This week, I had the honor of speaking on the topic of podcasting at Digital Summit Seattle. In the past, I’ve enjoyed live-blogging for various publications, but this time around, I thought a recap of session highlights was sufficient for the SEMpdx ecosystem. Below are highlights from various sessions on day one of the two-day digital marketing conference. I plan to provide another recap of day two shortly. If you’re sad you missed this round, fear not, as there are more Digital Summit conferences coming to a city near you, including Portland in June! For more information, follow the @DigitalSummits Twitter account and #DSSEA or other city-specific hashtags.
From Brand Ambassadors to Content Creators: Using Micro-Influencers to Create Engaging, On-Brand Content, Beth Teague, HotelTonight
This session covered the evolving challenge of engaging influencers to create content that is on-brand. According to Beth’s definition, micro-influencers:
• Have 50K or fewer followers
• Have higher-than-average engagement rates (5%+)
• May be part of a niche or focused topic
• Still considered a trusted peer vs. celebrity
The reason micro-influencers matter is due to their high-level of authenticity and personal if not intimate connections with followers. Micro-influencers drive 60 percent more engagement than campaigns compared to mainstream influencers.
The Up & Comers (micro-influencers) are ideal for creating content vs. amplifying, which Celebs do best. HotelTonight has invested in photography and video from micro-influencers to differentiate from competitors and decrease dependency on stock imagery. Micro-influencers can also be affordable sources for original assets in real-time, as compared to employees and professional photographers and videographers.
HotelTonight suggested the following tips to get more value from micro-influencers:
• Expand your definition of a micro-influencer
• Identify your biggest needs and content gaps
• Do your diligence regarding creative (style guide) and legal departments (ownership and liability)
• Take a multi-channel approach to maximize assets and budget
• Trade one-offs for long-term relationships
• Find your niche – don’t try to boil the ocean
• Make sure you have a solid contract in place
In terms of identifying micro-influencers, there are a host of free and low-cost tools available, although Beth likes Mavrck. Her advice to micro-influencers interested in standing out: create a thoughtful and strategic pitch that illustrates clear value. If you’re looking to leverage the authenticity and flexibility of micro-influencers, this session provided an excellent summary of benefits, strategies and tactics.
Five Reports Every Marketer Needs to Master in Google Analytics, Colleen Harris, CDK Global
Colleen manages analytics across 7,000 client websites and has a good deal of experience leveraging Google Analytics (GA) to measure website efficacy and ROI. Currently 30-50 million websites us GA. Currently, 50-90 percent of GA accounts are not passing data properly, so the opportunities (and challenges) are tremendous. More than 66 percent of ecommerce website traffic comes from Google, with 43 percent coming from Google Organic and 26 percent coming from Google PPC, so GA is an ideal solution.
The secret sauce, according to Collen, is leveraging dimensions (description, characteristic, feature or aspect of your data. The five most valuable GA reports and filters are outlined below:
1. City, States & Locations. Modifiers to apply: “service provider” and “source/medium” are important to understand. Example of the report value: looking at a dealership client US heatmap, it was apparent that Facebook ads were targeted nationwide, instead of geo-targeted at Florida.
2. Browsers. As page load times increase from 1 to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 90 percent. Colleen suggests using WebPageTest.org to validate site speed.
3. Devices. This report tells you about the user experience, particularly focusing on mobile. Colleen recommends emulating mobile with Mobile Moxie. Unknown or unusual devices are likely bots.
4. All Channel Report. Bounce rates are important, and the range of 25-40% is actually a good target. Anything higher than 90 or lower than 10, means something is suspect and should be validated. Other Traffic is also a good place to find miscellaneous or erroneous tracking codes. A common issue with GTM tags is using capitalization, which is an issue, as well as spaces vs. underscores. Two UTM tools to know: Google Analytics URL Builder and UTM.io bulk URL builder. Also check out the funnel visualization to see where traffic is dropping off the website. Once you have goals set up on the website, you will be able to see which channels assisted conversions, including each key steps taken towards the conversion. If you look at a secondary dimension of landing page, you can see which pages are essential to conversion.
5. Google Analytics Dashboards can be easily edited and customized, but they are limited to 12 widgets and simple colors. Colleen likes DashboardJunkie and Google Analytics Solutions Gallery as resources. Of course Colleen likes Google Data Studio, as it pulls information from various sources and is free, although it naturally has drawbacks and limitations. Additional tools: Webris, 21 Templates and her custom Super Report.
Colleen brought her A-game by giving away a ton of free resources and tools in her session. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend a handful of sessions on day 1, but look for much more coverage for day 2 coming soon!
Kent Lewis is a co-founder and the first President of SEMpdx, a professional trade organization based in Portland, Oregon that provides educational opportunities for local businesses and individuals interested in a career in search engine marketing. To pay the bills, he plays the role of President of Anvil Media, Inc., where he is responsible for managing operations, marketing and business development to achieve the company’s mission: to build Anvil into the one of the most respected search engine marketing agencies in the world. In 2001, Lewis created pdxMindShare to build businesses and careers through networking and weekly emails featuring jobs and industry events. He is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University.