Tag Archives: DATA

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Why Bloggers Aren’t Replying to Your Outreach Email [NEW DATA] by @every1pr

These are the top reasons why bloggers and influencers may be ignoring your outreach emails.

The post Why Bloggers Aren’t Replying to Your Outreach Email [NEW DATA] by @every1pr appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Fake News & Facebook Ads: It’s Shockingly Cheap to Influence Elections [DATA] by @LarryKim

This data proves that it only takes $50 and an hour of work to promote fake news using Facebook Ads.

The post Fake News & Facebook Ads: It’s Shockingly Cheap to Influence Elections [DATA] by @LarryKim appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Content marketing has become the secret weapon in a successful marketing strategy, with brands using different types of content to add value and grab their audience’s attention.

It has become more important than ever to market with intent, using content and SEO to raise awareness, engage and convert.

Conversion, in particular, is one of the biggest challenges for content marketing, but according to Curata, 74% of companies believe that their content marketing strategy helps them increase the quality and quantity of their leads.

The rise of IoT and our constant connectivity to the online world through smartphones, wearables and social media have brought a wealth of new data. This serves as a great opportunity for marketers to understand what a modern consumer wants and how to include these findings in a content marketing strategy.

Content marketing cannot be successful without data, as marketers risk guessing, rather than actually knowing, the habits of their target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy can be more efficient, helping marketers save time and money by focusing on the right content that will bring them closer to their goals.

Here are five ways that data can improve a content marketing strategy.

Understanding your target audience

One of the main reasons to invest in a data-driven content marketing strategy is to gain the best possible understanding of the target audience.

A solid content marketing strategy can bring the audience closer to the brand. This can only happen through a framework that takes into consideration the audience’s habits, preferences, and needs.

An analysis of the available data can help marketers draft more relevant personas, which helps in tailoring content to the target audience.

Data can provide useful answers to questions such as:

  • the customers’ reaction to the existing content
  • their favorite types of content
  • their preferred methods of communications
  • the channels they are using
  • their browsing habits

This should be the start of an effective content marketing strategy, setting up the groundwork for a data-driven approach that relies on insights, rather than assumptions about the target audience.

Content discovery

The process of coming up with content ideas can be challenging, especially in small teams. A closer look at the available data can help marketers create content that fits their goals.

Data can be part of the content discovery process in the following ways:

Keyword research

Keyword research is not only useful in SEO, but it can also offer useful content suggestions, tailored to the target audience and their search habits. For example, keyword analysis can help marketers come up with new content ideas, going beyond the most popular terms and targeting topics that can still be successful, without being predictable.

Content performance

An analysis of the existing content’s performance can offer useful insights, from the most popular posts to the audience’s browsing habits. This data can help marketers create more effective content, adjusting if needed the length of it, the formatting, the visual assets, or even the user experience if there seems to be a high bounce rate.

Competitor analysis

Another useful aspect that can help in the process of content discovery is to monitor what your competitors are writing about. It might be a good idea to monitor your competitors’ most popular topics, the types of content they are using, the ideas they are expanding into, or even the creative aspect of their content marketing strategy. This can give you a good indication of their most successful aspects, while you can also explore the areas that you could cover.

Monitoring latest trends

It’s extremely useful to monitor the latest trends that are relevant in your content’s context. A closer look at Google Trends, Facebook, and Twitter’s trending topics, or even the latest headlines can help you get inspired on new content topics. Moreover, an analysis of the latest trends, the audience’s response, and their metrics in terms of virality can offer a useful perspective on the content that people prefer to share.

Content delivery

It’s essential for marketers to deliver content to their audience via their preferred format and channels. This requires an analysis of several key areas:

  • length of content
  • type of content (blog, video, image, presentation, podcast, etc)
  • formatting
  • desktop vs mobile
  • relevance
  • value
  • quantity over quality

There are many questions that need to be answered when drafting a content marketing strategy, but luckily the use of data can provide the answers to all these questions.

A closer look at Google Analytics or other similar platforms can offer useful insights.

These increase the chances for the content to become part of the customer journey, by helping prospects move along the funnel, from awareness to an actual purchase.

Moreover, another interesting trend is the rise of real-time data that can help marketers become more responsive to their content. Social networks are usually the most useful platforms to serve real-time content during an event or an important announcement. In that case, data can offer the right direction for the content, from the sentiment to the actual performance of the campaign.

Analyzing distribution

An effective content marketing strategy needs to equally focus on the creation and the distribution of the content.

A focus on data can help marketers decide on the channels they should use for the promotion of their content. This depends on the target audience and campaign goals, and data can tell whether the focus should be on:

  • earned media (PR, mentions)
  • paid media (social and search advertising)
  • owned media (site, blog, social content)
  • shared media (referrals, word of mouth, influencers)

Content distribution becomes more challenging with the abundance of the available channels and the new opportunities for promotion. Not all of them are effective though for every type of content. That’s how data can become extremely useful to analyse the existing results, but also how the new content can explore new paths for promotion.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Smart Insights

Measuring success

According to CMI’s report, the most popular tool that marketers use for content marketing is their analytics platform (79%). This indicates the need to measure the content’s performance while justifying the KPI of their content marketing strategy.

The focus on analytics tools doesn’t necessarily mean that all marketers are still able to tell whether their content marketing strategy is successful. In fact, according to Curata, only 30% of leading marketers are confident enough that their content marketing has an impact at the bottom of the sales funnel.

As more data become available, marketers can take advantage of all the insights to understand their content’s performance and how it brings them closer to KPIs.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Beth Kanter

The most useful metrics to track your content performance include:

  • blog visits
  • time on page
  • bounce rate
  • number of comments
  • number of shares
  • number of mentions
  • inbound links
  • press coverage
  • number of generated leads
  • number of conversions

The need to pay attention to these when measuring a content marketing strategy brings out the importance for modern marketers to blend their creative with their analytical side. As we gain the capacity to collect and analyze increasing quantities of data, marketing is becoming increasingly analytical – but creativity is still crucial, and is what sets humans apart from bots in the marketing industry.

Overview

Many marketers are eager to dive into data in order to create a successful content marketing strategy. The more data we process, the better the insights we can glean about our target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy starts with an analysis of the existing data, but it’s also important to proceed with actionable steps.

The most effective marketing strategies translate data into their customers’ needs, creating successful content that speaks to their needs, but also your company’s goals.

How to ensure you ask the right questions of your data

Our team at Google recently talked to web analysts who say they spend half their time answering basic analytics questions for other people in their organization.

In fact, a recent report from Forrester found 57% of marketers find it difficult to give their stakeholders in different functions access to their data and insights.

To help, our team at Google recently launched a new feature in Analytics to help you better understand “what happened?” questions of your data, such as “how many visitors to my site from California arrived via paid search?”

But the right “why and what next” questions are not always so easy to consider, let alone answer. Posing the wrong questions wastes precious time, and with only so many hours in the day to use your data effectively, you need to become really skilled at knowing what questions to ask when analyzing results so you find answers that are actionable and relevant.

Let’s go through some ways you can get better at this.

1. Have the right objectives and KPIs established before your team begins executing

I’ve advised countless companies on measurement planning over the years, and continue to stress the importance of this both online and at events.

If you haven’t conducted measurement planning and established what your success metrics are up front, get started today. Without this, you will never ask the right questions of your data because you’ll always be boiling the analytics ocean instead of focusing on the metrics that really matter.

Establishing objectives and KPIs is the best thing you can do to ensure you always ask relevant questions that lead to actions that will actually be taken, and which are aligned with your business. 

2. No analysts work in a silo; know what all your different teams are doing

If you are sitting in your analyst ivory tower all day, ultimately you will ask questions you think are interesting, but perhaps not ones which have answers your team cares about, or even really impact your business.

Don’t be isolated; rather, spend time with your different teams so you have your finger on the pulse of their projects and goals – you will then be far better positioned to help them.

3. Automate your reporting so you can spend more time asking questions of data

Updating custom dashboards, spreadsheets, and reports manually is a time-consuming process. It’s also one no one really enjoys doing.

Sure, it’s quicker to do it once, but over time, automation will save you a lot of effort, effort which is better spent asking questions of your data to tease out meaningful insights to inform your marketing.

In a previous column on ClickZ, Search Engine Watch’s sister site, I outlined some ways to get started with automating dashboard updates in order to focus your time on analysis.

4. Executive summaries of your dashboards shared with your team are a chance for real-time feedback

As I’ve shared before in my piece ‘Five steps to report marketing results like a boss‘, never send a dashboard without an executive summary outlining the main takeaways.

Your summary inevitably will include insights from questions you asked of your data when reviewing the visualizations and trends. And this summary in turn will almost always generate responses from those who you have the dashboard tailored for – all too critical for us as analysts to close the feedback loop on our analysis. Don’t ignore it.

5. Don’t waste too much time on unanswerable questions

We’ve all been there when a team member asks you a question about an outlier in a given month. Maybe you had a huge spike in high bounce traffic you can’t seem to find a reason for.

Usually in these such cases it didn’t matter anyway, other than satisfying someone’s curiosity – but you could spend hours on end going down the rabbit hole to try and determine why something happened that might not have been that important in the first place.

In my experience nearly all the “unanswerable” questions end up being ones which didn’t matter much anyway.

6. Educate your wider marketing team on the data sources your company has access to

Without knowing what it is your analysis tools are capturing, you can’t meaningfully ask good questions. So as part of onboarding new team members be sure you educate them on what data sources you have access to.

The other benefit on educating your team is if someone senior like your CMO asks a question beyond the scope of your current reporting capabilities, it can be a good opportunity to research how you might answer that question and potentially ask for an increased budget if required (something we all want more of).

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How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 1: data and download speed

Mobile video is great. When it works.

Implemented correctly, video or audio *should not* impact the speed that pages load on a mobile device and when the play button is pressed, it needs to start quickly and work well.

Video content is top of the agenda for many brands. It is proving a great way to engage customers and visitors, but when viewed on mobile devices, particularly those on cellular connection, video (and to a lesser extent audio) should come with a health warning.

Users are increasingly impatient with slow-to-load and stalling video and will start to abandon a video after waiting just two seconds, research from UMass and Akamai shows.

This column, the first of three parts, will take a close look at how and why video affects page performance. In the second part, we’ll look at the impact of video autoplay and audio on page performance, as well as what makes a poor viewer experience (VX).

Finally, we’ll explore how to detect, avoid and remedy issues to prevent users tuning out.

Video is a massive mobile data hog

The provision and consumption of video on mobile devices via web and apps is growing rapidly. Mobile video is already 60% of total mobile data traffic worldwide and is expected to be 78% by 2021 according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI).

All other elements will grow over the next five years, but their proportion of overall traffic will be less. Audio will be 5% compared with 8% today and mobile web will be 14% compared with 30% of traffic today.

Video – and audio – used wrongly or inefficiently will impact mobile user experience (UX) – or should we say: “viewer experience” (VX) or “listener experience” (LX) – massively, but not necessarily in the same way as oversized images and poor or inefficient use of JavaScript.

Images and JavaScript, as seen in previous columns, are the biggest causes of slow loading mobile web pages. As discussed below, video can still contribute to page size and therefore contribute to page load delays, particularly (it seems) where autoplay is used, as we will discuss below.

But the biggest impact on VX comes after page load when the video is slow, or fails, to start or stalls.

The two charts below are from HTTP Archive, which twice monthly records the page size and download speed of the homepages of the top 1 million sites to desktop and mobile devices, using the excellent WebPageTest.

The first chart shows the breakdown of content types by bytes – images, JavaScript, video, stylesheets, HTML and fonts – as an average of all homepages recorded on April 15, 2017.

Video is 128kB or 5.5% of the total bytes loaded (2312 kB or 2.3MB). This might appear small, until you realize that 97% of pages monitored by HTTP Archive have no video content (we examine this surprising stat below).

Pages that do have video content will therefore show a higher proportion of video content.

The second chart (captured April 15, 2017) shows the content breakdown for the homepage of the US digital agency Huge. Here video content is 727kB or 14.5% of the total bytes. The total weight of the page is 5MB, which is a homepage worthy of the company name, and, when measured, took 25.8 seconds to load on a mobile device, according to HTTP Archive.

To be fair, many agencies (digital, media, advertising et al) have surprisingly slow loading, heavy weight sites (considering the importance of digital to their businesses), though Huge is exceptionally large. A trimmer example is Young and Rubicam. On the same date the Y&R homepage took three seconds to load 783kB on a mobile device (on other dates it took nine seconds) according to HTTP Archive.

How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 1: data and download speed

Video shouldn’t affect page load size or download speed

Implemented correctly, video (or audio) should not impact the size of the webpage or the speed that pages load on a mobile device, according to the experts.

Even when video is present on the page, to render the page, the browser only needs to load the video container, teaser image, start button etc. it doesn’t need to download the entire video (as the visitor may not want to watch it at all). Thus video and audio ought not to be a significant proportion of content recorded by HTTP Archive / WebPageTest – as we will see when we look at the most popular sites.

Sam Dutton is a Developer Advocate at Google who provides educational materials and workshops for techies in mobile video. He explains:

“Video is not a big issue for page loading, since in general video shouldn’t be part of the cost of loading a web page.

“HTTP Archive measures the bytes to load a web page, not the total bytes crossing the internet. When you load most web pages, you don’t load a video (but you do load images, HTML, CSS and JavaScript).

“Top sites are less likely than less popular sites to require video for page load since (hopefully) the top sites realize the detrimental effects on page weight and (therefore) bounce rates, etc.”

 

This is Part 1 of a series looking at how video impacts mobile web performance and UX. Read the next installment: How video impacts mobile web performance and UX, part 2: autoplay and audio.

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52% Say Majority of Their Business Marketing Activity Is Digital [DATA] by @rinadianewrites

Thinking of putting more effort into your digital marketing activities? Wondering what area of digital marketing to focus your budget on? We've got answers for you based on our #SEJSurveySays poll plus a bonus study!

The post 52% Say Majority of Their Business Marketing Activity Is Digital [DATA] by @rinadianewrites appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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How Much Do Marketing Consultants & Agencies Charge? [DATA] by @rinadianewrites

Are you looking to hire a marketing agency or consultant but unsure what your budget should be? Are you a marketing agency or consultant thinking about raising your rates to be more at par with the rest of the industry? We've got pricing insights for you based on the results of a digital marketing industry pricing survey.

The post How Much Do Marketing Consultants & Agencies Charge? [DATA] by @rinadianewrites appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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41% Put Hashtags at the End of a Post [DATA] by @sayscaitlin

Everyone knows what hashtags are in 2017. They're used constantly, particularly on the platforms Twitter and Instagram. But where should they go?

The post 41% Put Hashtags at the End of a Post [DATA] by @sayscaitlin appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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2017’s SEO Job Trends: What Does it Mean for Your SEO Career? [DATA] by @MyNameIsTylor

What can data from LinkedIn and Indeed tell us about the state of the SEO career? Using nine months' worth of data for the 75 most populous metros in the United States, I dive into the four most interesting trends and predict how each one may impact your career.

The post 2017’s SEO Job Trends: What Does it Mean for Your SEO Career? [DATA] by @MyNameIsTylor appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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71% Plan to Spend More on Digital Marketing Activities in 2017 [DATA] by @rinadianewrites

2017 is here! You may be thinking of where to put your hard-earned money, and whether to spend more, less, or the same on your digital marketing activities for 2017. Find out the results of our latest #SEJSurveySays poll and take a look at what to focus on to make the most of your investments in 2017.

The post 71% Plan to Spend More on Digital Marketing Activities in 2017 [DATA] by @rinadianewrites appeared first on Search Engine Journal.