Internet and Cybersecurity Attorney | Protecting You Against Social Media Crime #OwnYourData
When you hear the word “event”, what comes to mind? A concert? A political rally? Today, with COVID-19 still at large, the word "event" also brings to mind something "digital" or "streaming" with respect to social media platforms.
And for e-commerce brands trying to survive and maintain and/or enhance customer loyalty, the word “event” can have a much more varied meaning.
In 2020's marketing sphere, an event could be someone clicking on a social media post or a Google Ads link that takes them to a specialty landing page. Indeed, the most powerful events are the ones that lead to a conversion, such as purchasing a product or registering for a newsletter.
"Conversion", when we are referring to internet marketing, occurs when a visitor to your website and/or social media accounts completes the company's desired goal (or "events"), such as filling out a questionnaire, form, or making a purchase. The percentage of total visitors who engage in this behavior is known as the "conversion rate."
With the right setup, these conversion events are much easier to track than sales that occur in a brick and mortar store. And with the global coronavirus pandemic driving e-commerce growth across the globe driving, the ability to track these events has become more important than ever, especially in the UK markets.
Amazon, for example, is expected to benefit the most from the COVID-19 surge in demand for online retail, adding an extra 2 billion pounds in UK sales, totaling 31.1 billion pounds by the end of 2020, which 1 billion pounds from analysts' initial predictions prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Department stores, on the other hand, will continue to suffer following months of store closures, with growth declining from initial predictions of -1.1% to -17.8%, to an estimated 2.9 billion pounds in 2020, as shoppers are expected to continue to shop online despite stores reopening.
Additionally, convenience stores' growth is down 1% (5.2%) from 6.2% prior to COVID-19, but is still expected to reach 28.4 billion pounds in 2020.
So, understanding how these events occur in the scope of your larger marketing efforts is essential for making the adjustments to grow your business. While you may think that you need extensive coding knowledge to gain meaningful insights, this actually isn’t the case.
It's time to simplify your business' social media tracking. As you know, Facebook has been in the "hot seat" in front of the public for many years for data privacy concerns.
Now in the middle of an advertising controversy, Facebook continues to battle against hundreds of brands that have implemented a month-long boycott against advertising on both Facebook and Instagram's platform due to the platforms’ failures in limiting hate speech.
The campaign, Stop Hate for Profit is backed by the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, Sleeping Giants and other activist organizations, which since June, have called on businesses to stop advertising on the site after the death of George Floyd.
But with big brands pulling out from Facebook's advertising platform, including Adidas, Ben & Jerry's, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Disney+, Dunkin Donuts, Eddie Bauer, Gamestop, Habitat for Humanity, Hershey, Mozilla, Reebok, Walgreens, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., among others, the platform is definitely hurting (and so are we as consumers/users).
A full list of brands can be viewed on the campaign's website.
No doubt through the campaign will this bring about some serious changes to Facebook's policies, but this certainly won't diminish the importance of the social media giant in the digital marketing world.
A recent report from HubSpot, a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software (which I use in my own business), revealed that that 71 percent of online shoppers are more likely to buy an item based on a social media referral.
Another survey conducted by MarketingWeek found that 31 percent of shoppers actively use social media for shopping.
Facebook Pixel offers a convenient way to set up and track events without extensive coding knowledge.
For the uninitiated, Pixel is a code that you place on your website, which collects data (careful!) that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. Over time, the tracking pixel data helps ensure that you improve your Facebook ad conversion rate and get better ROI.
Well, if you don't want to dive into it yourself, you can have a Facebook event partner set up the code for you. Once the pixel is installed, you can set up custom events through the Facebook Event Setup Tool — no coding required.
After selecting Pixels under your Events Manager tab, you have the option to track events based on a URL or button click. The ability to track different conversion types also ensures that you are tracking the metrics that matter most for your business and its current campaigns.
As important as social media can be, there is no denying the power of Google. Google Analytics can help you track just about everything related to your website. Bounce rate, on-site conversions based on traffic sources — you name it.
For many people, however, getting into the nitty-gritty of events tracking requires more coding know-how than they have. This is especially true if they want to set up custom events to track the performance of a new landing page or understand how the average customer journeys through their website before making a purchase.
Turning coded events into actionable insights, is yet another challenge. This is where analytics tools like Oribi come in, which I have begun integrating into my own business.
Rather than needing to rely on coders or developers, Oribi makes it easy to create and track custom events by automatically tracking all page visits, button clicks, and other custom actions that take place on your site. What I loved most was the seamless, user-friendly ability to export the events I wish to track in Oribi to Google Analytics and Facebook, to use these actions for campaign optimization.
Once you export an event to Google Analytics, create a new custom goal based on “event” actions. Defining the goal to match the exported Oribi event ensures that data tracking and campaign optimization will take place based on your campaign requirements — but without any additional coding on your end. All coding is handled on the back-end within
the tool, greatly reducing your workload.
If you’re running ads on Facebook, you can use the tool to export events directly to your ads manager. This type of event tracking can even go so far as to compare the influence of different types of content on purchasing decisions. Such insights could help you make smarter marketing and content creation decisions to drive more conversions.
Not all custom events are created equal. Even with tools that essentially eliminate the need for coding when setting up custom events, the events you track will only be as useful as what you do with the insights you gain from them.
Remember, an event can describe any action that takes place on your site: a video view, a form submission, or someone clicking on your contact page. The insights you gain from event tracking can help you identify whether any of these actions contribute to conversions.
Once you have a custom events report in hand, you need to take action. Are on-page videos increasing signups for your email list, and in turn, contributing to conversions? Then you may want to invest in more video content.
On the other hand, if one landing page doesn’t generate many clicks, you should reassess that page’s content to identify any potential design issues.
No coding knowledge is needed to look over an insight report. But you will need to have an analytical mindset in order to understand which events are having the biggest impact on your bottom line. This will help you implement the right changes in a timely manner so you can increase digital traffic and conversions.
The ongoing impact of COVID-19 means most businesses are unlikely to host in-person events anytime soon. Conversely, the power of digital conversion events will only continue to become more pronounced.
By leveraging easy to use tools that help you better understand your e-commerce conversion process, you will be better equipped with the information you need to make actionable changes, and hopefully not being negatively impacted (any further) by COVID-19.
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