Web Analytics – The Basics

analytics

What Exactly Are Web Analytics?

Web analytics as a whole can have multiple definitions based on what department or position you are in as a company. As a marketer, web analytics can give online measurements to different campaigns and can help measure the impact on the end consumer. It also allows the business to collect user data and information  such as location, operating system, and traffic sources. And, at a high level or very niche level web analytics provide reporting to a company, depending on how the program is being use and what exactly the program is being used for.

What Can Web Analytics Give You?

There are essentially two different types of data that can be collected from Web analytics; metrics and dimensions. Dimensions include geographic location, traffic source, page views and other characteristics of the users, sessions, and actions (Google Analytics Academy). The metrics or quantitative measurements of users, sessions, and actions are the numerical data that Web analytics give users. Metrics include visitors, pageviews, visits, and any time-based metrics (Google Analytics Academy). Users also have the opportunity to dig deeper into their measurement and measure e-commerce transactions or conversions that are calculated on the direct specifications from the company.

Should My Business Decisions Be Based Off Of Web Analytics?

Yes! It is vitally important for businesses to base their decisions on Web analytics but, only if the information is being read correctly and if it is directly related to their business goals. For example, a high Bounce Rate in one context can be negative but in another light it can be positive so, if a business were to base decisions off of that number alone, it would need to be in the right context. If used collectively and understood, basing business decisions off of Web analytics definitely gives the business room to advance off of concrete data.

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Who Was The Best of 2013?

Best of 2013

Because the last full work day before Christmas is here and most of us won’t be heading back into the office until 2014, and ultimately it is the last day of my Emerging Media class that gave me the extra push to finally start my blog, I find it necessary to highlight my three favorite marketing campaigns of 2013.

#1: Kmart’s “Ship My Pants”

Ok, Ok, I didn’t say these were going to be the most profound marking campaigns of 2013, I just said my favorites. And although this one is not the most tasteful humor and a little “immature”, it is hilarious. I will never forget the first time I heard the commercial & thought they were actually discussing how they had an “accident” in their pants & then I listened a little closer and heard the correct message and still thought it was funny.

Why was “Ship My Pants” Successful?

In my book, this campaign would definitely pose for a checkmark under the “Success” list. There is actually a holiday sequel to the ad that has just recently been released featuring “A Christmas Carol” that is pretty funny also. But, that isn’t why it was a success, Kmart is a brand that has been seen as “outdated”, not innovative, and bland in the past and this campaign brought the retailer to life. Part of what made the video so funny was the fact it was coming from “old school” Kmart.  The ad wasn’t only funny though; it did a great way of showcasing a product feature without “selling” it.

It was definitely a risk coming from a big brand like Kmart but, with over 2 million social-media shares within the first three weeks it was a risk worth taking!

#2: Ram Trucks “Farmer”

Moving to a totally different emotion that is captured from this ad, Ram really killed it and got the audience intrigued and touched the more sensitive spots. The TV spot really stood out in the midst of the glitz & glam from the football game & the talking babies and animals all over the commercials surrounding it. It was real people, doing real work, and caused viewers to turn their heads. I know when I heard the first few seconds of the commercial; I turned my head and started listening even with the commotion of people surrounding me.

Why was “Farmer” Successful?

 This Super Bowl ad spoke to not only a small group of farmers in the United States, but to a broad group of viewers that have the aspirations of being the person Ram makes a farmer out to be.  Local, organic foods have taken off this year so it made sense for Ram to essentially introduce the farmer that is rarely ever celebrated and introduce the farming family to America. The spot was genuine in the midst of Super Bowl ads and it was demanding of attention.

Kudos to Ram for authentically showcasing a different person of the United States.

#3: GoldieBlox “Princess Machine”

This ad campaign resonated with me immediately because I was the little girl that didn’t like all of the girly girl toys. This video was catchy, and viewers were intrigued to see what the “machine” did next so they didn’t take their eyes off of the video. The marketing behind the launch was innovative and started with a Internet video but, what makes this a true gem is the innovation behind the brand and how the little girls are able to truly bring it to life in the 2 min snapshot.

Why was “Princess Machine” Successful?

Women and girls rising above the “typical” stereotype is a huge issue in today’s society politically and socially so, of course a video that crushes those stereotypes is going to be successful – right? Wrong, GoldieBlox could have been a fail but it was executed almost perfectly. The video was made in-house so it gave off the “start-up company” feeling, but was very well done and not sloppy. But, CEO Debbie Sterling  summed up why the ad was successful when she said; “she wasn’t making an ad. She is trying to change the world, in one piece of communication.” Consumers do not want ads they want emotion.

So, there is a recap of my three favorite ads and campaigns, leave me your thoughts on those and any others you felt were your favorites – let’s chat about it!

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

How Did Beyonce Teach Us A Lesson?

With the release of Beyonce’s new self-titled album, Beyonce, we saw a new way to bring a top-selling album to market. In the past, the release of new albums meant releasing singles, booking TV and radio appearances, & partnering with consumer brands and retailers. But, this past week Beyonce launched a new album that, according to Apple, has sold 828,733 copies in three days – an iTunes store first-week sales record.

The album features 14 tracks and 17 videos that can be purchased in whole on iTunes for $15.99. On December 20, individual songs will go on sale.

 bey

When asked why she didn’t release the album in a traditional manner Beyonce said,

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist, and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

“Speak to her fans” is exactly what Beyonce did, and almost immediately.

The surprise album has been referred to in at least 1.2 million tweets, a Twitter spokesperson reported –  more than 5,300 tweets per minute. And the mention of “Beyonce” spiked 1,300% on Facebook in the hours directly after the album dropped.

 What does this tell us about marking, though?

Marketing is changing. This release showed us the power of social media to amplify news and bring a direct connection to the audience. It highlighted the relationship between Beyonce and her fans.

We as marketers and brands have the opportunity to use these tools to amplify our news, stories, content and build an actual relationship with our audience, no matter the size.

 The release also shows us that the emotion of surprise is still a trigger for consumers and fans and ultimately, the channels to generate surprise are changing to a more social and conversational method.

 Beyonce has proved the worth of building actual relationships with your customer base and consumers as a whole. Was there risk involved in relasing the album this way?

Yes, but without taking the risk the success would not have been possible. Go, girl!

 With the start of the New Year brands need to focus in on taking risks to enhance relationships with different audiences, and using new, integrated and emerging mediums to do so. The success, or not-so-much-success can only turn into more positive ROI in the future!

 Here’s to Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

Black Friday Content Critique from Gary Vaynerchuk : Victoria’s Secret

VICTORIA’S SECRET: Short n’ Sweet

The following is an exclusive Black Friday Micro-Content Critique from entrepreneur and co-founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk. To find out more, head to www.garyvaynerchuk.com or view more of his writing on Medium and LinkedIn.

Victoria's Secret Black Friday

Victoria’s Secret knocked it out of the park with this Jab (If you don’t follow me, a Jab is a piece of content that is specifically created to bring your followers value. Whether it’s a laugh or useful information, the bottom line is that you’re not asking for business, you’re just being human and engaging).

The copy is short and to the point. The creative is perfectly formatted for in-stream images, jumps out of the feed with contrast, and uses phases that are part of Twitter culture like “Just Saying” and “It’s a big deal.” And honestly, a solid pun like the one they used can go a long way. If you think you need to have insane design chops, or that your industry “just isn’t that interesting”, think again. Victoria’s Secret just killed it with a black title card and 25 characters worth of copy.

It’s all about understanding the nature of the party and knowing what to say to impress the people who show up. Sometimes it’s an elaborate magic trick, sometimes it’s just a perfectly executed one-liner like this.

line

Laura’s Views:

Victoria’s Secret told a story, in 25 characters, and basically said, “Go to Victoria’s Secret, or you’re losing,” with underlying Victoria’s Secret lingo. Although the “or bust” is a common pun, it fits perfectly with Victoria’s Secret’s business and product. And, on top of that, one of their Black Friday deals was BOGO bras, pretty clever little Victoria!

Not only did Victoria’s Secret use this short & sweet content on Twitter, it was also used on Instagram but, not exactly the same.

Victoria's Secret Instagram

Notice, one simple little change – the Instagram photo uses two lines of text instead of one.

Victoria’s Secret took the content and edited it based on the network they were in, respecting that space, and those fans (if you haven’t read it yet, check out my post on respecting the space you’re in). Had they not done that, the text probably would have been cut off and been a mark-up under the fail column.

 Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

Special “Thanks” to Gary & Steve at VaynerMedia for the help & exclusive content!

What Makes Content Viral?

I had a pretty technology free Thanksgiving; I’m not going to lie to everyone… I did take a few days away from work, my computer, and iPad –I couldn’t completely ditch my phone but it was time for a break and some family time. Now, it is back on the grind with Christmas shopping, party planning, and finding some space for work and homework in the busy holiday schedule.

Tonight, as I was sitting on the couch watching The Voice (Go Jacquie!) & catching up on some online reading,

I heard something that made me turn my ears to listen.

“We just recently shot a pretty funny viral video.”

Is the exact quote from Carson Daily that caught my attention.

Carson, how did you shoot and create a video that is “viral” two hours after its upload and, that at the exact moment of your mention had right at 300 views.

 Screenshot of original video views.

What exactly does it take to make content, videos, images, games, “viral content”?

The concept is simple; YOUR BRAND’S FANS MAKE THE CONTENT VIRAL. Without them, your content is simply content.

But, there are a few ways you can give the content an initial boost to help its viral tendencies…

  1. Use positive content. People want to be happy; they see enough negative news stories, give them something to smile about.
  2. Generate content that evokes emotions. Your fans want to feel something from you, give them something to help pass their feelings to others.
  3. Make your content useful. That simple, your fans won’t be fans for long if you aren’t giving them useful content to share with others.

At this point I cannot say if Mr. Daily is right or not in his claim that, “The Voice participants just recently shot a pretty funny viral video.” But, in the near future the fans of The Voice will prove him right or wrong.

2nd The Voice Screenshot

As of now, 2 hours after his mention of the video on the show, there are 2, 787 views, 866 Likes, and 22 Dislikes – sit back & let’s see how viral this video goes!

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

Are You Married? #iSum13

So sorry I let yesterday go by without checking-in and sharing my last core message from Internet Summit last week!  But, that brings us here tonight..

MarriedCoupleCartoon

Third but As Equally Important: “Don’t Stay Married To One Social Platform!”

So many times I see brands and marketers focusing on only one or two social networks and while that could work for a split second, consumers are moving and new networks are booming. Marketers in 2014 have to be ready to “jump ship” on the social networks that stop converting for them and move on to the new networks to find the right recipe.

Being married to one social network negatively affects the bottom line. If marketers are not constantly innovating new tactics and analyzing the ROI on current tactics opportunities will be missed.

Use the analytics that are so readily available to marketers to truly see where your customers are converting from, and what sites are useful. Study the data & use it to make informed future decisions.

By researching what platforms and networks are best for your business and discovering where your customers are “hanging out” you have the opportunity to reach them first and have the first marketing influence on them.

Start researching, choose your new social landscape, and take the chance! Because, without taking the chance you will never know what new, or old network will take your business to the next level!

To recap the three critical marketing messages from #iSum13…

Market In The Year You Are Living In!

Tell Stories With Your Marketing!

Don’t Stay Married To One Social Platform!

Can’t Wait Until Next Year!

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

Are You Storytelling? #iSum13

Today brings me to the second most important marketing message to capitalize on while marketing in today’s cluttered and busy world.

books

Second Takeaway: “Tell Stories With Your Marketing!”

Pew Research has showed 56% of American adults use a smartphone, 34% own a tablet, and 65% own a laptop computer. This research shows marketers that consumers are being hit with marketing messages across multiple screens whether on-the-go or inside their own home.

It is tough to break through the clutter, but not impossible. In order to get in front of consumer’s eyes long enough to catch the quick attention span, marketers must tell a compelling story with their message.

A few tips to remember while focusing on storytelling:

  • Social networks are no longer distribution hubs – they are platforms for brands to tell their personal stories and interact with consumers about the stories being told.
  • “Respect the room you are telling stories in” – in other words, every digital platform is different; the tone of communication and level of intamacy varies across networks, as well as the types of marketing messages. Tell your story based on the room you are standing in, do not distribute identical content across all networks.
  • Remember, consumers are emotion and psychology driven – tell stories that touch their sensitive spots and trigger their emotions. Use the “give, give, give… ask” method by providing stories that push your customer’s buttons and make them feel “warm and fuzzy” before ever asking for any benefit to the brand.
  • Good content and stories distribute themselves – pay for the creative idea to give value to your customers through stories.

Keep these tips top of mind while creating and sharing stories to keep your consumers engaged.

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

 Laura

Are You Marketing In The Year We Are Living? #iSum13

So, I had the opportunity to attend Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC last week and I came back feeling like a firecracker because 0f the motivation and excitement I left with!

But, there were three core messages that I want to discuss over the next three days..

2014 Calendar

First & Foremost: “Market In The Year You Are Living In!”

Meaning, consumer’s eyeballs and ears are shifting and attention spans are short. If you are not marketing your business or brand in the year we are all living in, you will be left behind. Gone are the days of responding to consumers the next day, gone are the days of consumers calling brands for customer service issues, and heaven forbid having to hand write a complaint! Edison Research has showed us 42% of consumers want a response online within 60 minutes… ONE.HOUR. 

Stay innovative, show the world the next best thing and be responsive to your audience. For the first time ever, consumers have the opportunity to block out advertising but at the same time, brands have the opportunity to converse and build a two-way communication relationship with their audience.

We are living in a 24-hour world. Events, news, complaints, and questions are rising every hour – find where your audience is throughout their day. Brands have the capability to find out how their audience actually acts and what they do when. If your audience is most active at 2am, be active with them at 2am. You have the opportunity to live in your audience’s 24-hour world –            Capitalize On That!

I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss message two, until then…

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

 

What Did It Take To Make #SFBatkid So Special?

Image

Just two days ago this little guy, Miles Scott, better known now as #SFBatkid took on bad guy after bad guy to save Gotham City.

Miles wished to be Batman after being granted a wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation after being placed into remission from leukemia. Make-A-Wish Foundation was able to rally the entire city of San Francisco to make Miles’ wish come true and name him Batkid for a day. On the adventure, Miles rescued a damsel in distress from the cable car tracks, captured the Riddler as he robbed a bank, and saved the SF Giants mascot – Lou Seal – from the Penguin’s grasp.

But, the touching story didn’t just take San Francisco for a ride. #SFBatkid went viral, quick, thanks to a local social media marketing company who reached out to Make-A-Wish in hopes of helping spread the word about Miles. Clever Girls Collective contacted Twitter to develop the @SFBatkid handle and things blew up quickly with tweets from all around the world cheering #SFBatkid on! Celebrities joined in on the fun cheering Batkid along, even President Obama gave Batkid his wishes from across the country via a video on Vine.

Social media is called social for a reason. Companies, brands, and individuals have the opportunity to make a citywide event become international. By the time Batkid had finished his heroic day, more than 230,000 tweets with the #SFBatkid hashtag had been sent and more than 19,000 Instagram photos had been posted by Friday afternoon. In-person Batkid followers and virtual followers beamed with smiles, tears, and joy – many comments noted the day had “restored their faith in humanity”.

The viral event didn’t end on Friday though, after the loss of the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, many fans tweeted “at least they were the home of #SFBatkid”.

This story is a lesson for all of us, as consumers, brands, and companies to remember we can have the same impact with viral campaigns. But, also to remember the good left in the world and the new ways to become a part of something greater.

Hats off you to #SFBatkid, you won the fight, again!

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura

Is the World Wide Web the Internet or is the Internet the World Wide Web?!

internet-vs-web

Although basically past the point of “emerging”, I have recently realized how foreign the Internet and World Wide Web are to a vast majority of people. But, when I sit down and think about it, I’m not too surprised because the terms are often used interchangeably.

So, I decided today to explain in my view in excitement for the upcoming Internet Summit 2013 this week, I can’t wait to get there!

What Is The Internet & Where Did It Come From?

The idea of the Internet began in the 1095s, but by 1984 it linked 1000 computers and was officially given the name the Internet. By 2012, the Internet had grown to 8.7 billion connected devices, and an integral part of our lives.

The Internet is the hardware, or actual network of networks where the information resides. The computers, servers, routers, software, and communication protocols are all included in the Internet. In easy terms, let’s say the Internet’s definition is a “network of networks.”

If That’s The Internet, Then What Is The World Wide Web or, “Web”?

The Web is the system we use to access the Internet, and is also considered a subset of the Internet. While not the only system that exists to use the Internet, the Web is the most popular. The Web includes pages that can be accessed using a Web browser. Not including email and instant messaging, these are part of the Internet.

HTTP is used to transfer Web pages to all of our computers. With HTTP & HTML, words and phrases can contain links to other Web sites.

In quick reference remember the differences this way – the Internet is composed of the machines, hardware, & data; the Web brings the Internet’s technology to life. because, I know this question is going to come up in your day-to-day conversations!

So, now that you know the differences – what ways do you prefer to navigate the Internet? What Web system do you prefer? My guess is, preferences at a certain point go back to the brand loyalty of Mac users vs. PC users and iOS users vs. Andriod users… The battle never ends for some!

Here’s To Keeping Life Digital & Fun,

Laura