B2B Content Marketing in 2023: The Power of Connection
Welcome to Ernst Media, where creativity meets results! In this blog post, we're diving into the world of B2B content marketing in 2023. As businesses evolve and technology advances, it's crucial to stay ahead of the game and leverage the power of connection to drive success. So, grab your metaphorical surfboard and let's ride the wave of B2B content marketing!
The Evolving Landscape of B2B Content Marketing:
In 2023, B2B content marketing continues to be an integral part of a successful marketing strategy. However, the landscape is constantly evolving. Gone are the days of simple blog posts and basic videos. Today, it's all about interactive experiences, personalized content, and innovative storytelling. To stay in the game, businesses must adapt and embrace these changes.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Content Creation:
AI is no longer just a buzzword; it's becoming the driving force behind content creation. From chatbots that provide instant customer support to AI-generated content, businesses are tapping into this technology to streamline processes and boost engagement. In 2023, expect AI to play an even bigger role in creating hyper-personalized content that resonates with B2B audiences.
Connecting with Authenticity and Transparency:
In an era of increasing skepticism, authenticity and transparency are paramount in B2B content marketing. Businesses need to share their stories, values, and missions in a genuine and relatable way. By connecting on a deeper level with their target audience, businesses can establish trust and build long-lasting relationships.
The Power of Influencer Marketing:
In 2023, influencer marketing continues to thrive, especially in B2B circles. Collaborating with industry thought leaders and experts allows businesses to leverage their authority and tap into their loyal followers. Through strategic partnerships, brands can amplify their reach, enhance credibility, and generate quality leads. It's time to find the right influencers who can help your business shine.
Embracing Video as the King of Content:
Video has taken the internet by storm, and its reign continues in 2023. B2B businesses are recognizing the power of video in conveying complex concepts and engaging with their audience. From product demos and testimonials to thought leadership interviews and virtual events, video content has become an indispensable tool for B2B marketers. So, grab your cameras and start crafting captivating stories!
Data-Driven Decision Making:
In a data-driven world, successful B2B content marketers understand the importance of analytics and insights. By leveraging data, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. In 2023, expect data to play an even more significant role in shaping content strategies and delivering personalized experiences.
B2B content marketing in 2023 is all about embracing innovation, authenticity, and the power of connection. The evolving landscape presents exciting opportunities for businesses to engage with their audience and drive meaningful results. By staying ahead of the curve and implementing these key strategies, you're sure to make waves in the B2B world.
7 Tips that Will Instantly Boost Your Google Ads Strategy
In today's digital-first world, it is essential to have a robust and winning Google Ads strategy. Here are seven tips to help you avoid costly mistakes and create a winning strategy for your clients.
1: Strategize your Google Ads campaign mix.
To reach your target audience, you need to show up wherever they are, so using a mix of campaign types will get you the best results. There are various campaign options on Google Ads, such as search, display, shopping, YouTube, and more. Aim to select and test a mix of 3 to 5 different campaign types that align with your specific marketing objectives. Consider your client's objectives and funnel steps while selecting your campaigns.
2: Optimize your extension assets.
Extension assets are essential to give your campaign the best chance of receiving impressions. When you optimize your extension assets you are maximizing your ads real estate to stay competitive with other advertisers. Make sure to add call-outs, site links, and image extensions whenever possible to remain competitive with your competitors. Add call, location, and other extensions as your unique sales model permits. Remember, your extensions should be tailored to your specific campaign and ad group. That's because from a user perspective, total message alignment from beginning to end is what will always drive optimal results
3: Target exact and phrase match-only keywords.
Targeting exact and phrase match variations is the most efficient way to drive conversions, sales, or leads. Broad match is the least relevant of the match types and can result in tons of irrelevant search traffic, leading to wasted ad spend. Targeting exact and phrase match variations will reduce wasted ad spend and boost your impression share, since Google's ranking system is based on relevancy.
4: Incorporate keywords in your Google Ads and landing page to improve relevance.
Google's ad rank algorithm considers the relevance of your ad and landing page to provide value to users by displaying only useful, relevant information. Ensure that your ad copy, landing page, and keywords match for a good quality score. Google provides useful metrics in the column section of your keywords page. Modify your columns and select quality score metrics like landing page experience and ad relevance to improve your campaigns.
5: Perform extensive keyword research and segment by category.
Good campaign architecture requires keyword research and categorization. At Ernst Media, we recommend maintaining an organized spreadsheet of your campaign's keywords broken down by ad groups to keep your campaigns strategic. Segment your campaigns by product category and utilize ad groups as keyword categories that differ by description. Consider the intent of your keywords to ensure that you attract the correct traffic that can fulfill your objective.
6: Select the correct bid strategies for optimal Google Ads Campaign performance.
The bid strategy you choose has a significant impact on performance. For new campaigns, avoid automated strategies like max conversions and max clicks since they require historic campaign data to optimize based upon. Start with manual CPC and switch to max conversions or max clicks once there are 10-20 conversions or clicks. Keep in mind that teaching Google how to read requires providing it with relevant data.
7: Utilize Google’s machine learning for audience creation.
When you upload a customer or subscriber list into Google’s audience manager, Google automatically creates a “Similar Audience Segment” based on that audience. This new segment represents Google's use of its extensive database to create an ideal customer profile based on the behaviors and interests of your current customers. As a result, this profile is the closest audience segment to the ideal person you want to target. Regularly testing these audiences can help optimize your campaigns' performance.
In conclusion, a winning Google Ads strategy requires a mix of selecting the right campaigns, optimizing extension assets, prioritizing exact and phrase match keywords, incorporating keywords in your ads and landing page, performing extensive keyword research, selecting the correct bid strategy, and utilizing Google’s machine learning. By following these tips, you can create a winning Google Ads strategy that delivers results for your clients.
Growing a Home Services Google Ads Account
Today we are taking an in depth look at the 2022 Performance for a very successful painting company in Northwest Georgia called Dependable Painting and Remodelling. Derek and Tina Epstein manage multiple teams of painters that produce some of the best paintwork the Peach State has to offer. We are proud to serve them by delivering a steady stream of leads for indoor and outdoor residential paintings as well as Commercial Painting and other lines of business.
Their story can best be summarized as one of Growth. In the beginning of 2022 we were working with $4-5K per month budgets, but by May, we were committing to $20K per month and seeing commensurate results out of it.
Before we get too far into the story, let's take a moment to break down Year To Date account performance and get a sense of what the numbers are telling us and why. The comparison period is 2021.
The first thing to point out is that we spent a significant amount more in 2022 than 2021. ~$180K went into google ads this year, which was $144K more than last year. So while Dependable was familiar with Google Ads previously, partnering with Ernst Media really let them leverage the full potential of PPC to their revenue advantage, and their ad spend reflects that.
Account Wide Screenshots
Part of the increased ad spend was the geographic expansion of the business into the Northwest suburbs of Atlanta, Roswell, GA. This affluent and well established area is an ideal market for the company to expand into. Commercial Painting was a new segment within Painting for Dependable advertising efforts. We were able to generate well over $100K in quotes and many tens of thousands in sales.
Another reason for the increase in Year-over-Year spend is the addition of Flooring Installation as a service offered. This later change was largely driven by the need to replace business lost from painting with flooring to maintain revenue.
The macro economic conditions were very dynamic this year and smart business owners are very quick to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions. July was really the first month of trouble in the account as summer travel, rising gas prices and overall consumer price increases lead to dwindling discretionary income in the retail market.
This expanding and growing trajectory are self-evident in the data, total impressions came in at 462K ads served, up 359K from 2021. Clicks to the website almost doubled, +8,430 for a total of 10,100 potential customers brought to the website. Now, if $180K for 10K users seems a bit steep, I assure you, you are right. The structure and targeting of the account are largely driving a fairly expensive $17.64 Average CPC. Average Cost Per Acquisition for the Year was $61.83. Most importantly, this account is very heavy in Call-Only Ad Groups, but more about that later.
Total conversion production for the year came in at 2,890, + 1,830 from 2021. Click Through Rate on the Ads registered at 2.11% , which admittedly is just above the minimum threshold we have for Search performance. Conversion rate on the other hand, is at 28% for the year and that is actually down 34% from the year previous. Why do you ask? It again has to do with account structure and the Call Only Ad Groups and our addition of traditional search ads over the course of the year, which we will get to now.
The ability to quickly qualify a lead and build rapport with a potential client is critical. Big companies call these Sales Qualified Leads, if they are the “ideal” client that they are trying to reach and has the ability to purchase. Call Only Ad Groups allow small business owners to quickly and easily qualify leads, as well as take client information for future follow up appointments, or being input into a CRM.
It is important to be clear that the majority of users that interact with our ads were users on mobile devices that clicked on the business phone number to reach the Dependable Painting office. Most of them never reached the website, but for those that do, we also see Phone Calls, Emails and Form Submits coming from Event tracking on the website. These additional, website-based conversion actions are critical for everyone business owners to have.
Standard Operating Procedure with any good SEO or PPC company is going to be getting conversion and event tracking squared away. You can’t have any doubts about what actions users are taking once they get to your site. The reason the conversion rate is down 30%+ from last year is that we have introduced traditional search ads for Painting and Flooring into the mix this year. Yes, this account was at a 55% conversion rate earlier this year and Yes, traditional search ads are only converting at 10%, but the overall conversion volume increase is worth it.
Audience targeting is another important element of what has made this account successful. Obviously people that own homes are the best candidates to show our ads to. We are utilizing Google demographic targeting that allows us to target users that Google has identified as homeowners. We also have eliminated users under 34 from seeing our ads, this makes sense as the average first time home owner age has been increasing from the mid-30’s to low-40’s over the last 20 years. Now, we are not disclosing all of our targeting enhancements in this blog post, but these are some of the major drivers of the high-quality leads coming out of this account.
It has been a pleasure working with Dependable in 2022 and we look forward to taking what we have learned the last year and leveraging that knowledge into future growth of the Dependable Brand.
Do you have a home services business that you are trying to scale during the economic downturn? We have extensive experience working with home-service businesses and are happy to provide a consultation.
How to maximize Google Shopping Campaign Performance
Google Shopping Ads are the bread and butter of most e-commerce businesses. Here are some ideas curated by Ernst Media to help you improve the efficiency of your shopping ads and bottom line.
Optimize Product Feed
Product feeds are where your products live and where Google pulls the data to populate shopping ads.
Why you should optimize the product feed?
Your product feed is where your products (product information and images) are stored for Google to use in shopping ads. Optimizing this feed will tell Google to serve your ads to the most qualified audiences which will improve ad performance and spend your budget efficiently.
How to optimize your product feed?
This is the first thing potential customers see so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Use high-resolution images that are clear and focus attention on your product. You should also test different types of images to see which performs best. An example would be product-only images tested against lifestyle images that show your product being used, worn, etc.
Use this opportunity to hook potential customers with clear and concise product titles that give them exactly what they’re searching for. You only have so much space so be very precise. Consider using words that people would use to search for your products so they click and convert.
Optimize Campaign Settings
The campaign level is where your shopping ads will be created and managed within the Google Ads platform. For this guide, we will be using Google’s new Performance Max shopping format. This is Google’s next generation of smart bidding formats that help you reach more shoppers across all Google Ads channels including YouTube, Search, Display, and more.
Why you should optimize your campaign settings?
Setting up your campaign properly will give you the best foundation for building shopping ads that perform.
How to optimize your campaign settings?
This gives you the ability to set your preference for new customers or a combination of both.
Focus Google’s machine learning on purchases that generate revenue.
Optimize Asset Groups
Customized asset groups give you greater flexibility as an advertiser.
Why you should optimize your asset groups?
This gives you the ability to create customized creatives and copy tailored to specific products.
How to optimize your asset groups?
Separate your products into specific buckets to promote them with tailored creatives and copy.
Use images, videos, and copy specific to the products you’re promoting in each asset group.
Test, Test, Test
Performance data is the key to success!We all have assumptions on what will perform best. Always put your ideas to the test and be willing to make adjustments based on performance data. Lucky for you, Google’s new Performance Max campaign automatically tests different combinations of headlines and descriptions. Go build a shopping campaign on a strong foundation and let Google help you with some of the testing. Good luck!
Google announced its newest broad core update for September 2022! This came shortly after the helpful content update and just a little before the Search-On Press Meeting In other words, Google is busy being innovative and giving the search engine market something else they have to try and compete with.
Google Core Updates
Google has plenty of updates that come out quite regularly but Google has only made 7 broad core updates. These updates are known to shake up how a brand's presence is represented on its search engine in one way or another. Not keeping up with these core updates could be the reason a website that’s ranked number one in every primary keyword is not performing well in search results. The result is that within weeks they’d be hard to find on the 8th page of Google. So before we get into the Helpful Content Core Update, let’s talk about the previous updates.
Google Florida Update
This was one of the first major core updates from Google that was released in November 2003. This update made a major change in how Google portrayed backlinks and the value they had to the website. It was meant to stop a lot of retail websites from keyword stuffing, using hidden links, and invisible text to gain higher rankings.
Google Jagger Update
This update was released in September 2005. This update made it possible for Google to search more in-depth with websites and find things like PDFs and other document and file types. This update also gave penalties to websites for having toxic backlinks which were paid backlinks, unnatural backlinks, linking schemes, and scraped content. This update was followed by the Big Daddy Update which was released in December 2005. It wasn’t as major for the website's ranking but it was an upgrade that Google had done to vastly increase their data centers which in turn helped improve the quality and technical aspects of improved search results.
Google Vince Update
This update was released in January 2009 and was meant to give established brands in the outside world a better opportunity to compete with smaller businesses that were optimizing their online presence more than their brick-and-mortar stores and locations.
Google Caffeine Update
This update was rolled out to speak on the new indexing system that Google created to have their crawl bots search and store data at a much more efficient rate. To be specific Google developers were quoted to say “Caffeine provides 50% percent fresher results for web searches”.
Google Panda Update
In February 2011, a huge core update was released Called Panda. This update was released to reward all the blogs and websites that had unique and great-quality work on their sites. This is when Google started officially giving websites a quality score and ranking the websites based upon this internal score they were giving. It gave brands and businesses all over who took the time to create quality work, a brand new outlook and a chance to outrank those who just had notoriety or had been copying good content and pasting it in various places. There was also another update released in November of 2011 that was called the Google Freshness Update. It was focused on making more recent search results able to be found and seen over articles and news that were dated.
Google Penguin Update
There were a lot of updates in 2012, in October, the Penguin Update was released.
This update was made to target “black-hat practices” in various areas. Link stuffing, spam links, link directories, etc. Basically, Google gave a statement that said black-hat techniques were any techniques used that didn’t benefit the users and the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. This is when the links and their anchor text were under a much finer magnifying glass to find out who’s using these techniques just to rank. Some other updates that year include the Exact Match Domain Update where Google cracked down on websites that were using keywords as their domains to help to rank. The Venice update was used to take users’ IP addresses or physical locations and use them to increase Google Map appearances based on those organic search results. Also known as the birth of local SEO. Then there was the Page Layout Update which focused on ensuring that websites didn’t show ads above the fold and instead showed ads where they were meant to be shown which is lower in the page.
Google Hummingbird Update
This update was released in September of 2013 and it was used essentially to make the search engine more human. Hummingbird took a lot of sentence structure into account to better understand what people were searching for more than just taking the words at face value. This was a big jump in the search engine market and made searching for things more personal and easy for a lot of users. There was also the Pay Day Loan Update which was another crackdown on users who were using spammy links and directories for websites. This wasn’t big for the US but it did impact a lot of other countries where these problems were more rampant.
Google Pigeon Update
The Pigeon update was another step in the local SEO direction from the Venice update. The Pigeon Update was released July 2014 and was used to release a local algorithm that was meant to help local businesses that have a strong organic traffic following with a better SERP ranking as a reward. This helped users get a better understanding of what truly was local around them, that had something to do with the search query they were looking for.
Google Mobilegeddon Update
By this time and age it was understood by Google and most of the world that we all carry mini-computers in our pockets and we’re using them as such. The app market is exploding, cell phones are being released by companies that were never in the mobile market, and cell phone carrier plans were in abundance. The mobilegeddon update was released in April 2015 and made mobile-friendly websites or responsive websites a topic of conversation by giving them priority over websites that weren’t optimized for mobile devices. This was another step in the direction of Google being more human-friendly. They wanted users to have better experiences with the results that were showing up on the top pages and that meant having a website that functioned well and looked good whether it was Desktop, Tablet, or Mobile. In October 2015, there was also a Google update called RankBrain. This update was released as an extension to the Hummingbird update in the idea that it was a machine-learning aspect that was implemented in Google’s algorithm. Rank Brain’s goal was to understand the intent of Google searches more, and less about the words that were specifically put in the search bar.
Google Intrusive Interstitials Update
This long-winded update called Intrusive Interstitials was released January 2017 and was created to penalize websites that were creating spammy ads and popups and other things that were getting in the way of users being able to see the content they were looking for.
Google Medic Update
The Google Medic Update was released August 2018 and from what most people understand, it was meant to help take low-quality pages off of higher rankings but since it affected so many hospitals and clinics, the community coined the term Medic Update even though it wasn’t targeted or meant to harm that industry at all. Another update released that year was the Mobile-First Indexing Update in March 2018. This update was another step in saying that responsiveness is the future. The update allows Google bots to give a higher ranking based on the mobile page experience and not the desktop page experience. Google says this was done as a way to “better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for.”
Google BERT Update
Google BERT Update - The Google BERT Update was used to double up on the Rank Brain update but not replace it, but an add-on. The BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) Update was meant to understand at an even deeper level what users are searching for based on the nuances of the sentence and not just on the phrasing of the search to understand the clarity of questions and search queries. This was also the same year they released the Featured Snippets Update in August 2019 which gave an even more human-friendly way to portray information to users with news, blogs, and time-based information like events and TV shows.
Google Helpful Content Update
The newest Google core update is the Google Helpful Content Update. This update was used once more to become a little more human. No one likes reading copied articles with the same information over and over so the Helpful Content update is meant to stop that. They’re rewarding the blogs, sites, and post authors with higher ranking capabilities due to having unique and high-quality work. This to many users seemed like exactly what it was called, a helpful update, but in reality, it’s an attack on the SEO industry and those who use black-hat techniques to over-saturate pages with repetitive quality work for ranking. This update is meant to not only lower the ranking of those posts and blogs but penalize the entire site for using these techniques. It’s a stern warning to those who are still trying to find ways to trick the algorithm that Google has spent over a decade polishing. Of course, things will fall through the cracks but being that Google owns over 90% of the entire search engine market, I think it’s safe to say that their ideas to create a more human-friendly search engine are far from over.
Google Updates and Search Engine Optimization
Google updates happen pretty regularly through the years and with all of the technological advances, I can't foresee them slowing down. If you're looking for help with your search engine optimization or even search engine marketing to create a better presence on Google, contact us and we'll do our best to grow your business and the company's brand awareness!
How to Install Google Analytics
Installing Google Analytics 4 is a requirement since Google Analytics 3 will soon be discontinued.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest and greatest generation of Google Analytics and will replace the older Universal Analytics (GA3) after July 2023. Unlike GA3, the new GA4 can be used for tracking data on a website and/or app. GA4 leverages Google’s machine learning to offer you valuable insight into customer behavior across devices and platforms.
Step 1 - Log into Google Analytics Go to analytics.google.com
Step 2 - Find Your Google Analytics Account This will be in the top left of your screen
Step 3 - Set up GA4 Assistant Click on the property with a UA-Number, followed by the view (to the right of the property).
You will find this in the top middle of the screen. If you have not done this previously, you will select "Get Started" under the "I want to create a a new Google Analytics 4 Property" section.
This step creates you a property ID, but it is not on your website yet!
Step 4 - Create Data Stream In the middle of the page there is a tab of "Data Selection", on the right hand side you will see the status of your collection. If you have not done this previously, it will be "Not Started". To get started follow these steps:
On the left of your screen, select "Data Streams" which will bring you to your GA4 account
Click on the property you created
In the top right of the screen you will copy the measurement ID
Step 5 - Adding to your Tag Manager
Create a new tag for the GA4 configuration. There is a text box titled "measurement ID" where you will paste the ID number you copied from the previous step.
Trigger to all pages.
Step 6 - Install Tracking Code via
Paste the code you just copied into the section of your website HTML.
Congratulations! You’re now set to track the behavior of customers on your website. Use this valuable information to better understand your business and how it can grow.
What Your Need To Know About Shopify's Summer '22 Edition
Shopify just dropped its Summer ‘22 Edition in late June with more than 100 new updates and features.
This is great news for not only businesses using Shopify, but also consumers who will inevitably be shopping from Shopify stores.
The latest edition, called Connect to Consumer (C2C), focuses on new ways of connecting businesses with consumers through new digital channels including social media, cryptocurrency, and influencer marketing.
So What’s a Shopify Edition?
Shopify is constantly making tweaks and changes to improve its platform, but they also know that Shopify merchants and developers are busy focusing on their business rather than tracking every little move Shopify makes.
So to make it easier for Shopify’s consumers (those same merchants and developers), Shopify releases a new edition twice a year to highlight all of their latest product releases and updates. This way their users can easily see all of the new features available to them at once and get to work implementing things right away.
Breaking Into The B2B Space
The new B2B feature is designed to create a seamless experience for merchants that want to sell to other businesses on the same platform that they’re also selling direct-to-consumer.
The most essential wholesale features are now built directly into the Shopify admin and allow Shopify Plus users to to run their entire business (both wholesale and retail) in one, customized experience.
A few of the most promising features of Shopify’s new B2B functionality are the abilities to:
Set wholesale pricing and net terms
Customize with themes and discounts
Sell from one storefront or use a dedicated store
New Commerce Channels On Shopify
The venture into new channels doesn’t just stop with B2B. This latest edition marks the start of new functionality across several direct-to-consumer channels, making Shopify an even more robust shopping platform than it already was.
Twitter Sales Channel
Twitter Shopping is finally available! Users can highlight and sell products directly on their Twitter profile with this latest edition, meaning merchants can reach more potential customers and present a more uniform social media presence. You can also see our other post on how to gain more engagement and followers for your brand.
Thinking about leveraging affiliate or influencer marketing in your commerce business? This update is for you!
Dovetale makes it easier for merchants to find, connect, and build authentic relationships with creators and influencers to help boost affiliate sales.
This is a major update for Shopify – the introduction to the NFT market and crypto-based commerce. Customers can connect their crypto wallets to a merchant’s store and enjoy unique experiences (like exclusive merchandise, early access, real-life experiences) that are gated by tokens.
Tokengate Shopify store or Shop app
Create tokengated experiences with Web3
Seamless crypto checkout with Shop Pay
Shopify Markets for International Selling
Reach new international markets through your Shopify admin with the option to customize your storefront for each region to improve the shopping experience for your global customers.
Collect duties and import taxes at checkout
Set prices by market region
Sell in each market’s local currency and language
Pre-Orders, Subscriptions & Try Before Your Buy
Shopify merchants can now offer customers new ways to buy, including pre-orders, subscriptions, and Try Before You Buy options.
Take deposits for a fraction of the total sale price and charge remaining amount at a later date
Set up recurring payments for subscriptions-based products
Collect payment info upfront, but charge 3-7 (or more) days after fulfilling the order
Shopify Fulfillment Network
Similar to Amazon’s FBA, the Shopify Fulfillment Network allows merchants to offer verified 2-day delivery on their products.
This allows merchants to spend more time focusing on growing other areas of their business and keeping costs low, while the SFN takes care of order fulfillment.
Free storage for 6 months per item
Simplified returns to maximize inventory
Shopify Point of Sale for In-Person Sales
Merchants can sell in-person at multiple retail locations and accept payments from a phone or any compatible device. Shopify Point of Sale is also available in many different countries.
Tap to Pay on iPhone (US only)
Google Local Inventory Sync compatible
Other Top Updates To Look Out For
With over 100 new updates, it’s hard to touch on them all. But even some of the smaller updates released can have a massive impact on Shopify-based businesses.
Increased fraud protection and installment pay features
Ability to combine different discounts on a single order
Customizable search, filtering, and product recommendations for customer designed to increase conversions
Increased retargeting and customer relationship management on the Shop app
Shopify is giving millions of dollars in rewards to customers using their most popular checkout method, the Shop app
The bottom line - all of these updates are geared towards one thing - increasing sales. And more sales, mean more money in the pockets of deserving business owners!
You can find all of the new updates at https://www.shopify.com/editions/summer2022.
Updates to Instagram’s Algorithm and what that means for marketers
Head of Meta-owned Instagram, Adam Mosseri, shares regular updates about platform changes on his personal accounts. In the recent weeks and months a few big changes have been announced and are being rolled out to users now. Some of these updates include safety for children and teens through parental controls - like notifications to parents when their children report something on Instagram, and sending reminders to teen owned accounts to take a break from social media. While these are important updates regarding teen mental wellbeing and safety they likely won’t be affecting marketers too much, however many of the other updates are changes you will want to know about and prepare for.
Ranking - Adam Mosseri says,“If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something from someone else. We’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.” Instagram’s algorithm will be shifting to prioritize original content. What does this mean for your business? It depends! If you are currently using your business pages to mainly share posts related to your industry, and not videos and photos you are posting, it is time to make a shift. Behind-the-scenes content is a great way to introduce your followers to an in-depth look at what you do. The app is still giving higher reach to videos over photos, but a curated mix of both is ideal to reach your desired audiences.
Enhanced tags - While tagging other accounts is a feature that has been on the platform for years, they have added new features to profile tags. Professional pages can now edit their profile to include a category title. These will be shown when other users tag you in their posts. For example, a video can tag the make-up artist, choreographer, stylist, videographer, and more which will allow others to use these tags to quickly identify users they have an interest in.
Product tags - Now all accounts are able to use product tags. For retailer accounts especially, this will be important! When a customer shares a photo with your product they can tag your account. If shopping is enabled on your account, others can tag the specific products that are in the photo. These tags can increase traffic and sales. To learn more about tags, read here.
For those managing organic social media, these updates will be important in the planning and creating of your posts, as well as engaging with those accounts that are tagging you and your products as they drive visitors to your pages.
How to upgrade Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
As you may have heard by now, Google will be sunsetting their Universal Analytics, and in its place, you’ll be forced to upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (Called GA4).
Unlike many of Google’s product development updates that happen behind the scenes, this Google Analytics upgrade consists of a completely new platform and interface, which necessitates a fresh new install of GA4, as there is no simple “upgrade” button to click.
Because of this, there are some steps you will want to take to ensure that all of your website, app and digital properties continue to track correctly before Universal Analytics stops processing new data on July 1, 2023.
Step 1: Determine if you have a GA4 account already, or if you need to create a new one.
Often, companies aren’t sure if they already have a GA4 account, or if their previous agency set one on their behalf. Luckily, it is very easy to determine what type of analytics account you have, so you can take the proper steps to roll out GA4. This article from Google outlines how to tell if you have GA4 or if you have Universal Analytics.
Step 2: Determine Account Structure. Because GA4 processes data in a different way, it’s important to consider how you want the data to flow into Analytics so that you can set the structure that works best for your business. There are many nuances here, so it is best to consult with someone (or Agency) who is versed in the many iterations and can guide you into the best, most intuitive way to process and show your data. Again, Google comes to the rescue with a nice article full of examples of how you might want to set things up.
Step 3: Create GA4 Property
In Google Analytics, click the gear icon, then “Admin” (lower left).
In the Account column, ensure your desired account is selected. If you only have one Google Analytics account, it will already be selected.
In the Property column, select the Universal Analytics property that currently collects data for your website.
In the Property column, click GA4 Setup Assistant. Click “Get started” under “I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property.”
If your site uses the gtag.js, tag, you have the option to Enable data collection using your existing tags.
Step 4: Create GA4 Data Stream
In the Property column, click Data Streams, then Add stream. Ensure you are toggled in the correct account and property.
Click iOS app, Android app, or Web.
Step 5: Enable Data Collection
This is where you’ll want to make sure the GA4 code is placed on the actual pages of the website itself. Using Google Tag Manager here is an easy way to make this happen, though, it isn’t the only way. For Tag Manager, you’ll follow the below:
In Google Tag Manager, Click Tags > New.
Click Tag Configuration.
Select Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration.
Enter your measurement ID (visible from the previous step in Google Analytics)
Keep the “Send a page view event when this configuration loads” option checked to automatically send page views.
Optional: Click the Send to server container checkbox to send all events associated with this GA4 configuration to the specified Server Container URL for use with a Tag Manager server container, instead of directly to Google Analytics.
Optional: Add any parameters you'd like to configure in Fields to Set. Use recommended event parameter names for best results.
Optional: Add any custom user properties that you'd like to configure in User Properties. Note: Analytics automatically logs some user properties. You can set up to 25 additional user properties per Google Analytics 4 property.
Optional: Click Triggering and use the Initialization trigger to ensure that the Google Analytics 4 Configuration tag fires before other triggers.
Click “Triggering” and select appropriate events that would cause the tag to fire.
Save the tag configuration and publish your container. (Button on top right side)
Step 6: Map Events from Universal Analytics to GA4 (if necessary). There is a lot to discuss when it comes to mapping events in GA4, and because each website/data collection process is different, this is a good opportunity to “clean up” and evaluate the events that are being captured. Details on this step can be found here.
Step 7: Migrate Goals to GA4
Depending on the amount and type of goals that you’re using in Universal Analytics, it might be easier to re-create the Goals in GA4 rather than trying to import them. Event Goals, Destination Goals, and Engagement goals from different views can, however, be mapped over, each with a different process.
Unless you have 15+ Goals, our recommendation would be to rebuild the goals in GA4, and use this opportunity to parse any outdated goals which are no longer active or needed. Full instructions can be found here.
Step 8: Import Conversions from GA4 to Google Ads (if necessary).
To do this, you’ll want to log into Google Ads then follow the steps below.
In the top right, click “Tools and Settings” (Wrench Icon)
Click “Measurement” and then “Conversions”.
In the top left, click the (+) Conversion.
Click “+ New conversion action.”
Click Import, select Google Analytics 4 property, then click “Continue”.
Select each conversion event you want to import, then click Import and continue.
Click Done when finished.
Worth noting, Google Ads marks your imported Google Analytics 4 conversions as "primary" conversion actions automatically. Google Ads conversion tracking starts importing the data from your Analytics account starting from the day you clicked Import and historical data from before this date is not added to conversion tracking, nor can it be added.
That's all there is to it! You're now done setting up Google Analytics 4 and will be prepared when the official transition of Universal Analytics takes place!
Still confused? Not to worry! We handle all kinds of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager tracking projects. Feel free to contact us here and let us know what you need!
What you need to know about the iOS 14 Privacy Update for Facebook Ads
What’s going on:
Apple’s release of iOS 14 now gives users the choice of whether or not they want to be tracked. Facebook is calling foul, accusing Apple of being greedy, and doing this in the name of profits rather than security.
Implications: Anyone running ads on Facebook will suffer in both performance and reporting transparency if you aren’t prepared appropriately for the changes.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take that will mitigate the overall impact to your Facebook Ads Campaigns. Here, we’ll discuss those steps.
Verify your Domain in Facebook Business Manager
Setup 8 conversion events to track
Enable Server Side Tracking
Setup a GA4 Property
Let’s get started.
Verify your Domain in Facebook Business Manager
Facebook has been asking for businesses to verify their businesses in Business Manager for a while, but recently, they’ve doubled down on the importance of this step as it pertains to the iOS 14 update. This is especially true if the business has multiple business units and multiple domains (Verification must be done at the effective top level domain plus one: eTLD+1).
You can verify your domain in Business manager under Brand Safety, then Domains.
Similar to Domain verification for Google Search Console, you’ll be able to verify via an HTML file upload or a DNS TXT record. Additional documentation on how to complete this step can be found here.
Setup 8 conversion events to track
Since the iOS 14 Privacy Update roll out, each Facebook Pixel will only be able to “host” 8 conversion events. For some businesses this won’t feel so limiting, while others will need to make some decisions here. These 8 conversion events will be your only options when it comes to account optimization. Now, you’ll still be able to track more web based events from your Pixel, you just won’t be able to configure any more than 8 conversion events. This is how Facebook is able to utilize it’s aggregated event measurement protocol for users that opt out of the iOS data sharing option.
If you don’t delegate the conversion events yourself, Facebook will define them for you based on the ones Facebook thinks are most relevant to your business.
You’ll be able to configure your preferences (i.e. define these events) in the Events Manager. There will be no need to make changes to the pixel or Conversions API Implementation.
If a user opts out of tracking, we would only see purchase (highest priority event) reported in events manager/ads manager. If the user opts-in, we will see all events as we do currently (example: VC > ATC > IC > Purchase)
Another example - If users opts out and only completes up to the ATC event in the above flow, we will NOT see any events reported back in Ads Manager
Offsite conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of ad impressions. AKA - you’ll no longer have delayed attribution. There are also reports that it can take up to 3 days from when a conversion event occurs for it to be passed back to Facebook, as opposed to how it was recorded where data is passed when the event occurs.
Delivery and action breakdowns are not supported for offsite conversion events.
On the measurement front, 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will no longer be supported (historical data for these windows will remain accessible.) Thus, certain attribution windows will immediately have only partial reporting available, and metrics won’t include all events from iOS 14 users.
Instead, 7-day click will be the default attribution window moving forward, with the new attribution settings supported being:
7-day click (default after Apple prompt enforcement)
1-day click and 1-day view
7-day click and 1-day view (initial default)
Another important change to take into account is that custom audiences are now much smaller. Exclusions will be less accurate (you may have past purchasers in your prospecting campaigns).
The best move is to be proactive. Identify the most important conversion events in your funnel then reduce them down to 8 key conversion events prior to the update.
UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module) are simple code snippets that can be added to the end of your URLs to provide data to Google Analytics. This is significant because you can then see conversion/traffic data specific to certain channels, campaigns, creatives, etc. UTM’s are also very easy to configure, and there are many websites that will automatically make the URL for you.
Now that you have UTMs set up, you can filter your Google Analytics data by the above fields in order to see detailed information about how your campaign performed.
We always recommend using UTMs for an added layer of data analytics. Additionally, if you’re using multiple platforms - odds are your attribution reporting doesn’t match across them all. However, if you’re using UTMs you can look at all the campaigns using the same attribution lens your Google Analytics account utilizes.
Setup a GA4 Property
Google Analytics has released the newest version of analytics called Google Analytics 4. This will become the new standard for Google Analytics, although you can still utilize your UA profiles. Google Analytics is a must have tool that provides detailed reporting on website visits, conversion tracking, and insights that will help you bring your website to the next level.
Google Analytics 4 will bring new insights and data about why users are on your website (or app), and will be able to more accurately attribute actions and data properly.
If you already have analytics set up on your website, Google makes it simple to switch to GA4. Within your ‘Admin’ tab to bring up your settings and underneath the ‘Property’ tab the first option should be Google Analytics 4 Property Setup Assistant. From here, simply follow the steps and Google will create a GA4 version of your analytics.
Full steps on how to add a GA4 Profile to your existing Analytics account: Here
If you don’t have analytics on your site at all; your first step is to create an account. From here, you will be able to enter your websites information and be given options on how to get the Google Analytics tags onto your website.
Full steps on how to create your brand new Analytics account: Here