Simple Analytics Tutorial

The more data you collect, the better informed you will be as you continue to make marketing decisions for your company. If you don’t know if a marketing channel is working, you won’t know if you should spend more or less on it next year. Facebook and Google both have free analytics. If you aren’t already using them for your business, are yourself WHY!? Here is a step by step tutorial on how to use these resources to track your business analytics to make for better marketing spending.

Facebook Analytics

  • Create an account at business.facebook.com
  • Connect your business page
  • Under  the “Analyze and Report” tab click on Analytics

You will be able to set custom filters, see active users, most active times on your page, etc. It’s a great way to start learning a lot more about your audience and what they like. The analytics on Facebook goes very deep beyond just likes and visitors. It’s a powerful tool that can even analyze your website traffic with the Facebook Pixel installed.

 

 

Google Analytics

  • Create an account at analytics.google.com
  • You will need a Google account to access Analytics
  • Fill out the information about your website
  • You’ll receive a tracking code to install on your website
  • Start tracking data and setting up conversion goals

Google Analytics admittedly has a pretty steep learning curve to it, but there are several great courses and tutorials out there to get started. We suggest using the free analytics course by google to start, though! Google Analytics for Beginners.

 

Did Your Organic Ranking Tank? We know why…

This is a safe place, can we all agree on that? Great, then it’s ok to admit the word “algorithm” mystifies you — perplexes you — even scares you a little bit.

So, when you hear Google is updating its algorithm it can cause fear, panic, and the like. Google has admitted to a March 2019 update that actually LOST entire web pages from its index. Gone. Poof. And the effect on organic rankings was HUGE.

In March 2019, Google did what it called a “Broad Core update” – meaning Google is not “fixing” something directly, or even addressing specific industries or areas of need – but rather, creating and implementing more sweeping adjustments to organic searches.

As one tech blogger explained it:

Broad core updates are improvements to Google’s overall algorithm for the purpose of better understanding search queries and webpages. These improvements help Google to more accurately match search queries to webpages and improve user satisfaction.

Everybody, Stay Calm!

Did you feel that? Did your site feel the full brunt of the digital earthquake? Or maybe you just felt a little aftershock. Either way, Google’s “advancements” truly hurt many sites’ rankings about a month after the update’s release.

On April 7th, Google tweeted:

We’re aware of indexing issues that impacted some sites beginning on Friday. We believe the issues are mostly resolved and don’t require any special efforts on the part of site owners. We’ll provide another update when the issues are considered fully resolved.

We won’t bore you with the nerdy details to indexes, search impacts, etc. etc. – but basically Google admitted “Houston, we have a problem.”

Here at RPS we experienced it on our own site. One day we’re trending along, enjoying the top spot in our market for the organic keywords we’ve identified in our marketing strategy, and then the proverbial bottom dropped out. It was easy to recognize, and virtually impossible to explain.

We saw the same trend in several client websites as well. Even after efforts to optimize, the organic search metrics didn’t seem to follow a logical pattern. We weren’t rattled, but rather challenged ourselves to find out why. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good mystery, BUT not without an explanation or a resolution. (Every good mystery movie ends by solving the mystery — haven’t they ever seen an episode of Scooby Doo?!)

Oh, that algorithm, it’ll get ya every time! And, just like it seemed to “get us” for a time, we’ve been digging in to deeper understand the update and its aftermath. Google is not really in the practice of explaining in depth the reasons behind updates, or the predicted effects. Sometimes they just drop an update and see if anyone notices.

We Will Rebuild

So, how do you overcome the aftershock of the Broad Core update of March 2019?

First, know that Google has since come out an assured the web community that it is reindexing sites already, and you can directly ask for Google to index your site. Not a great solution for sites with a lot of volume, but an option nonetheless.  

The dust will supposedly settle. Google is quick to assure it’s back to business as usual… but we’re a little more proactive than that. We trust the system but also believe in strategy implementation for the win.

We don’t believe major adjustments are ultimately your best move. Instead, we believe there’s value in monitoring. Organic rankings are the long-game in an often frantic, mile-a-minute digital marketplace. Craft a solid strategy, modify as needed, and remain calm.

We’ll get through this, together.

VR, AR, AI, Oh my!

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI)… If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. It’s a lot to keep up with, and even more difficult for your business to master.

Customers crave a more transformational experience with brands, products, services, and information. And there’s power in delivering those experiences.

Augmented Reality is defined as “a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience.” It is predicted Augmented Reality will grow to be a $35 billion industry by 2022! Talk about opportunity knocking!

So, how are brands using AR effectively and strategically to not only increase brand awareness but to create meaningful customer experiences (and loyal fans?) How to do go beyond the gimmick and make AR work for your company? How does AR become your brand differentiator?

Here’s how industries and brands are leveraging AR to do more than simply impress and entertain.

There’s an app for that

Nike is using Augmented Reality to assist shoe buyers to not only find the right shoe for their activity, but the correct SIZE. Their research showed up to 60% of their customers were purchasing the wrong size shoe, which was leading to more returns and more unhappy customers. Their sizing app, Nike Fit, lets buyers scan their feet at home to get their correct size (within a 2mm of accuracy which, we don’t measure things with rulers much these days but we’re pretty sure that’s super close to perfect) The result – a rise in consumer confidence, more brand loyalty, and fewer returns.

How Will I know?

Companies like Ikea, Wayfair, Target, and Amazon are augmenting the purchases of items, especially larger ones like furniture, and allowing buyers to “try before they buy” — you can virtually place the item in the room to see the piece in the real world before buying and potentially assembling (and we all know the joys of assembling an IKEA piece…) The result again is consumer confidence and a higher likelihood the buyer will ultimately make that big-ticket purchase.

Not sure if you’ll love a paint color? Try it out through AR and get it right the first time — companies like Sherwin-Williams are having extreme success with their ventures into Augmented Reality paint selection and it’s reinforcing the brand’s commitment to helping customers get it right the first time.

Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me

We all know how essential visuals are to a brand. AR is taking this fact to an elevated level (basically, it’s like a picture times a million). Gone are the days of just showing an illustration to explain how something works. Or dropping a logo onto a piece of collateral to brand it as your own. The possibilities are endless when it comes to AR showing, versus telling, about your brand.

Jack Daniels is using AR to bring customers into the whiskey manufacturing world to immerse them in the distillery and makes the brand more relatable. The bottle’s label becomes a virtual pop-up storybook to show consumers the process, the location, and the history of the company. And, frankly, it’s just cool to watch.

Make The World a Better Place

Augmented Reality is being used as assistive technology for the visually impaired. One service “connects blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents.” The goal of this brand is to make information available to everyone regardless of disability, making life more full and enjoyable and further enhance everyday experiences.

Social and Search

Social media platforms have been on board with the utility of AR, and are leading the charge. Snapchat and Instagram have built entire identity on filters, which brands are now monetizing into awareness, relationship building, and just plain fun. The use of AR on social communicates the organic voice that a basic post simply cannot convey.

And of course Google is in on the frontlines of AR. Google maps are interactive with walking navigation and visual overlays. Google searches include AR immersive experiences to feel connected to the content that comes up on your next search — it’s fun to see an 18-foot great white shark floating in your backyard as you help your child research sharks for a school project.

Just Plain Fun

A Snapchat filter for a special event is a small investment to create a memorable impact. (Check out the filter we used for our recent RPS Open House event…)

But, be careful. There still has to be value to be, well, valuable to your base. Otherwise, it’s just a novelty that could hurt your brand more than help. Your AR experience has to have a strong message and clear function, and go beyond the initial “coolness” factor.

If your AR experience doesn’t drive customers to take action (buy that IKEA sofa, it’ll fit perfectly!), make an informed decision (that lipstick is totally your color!), meet a customer’s need (“What does this error message mean, oh wise AR tech support guy?), showcase your capabilities (have your smartphone out next time you’re in the RPS offices for our full AR experience), or directly align with your brand’s message and values it could end up being just a novelty (a moment of silence for QR codes…)

Bottom line: Don’t be Pokemon Go (hot one minute, obsolete the next). Using AR, and any other Experiential Marketing tools, correctly can have a lasting, positive effect on your business and brand. The key word — “correctly”.

Facebook’s Secret Weapon for Businesses

We are all about working smarter, not harder. And marketing is striking a balance between effort and time (and money, of course. But time equals money – round up to the next whole number, take the square root of pi and… sorry, we get nerdy sometimes.)

Where were we?

Oh yes, working smarter. This is why we love using a “secret weapon” within Facebook Insights for Business that is helping marketers and small business owners capitalize on powerful vicinity-specific statistics.If you run a brick-and-mortar business, the information you can glean from Facebook Local Insights can impact your ad strategy, staffing decisions, and more.

Within Business Manager there’s a tab that is often overlooked in the sea of other useful Insights. Even as super creative, right-brained people, we geek out over the metrics in this tab once we began to do a deep dive.

Here’s what we mean:

The Facebook Local Insights section provides super geographic-specific data that shows you what’s the busiest time for Facebook users to be in your set radius and date range, what the top age, gender and home location is of those passing by, and how often your ad was seen by those people (if you’re currently running campaigns.) It’s all privacy protected so it’s showing generalized stats and not specific users information, but there’s power in those summaries that you need to be using as you craft your marketing plans.

How does this help you as a business owner? For the three main categories you see in the screenshot above:

Activity and Peak Hours

Facebook Says:

Use info about when the most people are nearby to make smart decisions about store hours and more.

RPS Says:

We can’t make your operational decisions, but we do use this data to make sure content and ads are going out when you expect people to see it (your current followers AND passers-by alike).

 

Demographic Info

Facebook Says:

Get to know the general ages, genders and distance traveled by people near your business to inform your marketing and services.

RPS Says:

We use this data to get to know people who are not yet customers or clients and craft messages and ads accordingly to draw engagement. Creating custom audiences using this insight increases the likelihood of your ads do not falling victim to the mindless scroll.

 

Ad Performance

Facebook Says:

See if your ads reached people who are near your business.

RPS Says:

Spending money is an important decision for any business owner or decision maker. How powerful to be able to verify your ads are being seen by the people around you.

Now, like any data, it’s only useful if it’s actionable. And to be actionable, you have to understand it. A marketing partner like RPS can analyze the data in your business’ Facebook Local Insights and craft a plan to attract the people most likely to walk in your door, drive by your business, or be online when your ad is running.

We’d love to review Local Insights with you in a Discovery Session. Contact us through our site or give us a call – we promise not to be too nerdy when you come in.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Do Video Marketing

Incriminated in the death of radio stars, video has evolved from a highly professionalized format for marketing to something as simple as livestreaming à la iPhone. Yet for some, the convenience isn’t enough to sell them on getting started. So here are 6 reasons to use video marketing as a tool right now:

1)Video marketing is trending

The success of video marketing has been massive, and not in the places you might think. According to HubSpot, 67% of consumers listed Facebook as a place where they currently consume content online, just 16% behind YouTube. And according to Forbes, 90% of consumers say a marketing video informed their purchases. This means that video marketing is being used, right now, to meet people where they’re at.

2)Video Marketing isn’t slowing down

One Facebook exec even predicted the social media platform will be completely video-based within 5 years’ time. Each year, marketing videos have become more and more popular, indicating exponential growth. And the increase in popularity hasn’t caused a downturn in success. As more content is filmed, people are watching at the same or increasing rate, showing that it is more than just a trend: it is a strategy for the long haul.

3)It’s easier than ever

With so much content out there, it must be difficult to jump in and hang with the best, right? Wrong! (sorry, didn’t mean to yell at you) Chances are, if you have an iPhone, you’ve got most of the ingredients needed. A few simple tools and some sound advice on lighting and editing will put you on the path to creating quality content. However, if you are looking for the assurance of a more experienced touch, plenty of agencies, (like us!) can plan, execute, and deliver great work.

4)Video can tell people who you are, fast!

In using marketing or social media videos, a new customer or client can find out everything they need to know about who you in a way that’s quicker, easier, and more fun than ever before! People can see your vision, learn your values, and get a strong sense of your brand’s identity all in a few moments. And once you’ve engaged with your audience, more videos can be used to share new information, content, and ideas so the world can keep up with all of your exciting plans.

5)Video can give your brand a voice

A video lets the world see who you are and hear your voice. From this, they can build a sense of trust and identity to associate with your product and brand. Video content can engage with people emotionally, and really pull on their heartstrings. A strong video not only tells everyone about you and your passion; it shows them, and this heart-level connection can make a huge difference in engaging followers and consumers with your vision and brand.

Video marketing has gone from an idea reserved for expensive agencies to an important tool for promoting any brand. At first, this may seem like a time consuming and unnecessary strategy. But if done well, video marketing can be a great way to share your vision with a broader audience and show everyone what you have to offer.

Chips Ahoy! Spreading Positivity on Twitter

Chips Ahoy! are no strangers to making people smile. The crunchy cookies sure bring us a fair amount of joy at RPS! But yesterday, their brand found another way to spread happiness, through the combined powers of Twitter and kindness:

And they did. Hundreds and hundreds of compliments, each one personalized to the recipient. Some were based on recent tweets, others surmised from profile pictures.

This impressive display of commitment on social media reveals just what can happen when a brand puts the direct advertising of the product on hold for the sake of keeping it real. The only immediate benefit for Chips Ahoy! is a touch of brand awareness. In the meantime, we all received some extra good vibes for the end of the week! Even Wendy’s, which is already legendary for its authentic, sassy attitude on Twitter, received a little love:

Whether or not retweets actually start customers on the road to purchasing more cookies is unmeasured, but the activity certainly generated healthy conversation around Chips Ahoy!

Some of the best social media marketing can happen by simply having something relevant to say. In our recent blog post on “Keeping it Real in 2019,” we discussed how brands can grow their awareness by putting calls-to-action (CTAs) on hold to engage with comments, users, and existing conversations without necessarily needing to mention the product.

However, Chips Ahoy! has managed to use a CTA to create massive engagement while still being personable, with a recognizable sense of brand authenticity. It shows that, if today’s brands can carry themselves with real human personality, the response can be awesome!

Edit: Chips Ahoy! was so nice they even tossed us a shoutout for the blog post you’re reading right now.

Keeping it Real in 2019

New social media trends seemingly pop up every week, and some of them will define the way marketing happens online this year, and for years to come –  2019 is a new frontier for the industry, and we could not be more excited to discover what’s next.

In order to help you prepare for what this year has in store, we’ve decided to spend the first month of the year talking about what we see as upcoming movements in social media marketing. We hope you enjoy!

Keeping it Real

It may be surprising to learn that something like keeping it real ever went out of style in the first place. When we think of organic social content, being authentic sounds like it’s almost implied. However, 2018 (and even 2017) tells a different story.

With the popularization of phrases like “fake news” and multiple scandals relating to breaches in trust between Facebook and its users, the common social media user is more cynical towards targeted marketing than ever before. Soley creating engagement with good old-fashioned online advertising is not going to cut it in 2019.

A more “human” approach

As the pendulum swings in an opposite direction, brands that want to stay on the cutting edge of content creation are turning to authenticity as a strategy. With prospective followers and customers at such distrust with brands, recapturing the interest and loyalty of the internet is happening by way of connection that feels, and sometimes even is, more one-on-one.

And this isn’t just a prediction (RPS is a lot of things, but psychic is not one of them). In 2017, Chick-fil-a discontinued its beloved chicken-salad from the menu. However, as a parting gift to fans, they publicized the recipe for free, giving fans the chance to relive their favorite fast food option from home

On Twitter, successful brands have found the perfect forum for taking a more authentic approach, puting personality first. Wendy’s success in this sphere has become the stuff of legend:

 

When it comes to your social game this year, taking the lead from examples like this will be crucial. The initial goals of generating sales from an online brand is simply not going to fly with the aware Facebooker. Giving people something relatable and human is where it’s at in 2019, and, as people who love digital marketing, we’re cool with that.

Authenticity and your brand:

Put your Calls-to-Action on hold.

People know when they’re being sold something. They can see a pitch from a mile away. It makes a lot of social media users uncomfortable and even agitated. Throwing a call to action on top of everything in your feed isn’t helping that awkward feeling. Instead, try a different conversation, one that isn’t all about selling. Adidas has found success in creating content geared towards keeping a positive attitude, creativity, and even social-conscious messaging.

Engage with comments

Your followers will talk about you, and they’ll do it in the comment feed. Don’t make the mistake of being “holier than thou” when it comes to having some back and forth down in the comments section. Answering questions, joining the conversation, and having a little fun shows everyone your company isn’t just a logo with a bottom line. Your brand has as much of a voice as you let it.

Leave clickbait in 2018

Merriam-Webster defines clickbait as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.” We define it as an ironically bad strategy for getting engagement online.

We’re not just talking about articles with headlines like “She hired Rock Paper Simple! You’ll never believe what happened next!” Any content posted solely for the purpose of getting engagement runs the risk of disappearing into a cluster of trapdoor links. What your brand says should transcend your statistical goals.

Be honest.

Was there a mistake? Own it. Did you fail to meet expectations? Engage with feedback. Need help planning your next move? Publish a survey. The theme here is to give your followers a sense their thoughts, suggestions, and points of view add value to the evolution of your brand. This requires much more work than a passive advertising approach, but in the long run, when your followers remember who you are alongside what you do, it’s an investment that will pay off.  

What Businesses Can Do About Facebook’s New Algorithm

How many of you utilize a Facebook page to interact with your customers and gain new ones? Have you heard about the new algorithm being implemented that will change the way your pages posts show in news feeds? This is a pretty BIG deal and there are some things you can do to ensure your Facebook page does not get completely drowned out by these changes.

What’s all the fuss about?

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, recently announced a change to the social media platform’s algorithm for its users news feeds. Facebook is undergoing a year-long revamp to encourage interactions that are meaningful and personal. With this change, Facebook users will begin to see more posts from friends and family in their newsfeed and less public (unpaid) content from businesses and publishers. This change comes from feedback from Facebook’s users and recent studies that have shown that just scrolling on the social network and watching videos can make people feel worse, whereas meaningful interactions that build relationships with friends and family lead to a happier, healthier life. “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being” Zuckerberg wrote in a post announcing the new changes.

This will make it more difficult for business pages to have a large organic reach, but Zuckerberg did say that the public content that “encourage[s] meaningful interactions between people” will be shown more than the content that doesn’t.

What does this mean?

Well, you know those posts that you put up that no one comments on? Those posts are less likely to be shown organically in people’s news feeds.

Facebook wants people to interact and build relationships, not to just mindlessly scroll through without making any engagement with their news feed. If you noticed that people aren’t commenting or sharing your content, it may be time to step up your Facebook game.

What can you do?

There are plenty of minor changes you can make to ensure your business’ Facebook presence continues to grow. Here are a few suggestions:

 

You should try encouraging people to comment on your Facebook posts.

Ask a question like “Are you a saver or a spender?” or “If you could travel to any country for free, where would you go and why?” These types of questions prompt your fans to comment on your post and by them commenting, their friends and family are more likely to see your post.

 

We do want to advise you to be careful of making posts that seem like spam.

In other words, don’t say “COMMENT below if you’re having a great day.” Facebook is working to not show those types of posts as well, so it’s best to avoid it.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to follow you on Facebook.

It won’t hurt to send a nice email to customers that have recently visited your establishment or purchased your products/services to thank them for for their patronage and ask them to stay up to date with your business by following you on facebook (don’t forget to provide them with the link to your facebook page).

 

Ask those loyal fans to click the “see first” option when they follow your page.

You know those customers that come in and or order your products/services all the time? They’re your fans! When you ask them to follow you on Facebook, tell them there’s a “see first” option so that they can be sure to see your posts. They’ll be happy to stay informed.

 

It may be time to increase your ad budget.

Looks like these changes won’t affect the paid ads. You’ll want to spend a bit more on boosted posts and run an ad campaign. What’s going to be key with this paid advertising is that you use purposeful targeting. Targeting to everyone won’t get you too far and frankly it’s a waste of money. Show your ads to the people who want to see it and make sure the content is relevant. For example, a real estate agency should not be showing their ads to everyone. A real estate agency would be better off targeting people who are over the age of 25, likely to move, and also target the specific area the real estate does business in. When you use targeting like this, your ads will be shown more often to the people who want to see them.

 

Create more Facebook Live videos.

Facebook has found that these videos generate more interaction amongst users and that’s exactly what you need to be seen in the news feed. Start a Live video when something new and exciting is coming up, but be sure to make a post about it in advance to give your fans a little heads up as to when you’re going live. Make sure you keep your viewers engaged by interacting with them. Say “Hi, Jessica!” when she joins in on the video. This is also a great way for your fans to get to know your brand on a personal level.

 

With all that being said (well, written), Facebook is a great way to keep your fans engaged with your brand and it can continue to be as long as you continue to learn about and adapt to these changes.

Still confused about all these changes? No worries… The team at Rock Paper Simple would love to answer all of your questions. Please give us a call or contact us here!

Make 2018 Awesome! [video]

Happy New Year! “Ever Forward” is something I like to say all the time and it has a lot of meaning. It means you aren’t satisfied with “good enough”, with the status quo… it means always getting better, always growing, always learning. Striving to innovate and do better than last year. -Joshua Adams

Check out Stephanie and Joshua in a year-in-review here at Rock Paper Simple!

2018 Marketing Prep Kit: Make 2018 Awesome!

Happy New Year! “Ever Forward” is something I like to say all the time and it has a lot of meaning. It means you aren’t satisfied with “good enough”, with the status quo… it means always getting better, always growing, always learning. Striving to innovate and do better than last year. -Joshua AdamsWith a new year upon us, getting your marketing plan in order is key. Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!You can download it by visiting: https://rockpapersimple.com/prepkit/

Posted by Rock Paper Simple on Thursday, January 4, 2018

With a new year upon us, getting your marketing plan in order is key. Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit
We talk to alot of people about marketing and one of the questions we hear all the time is where to even start with their brand, their plan, their goals, etc. So we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit just for you! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!
(we promise to never sell your private information or send you inordinate amounts of spam!)
Get Started FAQ