Ranker is a leading digital media company for opinion-based, crowdsourced rankings on just about everything, and attracts over 50 million visitors a month
Los Angeles, CA
66% increase in productivity
Improved quality of work
Ranker is the #1 online destination for opinion-based, crowdsourced rankings of everything that can be ranked. The company's technology is centered on user engagement, turning its lists into the “best possible rankings” based on the wisdom of crowds. As a Quantcast Top 50 site, Ranker attracts more than 50 million unique visitors every month. As a result, Ranker has one of the world’s largest databases of opinions with more than 350 million votes gathered on over 1.1 million items.
"As a Quantcast Top 50 site, Ranker attracts more than 50 million unique visitors every month."
As an entertainment content company, Ranker is built on the idea that we would rather rely on the wisdom of the crowds than the content aggregation of their staff. Visitors can rank items in these lists by voting however they want. They can add new options and can even control voting.
When you’re trying to rank any and everything, you have to produce massive amounts of lists and article content, not to mention the hours spent keeping track of the dynamic lists. Ranker covers a wide variety of topics including history, pop culture, TV, movies, science, etc. They also create video content for social media, and have developed a a number of video series that's distributed through their website, YouTube, and other syndication platforms. Their approach to content distribution is to reach users with the type of content they want based on their niche interests.
Ranker’s video team is led by their Head of Video, Andrew Price. The 12 member team develops 5 different video series for website and social channels, with Andrew overseeing content strategy for entire team. The team includes a Head of Production, Head of Syndication, Distribution Manager, Junior Producers, Animators, and an external production company.
"Ranker’s video team is led by their Head of Video, Andrew Price. The 12 member team develops 5 different video series for website and social channels."
All of their video content is ideated and created on-site. Some examples of that content include: a long form video series for website to send against programmatic pre-roll; explainer videos on fascinating historical events; behind the scenes of a movie; and stories from existing Ranker lists. They utilize an external production company to help scale their video production output.
Ranker prioritizes content and audience acquisition. In addition to their video team, they have an editorial team in charge of composing and editing all of the site’s written content. There is a dedicated social team in charge of running all of Ranker’s social channels.
Ranker excels at using their data to inform their social distribution tactics. This advantage makes them massively successful in terms of traffic acquisition. Looking forward, they are aiming to further build the brand and better service their audience. They want to foster a community loyal to their brand by appealing to niche interests, offering more content and engaging with their audience on multiple channels.
"Audience and traffic growth are the biggest business goals as they begin to sell and monetize their content."
The video team’s primary goal is establishing Ranker’s platform as the primary channel for consuming content. As it stands, the majority of their content engagement is happening on social channels. While Ranker has a robust social presence, ultimately they want to use social as a path back to the platform as opposed to a vehicle to distribute content.
Audience and traffic growth are the biggest business goals as they begin to sell and monetize their content. While there isn’t a way to monetize Facebook videos, audience growth and video growth are correlated, evidenced by the 50,000 likes they can expect for a showpiece video.
Before using Slope, Ranker had separate tech stacks for managing their video and marketing workflows. For video, Ranker used Asana for project management and Frame.io for post production. They relied heavily on a RAID server, and used the Adobe Creative Cloud for content creation.
"Using different tools to plan and track different stages of content production resulted in a chaotic process, longer turnaround times, and less content produced."
Using different tools to plan and track different stages of content production resulted in a chaotic process. The review stage itself required multiple tools, and even involved passing around screenshots as different teams were siloed into different tools.
Frame.io proved particularly difficult when it came to passing a piece of content down the pipeline and exchanging feedback between departments. Interactions between individual users to a hesitation to engage in the review process which, when compounded by the chore of manually updating project statuses, caused what Price described as a “massive downtick in productivity.” In practice, that downtick translated to longer turnaround times and less content produced.
By bringing their content workflow into one tool, Ranker has seen an increase in both quality and quantity of work. Now that Ranker uses Slope, content workflow is no longer a chore and has instead become an “effortless” process. Requesting feedback is now as simple as clicking a button. Having a streamlined review process has led to an increased quality of work, evidenced by videos now needing on average only 2 versions before completion. With Slope’s automated stage tracker, team members don’t have to spend any more time manually updated a project’s status. Delivering content is much easier, and content is being distributed on time more consistently.
"On average, we've seen a 66% increase in productivity by bringing our content production workflow into Slope."
Ranker switching to Slope coincided with their decision to ramp up their use of external teams. If they hadn’t switched to Slope, Price feels that trying to implement their old workflow with both internal and external teams would have been a disaster. Price remarks that with Slope, “everyone involved knows exactly what to do next and nothing falls through the cracks and disappears.”
Before implementing Slope, Ranker produced 1-2 social videos and 1-2 pieces of on-site content daily. With the same number of contributors, Ranker now produces 5-6 social videos, 1 piece of long form website content, and up to 15 website videos daily. On average, Price has seen a 66% increase in productivity that he attributes to galvanizing the content teams with one tool.