All posts by Warren

Warren Whitlock, author of the first book on Twitter "Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online" is a speaker, blogger and social media marketing strategist

Monitor Your Entire Ecommerce Sales Funnel with Real Data

 

When it comes to monitoring your online business, the list of so-called “critical metrics” is constantly expanding. Things like social media engagement, keyword ranking, email open rates, conversion rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more all compete for your attention.

All of this data can be overwhelming.

The question is: what metrics really matter?

In the world of ecommerce – whether you sell products or services – the hands-down, undisputed, heavy-weight-champion metric … is your sales funnel.

Why? Because at the end of the day, nothing but sales pay the bills.

So, to enable you to monitor your entire sales funnel, here are four sources of data and exactly what you should do with them:

  • Your Traffic
  • Your Leads
  • Your Sales
  • Your Competition

Your Traffic

Let’s start with the widest point of your sales funnel: your traffic.

sales funnel
Image Credit: Prosar.com

What is the temperature of your traffic: warm or cold?

Frost-bitten traffic or sizzling traffic is a major consideration you should take into account as you embark upon your ecommerce model. First, warm traffic is when the public saw your marketing messages and now have a favorable opinion of you because of it. Cold traffic consists of spending a lot of time and money to generate traffic.

Now, there are all kinds of web traffic, including:

  • Organic: searchers type in keywords and phrases related to your company, product or website.
  • Paid: visitors arrive at your website because of paid advertising.
  • Referral: an Internet surfer comes across your website from a link at another webpage.
  • Direct: people access your website by typing in your URL or clicking on a bookmark.

The key question is: what is your traffic actually doing for your website right now? Is it making any positive contribution? Are you stuck in cruise control?

Enhanced ecommerce tracking will help a business understand the onsite behavior of visitors and will help identify the measures that should be taken to get the action you desire from these visitors.

By starting with your traffic, you’ll be able to identify where your visitors are coming from and what sources are the most profitable.

 

Your Leads

The success of any ecommerce business is dependent on how effective it is at converting visitors into customers.

By monitoring your sales funnel, you can quantify the number of leads at each stage of the sales process and, based on your strategic direction, predict how many of these leads can be converted into actual customers.

Google Analytics remains the most popular dashboard to monitor your conversions.

This is done by creating “Goals” for every page a conversion is possible. Your home page and landing pages are great places to start.

Your “Goal” can be just about anything, from a sign-up to a play button to a form submission to a download. Just select one specific goal for each of your critical pages to measure exactly how many of your visitors actually become leads.

Increasing the number of conversions is a challenge that all sites faces. This can be achieved by performing A/B testing, writing clear and concise language, and, most importantly, creating trust a simple-to-use website.

The real power of creating Google Goals is the ability to not only see what’s working – your best performing pages – but what isn’t. Where are your visitors leaving your funnel and where do you need to improve?

 

Your Sales

Keep in mind that while revenue data, sales data, and transaction volumes are important, there is still a lot of information that can be derived from real data that can help you see the much bigger picture. Monitoring and tracking of your sales themselves provides this information and can give you detailed reports about your ecommerce operations every step of the way.

Most notably, you’ll be able to see how often your product or service is added to a shopping cart, how frequently it is converted, and which type of users abandon the transaction midway.

Identifying the pages that are hindering your sales as well as the pages that sell well are both key. This way, you know what elements you need to change to optimize your site’s performance as well as help you figure out or alter your marketing strategies for products that are not doing so well.

Moreover, this is also a good way of determining which products should be on your homepage.

Conversion Rate Experts, for example, wrote a case study explaining how they made $1 million for Moz in just one year with a single landing page and a handful of emails.

The landing page was designed specifically to track and promote sales:

  • Long-form copy to tell a story.
  • A curiosity-driven headline.
  • Clear explanations of what user would receive at each conversion point.
  • Highlighted what customers cared about.
  • Incorporated video into its strategy.
  • Made comparisons with other companies.

 

Your Competition

Your traffic, your leads, and your sales are all about you.

But, keeping track of what your competition is doing is also an invaluable way to gain insight into their websites and analyze critical data. This can include their traffic rankings, daily visitors, and search engine and keyword rankings.

Monitoring your competition not only keeps you up-to-date with the market but will also enable you to compare your website with that of your competitors so that you can capitalize on their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.

It is understandable that with so many operations to manage, it can sometimes become overwhelming for businesses to find the time to monitor and analyze their competition. This is why there are several organizations that offer comprehensive services that can help immensely.

For example, Cyfe offers a wide spectrum of effective and useful features to help enhance your competitive analysis and marketing strategies:

  • Monitoring of individual departments and multiple websites
  • Real-time monitoring reports and historical data
  • Custom data sources and widgets

funnel monitor

It’s simple: you can monitor your own brand as well as your competitors and other online rivals all in one easy-to-use dashboard.

Fusing Your Sales Funnel with Real Data

The reality is … competition is tough.

In order to succeed, it is important to not only be aware of your strengths but to have the knowledge about the areas where you need to improve.

So, the four data sources to keep in mind are your traffic, your leads, your sales, and your competition. With these data sources, you’ll be able to monitor your entire ecommerce model effectively.

Monitoring and analyzing real data is the only to dramatically improve your market position and increase your sales. So get started today.

Game Theory Won Eurovision. It Could Also Save Your Life

Eurovision

If you want a really childish explanation of game theory, it is that when everyone else goes around shouting ‘rock’, a few smart people should start to shout ‘paper’. And perhaps a few really smart and really ave people, figuring out this ‘paper’ strategy in advance, might even be emboldened to shout ‘scissors’. In Eurovision this year, Poland shouted ‘paper’; Austria shouted ‘scissors’.

The cunning real trick here is that, if you want to win Eurovision, it is better to do something distinctive than to do something conventionally good. That is not to say that the distinctive cannot be good or even great (France Gall’s and Serge Gainsbourg’s 1965 winning song ‘Poupe de cire, poupe de son’ was booed in rehearsals simply for not being a standard ballad; ‘Waterloo’ was highly unusual at the time). But the fact is that, even if you miraculously produce a conventional song that is 10 per cent better than the 15 other conventional ballads you are competing against, that 10 per cent advantage is never enough to drown out all the noise created by regional voting blocs, national rivalries and so forth. Better to go all or nothing — ‘Monte Carlo or bust’ — in this case by fronting someone with the second most famous facial hair of any Austrian in history. That way you will either win spectacularly or lose spectacularly, but you won’t end up coming fourth just because the bloody Scandies all voted for each other again.

The reason more people don’t try this is simple. It takes courage. When you fail conventionally you get sympathy; when you fail unconventionally you get blamed. It’s a behavioural bias known as defensive decision-making, and it affects almost everything.

When making any choice, our first instinct is not to choose the ‘best’ answer but the answer which minimises the harm we personally can suffer in the worst-case outcome. (‘Minimax’ is what John von Neumann calls this). Let’s say I have the deciding vote on Austria’s entry to Eurovision: if I pick some boring but worthy schlager and it loses, I keep my job. If I choose a drag artist with a beard and she loses, then the finger-pointing begins.

Philip Hensher

We owe Constant Lambert (1905-1951) a huge amount, and the flashes of illiance that survive from his short life only suggest the energy with which he established the possibilities for… Readmore

The Secret Rhythm of Social Media

Asocial media rhythmbout once a week, I take a look at my upcoming calendar… Especially where I know I’m going to be meeting a lot of people… And think about the interesting folks attending, speaking, or near to the venue.

I’ve read about networking experts doing this, and even talk to people who make a practice of it, but rarely do I find someone this committed to excellence in everything he does.

You may have heard of Jon Acuff. He is a New York Times Best-selling author and someone I’m certainly going to look for at Infusioncon next week in Phoenix

Here is one of the posts I liked very much today.

Social Media Secret Rhythm

In a few weeks I’m headed to Phoenix, AZ to speak at ICON14. I’m doing a breakout and when I’m done I hope to take some notes from folks like Seth Godin and Simon Sinek on the main stage.

After working with Infusionsoft for the last few months it will be my first time to meet the team that’s been such a huge help to me as I figure out how to be an entrepreneur.

The title of my talk is “the secret rhythm of social media.”

The whole talk would be too long for a blog post, but I will share one of the ideas that I think drives social media.

It’s a simple word really, but I swear it took me a long time to learn.

The word is “empathy.”

In the context of social media, I define empathy as “Understanding what someone needs and acting on it.”

There’s two parts to that idea. The first is “understanding what someone needs.”

Do you know how you do that? You spend time with them.

That’s it. That’s the bottom line. I lost touch with that when I got busy and stopped connecting as much as I used to on Twitter. You can track my ability to understand how to help people with social media based in part on how often I respond to tweets. In the last 7 months I’ve tried to increase that and I feel more connected than I have at other times. There are a lot of ways to respond with social media: twitter, facebook, blog comments, instagram, linkedin, etc. For me, it’s Twitter.

The second part of social media empathy is “acting on it.” If you know what someone needs and don’t act on it, you’re using “media,” not social media. You can take and take online only so long until people figure out you don’t care about them. You’re not here for them. You’re here for you. Eventually that catches up with you.

Empathy isn’t easy.

Good things never are.

They take time and hustle.

Want to serve people with social media?

Understand what they need and act on it.

– See more at: http://acuff.me/2014/04/secret-rhythm-social-media/#sthash.F0KCOcu0.dpuf

Facebook Spreads Your Good Emotions (and Bad)

A good mood really is contagious, even on social media. According to a new study, the mood of your Facebook updates is directly influenced by the moods of those in your newsfeed. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Yale, and Facebook, examined statuses on the popular social network with a particularly positive or negative emotional bent, as identified by algorithm.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Yale, and Facebook, examined statuses on the popular social network with a particularly positive or negative emotional bent, as identified by algorithm. The researchers first proved that rainy days caused fewer positive statuses and more negative ones—even when the program eliminated statuses explicitly about the weather. During a rainy day, they found, a city’s number of negative posts will increase by 1.16%, and positive ones will decrease by %1.19.

The researchers then looked at friends of the rained-in parties—but ones who lived in other cities, where the weather was fine. This group was affected by their wetter friends: For every negative post from the rainy group, dry friends posted 1.29 more negative posts than would normally be expected. Positive posts had a slightly stronger effect, inspiring 1.75 more positive posts. “Effectively this means that 1-2 people were indirectly affected,” researcher Massimo Franceschettitold Quartz.Not exactly an epidemic of goodwill, but a notable increase. “We showed,” says Franceschetti, “that social networks can actually magnify and promote social synchrony. This could mean that social networks actually make the world more volatile, because people are more prone to synchronize emotionally with peers around the world.”

Contagious emotion isn’t a new idea: “We know that emotions are contagious in a sense,” saysFranceschetti. “When you go to a restaurant and you’re greeted with a smile, this makes you feel better. It improves your experience. But isolating this network effect on such a massive scale—with the help of a huge online social network—allows us to measure the contagion more effectively.” The authors hope that knowledge of this effect will inform everything from marketing tactics to acts of good will. “The benefit of a good action can spread,” says Franceschetti. “Providing better care for the suffering could effect numerous others’ happiness as well.”

We all expect to have our opinions influenced by peers on social media, and it seems that their moods may sway us as well. If your newsfeed is full of grousers, perhaps it’s time to find new (Facebook) friends.

Are You Missing Dark Social Media?

What’s the biggest social network in the world? Careful, it’s a trick question.

I started asking it about three years ago when I learned the answer from Tynt, a start-up that had stumbled upon a method for tracking what content is so important to us that we share it with others or keep it for ourselves. By tracking what we physically copy and paste from one digital medium to another — text, images, video, links, various forms of code — Tynt discovered that Facebook is not the social network. In fact, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and every other social networking site or app combined don’t even come close to the No. 1 way we share stuff: email is, by a margin of more than two-to-one.

universe is dark matter

“The universe is a big place. Perhaps the biggest” -Kilgore Trout

This is the best piece I’ve ever seen on the motivation behind my 2008 book about Twitter. I saw what would be an opportunity for real time data from our customers.

In our research, we started my radio show. One episode on data had a discussion where I heard the line “all of social media together is a fraction of 1 percent of SMS messaging”

As we discussed whether text data was being crunched by telcos, email content data, chat and more.. I had an epiphany:

MOST of human conversation will never be indexed.

What I say to other in the room while watching Superbowl ads, whether there are people in the room, the turning up and down volume and dozing off when there now hope for Denver are data points that are not being collected or even talked about.

You can put out the best content, ads that test through the roof and record setting ratings and it’s all thrown away if my brother stops by and says “I tried that product, it sucks”

Most of the universe is dark matter, but it’s all data. I think Zuckerberg gets this. His interviews in “The Facebook Effect” and Kirkpatrick commentary at the end of the book and in interviews that came with the audiobook spelled this out.

Zukerberber is not out to build the biggest web site. He’s building a social graph and that will dwarf what we see as Facebook.com today.

Read the article at MediaPost.com.

What Is Your Visual Web Presence? [infographic]

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. If that’s so, one photo is longer in words than most blog post. Do you have a visual web presence?

The following infographic depicts just how visual the weather has become. With faster computers, higher bandwidth, and more and more to see every day, it’s a good time to think about your visual web presence.

What’s is your Visual Web Presence?

Discussing Visual Web Presence

I purposely left most of the discussion that I’d normally put in text out of this info graphic based post.

Did I go too far?

Maybe. I think there’s still plenty of room for discussion. Some of that of course can happen and audio, and a lot of it is much more convenient to happen in text.

Add your comments below let’s have a good old-fashioned text discussion/chat?

Tech Analysis of Online Gaming – A Growing World!

With the increasing number of searches made on search engines for casino promotions, it is evident that gaming is spreading by leaps and bounds. The top games of 2012 were Call of Duty, Madden NFL 13, Halo IV, Assassin's Creed III, Just Dance and many more. Around 90 percent boys under the age of 18 and over 90 percent of girls under the age of 18 say they play online games. There are several Casino Promotions available online that offer a variety of freebies which are given on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These freebies offered by the casino promotions include getting bonus virtual money to play the game, getting additional bonus on a regular basis, exclusive memberships in premiere tournament, double or triple loyalty points among several other benefits.

 

Those playing online games are basically looking for competition as they find others players to compete with. There are records that are set by other existing players and the new joiners aspire to break these records. There are about 300 million people engaging around the world in gaming, including both video gaming and computer gaming. There are basically three kinds of players in the online gaming market, first is the hard-core gamers. They are quite small in number as compared to other gamers, though their number runs in millions across the world. These gamers spend most of their time in gaming. The second kind of players are the moderate players, who actually spend a little less time on gaming online than the hardcore gamers. The third kind of players belongs to the mass market segment. These players are larger in number than any of the earlier two segments mentioned. They like to indulge in short duration gaming so they win big money with Slots games fast, as they are are easy to learn, provide immediate entertainment, fun and thrill. Some players who like casino promotions are always on the look for such websites which have something on extra to offer.

 

The players generally begin gaming with confusion about the game, but once they get the hand of it, their excitement knows no bounds. Soon they become involved in the game and find it difficult to live without it. But after playing the same game over a long period of time, they get bored and they are over it. The online games began as early as the 1970s when only two players competed. Today there are games where millions of users are competing with each other.

 

Though most of the online games are played on the internet only without installing any of their components on your computer, there are several games applications which can be installed on your computer for quick access to them. With the employers frowning down upon the online gamers who take their passion to workplace, companies seek to curb the use of online games. However, there are several other companies which allow access to online games as a stress busting tool. Casino promotions also serve as a stress buster since getting freebies always gives a happy feeling to the user.

 

The @LadyGaga Performance is Best Understood by Her Most Loyal Social Media Fans

ladygaga

I’m reading “Monster Fans” by Jackie Huba and learning about the blue balls that @LadyGaga used on TV and how it’s part of her social media success:

“What the heck are these blue balls in Lady Gaga’s MTV Music Video Awards performance Sunday night?”

That’s the question I got emailed this week from a friend of mine. Since I wrote a book about how Lady Gaga built her loyal fan base, he thought I would know. Well, this confusion from my friend is a classic Gaga technique for building loyalty and is one of the lessons in my book.

The idea here is to create and use symbols that only your community of loyalists will understand.

In history, studies of cultures and societies often show an emergence of shared symbols. We can all visualize many symbols we share with others as members of a given group, city, or country. These shared symbols are tangible vehicles through which some meaning is expressed. The symbols could be gestural, pictorial, object-oriented, linguistic, or some combination of these. Through the repeated process of rituals, symbols are given significance in the group. Shared symbols also have the ability to be exclusionary. Those who can recognize and understand the meaning of these symbols feel part of the group, like they be long, while outsiders will not understand the meaning and turn away, sometimes mocking the symbols. Gaga and the Little Monsters use many symbols to communicate with each other, with the most well known one being the “monster paw.” By using these symbols that only her loyal fans understand, she is speaking to them in a special language. Fans feel a strong bond to the community, and to Gaga, because they feel part of a special club of people who understand what the symbolism represents, while outsiders do not.

This is exactly what Gaga was doing with the VMA performance of her new single, “Applause,” from her upcoming album ARTPOP. The concept of the album is that Gaga wants to bringing art back into pop culture. The 4:51 minute performance was chock full of costume changes (three in all), blue metallic balls and face painting.

You may not have understood all the imagery or references, but Gaga doesn’t care. She want to create an entertaing performance for everyone but she includes these special symbols that she knows only her diehard fans will understand. Here’s what most Little Monsters recognized

Special metallic blue balls the size of cantaloupes are carried by dancers at one point in the performance and even Gaga grabs one  and throws it across the stage. The balls are a reference to pop artist Jeff Koons “Gazing Balls” exhibition from earlier this year. Gaga is a big fan of the artist and he is mentioned in the lyrics to “Applause.”

Likeonomics and Success Habits with Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava
Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava has spent most of his career inspiring better marketing by helping companies act in more human ways. His mantra is “Inspiring better marketing to help your world changing ideas succeed.

He is the author of four best-selling marketing books, CEO & Founder of the Influential Marketing Group and Professor of Global Marketing at Georgetown University. An early marketing pioneer, Rohit co-founded the world’s largest team of social media strategists back in 2004 and spent more than a decade leading digital strategy at two of the largest marketing agencies in the world.

The Influential Marketing Group was created to offer more personalized Digital CMO style consulting for brands and selected startups.  He is a sought after speaker on marketing, social media and the future of business – and has delivered “non-boring” keynotes to audiences from 20 to 5000 at respected events including TEDx (multiple), SXSW, the World Communication Forum (Davos) and at hundreds more events across close to 30 countries… and counting.

41CqMggfR1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_One of his best-known books is the award-winning Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action.

The book offers a new vision of a world beyond Facebook where personal relationships, likeability, brutal honesty, extreme simplicity, and basic humanity are behind everything from multi-million dollar mergers to record-breaking product sales. There is a real ROI to likeability, and exactly how big it is will amaze you.

515QAhY9XkL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-69,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_His latest book is Always Eat Left Handed: 15 Surprisingly Simple Secrets Of Success. The tips in this book will change how think about your own success and give you concrete actionable lessons on how to actually put the secrets to work in your own life.

Most advice is obvious, and often delivered by people who are hopelessly romantic about the power of their own mistakes. But this book gives entertaining lessons and tried-and-true words of wisdom beyond the obvious and oft-repeated “Make mistakes. Do what you love. Take risks. Never give up.”

 

 

Listen To Social Networking Internet Radio Stations with Warren Whitlock on BlogTalkRadio

 

 

Four Ways the Crowd Gets What they Need From Each Other –Without Buying from Companies

Four Ways the Crowd Gets What they Need From Each Other -Without Buying from Companies

I’m a little worried this morning.

I’m in Minneapolis, the capital city for consumer packaged goods, durable goods, and some of the top retailer ands in the entire world.  Why am I here?  I’m speaking to 300 corporate folks, at an event hosted by Magnet 360, Salesforce, and Marketo.

What am I going to tell them?  That people are shifting their behaviors, and enabled by internet tools, they can share products with each other –rather than buy it directly from them.   I’m going to tell them that people can buy once, then share goods with each other many times with each other.

I’m doing to tell them that the crowd can get what they want from each other, and their reliance on corporations will reduce.  I’m telling them that they could have reduced revenues.  I’m telling them, they could potentially lose their jobs.

As I head to the stage in a few hours, I must admit, dark thoughts are racing thoughts my head….

I’m going to deliver some bad news, how will they react?  Will they tune me out and surf instagram?  Shun me or tweet bad things about me?  Or maybe, throw those little Italian hotel candies at me?

I’m here to tell them there are many reasons why this sharing movement is happening.  Not only does social technology make it super easy for people to connect with others, but for some people sharing used goods is often just as good as buying anew.  I’ll tell them that a new class of Conscious Consumers will want to reduce needless consumption.  I’ll also tell them that the due to the rapid increase in earth population, that we really don’t have a choice as a planet, but must be more careful with our fixed resources

Heck, I’m even going to tell them, that I myself, have become a conscious consumer.  Aside from consumable s like food, gas, and personal health items, I can name on one hand the physical goods I’ve purchased in the last two months:  A fancy handsfree phone for my home office, a fancy purse for my ever-deserving wife, and a pair of customized NikeID running shoes.  Heck, I may even read my heartfelt letter to ands, telling them how my lifestyle is starting to change and that means my relationship with ands is changing along with it.

You’re probably wondering, who does this?  Is it just Asian-American Industry Analysts with four-syllable-first-names and impossible to pronounce last names that live in Northern California?  Maybe. But if you read, Share or Die, by Neal Gorenflo of Shareable Magazine talks about how this asset light movement is common among Generation Y, who are native to sharing on the internet yet are saddled with college debt they’ve no choice.  Or, I may tell them about internet leader Andrew Hyde that reduces his inventory of items to 39 things and felt free.  Or I might tell them about my trips to Europe and Asia where these behaviors have been common for a long looong time. Or how about in dense American cities like New York or San Francisco sharing of bikes, cars, houses, gardens, and even food is already common.

I’ll share with them these four examples of startups that will ultimately reduce their revenue: