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CONNECTED CULTURE Blog by Jerry Allocca

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Facebook IQ + Facebook Insights: Powerful Digital Marketing Tools

Better Facebook Marketing Through InsightsSuccessfully generating a return on investment from Facebook marketing has become more difficult than ever. With more than 1.7 billion users and a growing number of advertisers all vying to capture market share, creating a successful campaign is no easy task.

Facebook IQ
An often-overlooked source of insights that can help you better understand what makes Facebook users tick is Facebook IQ. This blog-like site from Facebook publishes regular content that uses Facebook insights and data analysis and opinions from top researchers, sociologists, anthropologists, scientists and others to enable marketers to better understand their target audiences. Categorized by topic, articles offer valuable information for those who are planning Facebook campaigns. As well, the Industry Research section of the site provides beneficial articles specifically about Facebook marketing on topics such as media planning, testing campaigns, optimizing audience buying and reaching full campaign potential.

Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights is also a fundamental resource for anyone who is considering ad spend on Facebook. This has long been used by those who understand the importance of data when making marketing decisions. And, the tools have become easier to use over the years, offering clear data sets with easy-to-navigate, customizable graphs.

What’s New in Facebook
If there’s one constant in Facebook, it’s that it’s always evolving and being updated. In fact, there have been some recent changes that marketers should be aware of. These include:

  1. Updated Layout – Facebook recently announced an official update to its business page layout. The changes include different positioning of images, more prominent call-to-action buttons and improved navigation.
  2. The End to the 20% Text Rule – Facebook recently eliminated this rule that rejected ads with more than 20% text. Now, marketers can have as much text as they want in their Facebook ads.
  3. New Video Metrics – Those that publish videos on Facebook will appreciate new metrics that can offer greater insights into their visibility. These include audience demographics by age, gender and geographic locations.
  4. Custom Audiences – Marketers can now create audiences of people who are most active on their websites. This is available to Facebook advertisers creating audiences from the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor.

Want guidance in your Facebook marketing campaigns? Contact the experts at Connected Culture.

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Google Data Studio: Transform Your Data into Visual Reports

Why You Need Google Data StudioThe growing use of data and analytics has put many digital marketers in the challenging position of having to create reports. Yet, most have little or no background in graphic design. While some are able to create rudimentary charts and tables that get the job done, others invest in expensive report generation software or even hire outside providers to create consumable reports.

Have you been tasked with creating reports even though you have little or no background in graphic design? If so, you’ll appreciate Google’s latest release – Google Data Studio. This new data visualization product integrates data across multiple Google products and other data sources to transform it into amazingly professional-looking, interactive reports and dashboards with built-in real-time collaboration.

You Never Thought You Could Create Reports Like This!
Digital marketing professionals know that Google Analytics is fantastic for generating data that drives business decisions. Yet, it has always been tedious and time-consuming creating reports that actually make sense to executives, shareholders and clients. With Data Studio, the process of pulling information to create agency-quality, consumable reports is intuitive and simplified. The new tool provides the ability to change colors, gradients, fonts and more to make reports professional enough to be placed in presentations, annual reports and brochures.

You can choose from bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts and other formats. It’s easy to add text boxes, images, shapes and even your logo to customize a report. Do you use data from sources, other than Google Analytics? Not a problem! One of the most amazing features of Data Studio is that you can pull information from a wide variety of sources and combine them in one report. Some of the data sources you can integrate into a Google Data Studio report are:

  • Adwords
  • BigQuery
  • MySQL
  • YouTube Analytics
  • Google Sheet

Real Time Updates and Collaboration
With Data Studio, your reports don’t have to be stagnant. Instead, they can be changed in real-time whenever there is an update to a data source. Want to collaborate with others on reports? Not a problem! Data Studio reports are just like other documents on Google Drive. You can grant permission for others to access and update.

Who Said Nothing Is Free?
Yes, Data Studio currently won’t cost you a dime! But, there are some restrictions. You’ll be limited to five reports per account. However, you can create additional pages on each report you create.

Have you tried Google Data Studio yet? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Digital Media ROI: How to Determine Its Effectiveness

digital-media-roi-connected-cultureIn the highly segmented, complex world of digital media, results and analytical data can be obtained on a real-time basis. However, the challenge is being able to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of this never-ending stream of information and communicate it to those decision-makers who sign off on marketing budgets.

When you have multi-faceted digital
marketing campaigns that are focused on multiple audiences, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s working and what’s not, as well as where it’s best to allocate resources. One Google AdWords campaign may be highly successful, but others may be lagging in results. A single email blast can generate many click-throughs, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they translate into leads or sales.

In the simplest terms, the goal of any digital media effort is to generate relevant traffic and ultimately generate qualified leads and increase sales and revenue. Yet, the question is how best to track these efforts to determine if your goal is being achieved. The following are a few of the most valuable sources of data to evaluate your campaigns’ effectiveness.

Website Analytics
Because your website is truly the storefront for your organization, it’s absolutely essential to have your finger on the pulse of who your visitors are and how many are converting. This means analyzing your visitor traffic to understand their behaviors and their needs. Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for determining your digital media ROI because it enables you to measure online sales and conversions, as well as gain valuable insights into how visitors find and use your site and what makes them come back again.

Need to drill down and find the ROI of just one campaign? Google Analytics can provide great detail about a single landing page to help you determine the effectiveness of your content. Other ways to accomplish this are to provide a dedicated phone number for each digital marketing campaign or a specific promo code for site visitors to use. These unique markers are easy to track for the purpose of calculating ROI.

Social Media Analytics
One of the many benefits of an organization taking the time to build exposure on social media is to access the analytics that these channels offer. Every social media channel, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, offers amazingly detailed analytics that enable you to track the success of what you share, especially Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel method. From posts to advertisements and interactions, learning who is responding to your content, as well as if they are converting, can help guide your marketing strategies and determine the value of what you’re putting out there for your specific audiences.

Email Analytics
Do you have an extensive email list? If you’re already sending out email blasts in the form of newsletters or promotions, you will want to carefully assess the metrics on how many recipients are actually opening your content and then clicking through to take the next step. And of course tracking how many of those clicks to your website result in conversions.

Putting It Together
When it comes to determining the overall effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts, you need to first generate the data from each individual campaign and then review them collectively to gain a greater understanding of the big picture. With a 360-degree view of where your online audiences are coming from, where they are going and how many are converting, you can calculate the value of your digital efforts and develop a deeper understanding to improve your results.

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Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads: Best Practices

Google made an exciting announcement earlier this summer that made digital marketing experts jump for joy! Among several AdWords changes that were presented in the announcement was a big change to the size of Google text ads. Advertisers can now delight in having nearly twice the space they previously had to create ads that compel readers to click on them. Yes, this is big news for anyone who has struggled with creating quality ads with strong headlines and descriptions with such an abbreviated character count.

Google AdWords Text Ads

Google actually referred to the change as the biggest update since AdWords was launched 15 years ago. The reason for the change is to make text ads more visible on mobile devices. This change comes after Google’s decision earlier in the year to remove right-side ads on desktop. It’s apparent that Google wants to create a more unified experience across devices.

So, what can digital marketers do to make the most of these new expanded ads? The following are a few best practices to help you modify existing ads and to create new ads with the updated format.

Reevaluate Your Message – Many advertisers will simply add a second headline to existing ads. While this is a faster, easier way to update ads to the new format, it’s not the most effective route. This larger format offers the ability to reconsider messaging and to build more content around it. By taking into account each line of content and fine-tuning messaging, you’ll increase the likelihood that a reader will take the next step of clicking on it.

Expand Your Headlines – With the change, your headline character count grows from one 25-character headline to two 30-character headlines. This is substantial and dramatically increases the clickable space of your ads. Think carefully about how you want to convey your headline to attract the attention of someone who is searching ads.

Consider the Formatting of Your Headline – Your ad’s headline fields are combined with a hyphen in the new format. On a mobile device, headlines can wrap beyond the first line. You will want to experiment with different headline options to see how your ad will appear on a variety of devices to maximize your ad’s readability.

Power Up Your Descriptions – Your descriptions are increasing from two 35-character description lines to one 80-character description line. Like with headlines, you’ll want to take some time to determine how to best communicate your message with the extra characters.

Use Bulk Editing – Do you have many ads that are still in the old format? There’s more good news. You don’t have to update each ad individually. To make bulk changes, multi-selecting them in the “Edit” menu and make the edits to any number of ads you want with a single process.

Keep Track of the Changeover – On October 26th of this year, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. Existing ads made prior to the change will remain in the old format, and all new ads must use the expanded ad format.

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User Explorer Joins the Google Analytics Arsenal of Tools

Google Analytics User ExplorerFor marketing professionals, having a solid understanding of Google Analytics is incredibly important to gain insight into marketing performance. It’s the tools and features within Google Analytics that can determine if measurable results are being achieved. This is why it’s important to stay on top of introductions and new features like User Explorer which was recently released. This new set of reports lets users perform analysis of anonymized individual interactions within websites. User Explorer leverages existing anonymous Google Analytics data to provide incremental insights needed to improve and optimize websites.

Types of Insights
With User Explorer, a list of client IDs is collected from visitors’ devices and browsers, as well as their session count, average duration, bounce rate, revenue, transactions and goal conversion rate. The report also provides user activity history and time-stamps each site interaction. Some believe that this new feature will give digital marketing platforms like Marketo, Pardo and Eloqua a run for their money.

The new feature also enables examination into specific users within a segment to gain deeper insights into their behaviors. With this data, the site experience can be personalized based upon these behaviors, and users can be directed to relevant content that is targeted to them. Ultimately, this feature offers tremendous opportunities to identify key personas, upsell, remarket and personalize customer service.

Other Valuable Reports from Google Analytics
Of course, User Explorer is not the only source of reports. Google Analytics can also be used to create a wealth of custom and standard reports that can guide many digital marketing decisions. These include:

Traffic Acquisition Reports – This important report provides tremendous insight into the success of ad campaigns, websites and SEO strategy. This includes details on which external sites are driving site traffic.

Content Efficiency Report – When content is king, you need a report that tracks entrances, page views, bounces and goal completions. This data can help answer common content questions, such as:

  • What content (images, videos, infographics, etc.) performs the best with site visitors?
  • What content is most likely to convert site visitors into customers?
  • What content is being shared by users?

Keyword Analysis Report – This is another valuable report that offers data that can help guide digital marketing decisions. A Keyword Analysis Report offers details, including visitor metrics, conversion rates, goal completions and page load time for every keyword.

Are your digital marketing efforts falling short of expectations? Do you need help creating a digital marketing plan that can enable you to achieve your goals? Call the experts at Connected Culture today.

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Google Releases New Analytics Tools to Increase Marketing Insights

Website StatisticsIf you haven’t heard already, Google recently launched a new marketing suite that was created to help busy marketing professionals improve their digital marketing results. Called Google Analytics 360 Suite, the new offering integrates tools that enable you to better understand your online audiences by giving you greater insight into marketing data.

This suite doesn’t come a moment too soon. According to a survey conducted by Google and Forrester Research, 84% of marketers believe that their data sources lack sufficient integration. Google Analytics 360 Suite is designed to help address this common challenge by linking platforms to allow users to seamlessly transfer data between six programs contained in the suite.

Analytics have become an essential part of achieving digital marketing goals. However, there has been the ongoing challenge of integration. Because of this, Google set out to build a new solution that would enable a 360 view of the customer journey, provide greater insights and offer better sharing of these insights to support cross-functional goals and better decision-making. Alas, we now have Google 360 Suite.

How It Works
Google Analytics 360 Suite consists of six products, four of which are new, that support sharing of data and insights:

  1. Google Audience Center 360 – This data management platform can help you understand your customers and find more of them across channels, devices and campaigns.
  2. Google Data Studio 360 – Provides data analysis and visualization to integrate data across all of the suite products, as well as other data sources. You can create reports and dashboards using this product, too.
  3. Google Optimize 360 – A website testing and personalization product to help deliver better experiences. Using the product, you can show consumers multiple variations of your site, depending on what best works for them.
  4. Google Tag Manager 360 – Empowers you to make better decisions by gathering site information.
  5. Google Analytics 360 (formerly called GA Premium) – This product is still being rolled out, but will serve as the tool to analyze customer data from multiple touchpoints and can be integrated with Google ad products.
  6. Google Attribution 360 (formerly called Adometry) – Enables analysis of performance across channels, devices and systems to help support smart marketing investments and budget allocation.

Currently, Google Analytics 360 Suite is in limited BETA. It is expected to be fully launched in the 3rd quarter.


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Discover Your Most Profitable Audience Segments

people-profilesMuch has changed since Google first launched Google Analytics (GA) more than a decade ago. If you’re responsible for your organization’s digital marketing, you’re probably already familiar with some of its basic functions. Yet, there have been updates and it’s always beneficial for a refresher when it comes to these valuable tools.

Get to Know Audience Insights
Audience Insights can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to your digital marketing campaigns. The tool allows you to reach people based on their specific interests as they browse pages, videos, and content across YouTube and the Google Display Network. Once you’re able to identify the audience segments that generate the most conversions (i.e. Leads or Sales), then you can target those specific segments in your online advertising campaigns.

Familiarize Yourself with These Other Reports
There is a tremendous amount of data that can be generated from reports created through GA. Each one can help you better understand your web traffic. These include:

  • Source/medium reports – Provides information on who is visiting your website and their behaviors, including how long they spend on your site and how many pages they view.
  • Audience acquisition reports – Offers you a view of what channels are bringing you traffic so that you can evaluate your qualitative metrics.
  • Content report – Gives an overview of the pages on your site and the performance of each page, including whether or not these pages are leading to conversions.
  • Funnel reports – Also referred to as goal flow reports, these let you look at how your site’s users flow through a process, such as the order in which they view your site’s pages. From this data, you can determine where you may be seeing traffic drop off and areas you can improve.
  • Use GACheckerGAChecker.com crawls your site and creates a spreadsheet of missing Analytics and AdWords tags. This useful tool makes sure all your pages have the right code in place so you can accurately track visitors.

Link Your Google AdWords with GA
Do you have a Google AdWords account? If so, you will want to link this with GA so that the two can feed and inform each other. By doing so, you can gain a much better view into your campaign performance.

Leverage the Tutorials
Google Analytics Academy provides a wealth of information to help you improve the success of your website. There are intro videos on how the platform works, along with tutorials on how to install tracking tags, work with reports and even set goals.

Although Google Analytics certainly provides you with information about how your site has already performed, its real value is in providing predictive and prescriptive insights to guide the decisions you make as your website continues to evolve. By using it to help drive your decisions, you can make intelligent modifications based on measurable data.


How have you used audience insight reports to help improve your results?


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