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Few can match Marty Weintraub’s experience in the online marketing space and even fewer can match his energy (anyone who has ever seen him speak know what I mean!). Marty is the CEO of aimClear and a regular on the conference circuit, bringing his combined knowledge of social media marketing, SEO and analytics to the table.
Marty’s always a crowd favorite at conferences and we can’t wait to hear him speak on the analytics panel at BlueGlass LA, where he’ll be sharing some new approaches to organic keyword tracking in wake of Google’s encrypted search.
We asked Marty about analytics and the emerging “paid organic” ad model. As expected, he gave valuable insights on both…
Interview with Marty Weintraub
1. You’ll be talking about analytics at BlueGlass LA. Taking the first step into analytics can be intimidating, even for online marketers. What are some common mistakes you see marketers make when starting out with analytics and how can these be avoided?
Analytics are only as good as the questions marketers ask of the metrics. The most common mistake we see is that marketers tend to be metrics focused, as opposed to action focused.
Sure, it’s easy to look at a metric — say bounce rate — and say, “hmmm, our bounce rate is rather high. Oh no, our bounce bate is high!” The real question is, “why is our bounce rate high, what does it mean, and how can we fix it?” Is it because the page takes too long to load?
Maybe the page is poorly optimized or has wrong SEM keyword targeting, causing users to say, “WTF?” upon arrival. Or, maybe the page is a one-page answer to a question, users get their inquires answered right away, and the bad bounce rate is not really bad at all.
The point is that analytics metrics mean nothing if they are not served up with a healthy heaping of asking “Why?“and “What can/should we do?”
2. Which analytics tools do you use on a regular basis and why?
Of course, like most of the sweaty masses out there, we use Google Analytics because so many of our clients use it. We also have numerous clients who use Adobe Search Center (Omniture). Though customer support is weak, I like Woopra realtime analytics a lot, especially the web version. The standalone application is pretty but the web version is a lot more powerful. Also, we have a client that uses Convertro and it seems powerful.
Lately, I’ve been playing with EdgeRankChecker. It is a toy. Calling it “EdgeRankChecker” is a marketing-spin-misnomer, sort of like calling BrightEdge or Covario “PageRankChecker.” While there is limited “new information” available in EdgeRankChecker, I like the direction a lot, particularly the feedback for community managers about types of posts that work, time of day, etc.
Of course, I spend a lot of time in Facebook Insights as well as Facebook Ads reports. We love the way Facebook sponsored stories analytics mashup with Insights organic. After all, Facebook paid organic amplification is the new black. :)
3. Let’s talk a little about social ads since there have been a lot of new developments in that space lately. You’ve been talking about “paid organic” in regards to Facebook and they’ve just announced their new ad platform. Now, brands can pay to have their published posts pushed out as ads, but no longer can create standalone ad copy. What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks to this type of model?
It’s all beneficial to a marketer who’s in the know!
The reason Facebook limits the ability to create standalone copy in sponsored stories is partially (and thankfully) because Facebook forces the format into a structure that Facebook knows works and looks organic. Also with some ad units, like FacebookPage Post Like Stories, the content is generated on the fly from the page post that has been liked. It’s possible to promote individual post with a Facebook Post Ad and have full control over the creative.
The main thing is to take the time to totally understand how it all works. When posting content on your brand page, it’s super important to stay aware of how ads will auto-shape from the content you bookmarked, description composed, images used in the content bookmarked, and how all that will mashup into a second degree of separation ad.
[Kerry: I suggest you read the post linked to in my question. This is slightly tricky stuff.]
4. What are your thoughts on using conversion optimization in social media? Are certain social networks better for this than others? Is it mostly B2B companies seeing success with this or have you seen consumer brands successfully leading their social media audience into the conversion funnel?
Great questions. Conversion optimization viability is all about what conversion it is.
If getting your bookmarks propagated in Reddit is the conversion metric then, sure, you can do multi-variate testing on what adjectives in your bookmarks tend to get picked up, etc. If you’re routing traffic from classic Facebook ads to an external landing page selling widgets, sure, you can roate a grid of targeting, messages and landing pages until you find the one that goes “KA-CHING!”
So as far as B2B…dude, social is a veritable conversion killing field. I’m particularly fond of occupation targeting. We build out extensive B2B persona models and get to know them in social.
Surrounding any B2B marketing endeavor we may look at the following person attributes for both organic and paid social marketing:
- Customers’ Companies
- Interest in our Brand
- Usages of What We’re Marketing
- Government & Regulatory
- Civic Organizations
- Organized Labor
- Thought Leaders
- Competitors’ Brands
5. Do you see any emerging or potential new places one can purchase “paid organic” exposure? Are there any large communities you think would be ripe for future implementation of this type of ad model?
Well, paid Stumbles have been around a while and are largely ignored. That’s unfortunate because they rock. That’s certainly the original paid organic: StumbleUpon users don’t easily know the Stumbles are paid.
Twitter’s emergent marketing platform has ad units that are essentially paid organic in how they amplify organic outside earned distribution networks. Yelp seems to place businesses buying Yelp promotions at the top of my Droid app, even if the ratings are lower and I’ve filtered by ratings. The way Google sells local these days borders on the edge of hawking organic, at least in feel.
That said, I’d stay it’s still pretty early but marketers must embrace these types of marketing concepts ASAP because organic social amplification is obviously the future wave.
Thanks for the GREAT answers, Marty! See you in LA :)