Peter Benei

How to Measure your Podcast

Podcasts have been around for as long as we care to remember. Not only has podcasting seen a boom as of late, it’s become a go-to for learning and communications now that there is a rise in mobile usage made available for everyone.

Internet radio. Remember? It was a thing before streaming music services! Now the internet radio platform has been reborn as podcasts. They are all over the place. The reason is simple: with the democratisation of information, users are not just interested in listening to streaming music channels but also talks on certain topics. With the global access to smartphones with 3-4G, podcasts are easy to listen to while you are in travelling. But should you start and how to measure your podcast’s success?

IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

As an internet marketer saying goes: you should choose the best platform for your content. Or, you should convert your content to each platform. Podcasts are not for everyone and every type of content. Video is a visual storytelling tool; social media channels are snaps of information and anthology and culmination of content. But podcasts are discussion platforms. You are talking so only pick podcast as a platform if you have something to say, more-over, if you have something to discuss with someone else. It’s a conversation platform, you can’t just have 1 guy talking to the microphone, alone.

Not all messages and campaigns and brands are able to enter podcasting. But if you are a thought leader, you have certain topics to discuss, then you can start thinking about getting a podcast.

Now this post is not about how to create an effective podcast but about how to measure it, once it is up there.

INTEREST AND LOYALTY – VALUE – ENDORSEMENT

Ultimately your podcast has one goal: make you more popular, therefore make your topic more popular. No matter you are a life coach talking about transformative changes, a stock broker talking about stock market or a marketer talking about business hacks – ultimately you want your topic (and you) to be more popular. Get the word out.

For a podcast, you have three ways to measure your popularity.

Interest and loyalty

This is the focus. You need to measure how many people are listening your podcast. Same as video channels, you have the same metrics.

  • How many people subscribed to your channel
  • How many people downloaded OR streamed your podcast
  • How many people listened your podcast at all

With these hard figures, you will get the idea how popular you are.

Now when we are speaking about how many people listened your podcast, we want to know not just how many people started to listen to your podcast but also how many people listened the whole session through. This shows loyalty for us because they care about your topic and found the discussion engaging and interesting.

Value

Now you know how many people are passively listening to your podcast but that’s not at all enough. You want to know that you bring value to their lives. Anytime you bring value there’s a big chance that people will thank you for it.

Saying “thanks” can come in different forms. Leaving a good review on your podcast. Commenting on your platform. Inviting you to collaborate. There are some hard figures and soft measurements that can tell you, you are bringing value to other’s table.

Endorsement

When you are really bringing value, you need to check how much of an impact you made. Users who listened to your podcast and already said “thanks” can endorse you on external channels. Check for social media referrals, social media mentions and your impact outside your owned channels. If you see many users sharing your newest podcast on Twitter, it means you made an impact and you are on the right track.

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How To Build an Insightful Data Report

Analysing your data is one thing but presenting it is where you can shine. Unfortunately creating insightful data reports is not as easy so here are some tips on how to rock it.

No matter what digital property you have, you will face the same goals when it comes to presenting your data. It is viable to build up your report to save time and support decisions for those who will read those reports. We have covered the topic from a strategic perspective before, but this time we will focus on a more practical approach.

Betting on a tool is hard as there are so many of them. Most people instantly think that presenting data means a presentation, but it is not like that. Offline presentation tools like desktop PowerPoints and stuff might be a good choice for a strategic meeting or an annual insights coverage, but it is the worst choice for an on-going reporting. It’s not interactive; it only shows data gathered when the presentation is produced, and it’s only available offline (even if you share it).

Your Presentation Tool Must Be Online And Up To Date

The tool you pick must have some key features:

  • It must be available online anytime
  • It must present live data
  • It must be interactive so timeframes and data ranges or even charts can be played with if the reader of the report decides to do so
  • It must have an easy-to-do approach on creating charts, flows, processes to deliver good insights
  • It must be connected to a tracking or metric system so data can flow in easily
  • Nice bonus but it should be great to save some time for the reporter so the report can be created once and the structure can be reproduced with a few clicks

Google Analytics is the widely used free metric platform for SMEs. We strongly recommend using Google Data Studios as well as it delivers the same features highlighted above. It is easy to use; the report-buildup is quick, it refreshes data real-time, it is interactive, it is online and shareable, and you only need to create the report’s structure once and can multiply it anytime for other digital properties. There are other 3rd party services that use Google Analytics as a source, but usually, they are not as customizable or not free like Google Data Studio.

Build Up Your Report

Now you have the tool to present; you need to build up your report from scratch. Ideally, all data you have is flowing in the report and creating charts is just a few clicks. The technical details on how to build up your report are different on every tool you choose, but fundamentally it is the same: you select a data source, then pick metrics, then setup dimensions, and you are good to go with a descriptive chart design. You then multiply the charts and organise the report. The question is what should be the best order. There is a straight line you should follow with that.

Every business is different, but everyone has a digital platform with some goals and objectives. The first part of your report – let’s say the first page – should focus on the big picture. How’s your site performing regarding big numbers? How crowded is your site? Who’s coming in and out? What’s the mobile percentage? What’s the bounce rate? What are the pages / sessions? These are important questions and metrics that can describe the big picture which is the overall site performance.

Your most important KPIs should follow the structure as next. Is your site focused on e-commerce? Put the goal conversions on the first page as it’s the single most important metric you need to take an eye on. Are you a media company? Put the share event tracking on the first page to see how viral is your content. Are you a consulting company? Put new visitors up to the first page to see how many new prospects you have. Determine your goals and objectives which define your most important KPIs and put those figures at the start of the report to get the quick look on your success.

Now everything else can follow as the rest is totally deep-dive and sometimes unrelated. Build up the rest of the report, so it helps you to describe the causes behind the big picture metrics. If you are a media company, focus on content on the second page. It may contain the most important topics on your site. If you are in the e-commerce industry, you should focus on the performance of your funnels here, that can describe the goal conversions you showed on the first page. It is totally up to the business and their KPIs what are the main and miscellaneous figures.

The end of the report should be a collection of interesting facts you have observed, trends that can lead to the future or just deep-dived insights. You can showcase figures on the visitors here or some referring traffic insights. Maybe you have an ad campaign connected to your data source, you should put that here too.

Clarity For Better Understanding

There are tweaks where you can support the better understanding of your reports.

  • Add descriptive titles to your charts. Avoid definitions as titles. Instead of naming the chart just “bounce rate” use “The amount of users leaving the site in the first X seconds”
  • If needed, further explain what we can see on the chart
  • Group your charts into topics: “How deep visitors go to your site” can contain different figures from pages/sessions, frequency figures, engagement metrics and much more
  • Add the learnings if needed directly in the reports, even if it looks simple just by looking at the data itself. Understand that it may look simple for the data expert, but not for the decision maker
  • Design the whole report and use branding – this makes the report closer to the reader

Presenting your data shouldn’t be hard if you are using the right tools to build a report that enables strategic decision-making with your data and insights. At the end of the day, the decision maker will have the last say based on the report.

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Facebook Instant Articles: Why Use It and How To Track It

Go where your readers are – this is the main cause for using Facebook’s Instant Articles.

Everyone should become a media company – this is the mantra said by marketers for years now. No matter you are a brand, a company, ecommerce, you need to broadcast content to your readers. Facebook’s Instant Articles is a solution for broadcasters. But why should you use it and how to measure your performance?

What is Facebook Instant Articles?

Content on caffeine

If you have a blog or any platform where you usually publish content, you can use Facebook’s Instant Articles (FBIA). FBIA works like any other shared article on Facebook, the difference is that it is Instant and comes directly from your blog or any other broadcasting site you have. FBIA appear immediately on the Timeline, if the user clicks on it, there’s no waiting for load-up, it appears instantly on the device used for reading. It is also more interactive, responsive and has its own design and customized appearance.

Go where your readers are

Why you need to use it? It is simple. When you share a content on Facebook, let’s say your blog’s article shared on your Facebook page, users will less likely to click on it if it’s not an FBIA. It is slower, needs time to load-up and diverts the users out from Facebook. FBIA however lets them stay on Facebook, continue to browse on their own Timeline but in the meantime, lets the broadcaster (you) keep the sort-of-original branding of their company.

It is also a better solution to reach more people. Users don’t need to go to your site, they just consume your content straight from Facebook. In the end, it is better to share your content where your audience is.

How do you measure Facebook Instant Articles performance?

Insights that matter most

Facebook Instant Articles are articles shared through your Facebook Page so you can measure their performance directly on the Facebook Page’s Insights. Of course, these insights are just the ones that matter the most.

You measure your FBIA performance with three important metrics:

• Clicks: how many users clicked on the article.
• Time Spent: how much time spent on the reading of the article
• Scroll Depth: the amount of percentages users scrolled down in the article

If you think about it, these are the most important metrics to define your content’s performance. Comments and shares are measured as any Facebook updates’ metric obviously.

For most publishers, these insights however not enough. Also, most of the broadcasters have their own analytics ecosystem in place already. Fortunately, Facebook lets another analytics providers in.

Third-party integration

Most of the analytics platforms work the same: users add a tracking code to a digital property and the analytics platform tracks the activity on the property with the tracking code.

It works the same with Facebook Instant Articles. You can insert your analytics tracking code from most of the analytics platforms to your Facebook Instant Articles. Facebook supports almost any platforms, including Google Analytics, Chartbeat, Adobe, Nielsen, SimpleReach, ComScore and many more. There is also an API that you can use to track the metrics on your own.

Content that matters

Content distribution is a new trend in content marketing. It is simple why: content should be shared where your audience catches it. It is effortless and more efficient. With Facebook Instant Articles this is possible and you don’t need to compromise on performance measurement either.

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Landing Page Design: Building the Ultimate Landing Page

Creating the best and most efficient landing page is a hard task to do. This guide might help you get through with it. This is a guest-post by Toptal’s writer Laszlo Monda.

The focus of this landing page guide will be technical. My goal is to help other developers narrow down their search for the right third-party services and technologies, which they will deploy in their landing page designs. This will, hopefully, help them save time and money, which could otherwise be wasted on fruitless experimentation.

Landing page video production and hosting

Presenting video on the web is easier than ever, and yet, few sites use it. It’s not a technical challenge from a web perspective, but it is an investment of other resources, namely time and money. We created about 12 iterations of our landing page trailer video, gradually refining every little detail. The design process was exhausting but very rewarding. I consider this trailer video to be the crown jewel of our landing page which differentiates us from the pack.

Please bear in mind that high-quality content creation is expensive. If you want the best possible results, you will need to outsource the work to professionals, and obviously, start by making sure you can afford it. Depending on what you need, and what sort of budget you have, you could get away with an in-house video. It depends on your skill set and the type of landing page your plan to design.

We settled on a dynamic 3D animation, demonstrating the basic functionality of our keyboard on our landing page. However, if you need a 2D animation of an app or web service, or if you need camera footage, the process will be somewhat different and maybe less challenging than ours.

Once you have a video made, you must host it somewhere, which leads us to some options.

YouTube needs no introduction, as it is the undisputed market leader and a synonym for video on the web. It’s a reasonable choice that would have worked well for us, but we didn’t find its embedded player to be aesthetically pleasing.

Vimeo was an obvious second choice. It features a super clean, elegant, minimalistic design. It’s known for hosting quality content and for its superior high-definition. It was love at first sight, so we ended up choosing it for our landing page.

Wistia is another popular choice among marketers. It provides advanced features like video heatmaps that show you which parts of your videos have been watched, skipped and rewatched. It would have been a great choice, but it doesn’t support full HD quality, a deal-breaker for us.

It’s worth delving into the APIs of these services to better capture the attention of visitors. For example, using the Vimeo player JavaScript API we made the “I want one” buttons on our site pulse three times in a row right after our trailer ends. Used properly, little tweaks like this can increase the conversion rate.

To make matters even more complex, embedding videos on responsive sites is no easy matter. The video has to scale properly, and the experience must be fluid. It can be done by utilising some not-so-obvious CSS tricks.

Hosting 3D content

In order to give our landing page visitors a more immersive experience, we wanted them to be able to explore our keyboard in 3D. There are a few WebGL-based services created specifically for this purpose.

Sketchfab is the most popular of these services. It’s easy to master, provides a lot of visual settings, and is embeddable into a wide range of popular sites, which is why we chose it. However, depending on your needs, you may want to check out a couple of alternatives.

Verold Studio boasts some advanced features, such as animation and interactivity. I’m sure it’s the right choice for many, but we couldn’t import our CAD model into it.

The most minimalistic and simplistic of all WebGL services is p3d.in, but it didn’t support the high-resolution textures used in our 3D model, which was a deal-breaker. Also, it seems that it’s not possible to rotate the model until the textures are fully loaded, which doesn’t result in a great user experience.

Creating 2D animation

One of the major advantages of our keyboard is that it dramatically reduces hand movement. We wanted to visualise this on our landing page by putting the UHK and a regular keyboard side-by-side and displaying an animation. Implementing this wasn’t as simple as it sounds.

Using an embedded video did not only feel like overkill, but it would have to be rendered first, which is extra work. Animated GIFs weren’t a viable solution either given their huge size and limited palette. Canvas would work, but I found SVG to be even better suited for this purpose because the hand objects can be separately moved without affecting the rest of the graphics.

Creating this landing page animation was certainly more time consuming than we expected, but the end result looks nice.

Sometimes you must make your way through cross-browser issues, JavaScript library bugs and nearly endless technical challenges just to make a seemingly obvious thing work. Never underestimate the number of things that can go wrong!

Real-time analytics

Everybody uses Google Analytics and we are no exception, but it’s not specifically built for real-time operations; there are better candidates for this purpose.

Chartbeat is great at notifying us when the site exceeds certain thresholds, most notably the number of simultaneous users on our site. Every now and then someone links our site in a forum, which generates a sudden traffic spike. Thanks to Chartbeat, we immediately know about such events, and able to join the ongoing conversation early on.

Mixpanel helps us gather and analyse events. Site visits, opening the subscription dialogue, subscription and confirming the subscription, are all events that we log. Mixpanel can build funnels out of these events and visualise conversion rates, making things measurable so that we can act upon the numbers.

Clicky is great at several things and we especially love its site heatmaps feature, which reveals where users click on our site. Based on the results, we can adjust the layout of the site, change its content or redesign it to achieve the desired outcome.

HotJar enables website owners to record the interactions of their users. It saves every mouse and keyboard action, and constructs videos out of them so that one can watch what visitors do on the site. Yes, it’s the most privacy intrusive of all, so much so that it’s almost scary!

I surely couldn’t do justice to these services by singling out one because all of them offer so much. Most such services can visualise real-time visitor activity on a map, on a summary screen, or in visitor list, along with lots of metadata such as the referrer URL, operating system and screen size.

I believe that these are some of the best real-time analytics services out there, but there are others, so if you have some specific requirements, Google search for alternatives.

Book an on-demand Q&A session where we answer all further questions you may have about this write-up.

About the guest blogger:
László is a full-stack developer experienced in a wide range of languages and frameworks. He boasts a system-wide understanding and comfortably moves across the various layers of the stack.
 
About Total:
Toptal is a marketplace for top developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, and consultants. Top companies and start-ups hire freelance developers from Toptal for their most mission-critical projects.

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The Dark Side of A/B Testing: How to Test Your Site with a Bazooka

Testing a website is the most popular passing time for digital analytics experts. However, testing the right thing is harder than ever.

Website optimisation relies heavily on A/B or multivariate testing with digital analytics tools. However, if it comes down to testing, most of the experts test only minor comparisons on a site. But testing should go forward only if you test highly tangible differences; this is where you can learn something and open new frontiers. So instead of burning through your site with a bunch of matchsticks, use a bazooka instead and start some real flames.

Test What Matters and Test Less

Real productivity comes when you leave your comfort zone

You have read this many times we guess; your life starts after you leave your comfort zone. Well, that is the same with marketing. Technology made us busier and helped to boost our productivity, but it also killed a lot in the details. Meetings, chat, endless notifications, these are the time killers, and we haven’t even mentioned social media. Being busy is nothing, being productive is something. If you get lost quickly in the little details, non-productive testing comes up in the digital analytics space, and you find yourself in the situation where you test two ad copies with minor changes between and drawing conclusions where there is none, only pure randomness.

Test less and test what matters

Now that you have stayed away from little details, you can focus on the real issues. Test what matters only, and test way-way less. By stopped paying attention to things that do not matter in the details, you can focus on testing the important stuff.

Testing, its name is an experiment. And most of the scientific experiments are dead ends for 99% of their time, producing non-accurate results. In 1%, the science team has a eureka moment, usually when they slip away from the original focus of the experiment. This is the same with digital analytics testing when you test small changes on a site; you usually end of testing random outcomes. But when you test with tremendous tangible differences, you might will learn something on your business and customers.

Be Patient with your RPG

Science is a game of patience and marketers are not scientists. There was a study with an investment firm; they concluded that their most successful investors are either dead or non-active. The reason for this is because live and active traders are impatient and burn their positions with their little actions. It’s the same with testing. So, when you set up a testing experiment, you have your goals, you made a tangible difference to the chamber and started the testing.

Don’t even look at the test until you have reached your goal. Don’t change the variables. Don’t change the tested markers. Don’t even open the testing chamber. Be patient. Draw conclusions only when the testing has finished, and you have all your figures.

Remember: testing needs a perfectly clean environment

Most experts fail in their tests because the environment they are testing in is imperfect. The site that they are testing has huge usability issues. The testing material isn’t ready yet. There is nothing to be tested. The traffic is not there so the figures are so small that drawing conclusions would be simply just guessing in the cloud.

Be ready first and sort your stuff out. Only test when you need to develop even further. Further means, you already have a pretty solid ground: a good site, with a high number of visits and only minor usability issues.

All in all, these are the simple steps you need to follow when you do testing:

  • Test with an RPG: test only tangible vast differences
  • Test only when you have scientist mindset: be patient and be ready to fail
  • Test only in clean environment: your lab/site should be stable and established

Learn more about A/B Testing and Multivariate Testing. Visit the Insights Academy Today!

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