantity.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

We’re seeing fantastic results with our new Loyalty Score metric. I’ll directly quote from Andy Price, Director of Digital Operations & Advertising at “Loyalty Score has given us a whole new world of insights into our user acquisition campaigns. For example, we’re seeing that promoting content that talks about planning for retirement drives more return visitors than posts about saving money on groceries. We now have a clear view of how often our new subscribers engage with our content after they’ve signed up without having to cross-reference multiple reports. This makes the ROI more clear, and we see it leading to a lot more growth in the future.”

We also have a proprietary product called Content to Capture that creates a user experience akin to gating content, but native to Facebook. Newsletters are currently having a “moment,” and publishers are starting to see them as a huge driver of business. Our product is giving publishers up to 3x more efficiency in newsletter subscriber acquisition campaigns.


We have a tiered pricing model based on a publisher’s scale.

How do you view the future?

We’re really excited about what the future holds for us. We’re working on a secret project that will bring our AI capabilities to huge new heights in 2020.

Audience segment data has so far been underutilized in both the creation, distribution, and optimization of content. We’re excited to see how this will materialize and grow.

We’re also really optimistic about the future of publishing. Challenges aren’t going to go away, but we’re seeing more and more of our customers working hard to diversify their revenue streams in a way that will give them real staying power. Publishers that create real value for their audiences will thrive. We’re excited to continue to help them do it.

Thank you.