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Google Analytics is an essential tool for webmasters and marketers looking to take control of their marketing efforts and increase both revenue and engagement. Now, Google is taking the platform even further with the introduction of the new enterprise-oriented measurement platform, Google Analytics 360 Suite.

In an announcement posted this week on the blog Inside Adwords, Vice President of Analytics, Display, and Video Products Paul Muret said:

“Sophisticated marketers who use analytics platforms are 3X more likely to outperform their peers in achieving revenue goals. It’s no wonder enterprise-class marketers have been telling us they need more from their marketing analytics tools. Many toolsets can’t cope: They’re too hard to use, lack sufficient collaboration capabilities, are poorly integrated, and require hard to find expertise.”

Muret also told Marketing Land that marketers are “trying to engage with brief moments of engagement” referring to so-called micro-moments. “If the value is not delivered” within the brief window of time, “consumers will quickly move on.”

The new platform is intended to deliver an enterprise-oriented analytics service that is both comprehensive and easy-to-use while focusing in on those brief moments of engagement and opportunity.

Google has remained mum on if there are any new data sources feeding into the Suite, and cross-device tracking remains the same. Rather, Google Analytics 360 Suite is intended to expand upon Google Analytics Premium, its previous enterprise-oriented analytics platform.

The suite includes four new tools, as well as two old mainstays:

Google Audience Center 360 (beta). This powerful data management platform (DMP) helps marketers understand their customers and find more like them across channels, devices, and campaigns. It offers native integration with Google and DoubleClick, plus it’s open to third-party data providers, DSPs and more.

Google Optimize 360 (beta). This website testing and personalization product helps marketers deliver better experiences. Marketers can show consumers multiple variations of their site and then choose the version that works best for each audience.

Google Data Studio 360 (beta). A new data analysis and visualization product that integrates data across all suite products and other data sources ― turning it into beautiful, interactive reports and dashboards. Built-in real-time collaboration and sharing is based on Google Docs technology.

Google Tag Manager 360. Built from our industry-leading tag management product, it empowers enterprise marketers to move faster and make decisions with confidence. It offers a simplified way to gather site information (all those tiny bits of code) and powerful APIs to increase data accuracy and streamline workflows.

Google Analytics 360, formerly known as GA Premium, will roll out exciting new capabilities throughout the next couple of months as investments continue to grow. It will serve as the measurement centerpiece by analyzing customer data from all touch-points and integrating with our ad products to drive marketing effectiveness.

Google Attribution 360, formerly known as Adometry, has been rebuilt from the ground up to help advertisers value marketing investments and allocate budgets with confidence. Marketers can analyze performance across all channels, devices, and systems to achieve their most effective marketing mix.

All these tools are available on the dashboard, and Google has said the platform also includes a broad set of integrated third-party providers, such as customer relationship management platforms.

The individual products will be offered à la carte, under to-be-announced pricing. Google Analytics Premium and Adometry will be relaunched under the Google Analytics 360 Suite platform “in the coming months.” Google Analytics Premium and Adometry customers will also be offered access to the new tools in a limited beta test in the future.

like-gateTomorrow marks a rather significant change in Facebook policy as they close the so-called “like gate.” As announced in August, Facebook has decided that pages will no longer be able to require likes to enter contests or view content.

Facebook said the change was intended to guarantee people are only using likes on pages they really want to engage with, not due to “artificial incentives.” Interestingly, this is also one of the few changes Facebook has made recently to receive widespread praise.

Most social media and marketing professionals agree like gates were far from the best means of achieving the desired result, often drawing in many who have no real interest in a business. Emeric Ernoult, CEO of AgoraPulse, gave the example of pages which used giveaways of iPads or other popular consumer goods to inflate likes.

“It was too easy to make mistakes,” Ernoult told Marketing Land. “There have been too many people doing things that were actually hurting them but they didn’t realize it.”

Most importantly, the rule change doesn’t ban pages from simply asking for likes, which Ernoult agrees is an overall better policy. “You are asking now, you are proposing. You’re not forcing and that’s a big difference,” he said. “And I think it will force page owners and marketers to think about how sexy they could be and how appealing they could be. Instead of, ‘Of well, they’ll have to become fans anyway so we don’t have to explain.'”

A little over a year ago, Google brought apps into advertising through the use of app install and app re-engagement ads, which made their way to Google’s mobile AdMob Network this June. Today, these ads also became available on Google Search and YouTube globally.

If you haven’t gotten familiar with app install and app re-engagement ads, Ginny Marvin gives a great explanation in her article for Marketing Land.

It appears we are currently in redesign season for most major search engines and social media platforms. Over the past month, Google and Bing have announced redesigns of their search results pages (Bing’s is still in testing, but has been confirmed). Meanwhile, Facebook rolled out the latest version of their site, and now Twitter has announced a new design for profile pages, complete with a slew of new features.

It seems obvious that one of the major motivators for the redesign was to improve organization of the site. Marketing Land recently conducted a study that found one of the biggest reasons for people to quit Twitter was the lack of sorting, filtering and media, which are all major focuses of the new layout.

Source: Marketing Land

Source: Marketing Land

The biggest and most notable change however, is the huge profile header that spans the full width of the screen. The huge header is easily the biggest visual change, but the most important updates all fall below. The new features allow users to pin Tweets to the top of the page, which is the first feature that allows users to break the chronological flow of their page ever. You can also filter the tweets you view by three categories:

  • Tweets
  • Tweets and Photos/Videos
  • Tweets & Replies

One of the last updates is a bit more subtle than the rest. Tweets with more engagement have gained more prominence on the screen as fonts get bigger based on activity. The Tweets getting the most attention get bigger, while less popular updates will continue to be shown at the normal font size.

Source: Marketing Land

Source: Marketing Land

The new profile design and functionality is currently limited to a small group of prominent users such as Weezer, Zac Efron, & Michelle Obama, but Twitter promises all users will have access in the “coming weeks.”

sports-authority-google-brand-banner-ad

You may remember the uproar from last October, when Google began experimenting with huge banner ads that ran across the top of branded search results. Many hailed them as the first sign of a completely branded search engine, while others weren’t as bothered by the large graphics appearing strictly on branded searches.

Either way, you shouldn’t expect to see the ads any longer. During a SMX West keynote discussion with Danny Sullivan, Google’s Armit Singhal declared the test to be over while saying that the test had failed.

Ginny Marvin suggests the test ads weren’t getting high enough click-through rates (CTR) to justify expanding or keeping around, but even Marvin admits CTR would be an odd metric to measure the success of the ads considering they acted more as a graphic introduction to brands you were searching for and didn’t include call-to-actions.

The test was very small in comparison to most Google tests, with only about 30 advertisers participating. Their banners were only shown on about 5 percent of search queries. Maybe Singhal or someone else from Google will explain how the tests were failures, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Most likely, the tests will just be forgotten like many other failed Google experiments.

However, if you missed the chance to catch some of these ads when they were appearing, or you are simply nostalgic for some nice branded banners, Marketing Land put together a slide show with many of the banners when they were still active, which you can view below.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

It is no secret that nearly every big brand is on Twitter these days, and plenty of smaller businesses are learning to take advantage of the platform every day. But, there are plenty of ways you can mess up when trying to connect with your audience on one of the largest social media platforms around. As a new study on how top brands use Twitter shows, the biggest mistake you can make is simply neglecting your account.

The study from social media analytics firm Simply Measured showed that 92 percent of brands are tweeting an average of 12 times a day, and 98 percent of the top brands in today’s market are regularly active on Twitter.

In fact, consumers seem to be downright eager to follow brands on Twitter, as audiences for the top brands have grew by 20 percent in the last quarter of 2013. Over half of the brands have more than 100,000 followers each.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how often you tweet if you aren’t sharing things that excite the community and encourage engagement. As Marketing Land notes, the tweets with photos or links are more likely to receive activity than the traditional 140 character updates. But, it might be a surprise to see just how much better they perform. Simply Measured says tweets with photos or links see 150 percent more engagement than the brand averages.

Twitter-Links-Types-That-Generate-Engagements-Simply-Measured-600x330

Images see even more engagement than links by a large amount, with an average of 210 engagements per tweet. That absolutely dwarfs the 27 engagements on average for a bit.ly link.

You can download the full report from Simply Measured’s website.

Mobile Ad Impressions

Android phones may be outselling the iPhone, but proof that iOS users are more engaged with their devices just keeps coming. The latest confirmation that iPhone users are on their devices more often with more engaged usage comes from a third-quarter “Global AdMetrics” report from mobile DSP and ad buying platform Adfonic. Their study claims that in Q3, on a global basis, Android and Apple devices accounted for 95 percent of all add impressions on mobile devices.

However, Apple and Android weren’t as close as you would normally think. Apple claimed nearly two-thirds of all mobile ad impressions, while Android only received 32 percent, a 6 percent decline from the previous quarter. This wouldn’t be so interesting, except Android has a huge advantage over Apple in the global market share. According to Greg Sterling at Marketing Land, around 80 percent of all global smartphone shipments in Q3 were Android devices.

Previous reports have shown that iPhone users are more likely to purchase, spend more time with their devices, and are more engaged with their device when using it. It is obvious that there is a large difference between the types of people purchasing mobile devices, and their needs certainly aren’t uniform. Android may have the lead on sales, but it can be assumed that many of their customers simply choose an Android phone without the intention to utilize all of its capabilities, while iPhone users are more likely to desire a phone they can rely on for all of their mobile and online needs.

Last week, Apple announced their new iPads, the iPad Air, a thinner, lighter, and more powerful version of their full-size tablet, as well as an updated iPad mini with Retina Display. The broad public response to Apple’s latest products seems to be underwhelming, but it hasn’t seemed to sway how popular Apple products are with consumers.

The day of Apple’s big announcement, ad network Chitika released their analysis of tablet traffic from North America, and it appears the negative market analysis has done little to diminish Apple’s grip on mobile traffic. The iPhone owned mobile traffic through the entire rise of smartphones, and now it seems the iPad has just as strong of a stranglehold on tablet traffic, raking in 81 percent of the market.

According to Marketing Land, this is actually a decrease from their 84 percent traffic share in June, but Chitika says no other single competitor has directly benefited. Their traffic may be down, but not a remarkable level by any means.

Recent data from the Pew Research Center says that 35 percent of Americans over the age of 16 own a tablet, and clearly the iPad is the most popular option for browsing the internet. However, the Kindle has proven to be the most successful Android tablet in North America, so it may be that consumers are simply choosing the tablet most suited for their needs: e-books or the internet.

Facebook Sticker IconDespite constant detractors proclaiming the death of Facebook, advertising on the social media platform continues to show strong results for marketers according to the Q2 review of Facebook advertising by Kenshoo Social. Their statistics show significant increases for all metrics, from analysis of more than 75 billion Facebook ad impressions from advertisers using the Kenshoo Social platform.

Throughout Q2, the company saw click through rates rise 18.5 percent, with total clicks increasing by 16.5 percent compared to Q1 of this year. Engagement rates beyond the click also saw substantial increases as conversions rose 56.9 percent and revenue increased by 28.3 percent.

Todd Herrold, senior director of product marketing for Kenshoo Social says the gains are the result of advertisers continuing to refine their techniques and becoming more savy about the social media platform, as well as improvements made by Facebook itself. He told Marketing Land:

“Facebook has been steadily optimizing its ad units and launching new ad targeting products designed specifically for direct response, including Custom and Lookalike Audiences, Partner Categories and the Facebook Exchange (FBX).”

Pinterest Sticker Icon by DesignBoltPinterest is quickly gaining popularity. Over the last five months, its user base has grown 43.7 percent, reaching over 70 million users. Not only is it one of the most popular social media platforms around currently, it is also generates the most revenue and draws in the highest rate of active consumers. Pinterest users aren’t there just to look, they are there to spend money.

While Pinterest has normally shied away from being a direct commerce site, they have recently begun to make shopping through their platform easier over the past year. Now, Marketing Land reports that last week when they announced they have introduced price-drop notifications on pinned items. Now, when an item pinned by a user goes on sale, the user will get an e-mail notifying them.

This builds on the previous introduction of “rich” product pins. At first, Pinterest wanted to be a social site, but now it is trying to “turn pinners into shoppers” and it appears they are going to be very successful.

There will be no fee associated with these price alerts or the rich product pins, however it seems very likely Pinterest could turn to some sort of “promoted pin” offer in the near future, as they try to woo consumers and marketers alike.