INBOX INSIGHTS, October 27, 2021: Data-Driven Decision-Making, Reporting Issues, Instagram Engagement

INBOX INSIGHTS: Data-Driven Decision-Making, Reporting Issues, Instagram Engagement (10/27) :: View in browser

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How to Use Data to Make Decisions

I have an updated predictive forecast for Trust Insights with a fresh set of keywords. This forecast tells me when topics that I want Trust Insights to rank for will be trending. This way, I can create content about topics people are looking for when they are looking for it.

But I don’t want to follow a calendar. Right now, terms like “digital marketing” and “best models” are about to peak. Naturally, that’s what I should be writing about.

I know I’m not alone here. We all get a little bratty when it comes to following the rules versus doing what we feel like doing. Ultimately, I’ll do what I’m supposed to do but I needed to whine about it first.

As Chris likes to say, “I’ll bet you a small pastry” that not wanting to do what the data says is a common issue in your organization. Well, you’re not alone. A lot of companies struggle to figure out how to use data in their decision-making.


Some of it is psychological. The data might be telling you something you don’t want to hear. The data could be showing more negative than positive. The data could say that you need to do something different than what you’re all in on. That data tends to be easier to ignore.

Some of it is the process. The data may be overwhelming. There may be no organization or prioritization of the data.

Some of it is the people. There may be no actionable insights into the data. There may be no one on your team that can turn the data into a story that everyone can follow and understand.

Whatever the reason, you need to ask yourself, “am I ignoring the data?”. If the answer is yes, today is a great day to start listening.

How do you get started? Start small. Pick one data point. Take a baseline or initial snapshot of where that data is. Come up with a plan to use that data point to make at least one decision. In my case, it’s the decision of what topic to write about for our blog. Make sure the decision you’re making is measurable. Can I see more traffic to my site because of my timely and topical blog? Can I see searches for that topic in Search Console?

As you find small wins, start to expand your scope. Incorporate more data points. Make difference decisions. Bring your team on board. As you have success along the way it will be easier to convince others that using data will work.

Whatever is blocking you from using data to make your decisions, acknowledge it and then choose one block to start chipping away at. Today, I’m choosing to write about what I feel like writing about, followed by a post about the topic the data told me to write about.

How are you using your data to make decisions? Let me know in our free Slack group, Analytics for Marketers!

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, we answer a very popular question: what do you do when the numbers don’t add up? When your Facebook results conflict with the data in Google Analytics, when your CRM doesn’t match your marketing automation, when accounting asks you why your forecasts were wrong – what do you do? Listen to some solutions and how to approach the problem – and what you can’t fix.

Watch/listen to this episode of In-Ear Insights here »

Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live Show, we looked at using popular frameworks like SWOT analysis and the Traction framework to create marketing strategy. Catch the replay here:

Watch/listen to this episode of So What? here »

This Thursday at 1 PM Eastern, we’ll be looking at how to make frameworks like SWOT and Traction more action-oriented and useful.

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s take a look back at the year on Instagram for both brands and influencers. Outages, outrages, and thoroughly unpredictable events have defined the year thus far. What do we see when we examine how brands and influencers have fared?

Instagram engagement for brands

Brands have had a nearly literal rollercoaster this year, starting at nearly 0.4% engagement and declining to about 0.23% now, a change of -42% within the year. What we don’t see here are many of the dire predictions made throughout the year about things like iOS 14.5 and the Great Facebook Outrage reflected long term.

Let’s look at influencers next.

Instagram engagement for influencers

Unlike brands that seemed to have a decent summer, influencers have seen a slow and steady decline all year long. At the beginning of the year, they started around 1.7% engagement, and they’ve fallen to just around 0.9% recently, a decline of 47%. Of note, the decline for influencers has accelerated as of the end of August.

Like its parent Facebook, Instagram is delivering diminishing results for both brands and influencers. Two years ago, influencers could expect engagement at nearly 2%; Facebook continues to turn the screws on everyone. (anyone who’s spent time on Instagram can testify to how many more ads they see, especially in Stories)

What should we take away from this? Facebook as a corporation is currently facing significant headwinds; desirable audiences can be found on many different platforms. If you’re not seeing great performance on Facebook, now may be time to change up your LinkedIn strategy and set up that Tiktok account to see what it’s all about. The watchword as we close out this year and head into next is diversification. Take some time to explore what’s out there.

Methodology: Trust Insights extracted data from Facebook’s Crowdtangle software for 2,415,624 posts from 7,731 brands and 1,382,389 posts from 10,436 influencers Instagram accounts. The timeframe of the data is January 1, 2021 – October 26, 2021. The date of study is October 27, 2021. 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, and declares no competing interests.

Weekly Wrapup

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

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Social Media Marketing

Content Marketing

Data Science and AI

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