Top 10 social media metrics that matter most (free webinar) 0

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Rob Petersen


10 social media metrics

  • 92% of marketers say social media is important to their business (Social Media Examiner)
  • 73% plan to increase spending on marketing analytics (The CMO Survey)
  • Only 42% are able to measure their social activities (Social Media Examiner)

If social media is so important, why are most marketers unable to measure it? Do they not know the social media metrics that matter most?

Register for a Free Webinar on Tuesday, February 9th, at 11:00 am EST to learn and ask questions about the 10 Social Media Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Know. This webinar is brought to you by Biznology.

So you know now, here are the 10 social media metrics that matter most.

  1. KEYWORDS: Smart keywords choices and placement on social networks give your brand a better chance of being found. Consumers that are exposed to a brand on social media are 180% more likely to search for that brand on search engines according to a Group M study. Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner are two tools to use; the former identifies keywords that people are searching with increasing search interest and the latter provides their monthly keyword volume.
  2. LINKS: Social media links from blog posts and social posts are another primary means of raising social and search presence. These come from blog posts and social posts. Track the number of links pointing to your website and/or blog, and examine the source of new links. Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz and are great inbound tracking services. They are also free if that’s any additional motivation.
  3. REACH: Reach is the potential audience for a message based on total follower count (Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn followers, total Likes on your Facebook page). If your boards have 1,000 followers on Pinterest, then each of your pins could potentially reach 1,000 people. Facebook considers a post reaches someone when it’s shown in that person’s News Feed. Through Facebook Insights, Facebook provides “total reach,” which includes the number of unique people who saw any activity from a Page as well as paid vs. organic reach.
  4. ENGAGEMENT: Actions such as Like, Share, Comment, ReTweet and Favorite measures how much and how often others interact with you and your content in social media. Radian6 and SimplyMeasured are tools that show the percentage of people reached who engage in your content, how they respond and the differences by social network.
  5. SHARE OF VOICE: Reach and Engagement are important to know not only about your brand but your competitors. Quite often, a smaller brand with a lower level of Reach can distinguish itself by displaying a higher level of Engagement to the benefit of their business.
  6. SENTIMENT: A “Sentiment Analysis” tells you if the people who comments are saying positive, negative or neutral things. It’s done by computer for each social network and expressed as a ratio of positive/negative. A “Sentiment Analysis” provides direction for your communications strategy. Social-Searcher has excellent social analytics, including “Sentiment Analysis,” anyone can use.
  7. WEBSITE VISITS: According to Shareaholic, Facebook now drives 23% of referral traffic to a website. It’s important to know just how much traffic is coming to a website from people who have gotten to know you on social networks. This is easy to see from Google Analytics, perhaps the best social media measurement tool of them all. Use Google Analytics to measure the remaining top metrics (11-14) on this list.
  8. TRAFFIC SOURCES: The percent of people who come to your website from social networks can be easily found in Google Analytics. People like to business with people they know. Traffic Sources are a primary indicator if social media efforts are succeeding in sending people to your website.
  9. BOUNCE RATE: The percent of people who get to your website, view one page and leave is the Bounce Rate. It’s considered one of the best metrics to gauge a website’s relevance. It’s a key metric to know in general and to compare to the Bounce Rate of those who come from social networks.
  10. CONVERSIONS: The metric that has the highest business value and relates most directly to return on investment (ROI) is Conversions. This is defined as the desired outcome (buy, download, view, subscribe) divided by Visits. Because Conversions are so important, there may be more than one. The one that is closest to direct revenue is the Macro Conversion; others that lead Macro Conversion are called Micro Conversion. Together, they define buying behaviors for your brand.

Do these social media metrics help you to see how social media can build your business? Will you be attending this Free Webinar on 10 Social Media Metrics Every Marketer should know on Tuesday, February 9th, at 11:00 am EST?

How 4 types of Big Data analytics deliver data-driven results 0

Posted on January 25, 2016 by Rob Petersen


big data analytics

Big data analytics begins as a process. One that involves examining large data sets, containing a variety of data types, to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.

Why do companies pursue Big Data analytics?

  • 91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions (source: BRITE/NYAMA)
  • By increasing the usability of data by just 10%, the average Fortune 100 company could expect an increase of $2 billion dollars (source: InsightSquared)
  • $300 billion could be saved if Big Data was used effectively in the US healthcare sector; thereby reducing expenditure by 8% (source: McKinsey)

But there are different types of Big Data analytics. And picking the right one for your organization is critical to delivering the right results. Because what good is the data if you don’t know what to do with it?

Here’s how 4 types of Big Data analytics deliver data-driven results.

  • PRESCRIPTIVE ANALYTICS – Seek to determine the best solution or outcome among various choices, given known parameters. For example, in the health care industry, you can better manage the patient population by using prescriptive analytics to measure the number of patients who are clinically obese, then add filters for factors like diabetes and LDL cholesterol levels to determine where to focus treatment. The same prescriptive model can be applied to almost any industry target group or problem. Prescriptive Analytics gives laser focus to answer specific questions. It usually results in recommendations based on rules. This is one of the most valuable types of analytics. Unfortunately, it is largely not used. According to Gartner, only 3% of organizations are using Prescriptive Analytics.
  • PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS – Show likely scenarios of what might happen with the goal of delivering multiple options. The deliverables are usually forecasts. For example, some companies use Predictive Analytics for sales lead scoring. They examine the data for the entire sales process, analyzing lead source, number of communications, types of communications, social media, documents, CRM data and, of course, conversions and closed sales. Then, they apply Predictive Analytics to different “what if” scenarios based on different marketing plans that deliver different forecasts. Like Prescriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics is focused on delivering a data-driven solution. But not just one solution; rather multiple futures options on the decision-maker’s actions.
  • DIAGNOSTIC ANALYTICS – Examine past performance to determine what happened and why. The result of the analysis is often an analytic dashboard. Diagnostic Analytics are used for discovery or to determine why something happened. For example, for a social media marketing campaign, you can use Descriptive Analytics to assess the number of posts, mentions, followers, fans, page views, reviews, pins, etc. There can be thousands of online mentions that can be distilled into a single view to see what worked in your past campaigns and what didn’t.
  • DESCRIPTIVE ANALYTICS – Highlight what is happening now based on incoming data. To mine the analytics, you typically use a real-time dashboard. An example of Descriptive Analytics would be assessing credit risk; using past financial performance to predict a customer’s likely financial performance. Descriptive Analytics can be useful in the sales cycle. For example, to categorize customers by their likely product preferences and sales cycle. Descriptive Analytics or data mining are at the bottom of the Big Data value chain, but they can be valuable for uncovering patterns that offer insight.

Analytics is all about making the best decisions form the data that we have. Do these types of Big Data analytics help you see how your organizations can make better decisions from data. Is not the time for your company to learn how to use Big Data analytics for data-driven results?

11 brands with a brilliant digital marketing strategy 0

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Rob Petersen

Peter Drucker

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter Drucker

Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a major aim. Digital marketing is targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them.

For many companies, a digital marketing strategy is achieving a major aim doing something new by stopping doing something old.

Who is doing it extremely well? Here are 11 brands with a brilliant digital marketing strategy.

  1. DAYS INN USED LOCATION-BASED TARGETING AND INCREASE BOOKINGS: Days Inn used search-based location targeted advertising via the mobile application. Any user searching for specific hotel, accommodation or related keywords was able to view a Days Inn advertisement for 15% off a 2 night stay. After the user clicked on the ad, they were taken to a banner ad that provided a click to call or click to web to make a reservation. The campaign received over 5% click through rate, 13% click to call and 16% click to web at annual rate of $1,080,000 in revenue.
  2. DOVE TURNED TO FACEBOOK FOR AD MAKEOVER: No matter where we look, we are constantly surrounded with ads trying to tell us there are things about our bodies we need to fix. Miracle creams to fix cellulite, surgeries to enhance the bust, and pills to help achieve the perfect weight. Dove, as a part of their “Real Beauty” campaign, turned to Facebook to outbid competitors for search terms like “plastic surgery,” “I hate my body” and “diet.” 171,000,000 banners with negative messages were displaced and 5,500,000 unique women reached. Facebook mentions increased by 71%. A poll was conducted where 71% of the women said that they felt more beautiful after seeing the Dove ads.
  3. HELLMANN’S ENHANCED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: They came up with an innovative idea to enhance the shopping experience and also to sell more Hellmann’s. The solution centred on the supermarket trolley itself. The cart was equipped with a small LCD touch screen and RFID technology which interacts with various ingredients in the supermarket and lets the shopper know of any products that could be combined with Hellmann’s mayonnaise. In one month, 45,000 people used the interactive shopping trolley and sales of Hellmann´s in those stores increased 68%
  4. LAND ROVER CAPITALIZED ON WHERE PURCHASE JOURNEY BEGINS: Knowing that the majority of today’€™s auto shoppers start their car search online, Land Rover wanted to reach these shoppers on all their devices at every point in the purchasing funnel. To do so, they used cross-channel marketing to engage consumers at scale, running a homepage masthead takeover on YouTube and Masthead in Lightbox ads across the Google Display Network. Land Rover garnered more than 100,000,000 impressions. 15% of its total sales now come from online leads.
  5. MCDONALD’S MADE PEOPLE SMILE AND IN RETURN THEY SAMPLED: Most people find getting up in the morning tough. It is estimated that a staggering 83% of millennials use their phones as an alarm clock, and sleep with their phones within reach. And McDonald’s is certainly not the first thing on our minds when turning off their alarm clock. Enter  the “McDonald’s Surprise Alarm” application: a handy alarm clock with a welcome added-value twist. Every morning brought users nice surprises: a free song, free food, an inspirational quote, vouchers and more. In 5 weeks, it achieved 281,000 downloads, 93% were McDonald’s users, 68,044 shares on social media and 64,260,76 coupons and surprises delivered.
  6. OAK FURNITURE LAND USED GEO-TARGETED E-MAIL MESSAGING TO BOOST SALES: Oak Furniture Land wanted to connect its online presence with its network of 62 physical stores. Oak Furniture Land analysed and segmented the postcodes provided by customers during the email sign-up stage, and then targeted customers with messages relevant to their local store. It boosted revenue 30% year over year.
  7. STEP2 DISCOVERED VIDEOS INCREASED CONVERSION: Step2, a leading manufacturer of toys and preschool items, produces large-scale products that cost between $130 and $150, and sells them through retailers. The company needed to convince consumers that its product was worth the investment, but images and text weren’t cutting it. It produced videos for more than 100 products. The result: Viewers of these videos were 174% more likely to buy.
  8. STONGWELL CORPORATION TRANSFORMED EMAIL WITH MARKETING AUTOMATION: Strongwell is a leader in the Fiberglass industry. They use a process called pultrusion. They offer a highly technical solution to a narrow target. They really wanted to focus on how they could use CRM to their advantage. They automated email set so it was going to notify the regional sales manager for that territory, ‘Hey, this person wants to talk to you.’ They immediately got a $30,000 request for a quote using this approach.
  9. TARGET TURNED SANTA’S HELPER APP INTO HOLIDAY SALES: The brand developed an app with a 3D animated game-like experience in which kids could build wish lists and send to Santa. Meanwhile, Mothers could access wish lists and share them with relatives, and the list would automatically adjust when relatives bought toys, much like a wedding or baby shower registry. The app also had an augmented reality function for in-store wish-list making. They were 75,000 downloads of the app, over 100,000 wish lists were created, 9,200 new accounts and sales potential of $92,300,000.
  10. TOTAL GYM FITNESS SAW LIVE CHAT INCREASE ONLINE ORDERS: Total Gym Fitness, a home gym manufacturer, used to drive business through television ads, but noticed fewer people dialing in and more people coming to the website. The marketing team translated their phone experience to the Internet with an optimized chat feature. It enabled them to better understand customer motivation, evaluate site effectiveness and produced 39% of their online orders.
  11. WASHINGTON WIZARDS SAW JUMP IN NEW TICKET SALES WITH SEARCH ADS: The Washington Wizards surprised everyone during the 2013-2014 NBA season by making the playoffs for the first time in five years. To capitalize on the team’s success, the Wizards’ owners, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, looked to grow ticket sales and attract new fans in the mid-Atlantic region. To do so, it used AdWords ad extensions and focused its ticket pricing strategy on the most engaged AdWords campaigns. The final score? Its overall return on ad spend for the 2013-2014 season jumped 293% and 72% of ticket purchases via AdWords come from new fans.

Do these brands inspire you to use digital marketing? Do you need help creating a digital marketing strategy for your business?

10 SEO case studies with proof positive ROI 1

Posted on January 10, 2016 by Rob Petersen


SEO Case Studies

  • Top 5 results on a search engine page get 75% of clicks (Search Engine Watch)
  • 51% of visitors to a website come from organic search (Bright Edge)
  • Over 40% of revenue captured by organic search (Bright Edge)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing the visibility of a brand’s web presence in organic search. SEO is receiving free, organic and natural results on a search engine page by delivering content that matches what consumers are querying.

SEO in the digital marketing mix is here to stay. For these reasons, many companies hire a firm or consultant to do SEO for their website.

But do businesses see results from SEO? And why?

Here’s are examples of success. 10 SEO case studies with proof positive ROI.

  1. CANTON ALUMINUM: Wanted to increase online leads. They decided it was time to pursue responsive website design with integrated contact forms and prominent lead-generating callouts. The site was optimized with new engaging content and unique phone tracking to report on phone-generated revenue. Results were: 1) 21% increase organic traffic growth, 2) 53% of visitors are from organic search and 74% increase in Facebook audience growth.
  2. DELL: Was unsatisfied with its global search positioning. For example, if searching for Dell in Australia, it was possible that the first listing on the results page would be for Canada, France, or another country. Dell implemented aggressive strategies across multiple countries which reorganized Dell’s search presence and increased its organic search rankings, traffic and revenue worldwide. Dell saw: 1) 46% increase in organic traffic, 2) 177% increase in number of ranked keywords and 3) 1,000% increase in return on investment.
  3. HARVARD UNIVERSITY: It is hard to imagine that Harvard University had an opportunity to increase awareness. Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education expanded the digital reach of two established schools, Harvard Summer School and Harvard Extension School, and to build awareness for their growing professional development offering. The 12-month project used an audit to identify technical setbacks, content positioning to create new landing pages for search traffic, and top-of-funnel awareness campaigns with AdWords. Harvard saw: 1) 89% increase in visits from organic search, 2) 75% increase in registrations from organic search, 3) 30% increase in CTR with AdWords and 124% increase in retun on ad spend (ROAS) with AdWords.
  4. KAUAI VACATION RENTALS: Offers condos, cottage and villas in Kauai, Hawaii, nature’s answer for a perfect getaway. But the website’s rankings (all keywords) were stuck behind 4th page. They changed duplicate content. There were a lot of reciprocated links that did not relate to the industry. Some of them were low quality. Then, they started building links through advanced techniques like article submission, press release submission, directory submission, blog posts links and more. Overnight, the visits to my website increased 50%. It took consistent efforts for about a year to push the website from page 4 to page 1 on Google.
  5. NIKE GOLF: Is the golf-specific retail branch of Nike. They lacked a focused keyword strategy and a site built in a way that was very difficult for search engines to crawl for content. The lack of a focused keyword strategy so SEO elements that could have potentially aided the site (page titles, meta descriptions, internal links from blog posts) were far from effective. Keyword research helped make decisions like whether we should target “golf apparel”, “golf clothing”, “golf clothes”, or “golf sportswear.” And that visitors who landed on the Nike Golf site through “golf apparel” searches stayed longer, dug deeper, and were more likely to convert. High opportunity keywords were worked into specific pages. Nike Golf saw a 169% in total increase in organic search traffic and 250% increase in non-branded keywords.
  6. PLOW AND HEARTH: A retailer based in Madison, Virginia specializing in hearth and replace accessories, furniture and home furnishings, and lawn and garden accessories, wanted to make a push for their “fairy gardens” products. The goal was to increase SEO performance and ultimately revenue for these products and bolster the overall performance of Plow & Hearth. They focused on choosing strategic keywords to target for the fairy gardens pages. Then began to implement on-page changes for the pages. This led to a 550% increase in keywords on page 1, a 729% increase in traffic, and an 1157% increase in revenue on a single keyword topic out of the tens of thousands of products they carry.
  7. SOUTHLAND LOG HOMES: Has specialized in custom log home plans and cabin kits for more than 30 years. The company specializes in creating reliable, affordable and beautiful log homes that last a lifetime. They needed to improve the company’s rankings in the major search engines. The company didn’t have strong rankings for any competitive keywords and wanted its website to show up on the first page of the Google search results. Southland developed a marketing campaign that included identifying competitive keywords and aggressively pursuing improved rankings through link building and content optimization. Southland Log Homes currently ranks No. 1 in Google for the keyword phrase “log homes” and saw a 66% increase in Page 1 rankings and 85% increase in website traffic.
  8. SPANGLER CANDY: makers of Dum Dums, Circus Peanuts, candy canes, and other tasty treats since 1904, wanted to expand the marketing strategy for its e-commerce websites. A carefully planned strategy to build on content creation adding and optimizing fresh content in expanded product descriptions, developing videos, creating printable PDF games and greater social media involvement on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. From these improvement, saw: 1) 40% increase in organic visits, 2) 10% increase in online sales and 3) 30% increase in mobile sales.
  9. THE CONTAINER STORE: Did not have a methodical approach to content marketing and capturing organic traffic. They created page groups, populateD with logical keywords, on-page recommendations, and identified the best pages to map the keyword topics. They also used backlink technology to map backlinks and target new sources of links. In 7 months, the results were dramatic: 30% increase in keywords in 1st rank position (more than 1000 keywords), 93% increase in organic traffic, 68% increase in organic traffic conversion and 96% increase in organic traffic revenue.
  10. TIME INC.: Has 95 iconic media brands that serve 81 million online visitors every month who generate ad inventory they sell to advertisers. Time’s SEOs face duplicate content, lack of thematic grouping by keyword, non-optimal internal links, and significant crawl and redirect errors. They resolved over 500 crawl errors; executed fundamental internal link and anchor text recommendations. Sitemaps were improved, rich snippets were added, and duplicate landing pages were removed. In the 4th of July season Time improved its page 1 Food & Wine 4th of July rankings from 2 to 7 keywords, which led to a 30% gain in organic traffic vs. 1 year earlier. Overall Food & Wine page 1 ranking keyword count improved from 620 to 757 and that led to a 34% increase in traffic and ad inventory. Travel and Leisure keywords ranking and traffic increased 45%.

These case studies show the ways effective SEO improves search visibility, presence and sales. Do they prove the ROI of SEO to you? Does your business need an effective SEO strategy, plan and implementation?

How to make great mobile apps? 8 great examples 0

Posted on January 03, 2016 by Rob Petersen



mobile apps

  • 50 million mobile apps are downloaded every day (Nuance)
  • 90% of all downloaded mobile apps are used once and then deleted by users (Digital Trends)
  • Only 16% of people will try out an app more than twice (Digital Trends)

If there ever was a place where the phrase, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, applies, it would be mobile apps.

Growth trends show no end in sight for mobile apps downloads, but, unfortunately, very few stick and usage is another matter.

How to make great mobile apps? Here are 8 great examples and why they succeed.

#1. SUCCEED ON EITHER FUNCTION OR FUN. (KNOCK ON WOOD).  Successful apps either to solve a problem or entertain you.  For example, are you Superstitious?  Then get Knock on Wood, the app that provides a virtual piece of wood so you can avoid tempting fate or bring good luck by knocking on wood even when there isn’t a real piece of wood to hand. It’s a simple solution that provides function every one of us has undertaken that’s also fun.

mobile apps knock on wood

#2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE (MUSX): A great app does one thing well to demonstrate it understands its audience and is designed for them. Musx is focused on those who want to share and discover new music. While the app may appeal to more casual music listeners, features like tagging a song or mentioning a friend are geared towards those who believe music is social.

mobile apps musx

#3. KEEP IT SIMPLE (BREATHE2RELAX): The best apps have just one or two main functions and do them well. Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool. Breathe2Relax is a hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercise. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response. Capitalizing on touch-screen technology, a user can record their stress level on a ‘visual analogue scale’ by simply swiping a small bar to the left or to the right.

mobile apps Breathe2Relax

#4. USE MINIMAL TEXT (FASHION ADVISER): If your main feature is a document, then users would probably prefer to read it online instead of going to an app store, downloading the app, reading the app on a small screen, and then deleting the app. So keep text minimal. For example, instead of delivering a document on fashion tips, Fashion Adviser provides designer tips on fashion advice like how various shades of grey work alongside hot pink with a minimum of words and visual comparisons, showing rather than telling.

mobile apps Fashion Adviser

#5. HAVE A CAPTIVATING INTERFACE (PATH): Whenever the user opens an app, he or she forms an impression; it can be good or bad. In case of free apps, if the app doesn’t look good and the navigation is not smooth, then there is a huge chance the user won’t open it next time. How to overcome this problem? Take Path, a social network that limits the number of friends each user can have to 50. Its focus is on sharing photos with a close network of friends. Path realizes that users can see only one screen at a time and makes an excellent use of categories to separate content. Path has achieved success because it not only looks good, it also has the features smartly organized so users never get bored.

mobile apps Path

#6. MAKE UPDATES REGULARLY AND MAKE THEM EASY (ANGRY BIRDS): Some developers hold a view that creating a wonderful app is enough, but the truth is far from it. Maintaining the app is real art and each and every user who has bought a paid version of any app looks ahead to explore and churn out maximum out of the application. Hence, if a developer wants users to stay loyal to the app, he or she should make enough arrangements for back-up support and should keep on adding new features. Angry Birds is by far the most successful gaming app being downloaded. The app got successful because not only it is a fantastic game to play, but it also updates the game regularly so that the customers don’t feel monotonous.

mobile apps Angry Birds

#7. DESIGN AND ORGANIZE FOR A SMALL SCREEN (SHAZAM): Mobile has enormous potential and many overlook the obvious, the screen is small and people’s fingers are big. For example Shazam; a music discovery application provides all the information about any song track that is being played on a device. Reason behind the huge success of Shazam is, it has minimal elements and the main feature of the app is displayed at the front and thus conveys an effective call to action.

mobile apps Shazam

#8. MAKE MARKETING A PRIORITY (CLEAR): Just because you build it doesn’t mean your audience will come. Make sure you budget appropriately for app promotion. Divide your marketing plan into three phases: pre-launch campaign, launch campaign and post-launch campaign. Create banner images that will go up on your app store profile page. Use absolutely stunning screenshots of your app in the app store description. Write a fantastic app description and use the right keywords. Take for instance, Clear, which entered the hugely competitive market of to-do list apps. This app started to get tech blog coverage based on demos, previews and teaser videos even before it went to market. Within nine days of its launch, 350,000 copies sold.

mobile apps Clear

Below is an infographic as a visual reminder of what makes a mobile apps great.

Do these examples help you know what makes a mobile app great? Are you consider a mobile app for your business?

what makes mobile apps great



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