In The Headlights: February 5, 2020 Issue

In The Headlights

When’s the best time to post on social media? Send email? Take our Google Data Studio Masterclass, Best Time to Market and learn how to build a dashboard that tells you exactly when each digital channel performs best at your company.

What’s the one metric that should be in almost every marketer’s analytics toolkit as a KPI, yet almost no one has it up front and bold?

Branded organic searches. These are, of course, searches made for your company’s name, products, services, and key public facing employees.

Why is this so important? Two reasons. First, as detailed in the book Everybody Lies, people search for things that they don’t say aloud. One of the reasons social media conversations tend to be inaccurate measures of brand strength is that people generally talk about a brand only when strong emotions are involved. When was the last time you spoke positively or negatively about a brand you don’t care much about, like the brand of gasoline you use or the brand of pasta you eat?

However, we search for things all the time that we we want to know more about or find, even if we don’t have incredibly strong emotions about them. Search reveals those patterns far better than social media does.

Second, branded organic searches tell us about mindshare, about how much someone is thinking about us specifically, about how well they remember us. In order to do a branded search, someone has to know the relevant name to ask for – especially with voice searches. Asking Google or Alexa or Siri for Trust Insights is a very different intent than asking for a marketing analytics agency.

Branded organic searches are most easily tracked using Google’s free Search Console or the SEO tool of your choice. Be sure to set it up so that you can see branded organic searches over time and track changes in them. Our recommended tool for tracking this is Google’s free Data Studio software.

However you track it, keep an eye on your branded organic searches and calibrate your efforts, especially top of funnel (awareness, brand advertising, PR, etc.) against branded organic search data so that you know how well people remember you.

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This week’s Bright Idea is our newest masterclass, Google Data Studio Masterclass: Best Time to Market. Ever wondered what the best time to post on social media, send emails, run ads, or conduct other digital marketing activities was? There’s no shortage of generic advice and generic strategies to choose from, but generic advice yields generic results. Perhaps your industry, your company is different. In this 30-minute masterclass, you’ll learn:

  • How to build a statistically meaningful testing plan to identify best times per marketing channel
  • How to use Google Analytics and Google Data Studio to build an interactive dashboard that shows you the best times for any given marketing channel’s activities
  • How to roll out your dashboard to colleagues for them to use it
  • How to use the information to make meaningful, impactful decisions in your marketing

Register now for this class >

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This week’s Rear View Mirror looks at press releases. While not useful for distributing general news, press releases still have a role to play, especially in meeting some regulatory requirements for disclosures, like SEC Regulation FD in the US. That said, as social media marketing and influencer marketing have grown, the press release has declined in overall importance. Let’s take a look at the last few years and what’s happening in 2020:

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We see that 2017 was the year of peak press release, with 534,292 releases shipped that year. Volume fell slightly in 2018, but dropped by almost 25% in 2019.

If we examine January and February of past years, we see that in 2020, there’s already an even larger noticeable decline:

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Releases have declined by 25% year over year, two years in a row, in the month of January.

So, what’s the takeaway? If you have to meet regulatory requirements for disclosure of knowledge to the public (financial, liability, recalls, etc.) then a press release still serves an important purpose. If you’re just trying to get the word out, chances are you’ll be better off with newer methods and techniques for outreach to key audiences and influential people. At the end of the day, there’s still no substitute for building solid long-term partnerships with key media in your industry, so focus your efforts and resources there.

Methodology Disclosure: Trust Insights used the Google’s BigQuery database and the public Google News dataset available, filtering all news by key terms used in press release URLs as well as all major wire service names. The timeframe of the study is January 1, 2014 to February 5, 2020. The date of extraction is February 5, 2020. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors.

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Shiny Objects is a roundup of the best content you and others have written and shared in the last week.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 800+ like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • Agorapulse Social Success Summit 3.0, February 2020, Online
  • Social Media Marketing World, March 2020, San Diego, CA
  • MarTech West, April 2020, San Jose, CA
  • ContentTech Summit, April 2020, San Diega, CA
  • HELLO Conference, April 2020, New Jersey
  • Women in Analytics, June 2020, Columbus, OH
  • MAICON 2020, July 2020, Cleveland, OH

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

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Required FTC Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

Trust Insights maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Talkwalker, Zignal Labs, Agorapulse, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which we may receive indirect financial benefit.


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