We’re talking about a particularly popular topic today – data tracking and use! But first, we do have a couple pieces of interesting news to share. First, Facebook is hopping aboard the facial recognition train with a new feature that allows you to take a selfie for a login process. If you’ve ever used the face login on an iPhone, it will work almost exactly the same. The goal is increased security, but people may not be happy about Facebook collecting yet more personal information – and facial recognition can struggle with things like beards, glasses, and even similar-looking people. Facebook has promised that it will delete the individual selfies taken after each login.
Second, there’s a great new study by HypeAuditor on online influencers (especially on Instagram) and their levels of success. There’s some very good data in the research: For example, virtual influencers have nearly three times more engagement than real-world influencers, and young females are more likely to engage with influencers than anyone else (at this time). Also interesting is that many of the top influencers in the world aren’t exactly real – they’re personas or cartoonish characters created solely for a specific account. That may seem odd, but it may also make it easier for business to connect with influencers in the future, as they are essentially connecting to another brand instead of a real person.
But now to our main topic – tracking and using data! Let’s dive in.
Main Topic: How to Track and Refine Your Digital Marketing Data
One of the last steps in our 9-step roadmap for digital marketing is about tracking and refining data. We’ve talked about data analysis before, and have discussed which Google Analytics data is most valuable for your company to measure. But now we want to dig a little deeper and talk about analytics as a whole: This can refer to Google Analytics, but also the data pulled from other platforms like Google My Business, and any data collected by social media such as Facebook. LinkedIn, and Instagram. It also includes data for SEO and keyword insights that we like to pull from tools like SpyFu. So let’s take a closer look at these sources of data, and why each can be valuable.
Google Analytics allows you to examine a wide variety of traffic data for your website and your Google ads. This includes number of sessions, pages per session time on site, where traffic is coming from, which content is doing best, and more: Basically, it tells you what you want to know about people visiting your non-social media content. We like to look at Google Analytics data at least monthly, and track it over several months at a time to get a good look at how traffic is shifting, and how content seems to be affecting that shift.
Our episode we linked to above goes into a lot more useful information about this! However, keep in mind that it’s important to understand what this data means, what it’s useful for, and what it doesn’t say. While difficult to parse for newer brands, Google Analytics is very valuable for making decisions about website design, where content is, and how content works.
Many social platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, offer very good data on how your business posts are performing (especially any ad-based content). For social media, you want to focus on impressions and reach – how many people are seeing your content, and how they are reacting to that comment. So we look at all sorts of engagement, clicks, responses, and where they are coming from. Added up, these metrics are a great way to judge how effective a social campaign is and what may need to be changed. Here, interaction and activity are very important, but so is visibility – the art of making your post as visible to your audience as possible by posting at the right times and with the right information.
SpyFu and Other Paid Platforms
These paid platforms offer in-depth information on keywords around the internet and how specific domains are performing. In other words, they are great tools for examining your industry as a whole, and your competitors in particular. You can see how competitors are ranked for various keywords, how their pages appear to be performing, who is linking to their site, and how that compares to your own website. Related tools even allow you to compare pay per click ads between you and your competitor. This is all excellent data in more competitive markets.
Google My Business
Google My Business is an advanced directory service that connects to many other platforms online, including Google’s browser. Google allows you to track all the data for people who visit Google My Business, including how many people are seeing your profile, where they are coming from, if they are moving onto your website or making a phone call, and even what photos they’re looking at. Since Google My Business has such high visibility, it’s a common priority for local SEO, and this data helps judge the efficacy of a profile.
Of course, this is just the start, and there are many more types of data that you can use based on your goals. If you still have questions about data analysis…you’re not alone! This is a frequent point where many companies want to learn more or improve what they do. If you have a successful data project to talk about or more questions to ask, let us know @21handshake!
And if you’d like to learn more about where data fits into a comprehensive online marketing program, sign up for our totally webinar that goes over our 9-step process – with extra tips included for everyone who signs up!
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