Category Archives: Web Analytics

Tips to Create Positive #TwitterDrops

There are a lot of slang terms used to describe Twitter-related behavior. The phrase “Twitterdrop” has gained  a negative connotation – it is used to describe poor-behaving Twitter users who pretend to be in conversation with someone when they are not.

For business, not everything has to be a negative. Consider doing a “Positive TwitterDrop” – adding a positive comment as an Twitter follower into an event stream or ongoing related conversation.

Offer a festive comment to events, even for a negative occurrence. Oreo has been a master at making the odd events playful, with this example of what they said during the game delay in Super Bowl 47, in which the lights lost power during the game.

Oreo Superbowl 47 Daak

Oreo, the “Top Cookie” in social media, references  the Super Bowl 47 darkout in the New Orleans SuperBowl.  This playful Twitter visual was tweeted during the unusual pause in the game because of the power outage.

The key to success is selecting events based on the persona of your desired customers.  The event, the Super Bowl, attracts consumers who are most likely eating snack food.  The event itself is a pastime, a gathering of people being social and enjoying a popular sport.  If an event brings a desired audience, consider it an opportunity to join the conversations.

Now, joining a conversation is a art. Here are a few other ideas on how to do so as a high art through a PT – a Positive TwitterDrop

  • First develop a list of events that are covered in Twitter – determine if those event are worth establishing TwitterDrop coverage. Embed on event with a collective shared value of your target demographic. An event can have a local collective meaning well suited to build awareness in a local market, or a national collective meaning well suited for your products and
  • Use a tool like Twitter Analytics geography reporting to see if your following matches closely with the events location and follower interest.  If possible, take time prior to a elected event to engage people from the regions or associated topics that
  • You can also use Bottlenose to search any associated hashtags – for example, the SuperBowl typically uses a variation of #sbXX where XX is the number of the super bowl. Thus Super Bowl 48 s #sb48
  • Have live support ready – be it yourself for a solopreneur, selecting panels at an expo to participate, or having a support team that handles your social media. The purpose it to spot and respond to comments shared online. Use a dashboard such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to create a dedicated Twitter stream bases on the event hashtag. Advanced analytics tools like Adobe Social also provide quick means to monitor response.
  • That aforementioned support must be creative relative to the event. The embed team should have a sensibility about the event in which the campaign will be embedded in.  That awareness helps to not only spot an opportunity but to create a witty insertion.
  • Monitor website analytics to see if participation in a Twitter-based event lead to better exposure to conversion goals. Use social reports in Google Analytics and set annotations notes that coincide with the dates of TwitterDrop events. Doing so highlights the best
  • Despite an urge to mention a product, consider subtle tactics and totally avoid hard sells. Note in the Oreo Superbowl example how it references the typical “product usage” behavior – dipping cookies in milk – while noting the power outage.  Aim for humorous reminders of what makes your product or service worthwhile.
  • Also remember that a TwitterDrop can go both ways.  When Oreo suggested to bring its cookies to the theatre – a violation of theatre rules about bringing outside food – AMC Theaters quickly responded:
Oreo-AMC Theatres Tweet

This AMC Theaters response to Oreo shows that a Twitterdrop can go both ways…


Seven #YouTube Marketing Tips for Effective Analytics

You can insert links in a video, and with some planning, the embedded links can compliment your images.  This video embedded link for a sports car comparison displays the link for each car based on the cursor selection.

You can insert links in a video, and with some planning, the embedded links can compliment your images. This video embedded link for a Porsche 911 comparison displays the link for each car based on the cursor selection.

These days YouTube seems to be the latest fashion in marketing a business online. The Zimana post What’s On YouTube Tonight examines YouTube’s growing importance. To leverage that knowledge effectively for your business, here are seven aspects that should be deployed in a marketing campaign which includes YouTube videos. Using any of these can make measurement in an analytics solution meaningful, and increase the ease in making a YouTube channel effective.

1. Link videos to marketing initiatives: Decide how your YouTube videos aid branding or conversion tactics. The YouTube videos displayed in your network should support your company’s overall marketing goals and message. These can be as simple as selecting the same background for your business. Create one main channel and then use playlists to organize your videos within it. That helps customers find all your videos.

2. Incorporate video measurement that shows how activity matches website objectives: To monitor your video performance, consider spending a dedicate amount of time using YouTube Analytics. Doing so focuses on how the videos are being accepted within the YouTube platform. To understand how that activity leads to conversions at an associated website, connect YouTube to Google Analytics. You can also insert tags in the links, from a URL builder, Google Tag Manager, or another tag management system.

3. Vary the content message: To keep your customers’ attention, vary the messages within the videos presented. Some customers will view the videos for basic information, while others seek deeper knowledge about a process associated with your product or service. Plan the video content – also consider teaser segments that can be used on Vine and Instagram to draw visits.

4. Use ads for direct appeals. Many small business owners overlook using ads to provide an appeal, and instead try to create an ad in a video. Creating a separate ad opens ups options for deploying a direct message. There is an Adwords for video advertising, in which users sign into Adwords, set up a campaign, and select a video in the YouTube Account. There is a True-View, in which an ad appears just before the video “in-stream”, and an in-search selection, in which ad appears in the search results alongside YouTube. Either way, an ad should be used for a direct appeal to action (“Call for prices, register today, etc”), and can potentially compliment YouTube video content that has softer appeals such as demonstration of a product or service.

5. Be discoverable in online search. Use descriptive titles to help viewers find your videos. Compare a few words in Google Trends then see if you can insert them into the titles and description as keywords. YouTube titles and descriptions can appear in Google search query results, as well as being searchable in YouTube, so using keywords that match general search trends is vital.

6. Ensure consistent video branding: YouTube channels have a number of sharing options; Thus videos from the channel can appear on a variety of sites, and should have a consistent look. The benefit is developing a consistent appearance that will entice viewers to play the video and click on associated links.To do so add end cards to a video that include a company logo. If there is no logo, try a similar font and format for beginning and end. Another trick is inserting Powerpoint slides with each slide saved as a jpeg file. This can can be done with a video editor such as Camtasia.

7. Engage the social media community to share: Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus can extend the viewership of a video and encourage traffic to the YouTube channel. Also, adding video can spice up the feeds on those platforms, increasing engagement performance among followers. And as mentioned in tip #3, sharing short video teaser segments or creative segments in Vine and Instagram can draw visits. Monitor responses within a platform (Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics) to note how well a post with video has reached followers, then view reports within a web analytic solution if a goal is to drive traffic to a website conversion goal.

Universal Analytics and WebTrends Streams Improve How Customers and Sales Tie Together


WebTrends Streams

This images shows traffic flow reporting from WebTrends Streams, a analytics product that further centralizes camapign-related data in the user interface.

Google Analytics Universal Analytics

This snippet of code is making big waves, as Google introduces Universal Analytics as a means to better connect with customers across multiple devices.

Imagine a Christmas wish list for marketers. You can probably imagine improved digital campaign measurement at the top of that list. Thus this year’s changes to analytic solutions can seem like an early Christmas gift. The new features will help marketers make better decisions on customer and sales activity.

For a while marketers have faced an increasing array of marketing media choices. Online marketing strategy was once limited to search and paid search. But QR codes, digital coupons, social media, and video have increased the selection, compounded further by smartphones, tablets, and newly discovered functionality of website design code.

The end result is an environment in which marketers struggle to monitor and to compare various referral traffic sources. eMarketer noted last August that marketers found only half of the current analytics tools “useful”. However, marketers are not deterred. The marketing research firm referenced an Adlogy survey, in which businesses, particularly small businesses, are increasing their budgets for websites and social media. 25% of respondents plan to increase their website development, while another 20% planned for more resources on SEO.

These investment decisions have enticed analytic solution providers to step up their game. Google and WebTrends are among the first providers to incorporated new features meant to address real time reporting from digital campaigns.

WebTrends introduced Streams, an application that integrates data into visual graphic dashboards. These reports can monitor real time influence of customer digital activity across devices and correlate the dataflow against other data, such as KPIs.
There is also more reporting flexibility. For example, Stream users can create filters through writing a SQL-type syntax. This feature adds flexible, tailored to an analyst’s demands instead of that from default settings provided by the solution.

Where as WebTrends created a new application, Google revised its venerable application Google Analytics. Over the past several months Google has released a beta version of its Universal Analytics package (yesterday Google announced that UA is out of the beta phase). This revised tag incorporate capabilities to reflect a more realistic view of how traffic contribution to a conversion goal, including features such as additional configuration options in the reports, time zone based reporting (meaning that the data is updated based on the account’s timezone of usage rather than Pacific time), a User ID feature to better connect multi-device traffic sources, and an improved demographic reports. The changes also better positions the solution for web development changes. Read more about Google’s full release of Universal Analytics.

A marketer’s understanding of data relative to a given objective is always changing, so a solution redesign to support evolving outlook of data is inevitable. By including more real-time reporting, analytic providers have assured marketers that the gift of more dynamic reporting is not a lump of coal in the stocking.

3 Data and Analytics Tips for Prepping Small Businesses for Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is worth more than a process that advances analytics capability. It has a growing important value in a business strategic plan. Businesses struggle to organize their marketing, typically due to running separate social media, email, and platforms. The effort yields individual results to each platform, but can overlook multichannel opportunities or personalization which more customers crave.

Marketing automation addresses that need by consolidates marketing planning and reduces “clutter” from managing separate media. Planning how to automate can highlight where a message may not need to be repeated as well as how to repeat other messages that are valuable for the customer. The planning with marketing automation as a core function saves time and, when done right, improve marketing results.

Automation has a particular value for small businesses.  Small business owners and their employees are busy, leaving a limited time to analyze analytics reports repeated.  Marketing automation can streamline resources by automating marketing tasks.

There are three tips small and medium sized businesses can follow to prepare for adding marketing automation features.

  1. Get a lay of the initial data on the land. Establish the best data possible in the systems that will match up to your analytics. This means eliminating duplicate entries in sources such as CRM systems.  Use advanced databases tools where possible to find consistent duplicates and errors.
  2. Roadmap how data will flow through the organization.  Roadmap how an automation program will be implemented. Addressing all digital platforms at once can overlook needed steps.  Set a six-month goal for full implementation, with milestones along the way. Use features like an annotation in Google Analytics to journal technical changes – some marketing decisions will trigger other analytics-related decisions such as adjusting tags, setting up remarketing campaigns for certain site visitors, changing filters, or adding custom variables.
  3. Align your sales and marketing teams to sync promotion communication. Plan the marketing and supporting automation system based on the buying cycle and lead nurturing stages.  The sales team’s insight can ensure that your marketing efforts to brand and convert potential customers align with the sales team’s capabilities to execute.  This can also indicate how alerts in analytics solutions should be distributed to the teams involved.

With comment permission linked to Google Plus, Google Cleans #YouTube’s Analytics House

YouTube Analytics Dashboard

YouTube Analytics is increasingly valuable as YouTube’s comments and metrics are increasingly scrutinized

Sometimes redesigning a suite of technological products is like redecorating a house. Once you start with one room, you end with more rooms redecorated to complete a look.

Google was certainly redecorating their house a few years ago. After a revamped Google Analytics solution, along with a search engine updates for mobile search and the even more ballyhooed Google Plus platform, Google released YouTube Analytics, an analytics platform for YouTube managers that replaced Insights and was a significant response for the emergence of increased mobile video viewing in the marketplace.

eMarketer released an article noting the growing rate of mobile video watching. Total US Online viewers reached 158.1 million in 2011 – that’s more than 50% of the US population. In the article, PaulVerna, eMarketer senior analyst, noted the significant sources for the trend.

“Audience growth over the next four years will come from all demographic segments, but it will be more pronounced among preteen children, older boomers and seniors. These groups have traditionally lagged teens and younger adults in their video viewing activity, but the gaps will start to close as the market matures.…”

Add Verna’s statement to YouTube’s current recognition as one of the largest search engines. Mix those points with Google’s introduction of mobile-centric features in its online search engine, and you have a recipe for YouTube Analytics.

You can find my first impression of YouTube Analytics in my All Analytics post. Since that post was issued, a few new protocols have been added to impact the value of YA metrics. Google has focused on requiring YouTube viewers to have a Google account to comment on YouTube videos. Comments are also sorted by relevance than the date posted. The creator of video has higher priority for relevancy, follower by commentators who are signed in a Google Plus account.

The interesting responses has been from YouTube “users” who do not wish to be logged into a Google account to provide their commentary. They are suspicious of Google with respect to privacy and simply do not want to complicate their right to speak anonymously. This CNN post summarizes the complaints. Furthermore, a report from Digital Trends noted that Google uses YouTube “superflaggers” to identify abusive comments.

The comment-clensing strategy is meant for more than reducing off-color comments. The strategy also supports YouTube’s increased influence in entertainment as a source for new music or information on movies. Nielsen ratings and Billboard, two long-established measurement agencies in television and music, include YouTube views into their metrics.

From an analytics perspective, this development reflects today’s digital effort to clean data sources. To make better sense of the metrics analyzed, data quality is essential. Removing poor comments on YouTube reflects eliminating the “poor data” from comments. Comments can be analyzed for better understanding what videos appeals to customers, though an argument can be made for having an opt-out for those who want to comment and debate without everything on a Google-controlled platform.

Businesses that use YouTube heavily may want to add comments in their privacy policy regarding how their YouTube channel is moderated. This may not win the anti-Google plus-signin crowd, but it can assure those who do check in that the channel is managed in a way that will earn their trust.