So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live
airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.
In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on Content Curation for your Personal Brand. We walk through why to do it, how to automate it, and how to track your efforts. Catch the replay here:
In this episode you’ll learn:
- How to determine what content you should curate
- How to approach curating content in a methodical way
- How to schedule & measure your shared content
- Setting up Google Data Studio – 11/5/2020
- How do you benchmark a website’s performance? – TBD
- How do you audit your Tag Manager – TBD
Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/insights/so-what-the-marketing-analytics-and-insights-show/
Katie Robbert 0:39
Well, hi, welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show from Trust Insights. I am Katie joined by Chris and john, we are still talking about personal branding. So we started with helping set up a basic website, get some plugins, set up some tracking, then we moved on to setting up in simple email newsletter so that you can reach out to people, let them know what you’re working on. But now we’re moving on to content curation because, well, you need to build a network of people and you need to have someplace to tell people to let people know that you have a newsletter. So you need to have followers. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today. So Chris, content curation, take it away.
Christopher Penn 1:22
All right, well, you need content, you need stuff to share. And it has been practice, well defined in the marketing and PR industry, from what last 15 years that you should be sharing stuff, sharing stuff that demonstrates that you have a basic understanding of your industry, the Notable people and publications that are part of it. And ideally sharing a blend, you know, 6040 7030 other people’s stuff that provides value to the people who do follow along. And, and then obviously earn the right over time to share your own stuff. So one of the challenges that people face with content curation is that it takes a lot of time. And it’s not always something that people are willing to make time for. So we want to do today is to show two different ways to do content curation, that can help accelerate the process a little bit, and then, you know, talk through some of the mechanisms for that. For this, you’re going to need at least four different Beth Yeah, four different free services, those free services are, if this, then that which you can find ifttt.com, we’ll put this in the screenshare mode. This is a service that essentially takes all other services and kind of glues them together. So that’s going to be one of the things you’re going to want to have. The second thing you’re going to want to have for just overall monitoring your personal brand. We talked about this two episodes ago, but it’s it we’re going to it’s going to come back here is Talkwalker is free alerts service, this is going to be useful for keeping an eye on when people are talking about you. So that you know if something has happened that’s relevant. You’re gonna want the free pocket application from get pocket.com that allows you to tag and store and also explore and learn and find content from different sources. And of course, you’re probably going to want, you will want Google Sheets, right, which is the free soft spreadsheet software from Google. One optional additional piece for the more advanced version is Google Analytics. And we’ll get to that in a minute. So with content curation, first thing we got to do is we got to get content, we got to get stuff from somewhere. And that’s where applications like pocket really come in handy. Where there are things like explore and learn discover. Let’s go ahead and just poke around in here.
Katie Robbert 3:43
So Chris, while you’re pulling that up on his pocket, the only type of free service or there are others, because I know I used to use Feedly, for example.
Christopher Penn 3:53
Yep, there’s Feedly. There are there’s so many there’s like Vienna
Katie Robbert 3:58
flipbook, no foot board board
Christopher Penn 4:01
is out there. And there’s a ton of these different services. The one thing that you’ll want to do is you want to check to see if it is supported by If This Then That, at least for this example that we’re gonna be doing today. So let’s go ahead and actually take a quick look into the catalog to see what services are supported. You can see there’s a crazy large number. So let’s see if Flipboard is supported. It is not. So that would not be a go Feedly is in there. There’s blog feeds that you definitely want to have in there. And then there are no pocket is in here. So for this example, you want to use something supported by if this than that. So with pocket, it’s a question of going through and finding stuff that might be of interest to not only your audience, but to you as well. One of the rules of content, we call it the three l rule is if you didn’t laugh, if you didn’t love it so much that you’re talking about it to your significant other even when they asked you not to If you didn’t learn something, then there’s a good chance that your audience isn’t going to either. And so when we look at all the different things in here, we see plenty of things that would be worth taking a look at. Part of content curation is just figuring out, you know, how stuff is gonna resonate with your audience. So just looking through and things that you might be interested in here, the history and psychology of clowns being scary, like be fun,
Katie Robbert 5:27
Christopher Penn 5:29
terrified. And of course, what you see is that pocket against the store these things and then provides you to them. And there’s a mobile app for it as well, that allows you to read them later. And you can go through and take a look and see what’s of interest. So that’s the first part we’re gonna we’re gonna bring in content that’s worth sharing through here. Second thing we’re going to do is we want to, again, make sure that if somebody is mentioning us, is sharing our content is site citing us, we want to promote them, right, we want to give them some some Limelight of our own if we have it. And that’s where something like Talkwalker comes in handy. So let’s go ahead and put in Trust Insights. there and go ahead and sign in. Gonna do as it happens, all results, agree to the terms conditions. create our alert. Okay, I have to go in and authorize our email to say that this is actually real, and not just a spam bot.
Katie Robbert 6:32
And I appreciate you not showing your email inbox not for proprietary reasons, but more for the scary Oh, seediness that I would get by looking at your email inbox.
Christopher Penn 6:43
Yeah, my email inbox is not the prettiest thing in the world. It really isn’t. So let’s go ahead now and set a password here.
But I’m not a robot.
Katie Robbert 7:02
Well, that’s debatable.
Christopher Penn 7:05
CAPTCHA. I love CAPTCHA. Yes. Okay. Now, as we saw, this is going to send us email, I don’t personally want more email, it’s not something that’s like super exciting to me. So I’m going to turn it off. And what you’ll see down here is this RSS feed, this is really handy where this can actually bring in RSS post as it comes in and in and put it in send it somewhere. So let’s do this first exploration of how to take copy this RSS feed and go to the if this, then that. And we saw RSS is built in right here. On the to say, I want a new feed item, I’m going to connect it. And I’m going to put in that Talkwalker feed. That’s my first trigger. Next, I want to send this to a Google Sheet. I’ve got one pre made here called example not super exciting. I’m gonna add a row to the spreadsheet. And with a spreadsheet name has to be an exact match. And we’ll create this action. And what this is going to do is it’s going to take the alerts that come out of Talkwalker, that’s going to put them in as rows in this spreadsheet. Okay, we’ll finish that up. And now that’s running. So we’re going to have in a spreadsheet and by the way, we can’t do this super live. Because If This Then That only runs like every six hours. So you have to come back and do this later. But it will populate just those columns that we were just talking about. So we’ve got our mentions wired up into a spreadsheet. Now, the next thing we want to do is repeat the process with pockets. So I’ve explored some content. Let’s check for things like see if there’s any good article, so nothing in my list. Let’s do explore.
Katie Robbert 9:02
You know, what I like about this, especially with the mentions is it cuts down on the errors for copy and paste. So if you have other people on your team that you’ve said, I need you to go find all of the mentions of our company, you know, the first thing they probably do is start googling for, you know, all the mentions, and that can get unwieldy, you can get duplicates, you can have copy and paste issues. And this takes a lot of that headache out of it. So I think that that in and of itself is a useful tool.
Unknown Speaker 9:33
Christopher Penn 9:34
definitely. So as you saw, we’ve added a bunch of new articles here. Now we’re going to go back into our If This Then That. I’m going to create ourselves a new applet, and we’re going to repeat the same process we just did, except instead of an RSS feed. We’re going to use our pocket feed and every time I put a new item into my pocket, I again want to wire it back up to that Google Sheet.
Katie Robbert 10:02
Now I’m assuming that people use services like Feedly, or pocket to post directly to their social feeds when they you know, like something or tag something or want to share something. So they probably skip this step. And then they probably separately are looking for mentions on themselves to be able to share. And what you’re doing is saying, actually, you can do it all at once in one place.
Christopher Penn 10:24
Yes, that’s right. And there’s two reasons for that first, with social mentions, unless you have a really, really unique name that literally nobody else uses, except you like throat wobble or mangrove, for example, the old Python joke, there’s a good chance you’re going to get a lot of garbage in your in your social monitoring, right, I compete with a an epidemiologist, I compete with a deceased actor, I compete with at least one of the university president, john competes with a basketball player. So if you just wire something straight into social feed, you are risking throwing an awful lot of junk in there. And the second thing is that with social scheduling services, you don’t want to do this stuff, one by one, it’s, it’s just terrible. So we’re going to talk about that. But so now we’ve gotten these two services wired up to a Google Sheet and in this Google Sheet, again, stop, so we can show live, but it would populate it with you know, the feed the item, the title, the description, the URL, what we want to do from there is export this as a CSV file, right? So anytime we’re working with social media services, we want to look at our data, delete this stuff is not relevant. Again, those random mentions don’t make sense or spam bots or whatever. And then from there, we’re going to go into a service and you know, take your social scheduling service of your choice, we use and recommend a service called Agorapulse. If you want to learn more about it, we have a link right here. And what you can do is bulk publishing. So we would take that CSV file that we just made from our Google Sheet, go into publishing here, go on to do bulk publishing. And I can import my CSV file all the stuff and as long as I’ve got a queue that set up with the appropriate times, I can now queue up, you know, 20 3040 posts all at the same time, I’ve gone through and edited them in the spreadsheet, and just load them in here and get a chance to see, you know, to really cut down on the amount of time it takes to do some social scheduling. So that’s the I would call the good enough way for most people to be able to assemble a lot of content that’s you useful and worth reading. And gives you the opportunity to, to take care of social scheduling maybe an hour or two a week, instead of I’ve seen people at PR agencies take eight hours a week to do social scheduling, which is just a huge time killer.
Katie Robbert 13:02
So I want to share a quick anecdote about my learnings with Agorapulse and social scheduling. So up until recently, I was using a different social scheduling service, which was fine, it was good enough. But I didn’t have access to the company accounts through that social scheduling service. It was only for my personal social accounts. And so I was going to two different places, primarily because I was stubborn, I just I liked the way I was doing it before and realized I was creating more work for myself because I wasn’t logging into Agorapulse I was one by one every single day scheduling updates and posts for on behalf of the company. Until finally I was like okay, this is dumb. I have, you know, 600 Asana tasks that are literally day by day, there’s got to be a better way to do this. And so once I logged into Agorapulse poked around for a little bit and figure it out, I cut down the amount of time that I was spending doing that from literally, you know, half an hour every single day to half an hour one day a week. Because I already had everything all drafted out. And it was I mean, I’m telling you it was a game changer and why did it take me so long? Because I stood my own way. So that’s the only reason it’s not because the system was difficult to use. It’s actually very, very intuitive and easy.
Unknown Speaker 14:24
Christopher Penn 14:27
if you have the technical capacity to do so, the way that we approach social scheduling for a lot of our companies and stuff is to take well known blogs in our industry and you know well known publications in general and pull in all the data about them and and analyze them one at a time in a little machines do it. We don’t do it for a lot of our keywords and topics and phrases and then use that database to essentially publish out The contents, I’ll show you a quick example of this, this is our software that we built in house for doing this. And, you know not to be obnoxious about, it’s just, we did this because we didn’t want to spend time doing this all the time. So we load up our stuff. And then we see all the different variables that we can pull in all the different scores, the actual text of all these posts, and it’s works out to about I think, 1500 or so blog posts a day, it’s not a small amount of stuff. But in doing this, one of the things that we use is we use our own link shortener. And there’s a huge reason for doing that, that has to do with your personal brand. And that is if you’re using a link shortener that can talk to Google Analytics, you can get a better sense of what are the things that people interact with that you’re sharing, that provides value to your audience, you know, hey, share more of this stuff, or Hey, sure, less of this stuff, because this isn’t the thing. The service that we use for that is a free open source tool. It is called your URLs, I silly name. And again, if you have the technical capacity to do so, install this on your own server, there’s a plugin for Google Analytics, that allows you to track any link click that sent through it, which is super valuable, because again, if we are going to places, for example, like pocket or getting all these different articles, if we use our own link shortener, then we can tell how many clicks we are sending to those places. Now, if you’re working for a company, and you’re doing stuff to build your personal brand, but on behalf of the company, and you’re sharing your company’s content, wouldn’t you like to know how much of a contribution you are making to the company’s traffic goals. If you have a business partnership, you know, for example, we’re an IBM Business Partner, one of the things that I have to do every month is report to IBM, hey, here’s how much traffic we sent you. Because there’s a good chance that the program that we’re in does not even talk to the web team, much less have access to their analytics. So we provide that reporting on their behalf. So using again, using these these free services, the link shorteners, a makes your stuff look nicer, because all of our stuff comes from Trust Insights dot news, and B gives you analytics. So let’s take a look at what that looks like.
Katie Robbert 17:20
From that one of the questions that we got from Brett was Can’t you just use UTM parameters, and you can, you want to use the UTM parameters first, on the on the URL that you’re sharing, and then you want to shorten the link. The reason for that, and Chris can probably get more technical is that a lot of the services, Facebook especially will strip out the UTM parameters that you put in there for all that work that you did to tag all of the content correctly, goes away. So by using Bitly, or creating your own URL shorteners or any other service, you’re protecting those UTM parameters when you’re sharing it so that services like Facebook and other social services won’t strip out your tracking.
Christopher Penn 18:07
Exactly. Now, here’s the other thing with UTM parameters, Brett, they only work if you have access to the Google Analytics account, right? So if you send a naked link, if you send a link to say, you know, marketing over coffee calm with UTM parameters, and you don’t have access to marketing over coffee is Google Analytics. You can’t see it right, you don’t know what’s happened. Now. I will thank you in advance if you are sending traffic to marketing over coffee. That’s our site. And we can see you but you can’t see you. You can’t see what you’ve done. When you use a link shortened tied into a Google Analytics with its measurement protocol. It doesn’t matter what site you’re sending traffic to, you can see it. So let’s take a look in Google Analytics and a link shortener. I’m gonna go to go to site content and go to all pages.
Katie Robbert 18:51
And Chris has to clarify, when you set up our own link shortener service, you also set up a view in our Google Analytics account and just specifically to look at those shortened links.
Christopher Penn 19:02
Exactly, exactly. Okay, let’s go to page title because those shortcodes are not super helpful. And because of the way the service works, it brings in the redirecting page in is a page title. So now I can see in the last seven days, these are the top 10 links that we’ve shared, that got the clicks, right. So he we have, you know, some some of my stuff we have is to for public relations, copyblogger emarsys, acoustic digiday Mar tech zone. It’s got a big selection here. But you know, it’s funny, we share stuff from places like Social Media Examiner, search engine, land, marketing land, we share stuff from, you know, all sorts of places, and these are the things that this week, people are like, yep, those are the things I want to read about. This means that if we share stuff, using social data, we can then use this to understand who’s who is our audience, right, who what are they interested in. I don’t have to know Every single thing about you to know what it is you’re clicking on, right? We use this exact same link shortening technique in our Trust Insights newsletter. And the reason for doing that is again, we can track to see what the newsletter is doing. And make sure that we’re delivering content you care about if we share some links, and then, you know, a week or a month later, we look at the data. Here we go, Wow, nobody liked these articles now that we know that we’re not serving you the best. So when we’re when it comes to talking about what should we be doing to build our personal brand? We want to know, we want to know what people care about. So the beginner’s method, which you talked about, which is using pocket and using if this, then that will get you 70 or 80% of the way there, especially if you’re clever. And you have the ability to he know how to tie in links into a Google Sheet, you can then do you know, 90 95%, and then the more advanced version is running that own link shortening service. And tying that into a back end database that allows you to really process the data in advance score, it makes sure it’s completely relevant to your audience, and then track to see what it is that is of interest to your audience.
Katie Robbert 21:19
So Chris, we have another question about link shorteners, more of a comment really, from Margarita, she’s saying that she tried to push URL shorteners, but the external marketing agency said it would hurt the campaign’s performance on quality scores on Facebook. What are your thoughts on that?
Christopher Penn 21:36
My thoughts are I’d like to see a citation from that agency about where they got that.
Unknown Speaker 21:40
Show me the test, show me the ABA.
Christopher Penn 21:45
And john is exactly right bear, which is do an A B test, run half, you know, do a campaign where half it’s in one condition half, it’s the other condition, look at the results and and use the exact same copy exact same stuff, just have one with the shorter and one without. And you’ll find out very quickly whether or not that’s true. In our experience, we’ve not seen that. In our experience, we’ve seen plenty of other things for campaigns, like terrible images, terrible copy, and terrible offers that nobody wants to be part of those typically matter more. But absolutely run an A B test, I think that is the the most impactful thing you can do. Especially if the research that said agency is citing is older than March of this year. And again, we have said this on our podcast on our newsletter, everything, the world has changed the behavior of the consumer of the business person, whatever it is, that was before the pandemic is not the same as that person now, so you need to test everything. We also have a comment from Brian, asking, how do we automate the collection of social metrics? Well, there’s so many ways you can do this. One of the easiest ways that we’ve had really good success with with for just basic dashboards, there’s a package that we use called supermetrics. For Data Studio, and if you want to check it out, go to TrustInsights.ai dot AI slash supermetrics. Full disclosure, by the way, for the FCC, these are all affiliate links. If you buy something from them, there’s a getting very small amount of money.
Katie Robbert 23:20
Well, we’re covering dashboards in next week’s live stream. So please tune in. And we will definitely dig into more of that next week.
Christopher Penn 23:32
Yeah, so supermetrics is a good way of pulling in just to the dashboard itself, if you want to do it that way. However, if you want, like that data, and for data analysis, you’re going to need to connect to the social API’s themselves. So you’ll need to have a coder on hand, who can address those API’s and extract the data from them. And it’s a little bit more work that way. But you then get to run, you know, pretty advanced testing and analysis on those data points to see like, what are the things that that you can do with that data. And especially when you want to bring in and blend data sources together. There’s a lot you can do with that raw data, but it has to come in from the API’s. If you go to any of the social networks, for example, you go to developers.facebook.com. They provide you or your development team ample information as to what’s supported, what’s not, and things like that. And by the way, all the developer stuff for the most part is free. So as long as you’ve got the technical skill, you can bring in that data and not need to pay, you know, some other third party service, you know, $300 a month just to bring in the exact same day that you could go get for yourself. Now, okay, let’s talk about one other thing. For the sharing of content. Some tools have Pretty good analytics. And one of the things you’re going to want to think about is when you’re going to roll this kind of thing out. I’m gonna look here in Agorapulse. And we’re looking at the audience see engagement stuff, but one of the useful things is that they do provide you sort of a, here’s when your users, your audience tends to be active, let’s go ahead and go into my Twitter account here. And you can see there’s, you know, some decent spots of activity, based on the data coming in. Here’s the catch. This is only based on your data. So if you are posting at 9am, every day, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the most active times are going to be 9am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, right? It’s sort of a self fulfilling prophecy. So part of your curation strategy, when it comes to sharing is to set up queuing times that are around the clock, you know, I recommend if you’re starting out, and you’ve got the content, because you can use in pocket and stuff that you start out with every three hours on the dot, you know, so you’re sharing, essentially, eight times a day, you should be able to find enough content with services like pocket and stuff like that, to to load that those bins and then do this for at least a week, ideally, a month, they’re just sharing, and then you can look in here and see, okay, when are people most active, and after that testing period, then you can start to rearrange your your cue types and say like, Okay, I have my normal queue time on a Wednesday is Wednesday at 9am. But actually, once at 10am is when you know, there’s there seems to be more activity on that day. So I’m going to move by queue time to fit the times when people are most active. And then once a quarter, maybe turn off your production queue, turn back on your testing queue, go around your every three hours again, and retest to make sure that your audience has not changed, after any kind of significant event, say like a pandemic retest, so that you’re constantly updating your data. And you constantly know when the best times are. And the catch with this is, and it’s what’s really nice about this in in Agorapulse is it’s different per channel. Right? It is different based on on where you’re sharing stuff. And obviously some networks are not available. But you know, when I look here for in, in the Trust Insights, one, we see that the days and times are different, right that that hotspot Wednesday morning in my account is not here for the company account. And so there’s they’re different audiences. So it’s important to make sure that you’re doing it for each channel, and then having cues in your social scheduling tool that are set for each audience for the way they behave. So don’t try and do it all in one shot. You know, this is the best time for everybody, because it’s clearly not
Katie Robbert 27:43
one of the most common questions that we hear is, how do I determine the best times to post on social media. So this is a really great way to approach it. But if you’re just starting out, but you also have Google Analytics data, in a different episode of this live stream, we will be covering how to use your own Google Analytics data to set up a dashboard to determine best times to post on social media, again, using your own data. So there are a couple of different ways to figure this out. But if you are using a service such as Agorapulse, then this is absolutely report that you should be using because my network looks different from Chris’s looks different from jobs looks different from even the company even though we all feed into that. And so you definitely don’t want to just do you know, a direct copy paste of the exact schedule across the board.
Christopher Penn 28:33
Yep. All the thing I would suggest doing. And this goes back to Brett’s question is in the Google Analytics setup, make sure that you’re not only doing source medium tagging, but do campaign tagging as well. You know, have each social channel, have its own campaigns and stuff and set out and differentiate, especially if you’re doing it for yourself and your company. You want different tags, because what you can do in obviously, in Google Analytics is you can then create a segment Universal Analytics for just your stuff. So I do this and my campaign. See?
Unknown Speaker 29:19
Christopher Penn 29:25
Unknown Speaker 29:28
This is where we need the radio transition effects.
Unknown Speaker 29:33
are all just watching. Exactly. Watch.
Christopher Penn 29:39
Oh, wait. I guess I have to go back and look. But if you have your own segments, your own UTM campaign segments then you can slice and dice all of your social shortening stuff into the different pieces based on those campaigns. So if you you could set this up for example for yourself and say five your friends because your friends are just as nerdy as you are. You could then look at what your stuff what the most clicked on stuff is for you, you, and then what your friends get clicks on as well, because again, different audiences or even if you’re doing as we do, you’re using the same tool for both social media and for email, I want to see my email clicks behave differently than my social media clicks, and get a sense of are those audiences different. So, to summarize, content curation, is how you prove your expertise, right? prove that you’re dialed into your industry, the basic way to do it is use a service like pocket. And something like If This Then That, to marry a bunch of different data sources together and send them to some kind of a database, in this case, from our example, a Google Sheet. Once you’ve got that, you edit that and then you load it to social scheduling tool and keeps things you know, relatively clean. If you’re more advanced, you have a back end database of some kind, which does exactly the same thing, but at a much larger scale, and gets all your content ready. And then based on that, and if you have the technology available, you use a service like Google Analytics to track what the most shared stuff is, so that you’re continuing to share stuff that your audience wants, and you can look over time at what the trends are in the topics that people are most interested in. If you got questions, now would be the time but if you don’t have questions, right now, but you’re you just connect to the live stream and five minutes later, you’re like, I don’t remember I remember a question I was going to ask, come on over to the analytics for markers Slack, go to TrustInsights.ai dot AI slash analytics for marketers. And you can join 1400 other folks who are analytically minded any parting words Katie and john? Yeah,
Katie Robbert 31:42
I just want to sort of pull it all together, the reason why we’ve been doing all of these different personal branding episodes, and so it’s great, great to have a website, it’s great to have a newsletter. But if you don’t have a network, if you don’t have followers, then you’re just sort of speaking out into the void. And so one of the goals of this content curation is to build up a network of people who see the things that you post on social media wants to demonstrate your authority, but also to let them know, Hey, I have a website, I have a newsletter, do you want to sign up for it? So it’s this constant cycle of each of the digital channels feeding each other? And so that is part of that personal branding journey is if you don’t have a place to let people know, hey, I have a newsletter. Then what’s the point of having a newsletter so promoting that on your social channels and then promoting your social channels within the newsletter once you get subscribers and that becomes that cyclical feed of each other?
Christopher Penn 32:39
Yep, Donna Astra if you don’t have the back end data is the first part of today’s episode. I think he came in late covers the basic setup for without using a database. Alright, if there are no other questions, let’s go ahead and roll on out of here. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at Trust insights.ai slash ti podcast and a weekly email newsletter at Trust insights.ai slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.
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