Riding the Wave: Syncing User Engagement With Marketing Messages

  |  September 7, 2011   |  Comments

How branded social media monitoring and website analytics can influence your marketing messaging.

Don't get lost in the depth and diversity of your marketing programs. Today's marketer is bombarded with reports averaging in the double digits every week, stemming from the multitude of media partners, websites being maintained, social media activity, and the testing and targeting associated with them. This information is extremely useful in making key business decisions and optimizing campaigns, but it's easy to get bogged down on how to use this information to enhance the creative attached to the numbers, and better cater to your customers' needs.

Through all of the data that we receive, we tend to analyze peaks and troughs to optimize our campaigns, set action plans in place, and establish future strategies.

By understanding the engagement trends of users on-site and off, you are able to build smarter targeting techniques focused on the time of day, day of week, and week of month that users are consuming your content, while serving messages relevant to the content that they are consuming.

Understanding What Content Users Are Viewing on Your Website

Every company wants to keep their target consumers on their website long enough for them to reach a pre-established goal, whether that is downloading a white paper and filling out a short form or reaching the contact us page and submitting a request. To aid in the retention of on-site visitors, many businesses choose to house best practices or thought leadership pieces. Odds are that the more relevant content a user finds, the more prevalent they will be to follow a trail of pages deep into your site. But you may be asking, "What is all of this doing and why should we continue to build out these pages on our website?" By looking at the trend in the number of page views across your site (an average of how deep users tend to dig), you can identify when users are most susceptible to finding information associated with your brand, what the top information of interest is, as well as the amount of time they spend doing so.

Identifying Peaks in Conversations and When They Occur

Social media continues to be a buzz topic with marketing professionals at every level in every size organization. Top brands with a diverse online presence tend to use social media monitoring platforms such as BuzzMetrics to track industry, competitor, and branded conversations. A key issue in this space is how to justify the amount of investment associated with an initiative that is not directly tied to revenue. With so many reports coming in on daily basis, you want to ensure that this report is serving a purpose and not just adding to your stack of "must-do's." By taking a look at branded buzz trends alone, you are able to establish data around when users off of your site are engaging with your company and/or serving as advocates to your brand.

With trend data of page views and social media buzz, you're able to target consumers by deploying relevant content at times that your audience may already be interacting with your brand. This is sort of an enhancement to any day-parting techniques you may be running. Day-parting is typically used in setting specific times throughout the day to serve your ad, based on criteria such as where your customers are positioned geographically or their typical daily regimen (whether they are working a nine to five or are at home watching soap operas during that time), but we can use the same technique based on engagement times. In fact, with the aforementioned information, we are able to drive smarter marketing campaigns that carry messages we know our customers are interested in.

For example, you may know that Monday is typically the day of the week where page views on your website are up and so is buzz around your brand in social media. You have an idea of the pages that receive the most views as well as topics that are trending in the industry. By taking a deeper look into the time of day that this is occurring, you see that this is happening around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. We may be able to develop the following sequence in targeting them:

  • Craft messages associated with top-performing content from your website and trending topics in the social sphere.
  • Optimize ad messaging and sync email campaigns to reflect that messaging.
  • Deploy these campaigns based on the time users are most engaged with your content (time of day, day of week, week of month).
  • Institute on-page behavioral marketing techniques that serve promotional items on non-product or service-oriented pages that we're serving.

An increase in user engagement, more activity with your email marketing programs, and a higher conversion rate through paid media is a start. As always, not every company is the same and these techniques vary drastically based on the industry that you compete in. This works well for a company with a strategic content marketing strategy with enough time and resources that can be allocated to have it run efficiently.

By riding the wave of trends attached to your audience's engagement level, you are able to tie your online marketing programs closer to the top content that users are consuming. If your marketing team has evolved to the point where all of this content and data is available, everything from the pages added to your website down to the latest tweet should be influenced by your consumers' interests as outlined in the analytics and monitoring reports sitting on your desk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrea Fishman

Andrea Fishman, VP of strategy and a partner at BGT Partners, leads BGT's Chicago office and has extensive experience in marketing and management consulting. She and her team drive value to BGT's clients through the development of behavioral marketing programs, web analytics, measurement programs, industry benchmarking, competitive assessments, and the design of integrated marketing programs.

Andrea has been with BGT since 2003 and is credited with strengthening partnerships with such clients as ADT, Sony, ADP, and Avaya. Prior to joining BGT, she served as global vice president at divine, inc. She's also held strategic positions within marchFIRST, The Lewin Group, and the office of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Fishman was awarded the Wasserman Scholarship for academic achievement and was named a 2010 Stevie Awards Finalist as Best Executive in a Service Business. She is a frequent judge for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards and is involved with the Special Olympics and Chicago Cares, a community service organization.

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