Archive for 2011

Dec 29
2011

Do you know that about half of all American adults say they are somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution? It goes without saying that most New Year’s resolutions are easier said than done, but we amazingly commit every year to sit and write these resolutions with the hope to change ourselves to be better individuals.

It is amazing to see that every year my gym gets over packed with people whose New Year’s resolutions are to get in shape and lose weight. Unfortunately, most of these people will disappear by the end of January and we might see them back in the year after.

To avoid such quick and unhappy ending for our Web Analytics next New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share with you few tips to help you reach most of your planned goals. Yes, some of these tips are very obvious, but we can all use a reminder from time to time.

 

1. Set meaningful goals for what you love to do the most.

This is the first ingredient to success; you must love what you do and what you want to be. It is true that no one was born as a Web Analytics ninja, but also not everyone was born with the ability to work with data. So if you are one of those people who don’t enjoy data, then maybe it is time to use this New Year’s resolution to reevaluate your career path and consider discovering other options that you like.

Same logic should be applied to which branch of Web Analytics you want to invest in more. Choose the concentration that you really enjoy and desire to continue advancing in, not something that your employer or the industry says is good for you. If you don’t have strong internal motivation within yourself about what you are doing, you won’t be successful.

 

2. Take baby steps.

Last year, my wife decided to run a 10K race. She was totally out of shape and could barely run for 5 minutes straight. She divided her ultimate goal into smaller challenges, but achievable goals guided by a running program called “Couch to 5k in 9 Weeks.” In a few months she successfully participated in a number of 10K run fundraisers!

Mastering Web Analytics is no less challenging than the 10K race. Whether you are an Analytics guru or a beginner, in order to advance your knowledge and experience in Analytics, you should set realistic goals and then take small steps that are likely to be met with success.

 

3. Don’t keep your resolutions to yourself.

I learned this technique from the SEO guru, Matt Cutts, of Google who always shares his 30-days challenges with his social friends and blog readers.

While I didn’t talk to Matt about his motive in sharing his monthly challenges and whether the sharing is helping him in achieving these challenges. For me though, I find myself more responsible in fulfilling my personal commitments when they are made public, especially when one or two friends show interest and decide to commit to the same resolution.

I strongly believe that resolutions are best made with groups. Friends and colleagues can gently push you in the right direction when you lose direction and motivate you when you slow down. So for next year’s Analytics resolutions, if you can find a friend or a group of friends who commit to the same New Year’s resolution together, then I guarantee you a better chance of achieving your goals [as known in analytics as “higher conversion rate” and “lower bounce rate”]. You will be more accountable to each other and give a hand to each other when things gets tough.

 

4. Get good mentors.

It is part of the human nature to imitate those around us. So as we are working on our next year’s resolutions, we need to make sure that we surround ourselves more often with people who carry common interests and similar career objectives and who offer us sincere advice, listen to our ideas and fears, and tell us when we have gone off track.

Analytics conferences offer good opportunity to hunt for good mentors and to connect with new Analytics friends. Although these conferences are a bit expensive, many of them offer a Social Networking pass or Exhibit Hall only pass at a good discounted price, so don’t miss these opportunities. Another good social event that no Web Analyst should miss is the Web Analytics Wednesday, which take place in many cities all over the world.

 

5. Fine-tune your spirituality.

It is important to add a spiritual dimension to your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to get certified in Google Analytics, you may also resolve to use that knowledge to serve your community through offering free internet marketing consulting to your favorite charity organization or government/education institutions.

 

There it is, folks…

I think I’m ready for a good start! Good luck in your resolutions and feel free to share them with us if you think that will help in implementing them :)

 

 

Nov 29
2011

 

landing page with bullseyeImagine you’re a used car salesman.  I know, you’re disgusted and feel like taking a shower now, but humor me.   A customer who has been searching for a Toyota Camry comes to your car lot because he saw your flashing sign for just that – a great deal on a Toyota Camry.   You tell him, “Sure!” and point him in the direction of the entire car lot.  “Find it yourself!”  Do you think you’ll close that sale?

How about imagine he walks through the lot with your Toyota deal in his mind, but you have salesmen calling him over trying to sell him BMW’s, Honda’s, KIA’s, etc.  Not only is your customer now annoyed that you made him search for the deal himself, you’re team is bugging him with promotions he’s really not thinking about or interested in.

Let’s say after that, your now annoyed customer sees a car lot next door, and ALL they sell are low priced Camry’s.  Who’s going to get that sale?

This is how you should be thinking about your site and competitors.    In particular, basic web usability theory says the internet make things so easy and convenient for us, that it’s trained us to be…well…lazy.  If you don’t make things as easy as possible for your visitors, your competitor will, and there is no penalty or price for your visitor pressing the “back” button and then clicking on your competitor.

10 Tips for Building Effective Landing Pages

The beauty of the internet now is that you can create targeted custom landing pages focused on closing one product or service without any distractions.  Landing pages are focused, eliminating confusion, putting your prospects into a “track” that hopefully will result in a lead or close.

In this post, I’d like to talk list some best practices on how to do that right.

1 ) Simplicity = Clarity.  This is a key point that not only web design and other media is based on in general,  but most of the landing page best-practices are based on this.   There is definitely a balance that needs to happen – all important information needs to be included – however, it’s important that information is succinct and that also there is no other fluff on the page that will distract the visitor from closing.  Hubspot (a great authority on internet marketing) calls this the “blink-test” – meaning it should be clear on the page (any web subpage) what the page is about within the first 5 seconds (before you blink).  How do you do this?  With clear headings, images, calls-to-actions and reducing all other distractions.

2 ) Maintain the Scent.  In many cases, your paid ads/email ads will be targeted and a landing page will be best to serve them, since the landing page can be focused specifically on what your ad/mail is talking about.  Like our Camry analogy, there’s nothing more annoying than coming to a page that says “Free Kindle!” but then all it says (and in fact is yelling), “Here’s a bunch of information that has nothing to do with that.”

Maintain the scent from your ad to your landing page
3 ) Headline.  In many cases, this is the first thing a visitor will see.  Make sure it maintains the scent of your ad if it’s from paid traffic.    Also, make sure it conveys what the page is about, whether it’s the name of your product, why they should purchase it, a promo you are offering, etc.   Again, internet surfers like to think as little as possible, if they scan your headings and don’t find what they’re looking for, there’s no penalty for them bouncing.

4 ) Salespoints.  Sounds obvious, but too many times we’ve come to a page and they dance around the main reasons why we should buy their product or contact them.  Understand your prospects, what they are looking for, what possible hesitations may stop them from taking advantage of your product/services.  Outline that then make sure it’s all included in your landing page.  Only thing to keep in mind is when you put them there, you don’t want to write a novel as to why visitors should buy.   Minimal, succinct words and phrases that best convey your ideas.

5 ) Clear Calls-To-Action.  Another one that sounds obvious.  Your design should clearly distinguish it’s call(s)-to-action.  It’s image should contrast (a bright button on a muted surface) or the link should be bright and big.  If there is only one clear button, and that’s the only place they can go, it increases their chances of them going there.   Also, minimize your calls-to-action and keep them above-the-fold (meaning it shouldn’t be at the bottom of the page where visitors have to scroll down to find it).  If your conversion element or call-to-action is a form, make sure it’s nice and big, stands out, and is above the fold.

6 ) No Escapes.    I want them to look at the rest of my site!  I want them to see what other services I provide!  I want them to see my Facebook page!  By them leaving this page that nurtures the lead, you are significantly risking them losing the sale.  Remove all escape elements from the page – no navigation, no social networks, no other offers.  In the case where they may want more information on your company, you may provide one hidden escape to again minimize the chance of them getting distracted an you losing the lead (maybe link your logo to your homepage), but make sure to open this page in another tab/window so the original offer/landing page is not lost.  If you want them to see your certifications, high-profile clients you’ve served, etc – include that in the actual landing page design and layout.

urchin landing page with call to action

7 ) Reduce Distractions.  Aside from actual link “escapes”, design can get in the way too.  Too many images, background patterns, textures, rotating information, etc – can distract a visitor from your main “track”.  You may need to include some of these things, but minimize it.  Simple backgrounds, simple images, simple colors.   You can still be simple and be aesthetically chic.

8 ) Credibility Badges.  Any certifications, testimonials, client logos, authority certifications of your business will help legitimize you and could refute apprehension by your visitors to convert on your landing page.  The nice thing is now that your landing page is simple, it has space for this information.

9 ) Test! In design, it’s always important to understand – best practices are just that – “best practices”.  They are not written in stone and may not always apply, or a tweak to them may further optimize them.   It’s great to have hypotheses of how your visitors will act on the page based on their marketing personas and to also follow best practicesthis is a great starting point.  However, you wont truly know how your page will perform until it goes live, and you wont know if it’s doing the best it can do till you test different strategies, layouts, designs. You can have different landing pages under different campaigns to test, conduct user-testing, or you can try A/B testing services such as the Google Website Optimizer.

10 ) Thank You Page UPSELL!  This is something everyone neglects (even until recently, so did we!) .  You just closed a lead!  You can place a plain thank you message, or further your business by putting a promotion on the thank you page, upsell other products you have, or even better, add a social “share” link so that your happy lead can share this info with their friends.  Word-of-mouth sales close significantly greater than cold leads.

Nov 17
2011

Facebook Ads Dashboard ScreenshotFor the last couple weeks, I’ve been attending the Facebook Marketing Bootcamp and summarizing their webinars.  As I’ve said before, if you’re just getting into Facebook and Social Marketing or need an in-depth refresher – there is some great information in these webinars. While we usually look to “industry experts” for tips, the benefit of this is not only do they give best practices on how to effectively market your business using Facebook pages and their Ads platform, but since they are the creators, they can answer any basic questions people have about the interface itself.   If you’re interested, the webinar videos are on demand here!

This particular webinar was similar to the last webinar, but gave a little more detail on optimizing your Facebook Ad campaigns using their insights and reports features.

Here are some summary notes:

1) Optimizing the Creative of your ad

  • Try to think about what engages your target audience.
  • Adding questions is usually engaging – “Are you up for it?”  “Want the best football boots?”
  • Keep the body copy of your ad as concise as possible, but try to include as many key selling points as you can.   The more fluff or words you use, the less space you’ll have for key selling points..
  • Urgency often increases click-through -”Offer ends…”
  • Offers/Discounts help -  “Free” “Promotional”
  • Image – Logos don’t really work unless it’s a well known brand.  Use really attractive images.

2) Target and Segment Campaigns Clearly

  • Your ads are broken down into campaigns.  Make sure to set up campaigns and set them up correctly – segment them by gender, age, geography, etc.  Ex.  Female, UK, 13-30 yrs old.
  • They suggested a maximum of 3 -4 ads per campaign – it makes it easier to dissect data
  • Make sure your landing page or custom Facebook landing tabs have relevant info. As they say “maintains the scent”.  If you say there’s a free download, that landing page/tab better clearly deliver.

3) Utilize reports

  • Facebook ads interface is able to generate detailed reports.
  • Every few days, look at all creative and see what works.  From there, PAUSE ads that arent working.  That way, they dont compete with each other – only the best one is running.
  • Look at frequency and reach of the ad.
  • Launch new campaigns after people have seen the ads a couple times.  Refresh the creative so ads look fresh and people aren’t seeing the same ole ads.

 

Evaluating Performance

Facebook Ads General Dashboard

You can view the:

  • Size of your target audience or “Reach” – unique users that have seen your ads.
  • Social Reach – The beauty of this is many people will see that their friends that like an ad.  This carries a rapport or “word of mouth” value.
  • Look over past couple days, note if you see peaks (Ex. maybe they are clicking more on the weekends, so you want to focus ads at that time).
  • You can break it down by ads.  Monitor the Click-Through-Rate, Cost-Per-Click, etc.

Responder Demographics Report

Seeing the demographics can be valuable insight, because then you can further segments to further optimize then refocus your budget.   Ex. This age group might be working better or this Gender, so you can tailor some ads to those specific demographics.

Facebook Page Insights

  • Facebook pages themselves (vs. ads) have great insights built in.
  • You can see if your friends are fans or if non friends are fans of your page
  • You can monitor your Total Reach.
  • A new insight added are “People talking about you.”  Basically, this is the # of people who have liked your page, liked a post, posted on your page, shared a link about your brand, etc.  It’s a good indicator of how engaging and popular your page is.  While you may have x amount of followers, if no one is talking about your page, what’s the point?!
  • By viewing these insights you can optimize your page posting strategy!
  • See when people are responding best and post at that time
  • Gain insights at what types of posts people are responding to and increase those types of posts.

 

Questions from the Audience

How does system decides how much my ads costs?

This is based on CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-1000 impressions).   When a user visits an ad page, an auction takes place with the ads.   It takes into account:

  • Your bid, so to better your chances, bid slightly above the range.  This is not how much you necessarily will pay, but it’s the max and allows you to compete.
  • Historical performance of your ad – how well was your ad doing?  CTR, etc.
  • How are users interacting with your ad?  Are they liking them, or hiding them?

Do you have details on optimizing my Facebook page?

  • Figure out when you are going to post.  Best thing is to have a strategy – preferably a post calendar (to avoid spamming).
  • Post engaging items – photos, videos.
  • Insights – use it to figure out how many people are engaging and what posts.

Can you give further details on “# talking about this” stat on FB pages?

Anyone who commented on your page, tags your page in comments, likes your posts, etc.  It gives you a picture of how many people are interacting with your page (more importantly, engaging).

How often do you suggest we refresh creative?

No hard rule about it.  Monitor your ads for a couple days so you can see how its performing.  Then you can determine if you want to optimize them – generally 7-10 days.  You’ll see impressions declining, reach will decline – so that’s when you refresh.

When should I use “likes and interest” targeting vs “broad” targeting?

Depends on your target.  If you want all sports, say you have a sports store, then you use broad.  If you want something accurate, like people playing golf – then you use precise interest targeting.

Do you find differences between ads that lead to Facebook or external websites?

Depends, but Facebook objects tend to do better because they allow for social targeting.

Can you explain “Social Reach”?

Your ad reaching friends of friends and shows that their friends like your ad.  This is better, as it builds rapport if “friends” like a brand.

How often should I review reports?

Everyday.  Check where your impressions are going.  For example, if you see some demographics are getting an ad, you may do another ad to focus on another segment of age.

Sponsored Stories vs. Ads?

Ad you control the text and creative.  Sponsored stories – something that is within the newsfeed and you can promote that.  Say if someone likes the page, or a post on your page that had a great response.  Gives posts a boost.

Ads performance has declined, what should I do?

Figure out which ads have declined and do your best to figure out why.  Then refresh creative.    But it will be normal to see that after awhile, an ad will naturally will become stale and decline.

Is it a good idea to target an ad to only your fans?

It is, you can get them to interact more with your page and posts.  You are generating virality.  Keep in mind only 5-20% of your fans will see a post.  Whereas an ad targeted to them, 100% will see it.

Nov 16
2011

Google Analytics Premium

Today we announced our fifth strategic agreement with Google, enhancing E-Nor’s enterprise service offerings to include Google Analytics Premium. This is exciting news we wanted to share with you.

Google Analytics Premium, a paid analytics offering, contains more processing power, advanced analysis tools, and dedicated support. This new offering is a welcome addition to the already awesome features available in the Google Analytics Standard Edition – awesome just got super awesome!

Both Premium and Standard Editions of Google Analytics will receive many great feature enhancements going forward, with many coming out in the near future. E-Nor can help determine which edition is right for you and how to implement the best option for your organization.

We have supported many of Silicon Valley’s Fortune 500 companies realize tangible business results by leveraging E-Nor’s Digital Marketing Optimization Framework to drive analytics strategic planning, solution integration, advanced analytics implementations, and knowledge transfer. We look forward to working with you!

Join us for a Google Analytics Premium Webinar to learn more:

When:
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST

Visit Google Analytics Premium or call E-Nor at 1.866.638.7367.

Nov 14
2011

Hubspot 5 Steps for Awesome Social Media Lead Generation CoverHubspot, as usual, conducted a great webinar called 5 Steps for Awesome Social Media Lead Generation (Video and Slides). The main speaker was Kipp Bodnar,  Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot and co-author of the B2B Social Media Book.

Kipp opened the webinar with a yell that jolted me a little (he was really excited :) .  He confessed that he is a giant marketing dork (his words, not mine), and that while normally, experts paint a fluffy picture of social media, he wanted to do something different.

He started by pointing out a problem – a study that angered him:  73% of CEOs say that they don’t believe marketers drive revenue or demand to their business!  “They thinks were just arts and crafts!”  He argued the good news here is the only way to go is up.

Bottom line is, as marketers, the measurement of success in social media should be it’s ability to generate leads.   When we can demonstrate that Social Media does generate leads, we can prove that 73% wrong.

Here are some summary notes:

  • This is the best time EVER to be a marketer.
  • Leads is the metric to rely on.  Its a proxy for sales.
  • Social Marketing that doesnt drive sales wont last.

Examples of how social lead happens:

  • Tweet > Landing Page > Form > Lead
  • Friend “Likes” a Facebook post > You read the Blog Post > There’s a Call-To-Action > Landing Page.
  • +1 on Google > Brings you to a product page > Call-To-Action > Landing Page

 

Best way to generate leads with Social Media?

Kipp spent 2011 doing in depth research on what works.

1) Get the “basics” right

  • Build your reach! This is a HUGE step.  If no one is there, it doesn’t matter what you share.
  • Follow, Friend, and CONNECT.  This is the simplest step, but at the same time hardest -  a lot of marketers think reactions are just going to happen by themselves.  NOPE.  You need to search and seek out the conversation.  For example, follow industry people on Twitter, then they’ll follow you back.   That’s how you start.  Get out there, talk, connect, friend.
  • Share lots of links!  People are looking to news and info more than ever before.  Dan Zarrella found a correlation that those who share links have more followers.
  • Post often and consistently! Bit.ly (the link shortener website) released data on their clicks- the shelf life of a social media link is only 3 hrs!!!!!  That means you need to post something engaging and post often cause chances are after awhile, that link will disappear.
  • Automatic Sharing.  Use some automatic sharing applications to minimize your admin time.  Set up connections between twitter feed, blog posts feed, etc.  There are plenty of services like tweetdeck, hootsuite, etc, that will do this for you.
  • Leverage your existing base of contacts to join your social networks.  They can start as early members.  They may also be advocates that share your info, thus building your reach.  Email marketing is a huge opportunity to build social network.  Include social links in your emails, explicitly ask existing subscribers to join.
  • If you have a Facebook page, USE A “LIKE GATE”!!!!  These are landing tabs that force visitors to “like” the page to see hidden content, which is usually a promo or something free your company can offer to entice them to join.  “Like this page to get….”  IT WORKS.

2) Maximize Content Discovery

  • We need to get people excited to read and share content.
  • First, you need to create or have fresh regular content.  So people will know to come to you for information.
  • Second, you need to share that content.
  • Next, we have to do dedicated monitoring.  Who’s talking and responding to your posts?  Who’s sharing?  Of those people, who do we engage with so they can continue to support you and advocate for you?
  • COMMIT to a CONTENT CALENDAR.  A lot of companies wing it, and you will find yourself struggling to come up with content everyday.  Take the time to sit down and build this calendar so you just put the time in once a week/month, then everything else is like clockwork.
  • BUILD Social thank you pages.  This was a great piece of advice I hadnt heard before.  Put links on thank you pages to share.  When a visitor likes your page thank them and explicitly ask them to share your page.  To make it easier for them, provide a “share” link (many plugins or widgets are provided by facebook/twitter themselves).
  • Time-box  – too many people spend too much time monitoring their social networks (or they dont spend enough time).  Start out with 15 minutes a day, post and respond.  Scale up as needed.

3) Create Conversion Ubiquity – Calls to action all over the web

  • Place Calls-To-Actions everywhere!!!!  If you’re not catching them, your missing opportunity.  It doesn’t have to be in everyone’s face, but make it available.

4) Test and Fail fast.

  • FAILURE SUCKS!!!!  But, invaluable part of marketing.  Allow us to improve and iterate.
  • Set qualitative objectives.  If you can’t measure your progress, then you cant know if you failed and how to improve.
  • Set a methodology how to gather data.  You need to figure out how you will measure everything.  There are plenty of built in insight tools as well as 3rd party tools to measure social media.
  • Finally, conduct and experiment.  Set action items following up experiment.
  •  If something works, you double down, if it doesn’t, change.

5) Optimize for Maximum leads

  • Social media converts best vs. most other traffic.  The rapport from word of mouth or that is just built from interacting with your brand is invaluable.
  • Keep in mind though, not all platforms are right for all businesses.  If your “Visits” to “Leads” are low for x platform, change your strategy and try a platform that works.
  • Conduct RADICAL tests.  Landing page, web design, social media campaign.  Test 2 radically different ideas, and most likely, you will end up with a hybrid of working parts from both tests.

Nov 09
2011

Facebook Ads Webinar ScreenshotSecond webinar in a series of marketing tips from Facebook.  There’s some great information here, not only great practices to follow, but we’re listening to the “horses mouth”, so they could answer any questions about the interface.   If you are a Facebook Fan Page admin/owner looking to beef up the activity on your page,  I strongly recommend attending them – click here for more info on the Facebook Marketing Bootcamp .
This particular one was on Facebook Ad’s.    As Facebook’s bread and butter, sure – this is where they make their money from you, but the system works – getting you large groups of laser targeted audiences due to their ability to segment their 800 million users by interest!

Here are some notes on how to use Facebook Ads to effectively market your business or Facebook Fan pages:

Use Facebook ads to drive fans to your page and even more than that, use them to reach friends of those fans.

-800 Million active users on Facebook – scale of TV, precision of direct marketing, as well as ability to harness power of connections between friends.

-There are 4 ad formats:

  • Standard Ads
  • Application Ads (app)
  • Like Ads (FB Pages)
  • Event Ads

-The last 3 include a powerful tool – social context (meaning they can display “[Your Friend] likes this”, which is more likely to inspire “trust” and thus, better chances at click-through).

Important Steps:

1) Make sure you’re targeting efficiently.

Understand your audience. Ex. Are you a brick-and-mortar store? Then a good question would be “Where is my audience located?”

Other things to consider: Demographic targeting?  Does a specific gender come to my store?  What’s their education?

More precise targeting: Likes and interest?  Ex. Are you a restaurant?  Then try touch people who like a certain type of food.

 

2) Design an engaging ad.

Make sure to get the “creative” right!  This could be the difference between someone clicking on your ad, or not.

Succinct copy!  Be short and clear, but compelling.

Use an image that is eye-popping.

Make sure to have engaging content – Promos (“Free Download!”).  Questions (“Do you like pizza?”)

Your ad should be action-oriented – explicitly tell them what you want them to do.  ” ‘LIKE’ our page!”

 

3) Setting correct budget and bid – you can only reach certain people with a certain budget.

Lower bids get lower chances of ad’s being run.  Bid a good number and if your ad is doing well, bid on the high end.

 

4) Analyzing and Optimizing

Test multiple versions. Multiple text, headers, images, etc.  Choose the most optimized.

“Page Post Ads” – if you have a good post with good comments – you can create ads out of those to reach people it normally wouldnt.   Links, events, questions, photos, videos, etc.   Target posts.

Define strategy.  Do you want to drive sales? Or get more fans?

More best practices to drive traffic to your page:

Select to run a “Page Post Ad” – sometimes you have a great post on your page and you want more than just your fans to see it.   Facebook Ads allows you to run this.

Choose a image that’s engaging – human interactions are usually more successful.

Ad copy needs to be engaging – asking a question, promoting a discount

Create a sense of URGENCY – let them know when promo is ending.

 

Questions from the Audience:

I set up campaign, but I have very few impressions?  What do I do?

Make sure to set bid high so it’s competitive.

 

Can I give access to someone else to manage my ads without giving them access to my profile?

Go to Ads manager and you can add verified users to see ads.

 

How often should you check the results of your ads?

Every couple days.  Make changes based on results of engagement.

A good indicator that your ad is working is if you hit your budget everyday.  If not, you may have to up your bid.

 

What does “Targeting by broad category” mean?

Broad category are common categories.  Ex.  Broad category are “pets”.  Precise interest are “dogs”.

 

Is it better to have broad or precise targeting? 

Depends on your own goals.  If you want people with likes or interest similar, go with broad targeting.  But if you’re advertising a product that is specific, then go with precise interest.  You may want to add several price interests.

 

If I don’t bid high enough, possible my ad wont show?

Yes.  You need to bid high enough.

 

How long would you run an ad before adjusting it?

Every couple days.  At least every 10 to 12 days to make sure your ad isn’t going stale.

 

Nov 02
2011
Facebook Marketing Bootcamp Logo We usually look to different industry experts for their experience and insights on Facebook Marketing, so it’s nice to finally get best practices directly from Facebook.  Since it’s their product, they can validate what practices really do work and what are meant to be used with their system (though, of course, we can’t forget there’s a definite “sales” element involved in them trying to get us to try their Facebook Ads :) ).  The Facebook Marketing Bootcamp is providing free webinars over the next coming weeks.   Register and you get a free $25 coupon for Facebook Ads, so you might want to register here.Today’s webinar was the first in the series and it was titled “How Your Business Will Be Better In A Connected World”.  It gave a general overview on how Facebook can benefit your business and what technology Facebook has to offer.

Here are some summary notes:

Our lives our made of connections to things we care about: people, songs, hobbies, sports, places – this makes us who we are.

Technology (such as Facebook) brings us closer – transforms how we connect and share our lives – on an ongoing basis.

Benefits to businesses?  They can connect to friends’ friends – through word of mouth.

Stats:

  • Word of mouth is twice as likely to cause engagement, 4 times as likely to cause purchase.
  • 800 Million on Facebook
  • 350 use mobile
  • 2 billion posts/day
  • 500 million log in
  • 250 million photos uploaded

Conversations and sharing are happening in a way never done before

It’s up to you to build essential connections – not just count clicks.  Our job to spark conversations, inspire sharing.

How to Grow Your Business

Pages

  • Upload photos and info to express your business
  • Engage – this is how you let people know and communicate with your audience – ask questions, exclusive offers.
  • FB recommends to connecting to at least 10% of your base – statistically, these are your influencers.
  • Updates, photos, events, etc – posts go to their newsfeeds

Ads

  • Simple to reach your fans and their friends per ads.
  • Utilize Facebook Ads, sponsored stories.  Granular targeting – by interests, local reach.

Sponsored Stories – shows your target audience how their friends interact with businesses.

  • Take actions already happening with your page and make it visible by friends’ friends.
  • Ads manager – you can turn on sponsored stories
  • You want them to always be running – you can boost your reach

Social Plug-ins

  • Simple line of code and you can integrate your site with Facebook and its social capabilities
  • Have to ask yourself though, “Is it good for my kind of site”
  • American Eagle added a “like” button so people can share with their friends.

1-800-Flowers – make sure everything they do is social.  Contests, promos, etc.  Starts every campaign with the question “Is it Social?”

It allows you to communicate with customers on a consistent basis.  Facebook page allows you to blast message to fans already interested.

Increase Facebook fan base by “marrying” offline and online together – in store signs, receipts, etc.  Add “Facebook” info to your offline literature.

Success Stories

How consistent should we post?  There’s no exact science, it’s on a page by page basis.    But there are a couple rules of thumb:

  • Post at least once a week
  • Set up a post calendar – post certain types of content on certain days to keep users engaged.
  • Most effective? It will vary between business to business, but mix it up.
  • Put questions in your posts to get feedback.
  • Utilize photo/video to grab attention.
  • Over time, you will see what kinds of posts gets you the most amount of feedback.

Oct 25
2011

I “liked” the Facebook Marketing Solutions fan page.  Awesome page that gives great training on marketing on Facebook (directly from them)! I am viewing Sheryl Sandberg’s live talk “Sandberg’s Quietly Audacious Pitch to Marketers: Put a Little Facebook in Everything You Do”.   Here are some notes.

  • 68% more likely to remember an ad with social context. 2x more likely to remember ads messages. 4x more likely to purchaseYour establishing connections to your customers, multiple times, and their friends, but its your job to keep them engaged
  • Strike balance – not too much bad content, good content
  • Talk “with” not “at” – just like your profile, put things up you think your friends will like.
  • It’s iterative – we can see what works. Put it out, see what works, then evolve
  • Drive convos with ads – connect ads back to Facebook page
  • Sponsored stories – make sure more people can see what your fans say about you
  • This is how you light your brand up
  • People tell friends about products, thats what sells products – WORD OF MOUTH
  • Dont go in set from the beginning – Monitor, Adapt, Leverage
  • Social needs to be the fundamental ingredient from the beginning- can’t just “sprinkle” social
  • Dont get rid of other ads – TV, print – create a cohesive campaign that connect.
  • Reach customers AND THEIR FRIENDS!
  • Link to social graphs – make everything the basis for on-going connection
  • Engage customer, write back to them so they keep coming back. This is how you get messages to go viral.
  • Inspire. Be creative. Put out experiences.  Get them to put their experiences, their childrens.  Great messages, videos, pics – these things get twice as much engagement.
  • The web has gone social, marketing can go social too.
  • Ex. Barista put out an ad with curse words.  Outcry on Facebook page.  They apologized, put up a new cut, and they got a great response for taking responsibility and listening to their audience.
  • First time you can have a comprehensive conversation with brands themselves.  Go iterate, get started.

Oct 19
2011

Google Analytics just announced a new group of reports that they are calling "Flow Visualization". This is different than the term all of us are more familiar with, which is "Path Analysis." The reporting tools and reports that most of us use today are very difficult to gain insight from. "Flow Visualization" has just raised the bar, it may have even replaced the bar entirely. "Flow Visualization" is a new way to understand how visitors flow through your website, and uses intuitive imagery combined with powerful segmentation abilities to aid insightful analysis. Google Analytics is in the process of rolling out these reports to all users, and I can’t wait for you to get them!

Terminology

Before we begin looking at these reports it is important to understand what we are looking at.  Each flow page will have nodes.  The node is simply a segment of visitors.  These nodes represent some feature of the visitors, such as traffic sources, new visitors, browsers, etc. The connections represent the number of visitors that went from one node to another. Red connections are those who left the site.  The size of the nodes and the connections are proportional mean smaller numbers will have smaller numbers and larger numbers will appear larger. This makes it extremely easy to see these flows. The image in the next section illustrates the nodes and the connections.

Goal Flow and Control Panel Overview

The first new flow report, the "Goal Flow" report will be a welcome addition to the Conversion section in Google Analytics. The image below shows this report, I highlighted the connections, nodes and segmentation capabilities.  The first dropdown in the purple box, will allow you to select which goal you would like to be presented.  The "Select a segment" works just like the "Advanced Segments" feature. You can pick any of the pre-existing segments, such as returning visitors, or you can create your own segment such as branded keywords. The flow reports by default only show significant sources of connections, but you can show more by dragging the connections slider, which is in the purple box. You can also change "source" which is the default view, to a variety of other dimensions, including city, keyword, browser, and more.

GA Goal Flow

For this "Goal Flow" report, I have shown a purchase funnel.  We can see the sources on the left side and each step in the funnel following on the right.  For each dimension, the report will show the top five and then group the rest in a sixth entry. The steps in the "Goal Flow" all come from the goal funnel you define in the profile settings. Only URL destination goals are supported at this time, not event goals. The table at the bottom of the graph shows the numbers of visitors that make it to each step. This is extremely useful as you can use this to address issues. For example if you use the browser dimension, you might see a huge decrease in mobile users that reach the purchase page.  This would suggest that your site might need some mobile optimization. The best part is if you don’t have a goal or goal funnel setup, you can create one and it will use your data to populate the report as if it had been there all along.

Visits Flow

Next up is the new "Visits Flow" report. This looks very similar to the "Goals Flow" report. The image below shows this report with purple boxes calling out important information. This report can be accessed by clicking the home button icon in the main toolbar from any area in Google Analytics. Below is the default view for this report.

Google-Analytics-Visits-Flow

When you first open this up it may appear to be a bit overwhelming. It is quite easy to start digging for insights. You can click on any of the nodes under the dimensions ("Source" is show in the image above) and show only connections from that node. You could do analysis coming from any of the dimensions. You can also click on any of the pages nodes and select either traffic from or through the node. The image below shows traffic through one of our blog pages. You can see the pages they came from and went to and add steps to previous or next pages that most of your visitors came from or went to.

Google-Analytics-Traffic-Through

The “Navigation Flow” report lets you group pages by regular expression.  You could group all pages that contain a common word as an example, which is extremely useful for websites that are promoting different products.  Let’s say you sell Apple and PC products, you could group them separately and compare common dimensions that bring them to the site or group them together and also understand how they view your site as a group.

Final Thoughts

Path Analysis has not been easy to do and gaining insights can be a painful process. Google Analytics has clearly spent a lot of time on these reports and it has shown. Flow Visualization makes seeing common trends and gaining insights significantly easier. The “Goal Flow” report is my favorite, and the segmentation combined with the running table at the bottom makes it painless to see what is going on with a variety of metrics. This is what differentiates it from all other competitor’s offerings.  Google is truly making it easier to visualize visitor data, which gives us a whole new view called Flow Visualization.

Sep 29
2011

Today, Google Analytics announced the launch of Premium, a paid product that is specifically targeting organizations that have huge amounts of data or require a service level agreement.  The first question most of you have is what does this mean in relation to the free version?  Google has made it very clear that you shouldn’t be worried. They are committed more than ever to the free/standard version.

Google Analytics has spent a huge amount of time developing out the new interface and adding many new features to it.  In the last 3 months alone, we have seen social media tracking and multi-channel funnels added.  I am confident that in the coming months many new impressive features will be coming.

What is Google Analytics Premium

Google Analytics Premium looks and feels like Google Analytics Standard Edition, the interface we are all familiar with. It includes more processing power, advanced analysis, and dedicated support.  Below is the list of differences that will only be in Premium

Processing Power

  • Guaranteed processing for up to 1 billion hits per month
  • Faster, intra-day processing for up to 1 billion hits per month
  • Service Level Agreement around data collection, reporting, and processing
  • 99.9% on Collection up-time
  • 99% on Reporting up-time
  • 98% on on-time Data Freshness (within 4 hours)

Advanced Analysis Tools

  • Up to 50 Custom Variable slots
  • Unsampled report downloads for custom report requests
  • Unaggregated report downloads for large report requests (up to 1 million rows per download)

Dedicated Support

  • Dedicated Account Management
  • Phone & Email support 10 hours per day, 5 days per week
  • Implementation Consultation & Tagging Audit
  • 24/7 Product Emergency Escalation Support, if the product is ever outside of the SLA
As mentioned before Google designed Premium to look and feel very much like the Standard Edition.  There are slight differences in each though.  There will be unsampled downloads available for all reports and custom reports.  Also, you will notice that reports load faster, and that data is available much sooner.

I strongly feel that this is a very strong edition to the Google Analytics offerings.  It is targeted at a very specific audience, who has very complex needs and require high levels of customization.  For, the average Google Analytics user, they will never require these features.  For those that have large data sets and much higher levels of needs, many of their needs can now be met.  If you have any questions about Google Analytics Premium or Google Analytics in general, I encourage you to contact me or leave a comment.