Benefits of a User Generated Content Strategy

Benefits of a User Generated Content Strategy

Building and executing a marketing campaign for your business can be costly and taxing on staff resources. With the right approach, you can successfully employ a low-cost strategy utilizing content generated from your consumers, known as user generated content or UGC, on a budget. 

We aren’t advocating purchasing bot farms to spray your content via comment sections, or an expensive influencer to shill your product, either. Consumers value authenticity in marketing, placing a high value on testimonials and product demonstrations.

92% of marketers believe most or all of the content they create resonates as authentic, yet 51% of consumers say less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. Stackla

Getting your audience and customers involved in your marketing efforts and becoming brand advocates can be as simple as requesting a service review or testimonial, sharing a photo or video of customers utilizing the product via social media post with a thoughtful tag integrated across platforms. Once you get the content, it is important to know how to repurpose and use it effectively. 

Reward participants by featuring their positive testimonial on your website or in your next email newsletter. Engage with the content produced by expressing gratitude or offering helpful tips on social media. Being responsive and creating a community improves platform and user engagement. 

Additional rewards can be determined by hosting a Gleam contest with a discount code or gift card as a prize. After running the user generated content campaign and identifying enthusiastic supporters, you can host a brief AMA via Zoom, YouTube livestream, or Twitter Spaces, yielding more recorded content to showcase your brand or product. 

Did you connect with a new professional at a networking event? Utilize LinkedIn to thank them publicly and discuss your mutual opportunities and goals. Include a photo to put a name with a face. 

Learn more about user generated content strategies here. Stackla offers more insights on UGC here, too. 

Are you thinking, “Great ideas, team, but I don’t have the internal capacity to manage a large scale content strategy. Now what?” We can help. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation by emailing us at: info@populationscience.com 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Selecting a DSP Partner

Selecting a DSP Partner

Whether you’re ready to graduate from Google Ads and Meta or you’re attracted to exciting new channels, selecting a demand side platform (DSP) partner to manage your programmatic journey is probably the most challenging process a marketing organization can undertake. No two DSPs are alike and each one boasts their own pros and cons that need to be carefully weighed. Before you start the process of researching potential DSP partners here are three items to consider: 

Inventory

No DSP has access to all of the available digital ad supply out there. Ad platforms that also own and operate (O&O) web properties tend to make you buy that inventory from them directly. Examples include YouTube only being available from DV360/Google Ads and Prime Video is only available via Amazon DSP. Other platforms reach exclusive deals to manage inventory. For example, Yahoo DSP has a deal with Microsoft to manage XBOX, MSN, and other properties they own. 

While there is nothing stopping you from working with multiple DSPs (if you have enough budget, more on this below), it is definitely easier to limit the number of DSPs you work with. The more platforms you add to your tech stack the more complicated it can become to manage. 

We recommend that you determine what inventory is most important to you. Most DSPs specialize in being the platform of choice for specific types of inventory such as CTV, streaming audio, native, or high value O&O inventory. 

Data

Data is another aspect to consider when selecting a DSP. Much like O&O inventory, major ad tech players can keep their data behind their walled garden. An example of this is the Amazon DSP. If you want to target consumers based upon the ecommerce data (or Whole Foods data) that Amazon has, you have to use their DSP to do it. 

It is pretty easy to identify the handful of DSPs with unique data sets. Amazon, DV360 (Google), Yahoo, Roku, and Beeswax (Comcast) are the main players with large amounts of O&O data. Are you looking to target households with CTV? Perhaps you should look at Beeswax or Roku and their access to subscriber data. Is Google ads a major source of traffic for you right now? Perhaps it’s time to step up to DV360 to significantly increase the targeting/segmentation options there. 

Budget

Knowing that Google and Amazon have unique data as well as high value O&O inventory, it is logical that many buyers want to use their DSP. Unfortunately, to work directly with either platform you need a seven-figure budget. Otherwise, you will be forced to work with one of their partners to access the DSP. These marketing partners will take a small cut of your spend, but you will still need to commit to spending six figures per year to access these platforms. 

The next item to consider is whether or not you have the bandwidth to learn, setup, and manage your own DSP (self-service) or if you need the platform to manage it for you (managed service). If you do not have a very experienced media buyer on staff, managed service is probably the best option for you. There is a pretty steep learning curve to understanding DSPs, so it’s not for a beginner. That said, managed service comes at a premium cost since the platform will need to staff your account with support. 

As you can see there are a lot of big decisions that go into selecting a DSP. There is no one size fits all approach to this process. If you are looking for some advice on which platform is right for you, feel free to connect with us. We are happy to help! 

How to Set Up Google Tag Manager Event Tracking for Ninja Forms

How to Set Up Google Tag Manager Event Tracking for Ninja Forms

Your website is the hub for your clients’ business interactions; tracking those transactions is imperative for understanding what works and what doesn’t.  

Ninja Forms is a plug-in frequently lauded on WordPress sites for its easy-to-use platform, but like any form plug-in, it’s difficult to notify Google Analytics when a client completes a form through Google Tag Manager. When using Ninja Forms and Google Analytics 4 (GA4), we need to track when the forms are submitted and not just when the buttons are pressed. 

This step-by-step guide will help you set up your Google Tag Manager to fire tags only when your forms have been submitted, and even better, you can set up separate tags for each form.

Step 1: Create a Tag to Listen for a Form Submission Event

Now this will require a bit of code, but I have that here for you. 

  • Start a new tag in the tag manager by going to Tags > New > Tags Configuration > Custom HTML
  • Copy/Paste this script into the tag. 
<script>
jQuery(document).ready( function() {
  jQuery(document).on(‘nfFormSubmitResponse’, function(event, response, id) {        
   dataLayer.push ({
     ‘event’ : ‘ninjaFormSubmission’,
     ‘NFformID’ : response.id          
         });
      });
});
</script>

  • Next you need to go to Triggering and have the tag fire on All Pages so that it can listen for a ninja form no matter where the user is on the site. 
  • Last, you’ll need to name the tag something that you are going to use later. So here I’ve named mine: ninjaFormSubmission

It should look like this when you’re done:

Step 2: Create data layer variable for the Form ID

Because we need to differentiate between which form is being submitted, we will need to create a variable in Google Tag Manager that will read the the ID from the code we just created.

  • Go to Variables > User Defined Variables > New > Variable Configuration > Data Layer Variable and name it NFformID to keep it consistent. 
  • Leave the version as is and hit Save.

It should look like this when you’re done:

Step 3: Create a Trigger that Fires on the event we created in Step 1

This step will let you create a trigger that fires when someone submits a form, but we are going to add a stipulation so that it only fires on the form you want it to. So each trigger is form specific. You will need to repeat this step for each form.

  • Go to Triggers > New > Trigger Configuration > Custom Event  and we are going to add into the Event Name the name of the event we created in Step 1: ninjaFormSubmission
  • Then you are going to select Some Custom Events and we are going to use the name of variable we created in Step 2 from the dropdown: NFformID. Change the middle to “equals” then in the last column you’ll need to enter the number of the id of the form you want to track. This is found in WordPress on your Ninja Forms Plugin Dashboard.

It should look like this when you’re done (with the number being your own corresponding form id):

Step 4: Create a Tag that fires on the trigger we created in Step 3

So for every trigger you created, you’ll need to create a tag. This will be how you send GA4 your event data. 

  • Go to Tags > New > Tags Configuration > Google Analytics: GA4 Event. Use your configuration tag that you have set up for GA4 from the drop down. 
  • Name your event however you would like it to show up in GA4 for as an event for later. Depending on which form you are creating a tag for, I would name it respectively. 
  • Next go to Triggering Configuration and add the corresponding trigger for that form that you created in Step 3. 

It should look close to this when you’re done:

Step 5: Getting your results out of Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

We’ve set all of the back end up so that now we wait. GA4 is set up so that events don’t appear on your events list until they are triggered. This could be a while depending on how much traffic you get on your site. And even when they are triggered, it takes about 24 hours for them to appear on your list.

  • To view your events in GA4, you’ll need to choose Configure from the left navigation menu. These will be all of the events that have been triggered in the time frame at the top. 
  • Be sure that it has been at least 24 hours since you know that the event has been triggered to go looking for it. You can then mark any of these form submissions as a Conversion if that meets the needs of your business goals. 

Tracking all of your business goals on your site can be cumbersome and difficult to manage. GA4 and Google Tag Manager work seamlessly to deliver you events to a place where you can analyze and act on how users are interacting with your site. Having all of that data information assists with measuring your KPIs and getting solid business lead data from your website all in one place.

Two Simple Ways To Improve Your Digital Marketing Today

Two Simple Ways To Improve Your Digital Marketing Today

While there is no “easy button” in marketing, here are two things you can kick off today that can give a boost to your digital marketing efforts.

Test A New Platform

The digital media landscape is changing. More people are spending time online across a more diverse range of content. Whether you want to diversify your paid, earned, or owned media there are several new platforms to try. The key here is to pick one platform, perfect it, and move on to another.

One mistake we see organizations routinely make is trying to be everywhere all at once. This creates a haphazard user experience and ultimately fails to resonate with your target audience. We strongly suggest getting really good at one platform first. Do not move on to another platform until you feel like you have maximized your knowledge of how to optimize it.

Organic Cross-Promotion

Find opportunities to plug all of your communications channels/social platforms so your audience knows where to find you. When you embed a video into email communication make sure it links to your YouTube page. If you are active on Tiktok use your video content generated on the platform on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Invite followers on social media to join your email list. The options are endless!

The bottom line is that you remain consistent with your cross-promotion. Whether you used paid, earned, or owned tactics to acquire your audience, make sure they follow you on as many channels as possible. Organic reach is limited on every platform so the more opportunities you have to reach the same person with organic content the more likely they are to see it!

If you would like to learn more about how we have helped clients simplify their digital marketing growth, reach out for a free consultation today!
Building an Online Community and Why It’s Vital To Your Digital Strategy

Building an Online Community and Why It’s Vital To Your Digital Strategy

Since the dawn of the digital era building, a high-quality email list has been the foundation of any marketing strategy. Not only does the ROI from email beat every other channel, but the email address has also become the gold standard in cross-channel audience targeting. That said, competition for attention in the inbox is at all-time highs (and will continue to get harder).

It is time for marketers to take a more holistic approach to their audience engagement. Your audience spends a lot of time on multiple digital platforms consuming content in myriad ways. Here are some places you should build community:

TikTok

TikTok has found a niche to provide people an easy way to produce, share, and discover short form user-generated video content. TikTok also isn’t just for young kids anymore. The 28-50 demographic is rapidly growing. Like it or not, TikTok has made it easy for user-generated video content to go viral, opening up affordable opportunities for individuals, brands, and organizations of all types to get into video promotion.

In fact, we are seeing the adoption of user-generated video content from TikTok get applied to other video formats including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even Connected TV. If you haven’t invested in a video strategy due to cost constraints now is the time to get in on the user-generated video content craze. All it takes is a little time and a cell phone to create a short video that connects with your target audience.

YouTube

YouTube reached a whopping 81% of the connected audience in the US every month. Usage is strong across every demographic and being within the Google ecosystem targeting is second to none. Using paid promotion to get key video messages in front of target audiences using an email list, contextual targeting, or even an affinity audience provided by Google is a scalable strategy for any marketing strategy.

Meta Platforms

Facebook and Instagram are dynamic duos that can be managed using Meta’s Business Manager. The tools available for managing and analyzing brand owners’ accounts are generally easy to use so even marketing beginners can pick up the basics. The combined reach of Facebook and Instagram across all demographics plus a wide variety of content types (video and static post types) gives you a lot of options to engage your audience.

Twitter

Twitter is an often forgotten social media platform, but it is a powerful tool to reach audiences looking to consume small snippets of content at a time. Many communities have emerged on the platform. You can pretty easily identify key influencers and topics that are pertinent to your organization with a keyword or hashtag search. organic content on the platform. It doesn’t take very much time and you will be surprised by who is out there listening. A few minutes per day on Twitter could unlock your next big customer/partnership/advocate or even make your organization go viral.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be if you’re targeting business professionals. The reach and targeting options for ads are second to none in B2B. While it can be expensive to run targeted ads to boost your reach there are ways to get organic content amplified. Target partners, brand champions, or key allies on the platform and ask them to share your content with their connections. It is a tried and true method for driving awareness of your message.

When you have multiple touch points with your target audience you will increase your overall organic reach and ensure no important communication is missed. Be sure to follow Population Science for more content on how to build your omnichannel community online!

 

10 Stats to Consider When Crafting Your Website Strategy

10 Stats to Consider When Crafting Your Website Strategy

Your website is a pivotal asset of your business. A quality website is organized, easy to navigate, and inspires customers to conduct business with you. From design and content to user experience, no matter your industry, a top-notch website is crucial to the success of your business.

We’ve been sharing useful data in our Stats to Consider When Crafting Your Digital Strategy series. Previously we shared Social Media Marketing and Email Marking statistics. To keep helping you craft a high-quality digital strategy, here are 10 website statistics you need to know.

1. 94% of first impressions relate to your site’s web design
First impressions matter. You don’t want a potential customer to be turned off at first glance due to a poor design. Invest in a high-quality web design that is a reflection of your high-quality business.

2. 89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience
It only takes one bad experience for a customer to swear off a business for good. 
Provide seamless online experience that keeps your customers on your site and in your corner.

3. 74% of users are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites
We’ve said it before- optimizing for mobile is crucial to the success of your business. Customers are accessing information on their phones daily, so it is essential that your website fits their mobile needs. Bonus stat: I
n 2018, mobile ecommerce revenue accounted for 50%of total U.S. e-commerce revenue.

4. 47% of Users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website
Customer’s patience isn’t always high- and frustrated customers leads to abandonment. Don’t allow something like loading time turn customers away from your site.

5. Slow-loading websites lead to a $2.6 billion revenue loss each year
Customer abandonment has its repercussions. Investing in a website that prioritizes high speed loading times helps ensure your customers are satisfied with their digital journey.

6. Users spend 88% more time on pages with videos
The more time spent on your site, the more likely someone is to make a purchase. Video content can be used to grab users’ attention, provide information, and keep your customers engaged on your site.

7. 77% of agencies believe that a bad website User Experience is a weakness for their clients.
This statistic shows there’s major room for improvement when it comes to user experience. Poor user experience leaves customers confused and irritated, making it more likely for them to abandon your site. In turn, a stellar user experience builds trust and helps ensure there’s nothing standing in the way from creating long lasting support.

8. It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression
Your website design should be balanced. Consistency, cohesiveness, and functionality contribute to a quality website design. We recommended checking out industry leader’s website to gauge what web designs repeatedly perform well.

9. Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content
Written content is important, but 5.59 seconds isn’t very long. It is crucial to provide your customers with the important information they need to know in a quick and concise way so they are getting the most out of their online experience.

10. 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage
Providing a clear call to action on your homepage gives your customers the guidance to understand what it is you’re wanting them to do next. Call to actions inspire your customers to spend more time on your site, further conduct business, leading to overall success.

A quality website is at the core of a quality business. Invest in a website that tells your story, is well-designed, and is user friendly to set yourself and your customers to be as successful as possible.