Tag Archive | "metrics"

Why Marketers Fail at Influencer Marketing (Report)

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Influencer marketing has been one of the dominating trends in social media and marketing this year. However, marketers are still discovering how to best utilize influencer strategies, not to mention navigating the disconnect between brands and influencers. According to the 2016 “Measuring Influencer Marketing” report from software provider GroupHigh, there are a few core issues that result in this lack of understanding.

The most significant and persistent challenge in measuring influencer marketing efforts, according to the report, was “proving value.” 28 percent of survey respondents said that gathering data was a challenge, while 13 percent don’t know which metrics to track and 9 percent reported that finding time to generate reports was difficult.

These responses really encapsulate what marketers believe to be the problem, but all of these problems stem from the same issue: analyzing data correctly. There are plenty of tools for gathering all kinds of data from simple things like page views, shares and likes to leads and conversions. While influencer marketing can seem like the wild west, the market is becoming more sophisticated and data-focused.

According to the GroupHigh report, more than 60 percent of companies surveyed track five or more metrics. Among the most popular are traffic to a specific website (79 percent), social media shares (77 percent) and conversions (60 percent). Not closely studying these metrics may be the core problem, as 43 percent of companies only use one tool to track and measure their influencer marketing efforts.

When asked how their company calculates return on investment for influencer marketing, 44 percent were unsure and 4 percent said they don’t. 70 percent of respondents don’t think their methods for reporting are accurate or reliable, and 34 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they didn’t have to when asked how often they generate reports on their influencer marketing efforts.

The tools are in place, the metrics are obvious and influencer marketing is here to stay. Companies need to get serious about their influencer marketing data, as marketers in other sectors have. ROI is the goal, and hesitance associated with influencer marketing will only result in lagging behind the competition.

Check out the full report for more details.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Snapchat Is Tearing Up the Social Media ROI Rulebook (and That’s Good)

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For years, marketers were led to believe that measuring social media return on investment was not only possible, but also required. Directing customers to a website where they can make a purchase is something companies can easily track. If you spend $1,000 to promote a Facebook post and generate $1,500 in revenue from your ecommerce store from that post, you can easily calculate your ROI.

For quick-serve restaurants and fast-moving-consumer-goods brands, where transactions happen offline and digital advertising budgets are dwarfed by offline advertising and sponsorships, attributing spend on social media to sales is virtually impossible–no matter how much data you can access.

It’s perhaps this easy access to mountains of data that causes anxiety among marketers. There are so many data points available, surely there must be some way to attribute a like, share or click to a purchase–and if not directly attributable, at least a correlation. When tens of thousands of people like your content, marketers and data scientists push Excel sheets to their limits to find correlation amongst the numbers.

I believe that many in marketing have been tricked to believe that access to more metrics means that a social media ROI formula can be found. For decades, the world’s biggest brands spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising in the real world. They would be able to track uplift in revenue for each campaign, and although they knew that only 50 percent of their advertising was working, they were hard-pressed to identify which 50 percent.

But there was a correlation: More advertising = more reach = more sales. It was an accepted fact.

When customers could suddenly react to that advertising, like social media allows people to do, many marketers scrambled to find meaning in all of the numbers beyond just a simple correlation.

However, even former Facebook India managing director Kirthiga Reddy thinks marketers have got it all wrong. Instead of worrying about what the exact return is on every dollar spent on creating and promoting content, Reddy says, “The parameters of success are the same across media: reach, frequency, placement and impressions.”

Today, brands are falling over themselves to be on, and advertise on, Snapchat. About one month ago, advertising on Snapchat cost a brand $500,000. Today, brands need to drop $100,000, which is still a hefty chunk of change for all but the largest brands.

What will a brand get for this advertising cost? Application downloads? Pushing people to buy something from a website? Getting an email address? Nope: They get views. How many people have viewed your story is the only metric Snapchat provides.

Does that sound familiar? This is exactly the metrics brands look at in traditional mass media advertising.

Is it not ironic then that when reporting metrics are limited to views or reach, brands automatically view the marketing channel as a platform to gain visibility, but when many metrics are available, the marketer believes that the platform should be a revenue-generating one?

I’m perhaps a little bit too old to be on Snapchat, but the fact that many brands are embracing it as a way to reach (that’s the key word) millennials is encouraging. My hope is that marketers’ mindset towards content on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms shifts from being judged on its transactional value to a place where real branding takes place to reach the right audience.

Peter Claridge is the manager of global marketing for social marketing firm Unmetric.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

5 Tips for a Successful Social Curation Campaign

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According to data from Curata, social media is the biggest platform for distributing curated content: A whopping 76 percent of marketers share curated content on social media, and this number is expected to further increase.

Research also shows that more than 50 percent of marketers that curate content report experiencing increased brand visibility, thought leadership, web traffic and buyer engagement.

This makes sense when you consider the fact that the social web thrives on content and lots of it; when you don’t have enough resources to create original content at the pace social media thrives on, the solution is to turn to curated content.

Social curation without a strategy is usually recipe for failure. Here are some of the benefits of a good social curation strategy:

  • It establishes thought leadership: 85 percent of curators cite establishing thought leadership as their main objective. If done right, a social curation campaign will help establish you as a thought leader. If done wrong, however, it can damage your brand.
  • It improves your reach and visibility: Most businesses have a limited budget that they can invest in content creation; this puts a cap on how many people they can reach. Thanks to social curation, you can aggregate and share other people’s content and benefit from the increased reach their content generate.
  • It keeps you in the minds of your users: Keeping in touch regularly with your audience in a world of declining attention spans is tough, especially when you feel that you have nothing new to say. Social curation makes it easy to keep in touch with your audience regularly, sharing something of value with the, from others, without you having to be the source of the content.
  • You can take advantage of other people’s creativity: The social web thrives on speed, and virality is often bolstered by creativity. Even with the biggest marketing budget, there’s a limit to how much content your brand can creatively create and to how fast you can create it. Social curation enables you to take advantage of other people’s creativity by keying into already successful content to boost your social reach.

For a successful social curation campaign, it is important to consider the following tips:

  1. Define your goals and target audience: The very first step to an effective social curation campaign is to define your goals: Why are you curating content in the first place? Does your curation approach complement your current marketing strategy? It is also important to define your target audience: Who are you targeting your curated content to, and why? Having a clear understanding of your goals and target audience helps you ensure consistency in the nature of content you curate.
  2. Add your own commentary to curated content: It is easy to curate content without necessarily commenting on it, but that won’t yield the best results. If done right, one of the key benefits of social curation is to establish your thought leadership. It is important to let your readers know what you think about the content you’re curating. Tell them why you think the content is important, and encourage debate around it if possible. This type of personal branding is great if you like to nurture sales leads with follow-up emails, because it positions you as a thought leader who has your audience’s best interests in mind.
  3. Make multimedia a core part of your curated content: Your social curation strategy is incomplete without multimedia. Research shows that content with video attracts 300 percent more traffic and infographics attract up to 832 percent more shares. The social web is becoming increasingly media-driven, and tapping into the power of multimedia will boost your reach beyond expectations. People don’t trust branded content like they trust the authenticity of user-generated posts. Yotpo, a platform that enables companies to generate online reviews and content, makes it easier to identify and curate images from Instagram, allowing marketers to search for the perfect visual, obtain permissions and deploy to their websites’ front ends, all from within their Yotpo dashboards.
  4. Monitor social metrics and signals to find out what resonates: What works for one audience won’t work for another, and the best social curation strategies aren’t rigid. The thing about the social web is that you can’t easily predict what will work from the get-go. At one point in internet history, what was trending was the blue-and-black or white-and-gold dress. At another point it was Psy’s Gangnam Style. The point is, social media is ever-evolving, and your social curation strategy should evolve accordingly. Pay special attention to content that is getting a lot of engagement, both on your platform and those of others in your field, and let this influence your curation strategy. Tools like Start a Fire make this especially easy by tracking clicks on your social posts, as well as clicks from the third-party publications you share back to your own content. Start a Fire makes it possible to drive traffic referrals from any publisher’s pages to your own by adding a branded “badge” to the articles you curate.
  5. Make your content a core part of your campaign: While you don’t necessarily want to make your social curation all about you, it helps if you can ensure that your content is regularly featured in your curated list. More often than not, you have hundreds of different pieces of content in different places. It could be content on your site, content published elsewhere, contributions you were invited to/involved in or features about you/your brand on other publications. The more avenues your curated content gives people to discover you, the better.

That said, successful social curation means you shouldn’t be all about you; however, you should still feature enough of your content to make it impossible to miss you.

John Stevens is a business consultant and marketer who regularly contributes to Adweek, Entrepreneur and other major publications.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

5 Steps to Determine ROI From Social Media Campaigns (Infographic)

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How can brands determine the return on investment from their social media campaigns?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud prepared the infographic below, with details on how to accomplish the following five steps:

  1. Choose your goals.
  2. Determine which metrics will help you measure your success.
  3. Track your metrics.
  4. Tie your metrics to a monetary value.
  5. Update your reporting—make projections and improvements.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud said in a blog post accompanying its infographic:

Your social media campaign does have a quantifiable ROI from the total revenue directly generated by your campaign. Before using this formula, you have to determine the value of your social media goals. Whether you look at total spend per customer, the number of attendees in your webinar or how many entries you had in a contest, you have to have a goal for each campaign.

Once you decide which goals are most important, determine which metrics measure the success of that goal. Social media offers a wide variety of quantifiable data tracked by the platforms themselves, Google Analytics and third-party software that is tailored specifically to your company’s social media marketing efforts. From your data sources–including your marketing automation software–run reports, make projections and find ways to improve. Continue reading the infographic below for more details on calculating your social media ROI.


Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Make Learning Agendas the Center of Your Paid Social Campaigns

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Here’s a strategy to answer business questions by deploying learning agendas at the center of your social marketing campaigns. It builds on John Terrana‘s recent guest post for SocialTimes on the transformational power of social advertising data.

What is a learning agenda?

Marketers know exactly who their creative is reaching on social advertising platforms and what relationships those people have to their brand. As a result, they can configure campaigns to answer strategic business questions even as they reach and surpass conventional advertising goals.

How to ensure that learning agendas are successful

  1. Think about learning agendas over the long term: It can be compelling to try to answer a series of questions in one test through a single ad campaign. However, the best learning agendas are structured, patient and logical. This means that marketers should plan to launch a series of tests guided by learning agendas over a longer period (one year or quarter), with each test building on the last with a unique and specific insight.
  2. Configure campaigns for significance: Ensure that tests are configured with the proper variables, controls, spend and audiences to yield learnings that are statistically significant and trustworthy.
  3. Budget time to analyze learnings after campaigns conclude: Social moves quickly. However, marketers must ensure that they have time to understand the insights that surface after a campaign concludes, executing a thorough quality analysis and cementing next steps before taking more action.
  4. Ensure that questions in a learning agenda are answerable: Due to certain platform restrictions around reporting and measurement, some questions cannot be answered. Ensure that sufficient data can be returned to answer business questions before activating learning agendas.
  5. Port learnings into channels beyond social: Social can answer many questions that your business cares about. For example, how do prospects respond to creative differently than existing customers? What is the optimal message length? What are the best practices for sequential messaging? Socialize these insights beyond the social advertising department so they can drive greater overall impact.
  6. Ensure that your marketing partners are capable of leading learning agendas: Executing a strategic learning agenda properly requires deep expertise and experience in media planning, measurement and social data. Marketers that do not have these capabilities in-house should choose a marketing partner with these critical characteristics.

By implementing these steps, you will achieve a cycle of smarter marketing that ensures that you know your customers better, learn faster and create more value for them.

Sarah Snyder is the general manager of advanced solutions at social ad technology and insights provider SocialCode.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Twitter Extends Conversational Ads With Instant Unlock Card

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Every how-to post about increasing engagement, whether for advertising or organic content, focuses on giving users a reason to click, and a new ad product introduced by Twitter Thursday aims to do just that.

Twitter head of product, brand and video ads Ilya Brown announced the release of the social network’s conversational ads to all advertisers globally, as well as a new feature, the Instant Unlock Card, in a blog post.

Conversational ads, which Twitter introduced in January, gave advertisers the ability to encourage users to interact with their ads via custom hashtags or call-to-action buttons.

Twitter’s new Instant Unlock Card takes this one step further, incentivizing users to tweet about campaigns by granting them exclusive access to content such as film trailers or question-and-answer sessions after their tweets are sent.

Brown wrote:

These formats are exclusive to Twitter and make it even easier for consumers to engage with and spread a brand’s campaign message. It’s a powerful way for advertisers to extend their presence across Twitter. During the beta, brands saw an average 34 percent earned media rate. That means for every 100 paid impressions, an advertiser receives 34 earned impressions.

Now Available! Engage w/ customers using Conversational Ads & the new Instant Unlock Card. https://t.co/NoRREule5Z pic.twitter.com/aFlMvgtbh8

— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) August 4, 2016

Twitter also introduced analytics for its Instant Unlock Card, allowing brands to view engagement metrics and earned media generated by their campaigns, and Brown said more detailed insights are available via Brand Hub’s Watchlist feature.

And Brown shared examples of early adopters of Twitter’s Instant Unlock card: AMC for The Walking Dead (above), Coca-Cola for its #TasteTheFeeling campaign (below) and Marvel for Captain America: Civil War (below).

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on Twitter’s Instant Unlock Card?

TwitterInstantUnlockCardCocaCola TwitterInstantUnlockCardMarvel

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Twitter Adding Custom Filtering, Custom Metrics to Ads Manager

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Twitter has been beta-testing a new version of its Ads Manager with plans to roll out a public beta “in the coming months.”

Senior product manager, revenue Christine Lee said in a blog post that the revamped Ads Manager provides one place for brands to plan, manage and report on their campaigns, adding that campaigns, ad groups, promoted tweets and other ads can be viewed and optimized.

Lee offered details on two of the most prominent new features, custom filtering and custom metrics:

We’ll be adding new features in Ads Manager over the next couple of months. One of the features we think you’ll find most useful is custom filtering, which enhances control of your dashboard view.

Use custom filters to more quickly find your campaigns, ad groups or even ads. Everyone who has access to your ad account can save filters for their own use.

If that’s not enough, we’ve added custom metrics to help you more easily monitor metrics that matter most to you. Through custom metrics, you can create multiple presets to quickly view different reports in the dashboard.

Once you’ve customized Ads Manager, the export will match the columns and rows you see in the dashboard, so you can spend less time building reports. This means you can export only the data you need.

Lee added that more advertisers are gaining access to the beta-test, and once they gain that access, ads manager will become their default campaign dashboards. Delivery, spend and performance of existing ads will be unaffected, and those that wish to return to their default dashboards can do so at any time.

Twitter advertisers: What do you think?

Introducing custom filters, a better way to analyze campaign performance in Twitter Ads Manager https://t.co/gMaP2I9pMt

— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) July 29, 2016

Custom metrics in Twitter Ads Manager are a way to view the campaign data that matters most to you https://t.co/CtmpaBriTt

— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) July 29, 2016

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

The Evolution of Snapchat Interactions (and Where They’re Headed Next)

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All of the kids are using Snapchat these days, and marketers are about to follow suit in a big way. Snapchat’s new application-programming interface will allow key partners to develop more complex capabilities for advertisers such as direct-response, programmatic user targeting and analytics. Now is the time for marketers to incorporate Snapchat into their digital strategies.

Whether they realize it or not, this new capability from Snapchat is just another example of why every brand needs to operate from a mobile-first perspective. Big-name social media companies that host advertising platforms have been quick to incorporate mobile formats—think Facebook Canvas and Twitter Moments—so Snapchat’s move was as expected.


With 64 percent of Americans owning smartphones and 46 percent claiming that they can’t live without their mobile devices, it’s increasingly likely that your ad impressions land on mobile. No matter what platform you’re building for, whether it’s social or native opportunities, the first question you need to ask is, “How does this look on a phone?”

Engaging the mobile audience

Mobile is shaping the future of marketing. From Dunkin’ Donuts to Honda to AT&T to Clinique, many brands have already taken the leap to developing custom vertical video units. Target recently executed its latest designer product launch beautifully with Facebook’s Canvas unit.


What makes these campaigns so remarkable? They deliver a mobile experience tailored to the environment a consumer is engaged with. Adapting a mobile-first mentality as a creative best practice means understanding users’ mindsets when they’re on their devices.

One reason why Snapchat is so exciting is that it offers 100 percent screen visibility in the app. Users are fully engaged in the Snapchat experience, which creates limitless opportunities for brands to tell their stories, and other platforms are starting to follow its example.


Blurring the lines

People usually rely on their phones when they’re on the go, so you need to wow them with your content if you want them to stop and engage. How do you wow them? By understanding how, when and why they’re engaging with a social media platform.

For example, some people use their Facebook News Feed as a personalized newspaper, bringing in work-related content and posts of a more personal nature. This behavior is blurring the line between business-to-business and business-to-consumer in many industries as users curate what types of content they see based on who they like and follow. Smart marketers understand this new dynamic, and their creative strategies reflect it.

Consumers have spoken, and they expect mobile. Marketers must embrace it to compete. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other publishing venues are providing the tools to create unique, engaging mobile experiences. The time is now for all brands to get on board.

Aubry Parks-Fried is senior manager of digital innovations, social and native at digital advertising and media management software provider Centro.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

If Your CEO Doesn’t Understand Your Social Strategy, You Don’t Have One

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In my job, I spend a lot of time talking with Fortune 500 CEOs about their industries–what is working, what isn’t, and what challenges are on the horizon. The biggest topic today: social. It’s been widely embraced, yet it is not fully understood in the world of business-to-business marketing to date. Your company no doubt has a presence, but is it truly working? Is it driving revenue?

If you look at the data, with 61 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs not active on any social media channel, and fewer than 12 percent active on more than one channel, they likely don’t personally understand how your social media strategy supports business objectives.

So now we know two things. First, these CEOs are not overly familiar with how social platforms work, and second, they are busy focusing on running a successful business. To get them on board, you need a clear, succinct message that ties back to financial realities of the company.

It’s been more than one decade since social forever changed the balance of power, giving consumers a voice and enabling them to reach other consumers in real-time and at scale. Most recently, you can think of Chewbacca Mom’s Candace Payne and the free advertising Kohl’s received, or Alex Hamberger and the goodwill American Airlines earned by showing compassion.

Your brand needs market validation, and today, that comes solely from social engagement with consumers. The risk is real: If you’re not listening and participating in the conversations your business loses, you’re losing ground to competitors and, more directly, you’re losing credibility in the boardroom.

Marketers are only recently embracing the fact that their brand messaging is a shared proposition. Peer-to-peer conversations make traditional digital advertising obsolete. If you want to resonate with your consumers and the boardroom, here are a few tips to build a social strategy that your CEO understands.

  • Explain audience behavior: Even in the B2B world, people use each social platform for a different reason. Messaging must be targeted to each. A table that showcases audience targets in rows and social platforms in columns can provide the CEO with an easily digestible visual that shows how the brand messaging is consistent and how each platform is optimized contextually.
  • Provide context: Illustrate how social is integrated into every marketing initiative. Whether it’s an eBook, a whitepaper or a product launch, social is a key driver of distribution. Illustrate how it’s baked into every program you run. This provides a framework for not just why social is important, but how it actually help drive inbound leads.
  • Define measurable key performance indicators: B2B decisions require multiple touch points; it’s not realistic to think that social media alone will drive a purchase decision. Social should provide content that delivers value. The goal is engagement and leads. Providing information or education that makes people feel and look smart will not only ensure they engage with you, but also encourages them to share with others. Create KPIs around your social messaging that measure the actions people take and the number of new leads generated.
  • Correlate results: Looking at social numbers in vacuum misses their overall impact. It should go without saying, but you should be measuring everything you’re doing. Assuming you are, you have a good baseline of how each channel performs. During each campaign, how are these numbers affected? Is there a correlation when social is active? Measuring this impact not only ensures you have optimized your message, it allows you to predict future success through causality. Believe me, CEOs love nothing more than a marketer who can deliver predictable, sustainable growth.
  • Demonstrate use of proceeds: Remember, CEOs are focused on the big picture. Social is a key element of the marketing mix and typically requires external support. Whether you’re working with an agency partner or paying for a social customer-relationship-management platform, make sure you demonstrate how you’re leveraging third parties to increase return on investment.
  • Build a data dashboard: Finally, provide a weekly (or monthly) dashboard. You literally can’t be too data-driven. Getting your CEO on board with your social strategy is not a onetime exercise–show engagement and conversion trends over time. To gain credibility for social, every decision moving forward must be informed by data. This provides a clear ROI to your CEO on social activity.

For your social channel to have an impact, it’s critical that you get alignment internally. If the CEO doesn’t get it, you’re just experimenting. Social is a key element of your marketing strategy, so make sure you have clearly articulated the strategy, defined the KPIs and demonstrated that you are measuring and optimizing every week to deliver better results.

Promise Phelon is CEO of influencer marketing company TapInfluence.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

How Drake can help you understand your business

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APTOS, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Dr. Frank Drake, the founder of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), poses for a portrait at his home in Aptos, California, Friday, February 27, 2015. Dr. Drake also created the Arecibo Message - a simple binary encoded message broadcast into space by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 1974. The message encodes several things: the numbers 1 to 10, the basic chemistry of life on Earth, the double helix structure of DNA, Earth's population, a graphic of the Solar System, a human figure, and a graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and it's dish' dimensions. (Photo by Ramin Rahimian for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

August 2016
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