Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 29th, 2014

5 Things All Marketers Should Know About Google Analytics

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Analytics tools have become commonplace and more marketers are expected to collect and analyze data. However, many stop their efforts with the data that’s easiest to get. These so-called vanity metrics offer a limited view of marketers’ effectiveness.

Google Analytics is everywhere, but not all marketers are leveraging it to their advantage. Dig a little deeper into the numbers. With extra effort in Google Analytics, you can evaluate campaigns, increase revenue, and optimize your website.

Here are five important tips you can use to make the most of Google Analytics:

1. You can’t optimize without data

Optimization doesn’t happen by guessing. Unfortunately, 40% of marketers make decisions using instinct, not analytics. What kind of things can you optimize? Just about anything: headlines, graphics, forms, or buttons.

Leverage Google Analytics experiments, which are A/B tests that let you determine—with data—which versions are converting more customers. When you set up Google Analytics to track and measure your results, you will be able to prove whether your campaign is actually resulting in ROI.

2. Vanity metrics are out, actionable metrics are in

Who doesn’t get a little shiver when their page views are through the roof? As interesting as they are, page views don’t really help you to take action on your data. According to a recent analysis of Google Analytics, actionable metrics are those that impact conversions and revenue.

For example, bounce rate is an easy statistic to find but it doesn’t give you the whole picture. Bounce rate by source, on the other hand, can indicate how well-qualified your traffic is from an individual source. This knowledge can help you make important decisions about your marketing spend.

3. Calculating ROI isn’t an option, it’s a requirement

Only one-third of marketers calculate ROI, which means the majority of marketers are not sure that their efforts are paying off. With analytics, you can take the wishing and hoping out of the equation. And who doesn’t want to prove that their marketing campaigns are impacting revenue?

ROI calculation takes a few steps to set up, but the payoff is huge. Setting values to your goals will show you which customer actions result in the most revenue. Once you know that, you can optimize your page with ROI in mind.

4. Give credit where credit is due

A user might check you out initially through a Twitter post, come back later via organic search, and make a purchase from an email. If you only pay attention to the customer’s last interaction, you might not attribute accurate value to your social or SEO presence.

It would be much easier (and more lucrative!) if customers visited once and made a purchase. Unfortunately, that’s a dream instead of reality. Since Google Analytics lets you track assisted conversions, you can monitor which channels are impacting customers as they move through your funnel.

5. Make UTMs your BFF

Google Analytics has some handy tricks for tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns. Whether you are using social media, email, PPC, or another type of promotion, you can track the sources individually in Google Analytics.

UTMs help you drill down into which channels are providing you the best traffic. Let’s say you use Facebook and a guest blog post to drive traffic to a landing page. Using UTMs allows you to tag your URLs with a code that will record how successful your individual sources are.

Key Take-Aways:

Don’t be tempted to collect every speck of data that is available. Numbers for numbers’ sake isn’t better, so be thoughtful about which data is most helpful to your business.

Setting up Google Analytics to collect data is only the first step. No analytics tool can do the analysis completely for you. Most importantly, always build in time to look at the data so you can draw actionable conclusions.

About the Author: Chris Lucas is Vice President of Business Development for Formstack, an online form builder that helps users of all industries better engage with their customers and manage data. 

 

 

Book by Jamie Turner

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 25th, 2014

Why Failure Can Be Your Most Valuable Friend

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We spend a lot of time on the 60 Second Marketer talking about digital marketing and how to improve the results of your social, mobile or other digital marketing campaigns.

But every once in a while, I like to share some business insights that fall outside of the normal “How To Do Digital Marketing” kind of post.

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I’ve worked hard over the years — probably harder than most people — and, as a result, I’ve had some successes to show for it. I have a couple of books published by mainstream publishers, I get on CNN and HLN every so often, and I have a blog that’s read by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe each year.

From the outside, everything looks peachy keen.

But here’s the thing — for every two things you know about me that make me look like a success, I have eight failures behind me that you don’t know about. Seriously, I’ve done the math. For every book I’ve written, there are 8 things I’ve done that have failed. And for every appearance I make on CNN, there are 8 other attempts at things that have fallen flat.

Think of it this way — if you finish a marathon, but during your training suffer from leg cramps, at the end of the race, what are you going to tell people about. The leg cramps? Or the marathon?

Of course, you’d talk about finishing the marathon.

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The reality is that training for a marathon isn’t easy. I’ve done it and, quite frankly, it’s a pain in the ass. Half the time, you’re running a 15-mile training run in the rain. Or the dark. Or both.

The other half of the time, you’re nursing a strained hamstring or a sore foot.

But if you don’t face those challenges and overcome them, then you don’t finish the marathon. And if you don’t finish the marathon, you don’t get to share it with your friends. And if you don’t get to share it with your friends, there’s no point in running the marathon in the first place.

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Did you know that my first business failed?

Probably not.

Did you know that my first book proposal failed?

No, because I’ve never brought it up before.

Did you know that my online training program failed — twice?!

Nope. Because I don’t talk about it much.

The Bottom Line:

Next time you find yourself focusing on someone else’s success, remember — they’ve failed  more times than you know about. And they’re pushing through things that seem insurmountable.

Just like we all are.

So plow through. Keep your head high. And remember — the only way to succeed in life is to keep trying and to fail your way to the top.

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Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 22nd, 2014

How to Use Social Media Insights to Increase Your Email ROI.

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When was the last time you went a day without seeing an article about social media? Just scroll through any marketing blog and you’ll see dozens of posts about what businesses could, should and ought to be doing in social media in order to get a higher ROI.

Hardly a day goes by without seeing an article like that, right?

If you printed every article on the value of social media for business, it would circle the globe several times over. This is due, in part, because it’s a relatively new marketing discipline. It’s also due to the rapid growth of content marketing. And it’s due to the fact that people are still trying to prove there actually is an ROI to social media.

Maybe then if we all keep placing our bets, all keep praying for a good harvest, the sun will shine and there’ll be enough food to get us through the winter.

False Rumors of Email Death

At the same time, the death of email marketing has been widely rumored for a while. And yet, email is alive and well.

According to an Econsultancy 2014 industry census 68% rate email as a good or excellent marketing channel, with 23% of their total sales coming from that channel. Social however, fell behind PPC and content, with only 32% of respondents claiming it to be good or excellent for ROI. A shocking 30% considers it poor, from that same survey.

According to a Marketing Sherpa Survey, email is still the preferred channel for 75% of customers. And the Direct Marketing Association reports that email has an ROI of 4300%, which means for every $1 spent, brands, on average, get $43 back.

A Social Leap of Faith

In a New York Times op-ed, author and technology journalist, Stephen Baker, highlighted the fact that on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, social media only played a supporting role. According to an IBM study, ‘a scant 0.68 percent of online purchases came directly from Facebook. The number from Twitter was undetectable.’

Baker compares social media to the arrival of other major technological shifts, like electricity, and a familiar story from the dot-com bubble: thousands of well-funded consumer websites designed to generate ad revenue from “eyeballs.” He feels that, ‘The impact of new technologies is invariably misjudged because we measure the future with yardsticks from the past.’

From a historical perspective, he’s right.

As far as a CMO is concerned, they can’t afford to think in decades. Yes, engagement is great, and yes, it helps to raise awareness when customers are moving along their unique buyer journey; but trying to extract meaningful ROI from those actions and put a dollar amount on them is still proving difficult.

Best of Both Worlds?

At the moment social media still has qualities which, from an ROI perspective, are hard to nail down. Not exactly what a CFO would want to hear, but it’s true. Email however, is doing better than ever. Can the two be combined in a meaningful way?

Consumers want brands who recognize that and align their marketing with their aspirations. Savvy marketers are leveraging technology to make that happen.

Gregarious Narain, Chute’s CTO and Co-founder, worked with Atlantic Records to produce a customer-generated video for the popular movie The Fault in Our Stars. Every image, was crowd-sourced using the hashtag #TFIOSencouragements on Instagram and Twitter, sourced and filtered using the Chute platform. In total 3,800 frames were collected, with the end result — using lyrics by Ed Sheeran — has had 10.8 million views so far.

Narain told the blogger, Ann Handley, “All it takes is consistent engagement and collaboration. Your fans want to hear from you, talk to you and be recognized by you. They are no longer happy just consuming the one-way stream of content brands historically produced.”

In a similar way, customers and prospects want to feel they are taking part in a narrative. Not just one of several million receiving the same email. With social media listening tools it is possible to bring social data, deep customer insight, into that narrative.

What kind of social media listening tools can be used to monitor the sentiments of your customers and prospects? We cover 9 of the top tools (including SproutSocial, BrandsEye and SocialBakers) in a post on the 60 Second Marketer called 9 Top Social Media Analytics Tools to Help You Track Your Success.

Review the post and see which tools might be right for your social media listening campaign. Then apply what you’ve learned about your prospects and customers into your next email marketing campaign. By leveraging both sets of tools, you’ll be able to improve the ROI of your next email marketing campaign.

Dominic Tarn is a content creator for start-ups and is the author of The New Goldrush: A Quick Guide to Startups.

 
Book by Jamie Turner

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 21st, 2014

Facebook Tightens Privacy Controls – How This Could Affect Your Marketing

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As Facebook has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years, it has been dogged by issues regarding the privacy of user information. To make matters worse, Facebook also has a knack for sabotaging their own cause, as was the case when a researcher at Facebook released a study on emotional contagion — the transfer and manipulation of others’ emotions via the Facebook News Feed.

And that’s just the beginning.

Earlier this year, Facebook was forced to retire its ‘Sponsored Stories’ feature – an extremely popular advertising option among brands on Facebook – due to an uproar about using user profile pictures and information in Sponsored Stories without explicit approval from the concerned users. In August 2013, it paid $20 million in a settlement of a class action suit filed in California over how its Sponsored Stories program overstepped users’ right to privacy.

The F8 conference that Facebook hosted in April this year shone the spotlight on a slew of privacy changes that Facebook was making to avoid similar situations in the future.

Read on to see what these changes are and how they could affect your social media marketing.

‘Friends’ instead of ‘Public’ default visibility setting for all posts by new users

In the past, if a user had not specified their privacy settings for their posts, they would by default be open to public viewing. Typically, this would happen to new Facebook users who hadn’t discovered the right privacy controls for their profile yet.

This practice has been labeled exploitative and has come under sharp backlash from privacy supporters. Facebook, which till now ignored this altogether, did an about face in May and limited the display of all posts by new users to their ‘friends’ unless specified otherwise.

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This means two things. One, the user data that used to be mined by various social media apps will drastically drop, hence reducing the ability to tailor your marketing content to user profiles. Two, discovering new content on Facebook will be harder as keyword searches and hashtags will only pick up content specifically labelled for public consumption.

‘Privacy Check’ for existing users

In a corollary to the default ‘friends’ setting for all posts by new users, Facebook will allow existing users to choose their audiences much more easily.

People who haven’t updated their privacy settings in a while will get automated messages asking them to carry out a ‘Privacy Check’ for all their older posts and renew settings for future posts.

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In a nod to the rising use of social media via mobile devices, the Facebook app for iPhone features a simplified audience selector making it equally easy to maintain privacy while surfing Facebook on iPhones.

This is increased control over post visibility is another spoke in the quantity and quality of data social apps and advertisers will have at their fingertips.

Users can now alter their Ad Profiles

In an attempt to soothe the growing distrust that users have started to develop towards Facebook thanks to increasingly intrusive Facebook ads, each user will now have access to their own Facebook Ad Profile.

Users can now see the records of their likes, interests and usage behavior that Facebook maintains about them. They can also add, delete or modify information on these ad profiles directly.

This is a huge blow to advertisers, as it reduces the objectivity of the user profile data that Facebook now offers. The new ad profile data is likely to be less rich, less accurate and less in quantity than before; hence making decisions regarding Facebook advertising even more difficult for brands.

Users can block out your ads

Users can now block specific ads or advertisers that they find irrelevant or irritating, directly from their timeline on Facebook.

 

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Facebook serves ads to its users not just based on their profile information, but also based on their browsing behavior outside of Facebook. Many users have protested against this practice calling it overtly intrusive, as a result of which Facebook now offers users an option to opt out of retargeted ads as well.

While awareness of this measure is low among average users of Facebook, advertisers can expect to see some drop in the number of quality and quantity of retargeting data available on Facebook for advertising.

Anonymous Social Login

Social logins are popular among users who want a seamless user experience between the various websites they use on an everyday basis. Social login allows users to log in to websites using their social media credentials, doing away with the need to remember dozens of username-password combinations. In the process, it allows the owners of those sites to gain access to the user’s social media information.

Acknowledging the uneasiness that many users feel in sharing their profile information with random apps and ecommerce sites in return for the convenience of seamless login, Facebook will now allow users to log in to partner sites in incognito or ‘anonymous’ mode, thus restricting their access to the user’s profile and post information.

This feature is being rolled out slowly for now and will apply to all apps and sites in the near future.

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Great news for users, but definitely bad news for sites that use social login apps and plugins.

More informative App Control Panel

The newly redesigned app control panel offers users a bird’s eye view of what apps have access to their information and what information they have access to.

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It also helps them modify, add or delete the personal data that can be accessed by external apps easily.

Another example of the reduced data access that apps and marketers can foresee once users start using this feature more extensively.

Final words

Facebook has always lived in a grey area between privacy controls and privacy intrusion of its user base. As more and more people become aware of the various ways in which their personal information is up for sale by social media platforms like Facebook, they lash out against what they see as privacy transgressions by digital media.

With Facebook taking every step possible to minimize the negative PR that its privacy issues create, the extent and quality of data available to marketers will definitely reduce. Our job as marketers is to ensure that we remain updated about every way in which we can maximize Facebook marketing without getting on the wrong side of our users.

Rohan Ayyar works for E2M, a premium digital marketing firm specializing in content strategy, web analytics and conversion rate optimization for startups. His posts are featured on major online marketing blogs such as Moz, Search Engine Journal and Social Media Today. Rohan hangs out round the clock on Twitter @searchrook – hit him up any time for a quick chat.

 

Book by Jamie Turner

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Archive for ‘General Marketing’

September 17th, 2014

How to Figure Out Which Mobile Marketing Tool is Right for Your Business

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Are you still trying to sort through how to use mobile marketing to grow your sales and revenues? If so, I have two things that may help you.

The first is an infographic we created with the team at AWeber. We’ve featured it before on the 60 Second Marketer and have had a lot of good feedback from people who used it to guide them through the maze of mobile marketing options available to them.

To use it, just start at the top and answer the questions throughout. It should give you a clear idea of how you might be able to use mobile for your business.

If you’re ready to take a deep dive into mobile, I encourage you to join me in an advanced-level mobile advertising webinar scheduled for Thursday, April 18th at 2:00 pm ET. Click here to register for the webinar.

I’ll be joined by Chuck Moxley, who is the CMO of 4INFO, a leading mobile advertising platform. We’ll be discussing how to track, measure and calculate the ROI of your next mobile ad campaign.

I hope to see you there. In the meantime, here’s the infographic. Enjoy!

MobileDecisionTree

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