INBOX INSIGHTS, November 16, 2022: Contextual Content, Social Media Changes

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Contextual Content

The past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about data privacy, the voice of the customer, and personalized marketing experiences.

This week, I want to try and tie it all together with contextual content. Contextual content is just a fancy way of saying content that people want based on their interests.

A few months ago I wrote about using the data you collect in Google Analytics to create more personalized experiences. You can read that post here.

Earlier this week, we decided to ask our Slack Community, Analytics for Marketers, what their hobbies outside of work are. Within a few minutes, we had a whole thread of responses ranging from cooking, to reading, to board games, and making music.

Well, that was easy, right?

In reality, we’ve been working to create and maintain this community for a couple of years. We’ve built the trust and respect needed to allow members to be so readily open and honest.

Now, let’s talk about you. What if you don’t have a community that you can ask? You likely have customers, past and present. We can start there.

I asked Chris on this week’s podcast, “Isn’t it weird to ask your customers what they do outside of the context of purchasing your products/services?” Chris responded, “Not if you tell them exactly how you’re using their information.”

Ok, so let’s say you’ve explicitly told your audience how you’ll use the information and they have agreed to hand it over. Now what?

Well, now you need to start creating!

Sounds easy, right? You have all of the pieces so like a Lego set you just put it together. Well, hold on. You still need to create valuable content and now you’re tasked with weaving in something that may not be at all related to what you do. Kind of like mashing all of your toy sets together as a kid to make one cohesive story.

Let’s take cooking as an example. At Trust Insights, we do a lot of consulting around data science, organizational behavior, and marketing analytics. Not a whole lot to do with cooking. You might notice that Chris uses a lot of cooking analogies to help explain things, but that’s not the same as creating content around cooking and data science.

Maybe the approach is to look at brands like America’s Test Kitchen and research how they approach cooking. As a fan, I know that they incorporate a lot of precise measurements, science, and chemistry into each recipe and episode. This is similar to how Trust Insights approaches analytics. To relate to my audience that also enjoys cooking, I could introduce (or reintroduce) them to cited works by America’s Test Kitchen and show how ATKs approach is similar to that of Trust Insights. Baking, as a practice, is a science. Trust Insights talks about the scientific method. Perhaps I could do a series on breaking down the process of baking using the same frameworks that we use for our analytics projects.

It’s not enough to just say “we’re cooking with data!” and assume you’ve created contextual content. You need to dig deeper and really understand the interest. Then you can bring it back into your services and products. Create something that you’d read. Share it with people who have the interest but aren’t customers and get their feedback. Did they find it valuable? Did they learn something new about you? Did you create interest enough that they would read more from you?

Try it out, see what works.

Are you creating contextual content?

Come tell me about it 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 tackle the question on every advertiser’s mind: what should we do about the cookieless future? What things should marketers know – what’s going away? What’s still available? What strategies should marketers pursue to no longer rely on third party data about customers? Tune in to find out!

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

Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live show, we walked through all things Mastodon. Catch the replay here »

This Thursday at 1 PM Eastern, we’ll be talking about red flags in the job market. 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, let’s talk about spillover. With all the big headlines happening on Twitter, is there an impact on other social networks? We measure this primarily by engagement levels (since that’s what is visible). Since the change of management on October 26, 2022, do networks like Facebook and Instagram show any effects?

Let’s first look at brands on Facebook:

Facebook Brand Engagement

We see no appreciable change in brand engagement on Facebook since the big management change at Twitter, noted by the vertical red line.

What about on Instagram?

Instagram brand engagement

Instagram is much more difficult to tell, because brands have already been doing better on it; in fact, in the time period in question, it looks like brands did slightly worse than normal.

So where might people be going? It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but when we look at velvet rope communities like Slack, Discord, Telegram, and even LinkedIn groups, we see substantial growth in the past month:

Velvet rope communities

In fact, for services like Telegram and Discord, growth is as high as it’s ever been for the creation of new instances, new servers for people to join out of the public eye.

Why might this be the case? Twitter has always been something of a public watercooler, but as the network’s management has become increasingly erratic, audiences may simply want to spend more time in places where they feel more at home – behind closed doors with others of like mind. Combine that with legitimate questions about brand safety as well as the existence of the network in general, and it’s no surprise that these walled gardens are seeing far more interest than in the past.

This speaks to a much larger shift in social media, one marketers need to be paying careful attention to. Conversations – which form the basis of community – are increasingly held outside the marketer’s purview. Even public Twitter alternatives like Mastodon are much more difficult to gather data on; the conversation among our customers is happening in more places we can’t see.

So, what should a marketer do? Build your brand like crazy. Make brand investment a key strategic priority. When customers have conversations relevant to your products and services, you must be at or near top of mind – and the only way to do that is with a strong brand, a name people associate with what you do.

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Where can you find Trust Insights face-to-face?

  • SMPS, November 2022, Las Vegas, Nevada
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