INBOX INSIGHTS, May 25, 2022: Google Analytics Demographic Data, Instagram Performance, Server-Side Tagging

INBOX INSIGHTS: Google Analytics Demographic Data, Instagram Performance, Server-Side Tagging (5/25) :: View in browser

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Are You Using Your Demographic Data?

This week I’ve been working with Chris to QA and finalize our new Google Analytics 4 course (coming soon!).

Something interesting happens when I do this quality assurance. I try to put myself in the place of the person learning this material for the first time. When I do that, I am reminded of all the things I’m not using for Trust Insights. In this case, demographics data from Google Analytics 4.

For a quick overview, this is how Google collects demographic data:

Google Data Collection

For the entire run down, you can visit this support page.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the good part. Why should you care about demographic data? If you’re like me you might get stuck in a rut when it comes to talking about what your business does. You are trying to find new and interesting ways to say the same thing, “we help you sort out your marketing data”.

It occurred to me while I was working through the GA4 course that we have an untapped well of ideas, which is the demographic data we collect. Specifically, interests.

Interests are broken out into broad categories such as fitness, travel, beauty, lifestyle, etc. When you look at it you might think, “what does that have to do with marketing data”? On its own, not a whole lot.

But there are two very strong use cases for this interest data:

Advertising Targeting

The categories in Google Analytics match the interest categories in Google Ads. You can do a 1-1 with your targeting. When you’re advertising on other ad systems, you can look for similar categories and use your Google Analytics interest data as a starting point.

Content Marketing

This is what I want to spend time talking about. Advertising targeting is all well and good but without a good ad or offer, you’re not going to sell anything. This is a snapshot of users that visit the Trust Insights website:

Visitors to the TI website

It’s a varied mix of interests. We have value shoppers, movie buffs, travel buffs, avid investors, and music lovers.

So what do we do with this? First, we need to remember that this is about promoting Trust Insights. What do we do? Change Management, Data Analysis, Strategies and Planning, and Digital Marketing Consulting. Now, the challenge that I have before me is to figure out how to combine that with the interests of the people that visit our site.

Let’s take music lovers. I could create content that analyzes data from sites like Spotify or Pandora (if it’s available). I could write about how artists approach marketing in the modern world. I could dissect some of my favorite songs and break down the trends and patterns of the music itself. All those ideas are on-brand for what we do at Trust Insights. It’s another way to demonstrate our capabilities.

And therein lies the “so what” – finding new and interesting ways to show your capabilities. You don’t always have to go in for the hard sell. You can write something entertaining and engaging. Give people a reason to stick around.

How are you using your demographic data?

Tell me in me 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, Katie and Chris review the basics of what server-side tagging is, why it’s important, and how it works. Using Google Tag Manager’s server-side edition as the example, we look at why companies like Facebook are pushing it so much, and what benefits – and hurdles – server-side tagging presents. Tune in to find out!

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Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live show, we looked at durable and non-durable trends. How do you determine whether you can accurately forecast something? Catch the replay here »

This Thursday at 1 PM Eastern, we’ll be looking at UTM code governance in Google Analytics 4. Are you following our YouTube channel? If not, click/tap here to follow us!

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, we revisit our old friend Instagram. It’s been a tumultuous couple of months in the social media landscape; let’s see how brands and influencers are faring on the network. We’ll start with brands first; how have brands fared in 2022 for unpaid content performance?

Instagram Brand Engagement Performance

Unsurprisingly, as has been the case for as many years as we’ve been analyzing the data, unpaid brand engagement continues to decline over time, currently averaging around 0.16%. At its current rate of decay, brands will likely see engagement drop to 0.1% by the end of the year. For context, that means 1 out of 1,000 followers on Instagram are likely to engage with branded content.

Let’s take a look at media types for brands:

Instagram brand engagement by media type

What we see is that video overall remains roughly steady as the lowest performing media format. For brands, we see that albums – carousels – still perform best of the unpaid media types available.

Let’s switch our view to influencers:

Instagram influencer engagement

Influencers see the same decline as brands; though their overall engagement rate remains about 3x what brands earn, it’s fallen far from the 3-5% it used to be a few years ago. Today, influencer accounts can expect about 0.8% engagement on their unpaid content.

Instagram influencer engagement by media type

What’s interesting here is that albums and photos match each other in engagement rates; for brands, we saw that albums led photos by a significant margin, but for influencers, that’s not true.

So what? What do we do with all this information? Many marketers use these benchmarks to assess their own performance, and to vet potential influencers. If the influencer you’re interested in engaging is substantially below these basic benchmarks, you’d negotiate a different kind of agreement. If your own brand performance is below these benchmarks, perhaps a change in strategy or platform is called for.

What we also see is that regardless of brand or influencer, regardless of media type, Instagram performance across the board continues to decline for unpaid content. As with Facebook, we are approaching numbers where we should be evaluating whether investing in unpaid content is even worthwhile on these platforms, or whether we should be putting our time, effort, and resources into platforms that perform better.

Disclosures and Methodology: Trust Insights extracted 1,141,751 Instagram posts from 7,372 brands and 462,744 posts from 9,981 influencers using Meta’s Crowdtangle service. Engagement is defined as likes + comments / size of audience. Posts were de-duplicated using the post URL. The timeframe of the data is January 1 1 – May 24, 2022. The date of study is May 24, 2022. 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.

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