Author Archives: NIMDA

14 of the Best Instagram Apps to Take Your Content to the Next Level

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-apps-for-business/

Over 5 million businesses around the world use Instagram to tell their story. With this much competition, it’s clear your brand needs to find new ways to stand out. Thankfully, there are Instagram apps that can help.

To save you time, we’ve rounded up 14 of the best apps out there. Check out the video below for five of our favorites and read on for the full list.

The 14 best Instagram apps you need to download now
1. Layout

Layout lets you create collages by remixing your own photos. The app gives users creative control so you instantly see your photos laid out in various combinations—and edit them to make them unique.

You can combine up to nine photos at a time to make one image, which you can preview before posting to Instagram.

This is a great app for those looking to:

Show before and after content (such as for interior design firms, cleaning products, hairdressers, big hotel renovations, etc.)
Showcase their best user generated content
Highlight behind-the-scenes shots of employees and offices
Show off a sequence of new product releases

Free for iOS

Free for Android

2. Hootsuite Enhance

Editing your Instagram photos can increase the number of views by 21 percent and raise engagement by more than 45 percent. Hootsuite Enhance offers an all-in-one photo editing solution to help you find better content, get more comments and likes, and build brand awareness.

Hootsuite Enhance makes it easy to:

Crop and size photos for each social network
Edit with filters, borders, stickers, and overlays
Source images from the stock photo database
Share straight to the social network of your choice (or schedule through Hootsuite to share later)

Free for iOS

3. Have2Have.It

Soldsie’s Have2Have.it  bridges the gap between buyers and sellers on Instagram.

The mobile app allows businesses on Instagram to create, schedule, and post photos and video with links to the products or services online. Have2Have.it:

Drives followers directly to your e-commerce website
Guides customers to complete their purchase
Lets audience members discover more products

You can try Have2Have.It free for 30 days through their site.

Their mobile app is free on iOS

4. Boomerang

Boomerang lets you create engaging content with just one button. The tool shoots a burst of 10 photos and turns them into a short mini-video that loops back and forth, GIF-style.

You can share your Boomerang right from the app, or save it to your camera roll to share another time. Boomerang gives marketers the opportunity to delight their audiences with a fun visual that deviates from a regular Instagram photo.

You can either use the standalone Boomerang app, or take a Boomerang from within the Instagram app.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

5. Hootsuite Campaigns App

Seventy percent of Instagram users have already taken part in a contest on Instagram—or would be willing to do so if given the opportunity. The Hootsuite Campaigns app helps enterprise clients manage contests and sweepstakes from within the Hootsuite dashboard.

Users can curate content in Instagram and Twitter galleries, ban and approve photos and videos for contests, moderate comments from each campaign, and track participant data and analytics.

With an Instagram Gallery contest run through Hootsuite Campaigns, you can collect user-generated content that showcases your business through the eyes of customers. Hootsuite Campaigns also allows you to:

Accept entries via hashtag or @mention
Enable voting and commenting on submissions to boost engagement
Track and analyze participant and campaign data

For more information, check out our post How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest.

Free to use through the Hootsuite App Directory.

6. Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse from Instagram lets you shoot time-lapsed video to share with your followers.

Thanks to the in-app stabilization technology, you can capture non-shaky video that was previously impossible without a tripod. And you can playback your videos up to 40 times faster than their original speed.

Use Hyperlapse to:

Go behind the scenes: Show the human side of your business with impromptu videos of what the gang is up to.
Show your product in action: Share the use case for the products or services you’re selling in relatable, everyday ways.
Share another perspective: Surprise your customers with unexpected ways they can use your products or services.

7. Microsoft Selfie

Microsoft Selfie is a photo-editing app available through iOS, web, and WeChat. What sets the app apart from other similar offerings is that Microsoft Selfie uses AI to enhance your photos. The app’s key features include:

Intelligent photo enhancement, where the app “intelligently considers age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables—all with one click�
Noise reduction, where the app “automatically enables “Denoise� mode, and effectively reduces noise by using burst shots�
Auto Exposure, where Microsoft Selfie “applies automatic exposure correction and photo clarifying, especially for backlit photos�

Instead of having to manually edit each aspect of a photo—such as brightness, contrast, structure, or clarity—you can save time with Microsoft Selfie’s intelligent photo boosting features.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

8. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is the number one photo and video collage app available, and called one of the top seven photography apps of all time by Mashable.

With Pic Stitch, users can:

Choose from over 245 collage layouts and 15 different aspect ratios (1×1, 4×6, etc.)
Add music to a collage
Order images directly through Shutterfly
Customize photo borders
Rotate, flip, mirror, and zoom

Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you can upload it straight to Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, or Evernote.

Free for iOS

$2.29 for Windows

9. Hootsuite (dashboard or mobile app)

User-generated content makes it easy for a brand to highlight their own product or service without a lot of work. And praise for your business is often more trustworthy when it comes from a third-party.

Hootsuite makes it super easy to “regram�—that is, repost—content from other users on Instagram.

Users can view their Instagram feed from within Hootsuite and simply tap the image they’d like to regram, and then click on the reshare icon.

The original photo owner’s Instagram username will automatically appear in the caption.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer used to grow from 0 to 110,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear. Plus we’ll show you how you can use Hootsuite to grow your own following on Instagram and other platforms.

10. WhenToPost

It’s important to post Instagram content at a time when your audience is likely to be online. The WhenToPost app is an Instagram specific app that helps take some of the guesswork out of this process.

WhenToPost:

Generates a heat map which tells you the best times to post your Instagram content
Provides a countdown to your next top time to share content
Shows a graph with the best times of the week to post to Instagram

For more on when to share content, check out our guide to The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

11. Clips

Available for free in April 2017, Apple’s Clips app lets users make and share short-form videos complete with special effects, text, graphics, and more.

One of the more interesting features of Clips is Live Titles, which let you create animated captions simply by talking as you record using Siri. Clips also uses a specialized facial recognition technology thanks to Apple’s Machine Learning technology. It compares faces of those in your video to those in your device’s picture library. Not only that, but Clips will find these individuals in your address book and let you share the video with them in one click.

Coming soon

12. Swipeable

Panoramic shots can be a fun change from your regular photos, but getting them right can be a challenge. Swipeable is designed specifically with Instagram users in mind. It lets you easily take and share panoramic and 360-degree photos on the platform.

Swipeable uses the carousel function to automatically divide your panoramas into square pieces so they can be viewed in sequence. This can come in handy when:

You’re trying to fit lots of people in a photo
Capturing a bigger product image
Showing a tour of your company’s new offices

Free for iOS

13. Captiona

Your audience is 70 percent more likely to convert if they experience an emotional reaction to your content—and the right Instagram caption can make this happen. The Captiona app helps Instagram users come up with clever and funny captions that engage their audience.

To use Captiona, simply enter a keyword related to your content (such as “shoes� or “computer�) and the app will give you a list of results including sayings, quotations, catchphrases, and “on-trend� lines.

You can then tap to copy the caption of your choice, and paste it into your Instagram content description.

If you’d like to learn more about creating Instagram captions, take a look at our post How to Write Great Instagram Captions That Drive Engagement.

$0.99 on iOS

14. Prime for Instagram

Timing is everything—especially when it comes to your Instagram posts. Prime, like WhenToPost mentioned above, suggests optimal times for users to post to Instagram.

Prime uses a “powerful algorithm to process hundreds of thousands of data points to determine when your followers are online, their activity, their relation to you, and, ultimately, when you should be posting to Instagram.�

Prime helps make sure the most audience members possible see your post, which is important when:

You have a high-quality post you want to make sure gets seen
You have a new product announcement
You have a post announcing a store closure or new hours
There is any time-sensitive or high-level announcement you want to share with an Instagram post

Consider testing out both WhenToPost and Prime to see which app’s recommendations work best for your brand and business goals.

Free for iOS

The right tool can make all the difference for busy social media marketers. These apps can help boost the quality of your Instagram content—while saving you time.

Easily schedule Instagram content and manage all of your social media accounts with Hootsuite.

Learn More

The post 14 of the Best Instagram Apps to Take Your Content to the Next Level appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

14 of the Best Instagram Apps to Take Your Content to the Next Level

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-apps-for-business/

Over 5 million businesses around the world use Instagram to tell their story. With this much competition, it’s clear your brand needs to find new ways to stand out. Thankfully, there are Instagram apps that can help.

To save you time, we’ve rounded up 14 of the best apps out there. Check out the video below for five of our favorites and read on for the full list.

The 14 best Instagram apps you need to download now
1. Layout

Layout lets you create collages by remixing your own photos. The app gives users creative control so you instantly see your photos laid out in various combinations—and edit them to make them unique.

You can combine up to nine photos at a time to make one image, which you can preview before posting to Instagram.

This is a great app for those looking to:

Show before and after content (such as for interior design firms, cleaning products, hairdressers, big hotel renovations, etc.)
Showcase their best user generated content
Highlight behind-the-scenes shots of employees and offices
Show off a sequence of new product releases

Free for iOS

Free for Android

2. Hootsuite Enhance

Editing your Instagram photos can increase the number of views by 21 percent and raise engagement by more than 45 percent. Hootsuite Enhance offers an all-in-one photo editing solution to help you find better content, get more comments and likes, and build brand awareness.

Hootsuite Enhance makes it easy to:

Crop and size photos for each social network
Edit with filters, borders, stickers, and overlays
Source images from the stock photo database
Share straight to the social network of your choice (or schedule through Hootsuite to share later)

Free for iOS

3. Have2Have.It

Soldsie’s Have2Have.it  bridges the gap between buyers and sellers on Instagram.

The mobile app allows businesses on Instagram to create, schedule, and post photos and video with links to the products or services online. Have2Have.it:

Drives followers directly to your e-commerce website
Guides customers to complete their purchase
Lets audience members discover more products

You can try Have2Have.It free for 30 days through their site.

Their mobile app is free on iOS

4. Boomerang

Boomerang lets you create engaging content with just one button. The tool shoots a burst of 10 photos and turns them into a short mini-video that loops back and forth, GIF-style.

You can share your Boomerang right from the app, or save it to your camera roll to share another time. Boomerang gives marketers the opportunity to delight their audiences with a fun visual that deviates from a regular Instagram photo.

You can either use the standalone Boomerang app, or take a Boomerang from within the Instagram app.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

5. Hootsuite Campaigns App

Seventy percent of Instagram users have already taken part in a contest on Instagram—or would be willing to do so if given the opportunity. The Hootsuite Campaigns app helps enterprise clients manage contests and sweepstakes from within the Hootsuite dashboard.

Users can curate content in Instagram and Twitter galleries, ban and approve photos and videos for contests, moderate comments from each campaign, and track participant data and analytics.

With an Instagram Gallery contest run through Hootsuite Campaigns, you can collect user-generated content that showcases your business through the eyes of customers. Hootsuite Campaigns also allows you to:

Accept entries via hashtag or @mention
Enable voting and commenting on submissions to boost engagement
Track and analyze participant and campaign data

For more information, check out our post How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest.

Free to use through the Hootsuite App Directory.

6. Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse from Instagram lets you shoot time-lapsed video to share with your followers.

Thanks to the in-app stabilization technology, you can capture non-shaky video that was previously impossible without a tripod. And you can playback your videos up to 40 times faster than their original speed.

Use Hyperlapse to:

Go behind the scenes: Show the human side of your business with impromptu videos of what the gang is up to.
Show your product in action: Share the use case for the products or services you’re selling in relatable, everyday ways.
Share another perspective: Surprise your customers with unexpected ways they can use your products or services.

7. Microsoft Selfie

Microsoft Selfie is a photo-editing app available through iOS, web, and WeChat. What sets the app apart from other similar offerings is that Microsoft Selfie uses AI to enhance your photos. The app’s key features include:

Intelligent photo enhancement, where the app “intelligently considers age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables—all with one click�
Noise reduction, where the app “automatically enables “Denoise� mode, and effectively reduces noise by using burst shots�
Auto Exposure, where Microsoft Selfie “applies automatic exposure correction and photo clarifying, especially for backlit photos�

Instead of having to manually edit each aspect of a photo—such as brightness, contrast, structure, or clarity—you can save time with Microsoft Selfie’s intelligent photo boosting features.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

8. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is the number one photo and video collage app available, and called one of the top seven photography apps of all time by Mashable.

With Pic Stitch, users can:

Choose from over 245 collage layouts and 15 different aspect ratios (1×1, 4×6, etc.)
Add music to a collage
Order images directly through Shutterfly
Customize photo borders
Rotate, flip, mirror, and zoom

Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you can upload it straight to Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, or Evernote.

Free for iOS

$2.29 for Windows

9. Hootsuite (dashboard or mobile app)

User-generated content makes it easy for a brand to highlight their own product or service without a lot of work. And praise for your business is often more trustworthy when it comes from a third-party.

Hootsuite makes it super easy to “regram�—that is, repost—content from other users on Instagram.

Users can view their Instagram feed from within Hootsuite and simply tap the image they’d like to regram, and then click on the reshare icon.

The original photo owner’s Instagram username will automatically appear in the caption.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer used to grow from 0 to 110,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear. Plus we’ll show you how you can use Hootsuite to grow your own following on Instagram and other platforms.

10. WhenToPost

It’s important to post Instagram content at a time when your audience is likely to be online. The WhenToPost app is an Instagram specific app that helps take some of the guesswork out of this process.

WhenToPost:

Generates a heat map which tells you the best times to post your Instagram content
Provides a countdown to your next top time to share content
Shows a graph with the best times of the week to post to Instagram

For more on when to share content, check out our guide to The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Free for iOS

Free for Android

11. Clips

Available for free in April 2017, Apple’s Clips app lets users make and share short-form videos complete with special effects, text, graphics, and more.

One of the more interesting features of Clips is Live Titles, which let you create animated captions simply by talking as you record using Siri. Clips also uses a specialized facial recognition technology thanks to Apple’s Machine Learning technology. It compares faces of those in your video to those in your device’s picture library. Not only that, but Clips will find these individuals in your address book and let you share the video with them in one click.

Coming soon

12. Swipeable

Panoramic shots can be a fun change from your regular photos, but getting them right can be a challenge. Swipeable is designed specifically with Instagram users in mind. It lets you easily take and share panoramic and 360-degree photos on the platform.

Swipeable uses the carousel function to automatically divide your panoramas into square pieces so they can be viewed in sequence. This can come in handy when:

You’re trying to fit lots of people in a photo
Capturing a bigger product image
Showing a tour of your company’s new offices

Free for iOS

13. Captiona

Your audience is 70 percent more likely to convert if they experience an emotional reaction to your content—and the right Instagram caption can make this happen. The Captiona app helps Instagram users come up with clever and funny captions that engage their audience.

To use Captiona, simply enter a keyword related to your content (such as “shoes� or “computer�) and the app will give you a list of results including sayings, quotations, catchphrases, and “on-trend� lines.

You can then tap to copy the caption of your choice, and paste it into your Instagram content description.

If you’d like to learn more about creating Instagram captions, take a look at our post How to Write Great Instagram Captions That Drive Engagement.

$0.99 on iOS

14. Prime for Instagram

Timing is everything—especially when it comes to your Instagram posts. Prime, like WhenToPost mentioned above, suggests optimal times for users to post to Instagram.

Prime uses a “powerful algorithm to process hundreds of thousands of data points to determine when your followers are online, their activity, their relation to you, and, ultimately, when you should be posting to Instagram.�

Prime helps make sure the most audience members possible see your post, which is important when:

You have a high-quality post you want to make sure gets seen
You have a new product announcement
You have a post announcing a store closure or new hours
There is any time-sensitive or high-level announcement you want to share with an Instagram post

Consider testing out both WhenToPost and Prime to see which app’s recommendations work best for your brand and business goals.

Free for iOS

The right tool can make all the difference for busy social media marketers. These apps can help boost the quality of your Instagram content—while saving you time.

Easily schedule Instagram content and manage all of your social media accounts with Hootsuite.

Learn More

The post 14 of the Best Instagram Apps to Take Your Content to the Next Level appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-utm-parameters/

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social is still the biggest challenge for social media marketers in North America, according to eMarketer. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that their second-biggest challenge is securing budget and resources. After all, if you can’t show the ROI, where’s the motivation to make the investment in the first place?

The good news is that there’s no reason to be in the dark when it comes to tracking key indicators of ROI like website traffic, leads, and conversions. These can all be tracked with a few simple bits of code called UTM parameters—and you don’t need to be a programmer to get them working across your website and social media channels.

What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are short text codes added to a URL to track important data about website visitors and traffic sources.

UTM parameters work with analytics programs like Google Analytics to provide a detailed picture of your social media success, from the very high level (which networks are performing best) down to the granular details (which specific post drove the most traffic to a specific page).

Also known as UTM codes, UTM parameters are a variant of URL parameters. Of course, that raises the question, what are URL parameters? Like UTM parameters, they are short codes added to a URL. The difference is that URL parameters can be used to dynamically modify content on a website and have some tracking functionality, whereas UTM parameters are for specific tracking functions only.

There are five different UTM parameters: campaign source, campaign medium, campaign name, campaign term, and campaign content. A URL with all five UTM parameters attached would look something like this:

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Since that’s a pretty ungainly looking link, knowing how to shorten links is an important part of using UTM codes. We’ll get into the details of what all the parameters mean, what they can track, and how to shorten links later on in this post.

In case you’re wondering what UTM stands for, it’s obvious—Urchin Tracking Module. Okay, maybe that’s not actually so obvious. The name comes from the Urchin Software Company, one of the original web analytics software developers. Google acquired the company in 2005 to create Google Analytics.

Why your business needs to use UTM parameters

UTM parameters provide a whole new world of data that offers three key benefits for social media managers:

Proving the value of social to decision-makers, helping you secure ongoing buy-in and boost your budget
Giving you an overall sense of where traffic is coming from and insight into what’s working and what’s not, so you can hone your strategy by focusing on the right networks with the right kind of posts
Allowing you to test individual posts head-to-head in classic A/B testing style, so you can get the best return on specific campaigns

Measuring and proving social media ROI

Like every aspect of marketing, for social media to be valued, it needs to demonstrate appropriate return on investment and contribute to the company’s business goals. Adding UTM parameters to your social links helps you measure and prove the value of your social media efforts by clearly demonstrating the impact on company revenue through lead generation, referral traffic, and conversions.

You can also get a clear sense of the return on investment for specific campaigns by using data from UTM tracking to find the cost to acquire a lead and cost to acquire a customer—both numbers that are important to those in the company who make decisions about how to allocate budgets.

Refining your social media strategy

Once you’re tracking and reporting on ROI, of course, it will make you look great if you can find ways to improve the results. Monitoring the impact of different social networks and campaigns allows you to clearly see where you’re getting the best bang for your buck, whether that’s in actual advertising dollars or just the internal costs of managing an organic social media strategy.

That information can help you make important decisions about where to focus your efforts. For example, maybe Twitter brings more traffic to your page, but Facebook creates more leads and conversions. Which one is a better use of your budget?

You can use that information to help set relevant and realistic goals, then track when you reach them, helping ensure you focus your social media efforts in the way that’s best for your particular organization.

A/B testing

Classic A/B testing or split testing allows you to test individual marketing variables on a small segment of your audience to see which works better, one at a time, before sending out a full launch. You can also use A/B testing to refine your strategy by testing and validating theories about what works best for your audience overall.

For example, you may think that social media posts with video always perform better. But is that actually true for your audience and based on your business goals? You can begin to test that theory by sharing two identical posts, one with a video and one without, tagged with appropriate codes in the campaign content parameter.

Of course, you’ll need more than just one test to prove an overall theory. Then, if you find that videos do indeed perform best, you can move on to testing what kinds of videos work best, and so on, to further refine your strategy.

For a great example of this in action, check out our blog post on how eHarmony used UTM parameters and A/B testing to find their most profitable type of social content.

How to use UTM parameters

Now that you know what UTM parameters are, and why it’s important to use them, it’s time to set yourself up to start using them on your social media posts.

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics

There’s no point in using tracking codes until you have a way to collect and analyze the data they provide. So, before we look at how to use URL parameters to track your social media posts, you need to set your website up with Google Analytics.

Create a free Google Analytics account and provide your website URL
Create a Google Tag Manager account to set up a container, which is a block of code you’ll use to manage how Google Analytics works with your site
Paste the container code onto every page of your website

Step 2: Add UTM parameters to your social media posts

UTM parameters send information to Google Analytics to track how much traffic your social media posts send to your website, and how well that traffic converts.

Here’s a closer look at the five available UTM parameters and what they track.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You can add UTM parameters directly within Hootsuite, or create links with UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder that you can then paste into your posts.

Option 1: Add UTM parameters using Hootsuite

Here’s a quick look at how to add UTM parameters to your posts from within the Hootsuite dashboard.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

1. Select your social profile and compose your message

2. Click Add a link

3. Paste or type a URL, then click the gear icon

4. Choose Google Analytics under Add custom URL parameters

5. Enter the parameters you want to track and their values (following the best practices for UTM naming conventions, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post)

6. Click Apply Parameters

7. Click Shrink to create a short link containing your UTM parameters and add it to your post

This video explains the process in more detail:

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Option 2: Create UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder and paste them into your post

If you prefer, you can create your UTM parameters within Google Analytics, then paste the links into your social media posts.

1. Head to the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder

2. Enter the URL of the page you want to link to, then enter the values for the parameters you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Scroll down to find the automatically generated campaign URL

4. Click Convert URL to Short Link, or click Copy URL to use a different URL shortener, like ow.ly

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

5. Copy and paste your short link into your social media post

Step 3: Track campaigns with UTM parameters

You now have the tools in place to gather and track data from your social media campaigns.

Option 1: Track traffic and conversions with Google Analytics

To get started, log into your Google Analytics account and follow these steps.

1. In the reporting tab on the left side, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Scroll down to see a list of all the campaigns you have created trackable URLs for, with traffic numbers and conversion rates

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 2: Track Google Analytics data within the Hootsuite dashboard

Hootsuite Professional users and above can track which social networks are bringing traffic to certain pages of your website, or to your website overall. The information is for the social network as a whole, rather than for specific URLs.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon (the bar graph) in the navigation column, then click Google Analytics

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list, then click Add Google account to give Hootsuite permission to access your Google Analytics data

3. Click Create Report to access a report that shows a site visitors overview, regional site traffic, the top content on your website, your top traffic sources, and more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 3: Track clicks with Hootsuite Analytics

If you used the ow.ly URL shortener to create your UTM parameter links, either within the Hootsuite dashboard or by pasting the Google-created long URL into ow.ly, you can track additional data using Hootsuite Analytics.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon in the navigation column, then click on Ow.ly Click Summary

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list and the Twitter account you want to track, then click Create Report to generate a report that shows total clicks per day, clicks by region, and your top referrers for ow.ly short links you’ve used in Twitter posts

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Go back to the navigation bar and click on URL Click Stats – Ow.ly, and enter the ow.ly URL you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You’ll see a report that shows how many times the short link has been clicked since it was published, along with a graph showing clicks over time.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Step 4: Analyze the data your UTM parameters provide

Now that you’ve got all this data, you need to analyze what the numbers are telling you so you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve. This is a critical step to improving the success of your social media efforts.

Rather than just tallying up the numbers, work with your team to determine and track meaningful metrics for your organic social media posts and your paid social media ads. Analyze what types of posts and campaigns are not only driving traffic to your website, but leading to conversions or lead acquisition. After all, traffic is nice, but for most marketers, conversion is the Holy Grail.

Best practices for using UTM parameters

To make sure you get the most reliable data out of your UTM efforts, be sure to keep the following best practices in mind.

Use—and document—a consistent naming convention

Take a look back at the chart of the five UTM parameters and start to think about how you will describe the various categories. Keep in mind that it is important to be consistent, because inconsistent UTM parameters will create incomplete data.

Since you might have multiple people working on your social media tracking, it’s a good idea to create a master list of UTM parameters for the higher-level items like source and medium, and create a style guide that explains what rules to follow when creating parameters for new content, terms, and campaigns.

Keep in mind that even if you’re the only person working on this now, you could move on to another position, or your team could grow. Documenting the naming conventions (rather than keeping them all in your head) helps preserve all of your hard work and ensure your company’s valuable data is correct. Make sure everyone who needs to use UTM codes has viewing access to this document, but you may want to limit the ability to make changes to one or two key people.

While it’s up to you to decide which descriptors make the most sense for your particular business, there are a couple of rules all UTM code naming conventions should follow:

Stick to lower-case

UTM codes are case-sensitive, so facebook, Facebook, FaceBook, and FACEBOOK will all track separately, each giving you incomplete data for your Facebook tracking. Keep everything in lower-case to avoid inadvertently creating data tracking problems.

Use underscores instead of spaces

Spaces are another potential area for you to inadvertently create multiple codes representing the same thing, skewing your data. For example, organic-social, organic_social, organicsocial, and organic social will all track separately (and note that “organic social� with a space will become “organic%20social� in the URL, and nobody wants that). Replace all spaces with an underscore and document this decision in your UTM style guide to keep things consistent.

Track UTM links in a spreadsheet

Once you get started with UTM codes, the number of links you’re tracking will grow very quickly. Keeping them organized in a spreadsheet will make it easier to manage all of that information and help eliminate duplicate links.

Your spreadsheet should track each short link along with the full, pre-shortened URL, all of the individual UTM codes, and the date the shortened URL was created. Leave a field for notes so you can keep track of any important details.

Create a campaign preset for multiple posts

If you’re adding UTM parameters to your posts using Hootsuite, you can create a campaign preset that saves your UTM codes so you can apply them to each post in the campaign with just a couple of clicks. This not only saves you the effort of typing in each parameter manually, but also eliminates the possibility of inadvertently using slightly different codes that will skew your data.

Easily create UTM parameters and track the success of your social efforts using Hootsuite. Try it free today. 

Learn More

The post How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-utm-parameters/

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social is still the biggest challenge for social media marketers in North America, according to eMarketer. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that their second-biggest challenge is securing budget and resources. After all, if you can’t show the ROI, where’s the motivation to make the investment in the first place?

The good news is that there’s no reason to be in the dark when it comes to tracking key indicators of ROI like website traffic, leads, and conversions. These can all be tracked with a few simple bits of code called UTM parameters—and you don’t need to be a programmer to get them working across your website and social media channels.

What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are short text codes added to a URL to track important data about website visitors and traffic sources.

UTM parameters work with analytics programs like Google Analytics to provide a detailed picture of your social media success, from the very high level (which networks are performing best) down to the granular details (which specific post drove the most traffic to a specific page).

Also known as UTM codes, UTM parameters are a variant of URL parameters. Of course, that raises the question, what are URL parameters? Like UTM parameters, they are short codes added to a URL. The difference is that URL parameters can be used to dynamically modify content on a website and have some tracking functionality, whereas UTM parameters are for specific tracking functions only.

There are five different UTM parameters: campaign source, campaign medium, campaign name, campaign term, and campaign content. A URL with all five UTM parameters attached would look something like this:

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Since that’s a pretty ungainly looking link, knowing how to shorten links is an important part of using UTM codes. We’ll get into the details of what all the parameters mean, what they can track, and how to shorten links later on in this post.

In case you’re wondering what UTM stands for, it’s obvious—Urchin Tracking Module. Okay, maybe that’s not actually so obvious. The name comes from the Urchin Software Company, one of the original web analytics software developers. Google acquired the company in 2005 to create Google Analytics.

Why your business needs to use UTM parameters

UTM parameters provide a whole new world of data that offers three key benefits for social media managers:

Proving the value of social to decision-makers, helping you secure ongoing buy-in and boost your budget
Giving you an overall sense of where traffic is coming from and insight into what’s working and what’s not, so you can hone your strategy by focusing on the right networks with the right kind of posts
Allowing you to test individual posts head-to-head in classic A/B testing style, so you can get the best return on specific campaigns

Measuring and proving social media ROI

Like every aspect of marketing, for social media to be valued, it needs to demonstrate appropriate return on investment and contribute to the company’s business goals. Adding UTM parameters to your social links helps you measure and prove the value of your social media efforts by clearly demonstrating the impact on company revenue through lead generation, referral traffic, and conversions.

You can also get a clear sense of the return on investment for specific campaigns by using data from UTM tracking to find the cost to acquire a lead and cost to acquire a customer—both numbers that are important to those in the company who make decisions about how to allocate budgets.

Refining your social media strategy

Once you’re tracking and reporting on ROI, of course, it will make you look great if you can find ways to improve the results. Monitoring the impact of different social networks and campaigns allows you to clearly see where you’re getting the best bang for your buck, whether that’s in actual advertising dollars or just the internal costs of managing an organic social media strategy.

That information can help you make important decisions about where to focus your efforts. For example, maybe Twitter brings more traffic to your page, but Facebook creates more leads and conversions. Which one is a better use of your budget?

You can use that information to help set relevant and realistic goals, then track when you reach them, helping ensure you focus your social media efforts in the way that’s best for your particular organization.

A/B testing

Classic A/B testing or split testing allows you to test individual marketing variables on a small segment of your audience to see which works better, one at a time, before sending out a full launch. You can also use A/B testing to refine your strategy by testing and validating theories about what works best for your audience overall.

For example, you may think that social media posts with video always perform better. But is that actually true for your audience and based on your business goals? You can begin to test that theory by sharing two identical posts, one with a video and one without, tagged with appropriate codes in the campaign content parameter.

Of course, you’ll need more than just one test to prove an overall theory. Then, if you find that videos do indeed perform best, you can move on to testing what kinds of videos work best, and so on, to further refine your strategy.

For a great example of this in action, check out our blog post on how eHarmony used UTM parameters and A/B testing to find their most profitable type of social content.

How to use UTM parameters

Now that you know what UTM parameters are, and why it’s important to use them, it’s time to set yourself up to start using them on your social media posts.

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics

There’s no point in using tracking codes until you have a way to collect and analyze the data they provide. So, before we look at how to use URL parameters to track your social media posts, you need to set your website up with Google Analytics.

Create a free Google Analytics account and provide your website URL
Create a Google Tag Manager account to set up a container, which is a block of code you’ll use to manage how Google Analytics works with your site
Paste the container code onto every page of your website

Step 2: Add UTM parameters to your social media posts

UTM parameters send information to Google Analytics to track how much traffic your social media posts send to your website, and how well that traffic converts.

Here’s a closer look at the five available UTM parameters and what they track.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You can add UTM parameters directly within Hootsuite, or create links with UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder that you can then paste into your posts.

Option 1: Add UTM parameters using Hootsuite

Here’s a quick look at how to add UTM parameters to your posts from within the Hootsuite dashboard.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

1. Select your social profile and compose your message

2. Click Add a link

3. Paste or type a URL, then click the gear icon

4. Choose Google Analytics under Add custom URL parameters

5. Enter the parameters you want to track and their values (following the best practices for UTM naming conventions, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post)

6. Click Apply Parameters

7. Click Shrink to create a short link containing your UTM parameters and add it to your post

This video explains the process in more detail:

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Option 2: Create UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder and paste them into your post

If you prefer, you can create your UTM parameters within Google Analytics, then paste the links into your social media posts.

1. Head to the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder

2. Enter the URL of the page you want to link to, then enter the values for the parameters you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Scroll down to find the automatically generated campaign URL

4. Click Convert URL to Short Link, or click Copy URL to use a different URL shortener, like ow.ly

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

5. Copy and paste your short link into your social media post

Step 3: Track campaigns with UTM parameters

You now have the tools in place to gather and track data from your social media campaigns.

Option 1: Track traffic and conversions with Google Analytics

To get started, log into your Google Analytics account and follow these steps.

1. In the reporting tab on the left side, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Scroll down to see a list of all the campaigns you have created trackable URLs for, with traffic numbers and conversion rates

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 2: Track Google Analytics data within the Hootsuite dashboard

Hootsuite Professional users and above can track which social networks are bringing traffic to certain pages of your website, or to your website overall. The information is for the social network as a whole, rather than for specific URLs.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon (the bar graph) in the navigation column, then click Google Analytics

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list, then click Add Google account to give Hootsuite permission to access your Google Analytics data

3. Click Create Report to access a report that shows a site visitors overview, regional site traffic, the top content on your website, your top traffic sources, and more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 3: Track clicks with Hootsuite Analytics

If you used the ow.ly URL shortener to create your UTM parameter links, either within the Hootsuite dashboard or by pasting the Google-created long URL into ow.ly, you can track additional data using Hootsuite Analytics.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon in the navigation column, then click on Ow.ly Click Summary

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list and the Twitter account you want to track, then click Create Report to generate a report that shows total clicks per day, clicks by region, and your top referrers for ow.ly short links you’ve used in Twitter posts

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Go back to the navigation bar and click on URL Click Stats – Ow.ly, and enter the ow.ly URL you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You’ll see a report that shows how many times the short link has been clicked since it was published, along with a graph showing clicks over time.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Step 4: Analyze the data your UTM parameters provide

Now that you’ve got all this data, you need to analyze what the numbers are telling you so you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve. This is a critical step to improving the success of your social media efforts.

Rather than just tallying up the numbers, work with your team to determine and track meaningful metrics for your organic social media posts and your paid social media ads. Analyze what types of posts and campaigns are not only driving traffic to your website, but leading to conversions or lead acquisition. After all, traffic is nice, but for most marketers, conversion is the Holy Grail.

Best practices for using UTM parameters

To make sure you get the most reliable data out of your UTM efforts, be sure to keep the following best practices in mind.

Use—and document—a consistent naming convention

Take a look back at the chart of the five UTM parameters and start to think about how you will describe the various categories. Keep in mind that it is important to be consistent, because inconsistent UTM parameters will create incomplete data.

Since you might have multiple people working on your social media tracking, it’s a good idea to create a master list of UTM parameters for the higher-level items like source and medium, and create a style guide that explains what rules to follow when creating parameters for new content, terms, and campaigns.

Keep in mind that even if you’re the only person working on this now, you could move on to another position, or your team could grow. Documenting the naming conventions (rather than keeping them all in your head) helps preserve all of your hard work and ensure your company’s valuable data is correct. Make sure everyone who needs to use UTM codes has viewing access to this document, but you may want to limit the ability to make changes to one or two key people.

While it’s up to you to decide which descriptors make the most sense for your particular business, there are a couple of rules all UTM code naming conventions should follow:

Stick to lower-case

UTM codes are case-sensitive, so facebook, Facebook, FaceBook, and FACEBOOK will all track separately, each giving you incomplete data for your Facebook tracking. Keep everything in lower-case to avoid inadvertently creating data tracking problems.

Use underscores instead of spaces

Spaces are another potential area for you to inadvertently create multiple codes representing the same thing, skewing your data. For example, organic-social, organic_social, organicsocial, and organic social will all track separately (and note that “organic social� with a space will become “organic%20social� in the URL, and nobody wants that). Replace all spaces with an underscore and document this decision in your UTM style guide to keep things consistent.

Track UTM links in a spreadsheet

Once you get started with UTM codes, the number of links you’re tracking will grow very quickly. Keeping them organized in a spreadsheet will make it easier to manage all of that information and help eliminate duplicate links.

Your spreadsheet should track each short link along with the full, pre-shortened URL, all of the individual UTM codes, and the date the shortened URL was created. Leave a field for notes so you can keep track of any important details.

Create a campaign preset for multiple posts

If you’re adding UTM parameters to your posts using Hootsuite, you can create a campaign preset that saves your UTM codes so you can apply them to each post in the campaign with just a couple of clicks. This not only saves you the effort of typing in each parameter manually, but also eliminates the possibility of inadvertently using slightly different codes that will skew your data.

Easily create UTM parameters and track the success of your social efforts using Hootsuite. Try it free today. 

Learn More

The post How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-utm-parameters/

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social is still the biggest challenge for social media marketers in North America, according to eMarketer. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that their second-biggest challenge is securing budget and resources. After all, if you can’t show the ROI, where’s the motivation to make the investment in the first place?

The good news is that there’s no reason to be in the dark when it comes to tracking key indicators of ROI like website traffic, leads, and conversions. These can all be tracked with a few simple bits of code called UTM parameters—and you don’t need to be a programmer to get them working across your website and social media channels.

What are UTM parameters?

UTM parameters are short text codes added to a URL to track important data about website visitors and traffic sources.

UTM parameters work with analytics programs like Google Analytics to provide a detailed picture of your social media success, from the very high level (which networks are performing best) down to the granular details (which specific post drove the most traffic to a specific page).

Also known as UTM codes, UTM parameters are a variant of URL parameters. Of course, that raises the question, what are URL parameters? Like UTM parameters, they are short codes added to a URL. The difference is that URL parameters can be used to dynamically modify content on a website and have some tracking functionality, whereas UTM parameters are for specific tracking functions only.

There are five different UTM parameters: campaign source, campaign medium, campaign name, campaign term, and campaign content. A URL with all five UTM parameters attached would look something like this:

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Since that’s a pretty ungainly looking link, knowing how to shorten links is an important part of using UTM codes. We’ll get into the details of what all the parameters mean, what they can track, and how to shorten links later on in this post.

In case you’re wondering what UTM stands for, it’s obvious—Urchin Tracking Module. Okay, maybe that’s not actually so obvious. The name comes from the Urchin Software Company, one of the original web analytics software developers. Google acquired the company in 2005 to create Google Analytics.

Why your business needs to use UTM parameters

UTM parameters provide a whole new world of data that offers three key benefits for social media managers:

Proving the value of social to decision-makers, helping you secure ongoing buy-in and boost your budget
Giving you an overall sense of where traffic is coming from and insight into what’s working and what’s not, so you can hone your strategy by focusing on the right networks with the right kind of posts
Allowing you to test individual posts head-to-head in classic A/B testing style, so you can get the best return on specific campaigns

Measuring and proving social media ROI

Like every aspect of marketing, for social media to be valued, it needs to demonstrate appropriate return on investment and contribute to the company’s business goals. Adding UTM parameters to your social links helps you measure and prove the value of your social media efforts by clearly demonstrating the impact on company revenue through lead generation, referral traffic, and conversions.

You can also get a clear sense of the return on investment for specific campaigns by using data from UTM tracking to find the cost to acquire a lead and cost to acquire a customer—both numbers that are important to those in the company who make decisions about how to allocate budgets.

Refining your social media strategy

Once you’re tracking and reporting on ROI, of course, it will make you look great if you can find ways to improve the results. Monitoring the impact of different social networks and campaigns allows you to clearly see where you’re getting the best bang for your buck, whether that’s in actual advertising dollars or just the internal costs of managing an organic social media strategy.

That information can help you make important decisions about where to focus your efforts. For example, maybe Twitter brings more traffic to your page, but Facebook creates more leads and conversions. Which one is a better use of your budget?

You can use that information to help set relevant and realistic goals, then track when you reach them, helping ensure you focus your social media efforts in the way that’s best for your particular organization.

A/B testing

Classic A/B testing or split testing allows you to test individual marketing variables on a small segment of your audience to see which works better, one at a time, before sending out a full launch. You can also use A/B testing to refine your strategy by testing and validating theories about what works best for your audience overall.

For example, you may think that social media posts with video always perform better. But is that actually true for your audience and based on your business goals? You can begin to test that theory by sharing two identical posts, one with a video and one without, tagged with appropriate codes in the campaign content parameter.

Of course, you’ll need more than just one test to prove an overall theory. Then, if you find that videos do indeed perform best, you can move on to testing what kinds of videos work best, and so on, to further refine your strategy.

For a great example of this in action, check out our blog post on how eHarmony used UTM parameters and A/B testing to find their most profitable type of social content.

How to use UTM parameters

Now that you know what UTM parameters are, and why it’s important to use them, it’s time to set yourself up to start using them on your social media posts.

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics

There’s no point in using tracking codes until you have a way to collect and analyze the data they provide. So, before we look at how to use URL parameters to track your social media posts, you need to set your website up with Google Analytics.

Create a free Google Analytics account and provide your website URL
Create a Google Tag Manager account to set up a container, which is a block of code you’ll use to manage how Google Analytics works with your site
Paste the container code onto every page of your website

Step 2: Add UTM parameters to your social media posts

UTM parameters send information to Google Analytics to track how much traffic your social media posts send to your website, and how well that traffic converts.

Here’s a closer look at the five available UTM parameters and what they track.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You can add UTM parameters directly within Hootsuite, or create links with UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder that you can then paste into your posts.

Option 1: Add UTM parameters using Hootsuite

Here’s a quick look at how to add UTM parameters to your posts from within the Hootsuite dashboard.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

1. Select your social profile and compose your message

2. Click Add a link

3. Paste or type a URL, then click the gear icon

4. Choose Google Analytics under Add custom URL parameters

5. Enter the parameters you want to track and their values (following the best practices for UTM naming conventions, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post)

6. Click Apply Parameters

7. Click Shrink to create a short link containing your UTM parameters and add it to your post

This video explains the process in more detail:

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Option 2: Create UTM parameters using the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder and paste them into your post

If you prefer, you can create your UTM parameters within Google Analytics, then paste the links into your social media posts.

1. Head to the Google Analytics Campaign URL builder

2. Enter the URL of the page you want to link to, then enter the values for the parameters you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Scroll down to find the automatically generated campaign URL

4. Click Convert URL to Short Link, or click Copy URL to use a different URL shortener, like ow.ly

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

5. Copy and paste your short link into your social media post

Step 3: Track campaigns with UTM parameters

You now have the tools in place to gather and track data from your social media campaigns.

Option 1: Track traffic and conversions with Google Analytics

To get started, log into your Google Analytics account and follow these steps.

1. In the reporting tab on the left side, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Scroll down to see a list of all the campaigns you have created trackable URLs for, with traffic numbers and conversion rates

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 2: Track Google Analytics data within the Hootsuite dashboard

Hootsuite Professional users and above can track which social networks are bringing traffic to certain pages of your website, or to your website overall. The information is for the social network as a whole, rather than for specific URLs.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon (the bar graph) in the navigation column, then click Google Analytics

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list, then click Add Google account to give Hootsuite permission to access your Google Analytics data

3. Click Create Report to access a report that shows a site visitors overview, regional site traffic, the top content on your website, your top traffic sources, and more

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Option 3: Track clicks with Hootsuite Analytics

If you used the ow.ly URL shortener to create your UTM parameter links, either within the Hootsuite dashboard or by pasting the Google-created long URL into ow.ly, you can track additional data using Hootsuite Analytics.

1. In the Hootsuite dashboard, click the Analytics icon in the navigation column, then click on Ow.ly Click Summary

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

2. Choose the appropriate report owner from the drop-down list and the Twitter account you want to track, then click Create Report to generate a report that shows total clicks per day, clicks by region, and your top referrers for ow.ly short links you’ve used in Twitter posts

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

3. Go back to the navigation bar and click on URL Click Stats – Ow.ly, and enter the ow.ly URL you want to track

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

You’ll see a report that shows how many times the short link has been clicked since it was published, along with a graph showing clicks over time.

How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success | Hootsuite Blog

Step 4: Analyze the data your UTM parameters provide

Now that you’ve got all this data, you need to analyze what the numbers are telling you so you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve. This is a critical step to improving the success of your social media efforts.

Rather than just tallying up the numbers, work with your team to determine and track meaningful metrics for your organic social media posts and your paid social media ads. Analyze what types of posts and campaigns are not only driving traffic to your website, but leading to conversions or lead acquisition. After all, traffic is nice, but for most marketers, conversion is the Holy Grail.

Best practices for using UTM parameters

To make sure you get the most reliable data out of your UTM efforts, be sure to keep the following best practices in mind.

Use—and document—a consistent naming convention

Take a look back at the chart of the five UTM parameters and start to think about how you will describe the various categories. Keep in mind that it is important to be consistent, because inconsistent UTM parameters will create incomplete data.

Since you might have multiple people working on your social media tracking, it’s a good idea to create a master list of UTM parameters for the higher-level items like source and medium, and create a style guide that explains what rules to follow when creating parameters for new content, terms, and campaigns.

Keep in mind that even if you’re the only person working on this now, you could move on to another position, or your team could grow. Documenting the naming conventions (rather than keeping them all in your head) helps preserve all of your hard work and ensure your company’s valuable data is correct. Make sure everyone who needs to use UTM codes has viewing access to this document, but you may want to limit the ability to make changes to one or two key people.

While it’s up to you to decide which descriptors make the most sense for your particular business, there are a couple of rules all UTM code naming conventions should follow:

Stick to lower-case

UTM codes are case-sensitive, so facebook, Facebook, FaceBook, and FACEBOOK will all track separately, each giving you incomplete data for your Facebook tracking. Keep everything in lower-case to avoid inadvertently creating data tracking problems.

Use underscores instead of spaces

Spaces are another potential area for you to inadvertently create multiple codes representing the same thing, skewing your data. For example, organic-social, organic_social, organicsocial, and organic social will all track separately (and note that “organic social� with a space will become “organic%20social� in the URL, and nobody wants that). Replace all spaces with an underscore and document this decision in your UTM style guide to keep things consistent.

Track UTM links in a spreadsheet

Once you get started with UTM codes, the number of links you’re tracking will grow very quickly. Keeping them organized in a spreadsheet will make it easier to manage all of that information and help eliminate duplicate links.

Your spreadsheet should track each short link along with the full, pre-shortened URL, all of the individual UTM codes, and the date the shortened URL was created. Leave a field for notes so you can keep track of any important details.

Create a campaign preset for multiple posts

If you’re adding UTM parameters to your posts using Hootsuite, you can create a campaign preset that saves your UTM codes so you can apply them to each post in the campaign with just a couple of clicks. This not only saves you the effort of typing in each parameter manually, but also eliminates the possibility of inadvertently using slightly different codes that will skew your data.

Easily create UTM parameters and track the success of your social efforts using Hootsuite. Try it free today. 

Learn More

The post How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-video-tools/

If you aren’t already incorporating social video into your marketing strategy, it may well be the technical side of things that’s holding you back. After all, while 84 percent of professional marketers have recently used video marketing, according to Animoto, only 55 percent of small and medium-sized business owners have done so.

While professional marketers have access to larger budgets and high-end video tools, it can be harder for smaller operations to get a social video marketing plan off the ground.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free and inexpensive social video apps and tools that businesses of any size can use to create compelling videos for use on all social media channels. From quick text animations to photo-based video slideshows to movie-like video storytelling, here are eight social video tools that can help you create your first marketing video before the end of the day.

8 social media video apps for marketers
1. Animoto

The promise: “Turn your photos and video clips into video slideshows, quickly and easily.�

The price: Professional plans start at $26/month; 14-day free trial.

Animoto allows you to simply choose a pre-built storyboard and start adding photos and video clips. You can use the collage and split-screen tools to show several photos at once, or photos and videos alongside one another. Add your voice-over, or choose from a library of 2,000 songs. Then, add some text and share or embed the video directly from the Animoto interface.

Best feature: Option for square videos using pre-built storyboards optimized for mobile.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

2. Biteable

The promise: “Make animations completely online in minutes.�

The price: There’s a free plan, but businesses will want to upgrade to the premium plan for $99 per year to get rid of the Biteable watermark and access additional social media video tools.

Biteable bills itself as “the world’s simplest video maker.� With a library of pre-built scenes, including animations and real video footage, it does make creating a video as easy as dropping elements into your storyboard and adding some text. You can upload your own footage if you like, but Biteable really shines for those who are looking for someone else to do most of the heavy lifting.

Best feature: The ability to create complete videos, including real video footage, without ever picking up a camera.

Available for: Browser only

3. GoAnimate

The promise: “Make professional animated videos.�

The price: Plans start at $39/month ($299/year), but business will want to upgrade to the GoPremium plan for $79/month ($599/year) to remove the GoAnimate watermark and access additional social video tools; 14-day free trial.

GoAnimate is different from Biteable in that it allows you to create your own scenes in which customized animated characters interact with and speak to one another. When you record your own dialogue, the characters’ mouths will automatically sync up to match the recording.

You can add your own logo, images, and audio files to match your video to your brand, and export the video straight to YouTube and other video hosting sites, or download so you can share to social. You can also use the suite of video tools to create whiteboard animations, or video infographics.

Best feature: Ability to create custom characters using the character creator, so you can make a digital version of yourself, your target customers, or any of the key people in your company.

Available for: Browser only

4. iMovie

The promise: “Turn your videos into movie magic.�

The price: Comes bundled with a new Mac; iOS app $4.99; macOS app $14.99.

iMovie is the classic video editing app for the Apple generation. It’s a robust video editing program with advanced options like picture-in-picture, split screen, and ability to use green screen filming to add in custom backgrounds. There’s a library of included music, title sequences, and sound effects, along with a suite of 10 filters to customize the look of your video.

You can post directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, or export a file to upload to other social channels.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Apple.

Best feature: You can seamlessly start your your video project on your iOS device and finish editing it on your Mac.

Available for: Mac or iOS

5. Legend

The promise: “Words move people | Legend moves words.�

The price: $1.99

Unlike the other social media video apps on this list, Legend does not allow you to combine photos or video clips. Instead, Legend is all about animating your words. The animated videos, which can feature just one background photo or video clip, are a maximum of six seconds long.

You can save your animation as a GIF or a video, then post directly to Instagram or download to post on other social networks.

Best feature: It takes as little as two taps (plus entering your text) to create your video.

Available for: iOS and Android

6. Magisto

The promise: “Magisto turns your everyday videos and photos into exciting, memorable movies you’ll want to watch again and again.â€�

The price: Plans start at $2.49/month, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to the business plan ($9.99/month) or marketers plan ($49.99/month) for expanded social media video tools and the ability to add branding; seven-day free trial.

Magisto uses artificial intelligence to create videos with virtually no editing work on your part. You upload photos and video clips, and video tools like facial recognition and speech recognition work with the “AI-based storytelling engine� to stitch things together. You can make manual tweaks if you’re not happy with the automatic edit.

Best feature: Fully automated video editing allows you to create videos in record time.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

7. Ripl

The promise: “Create eye-catching animated posts and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with one tap.�

The price: Ripl offers a free option, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to Ripl Pro ($9.99/month) to replace the Ripl logo with their own branding and access other premium social video tools.

This video app combines up to eight photos with your text to create a short animated video that you can post directly to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or download to post elsewhere (Pro plan only).

Best feature: Create quick, catchy videos from still photos, with no editing skills needed.

Available for: iOs and Android

8. Spark Video by Adobe

The promise: “Make compelling animated videos—in minutes.�

The price: Free

This free tool has solid functionality. To start, choose a pre-built theme and customize your layout, colors, and fonts. Add icons, photos, and video clips—your own or a selection from the extensive library of photos and icons—then complete your video with animated text overlay. You can add your own narration, choose from the provided audio clips, or import your own music, then share directly to your social networks.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Best feature: The video templates guide you through creating a compelling video, with hints about how to set up an effective narrative structure based on your video’s goal.

Available for: Browser or iOS.

If you’re keen to put these social video apps and tools to use but don’t know where to start, check out our quick tips for creating compelling social videos and our post on how to optimize video for different social media channels.

Note: All prices listed are U.S. dollars.

Ready to put your video marketing plan into action? With Hootsuite you can upload, schedule, publish, promote, and monitor your social videos from one platform.

Learn More

The post A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-video-tools/

If you aren’t already incorporating social video into your marketing strategy, it may well be the technical side of things that’s holding you back. After all, while 84 percent of professional marketers have recently used video marketing, according to Animoto, only 55 percent of small and medium-sized business owners have done so.

While professional marketers have access to larger budgets and high-end video tools, it can be harder for smaller operations to get a social video marketing plan off the ground.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free and inexpensive social video apps and tools that businesses of any size can use to create compelling videos for use on all social media channels. From quick text animations to photo-based video slideshows to movie-like video storytelling, here are eight social video tools that can help you create your first marketing video before the end of the day.

8 social media video apps for marketers
1. Animoto

The promise: “Turn your photos and video clips into video slideshows, quickly and easily.�

The price: Professional plans start at $26/month; 14-day free trial.

Animoto allows you to simply choose a pre-built storyboard and start adding photos and video clips. You can use the collage and split-screen tools to show several photos at once, or photos and videos alongside one another. Add your voice-over, or choose from a library of 2,000 songs. Then, add some text and share or embed the video directly from the Animoto interface.

Best feature: Option for square videos using pre-built storyboards optimized for mobile.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

2. Biteable

The promise: “Make animations completely online in minutes.�

The price: There’s a free plan, but businesses will want to upgrade to the premium plan for $99 per year to get rid of the Biteable watermark and access additional social media video tools.

Biteable bills itself as “the world’s simplest video maker.� With a library of pre-built scenes, including animations and real video footage, it does make creating a video as easy as dropping elements into your storyboard and adding some text. You can upload your own footage if you like, but Biteable really shines for those who are looking for someone else to do most of the heavy lifting.

Best feature: The ability to create complete videos, including real video footage, without ever picking up a camera.

Available for: Browser only

3. GoAnimate

The promise: “Make professional animated videos.�

The price: Plans start at $39/month ($299/year), but business will want to upgrade to the GoPremium plan for $79/month ($599/year) to remove the GoAnimate watermark and access additional social video tools; 14-day free trial.

GoAnimate is different from Biteable in that it allows you to create your own scenes in which customized animated characters interact with and speak to one another. When you record your own dialogue, the characters’ mouths will automatically sync up to match the recording.

You can add your own logo, images, and audio files to match your video to your brand, and export the video straight to YouTube and other video hosting sites, or download so you can share to social. You can also use the suite of video tools to create whiteboard animations, or video infographics.

Best feature: Ability to create custom characters using the character creator, so you can make a digital version of yourself, your target customers, or any of the key people in your company.

Available for: Browser only

4. iMovie

The promise: “Turn your videos into movie magic.�

The price: Comes bundled with a new Mac; iOS app $4.99; macOS app $14.99.

iMovie is the classic video editing app for the Apple generation. It’s a robust video editing program with advanced options like picture-in-picture, split screen, and ability to use green screen filming to add in custom backgrounds. There’s a library of included music, title sequences, and sound effects, along with a suite of 10 filters to customize the look of your video.

You can post directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, or export a file to upload to other social channels.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Apple.

Best feature: You can seamlessly start your your video project on your iOS device and finish editing it on your Mac.

Available for: Mac or iOS

5. Legend

The promise: “Words move people | Legend moves words.�

The price: $1.99

Unlike the other social media video apps on this list, Legend does not allow you to combine photos or video clips. Instead, Legend is all about animating your words. The animated videos, which can feature just one background photo or video clip, are a maximum of six seconds long.

You can save your animation as a GIF or a video, then post directly to Instagram or download to post on other social networks.

Best feature: It takes as little as two taps (plus entering your text) to create your video.

Available for: iOS and Android

6. Magisto

The promise: “Magisto turns your everyday videos and photos into exciting, memorable movies you’ll want to watch again and again.â€�

The price: Plans start at $2.49/month, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to the business plan ($9.99/month) or marketers plan ($49.99/month) for expanded social media video tools and the ability to add branding; seven-day free trial.

Magisto uses artificial intelligence to create videos with virtually no editing work on your part. You upload photos and video clips, and video tools like facial recognition and speech recognition work with the “AI-based storytelling engine� to stitch things together. You can make manual tweaks if you’re not happy with the automatic edit.

Best feature: Fully automated video editing allows you to create videos in record time.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

7. Ripl

The promise: “Create eye-catching animated posts and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with one tap.�

The price: Ripl offers a free option, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to Ripl Pro ($9.99/month) to replace the Ripl logo with their own branding and access other premium social video tools.

This video app combines up to eight photos with your text to create a short animated video that you can post directly to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or download to post elsewhere (Pro plan only).

Best feature: Create quick, catchy videos from still photos, with no editing skills needed.

Available for: iOs and Android

8. Spark Video by Adobe

The promise: “Make compelling animated videos—in minutes.�

The price: Free

This free tool has solid functionality. To start, choose a pre-built theme and customize your layout, colors, and fonts. Add icons, photos, and video clips—your own or a selection from the extensive library of photos and icons—then complete your video with animated text overlay. You can add your own narration, choose from the provided audio clips, or import your own music, then share directly to your social networks.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Best feature: The video templates guide you through creating a compelling video, with hints about how to set up an effective narrative structure based on your video’s goal.

Available for: Browser or iOS.

If you’re keen to put these social video apps and tools to use but don’t know where to start, check out our quick tips for creating compelling social videos and our post on how to optimize video for different social media channels.

Note: All prices listed are U.S. dollars.

Ready to put your video marketing plan into action? With Hootsuite you can upload, schedule, publish, promote, and monitor your social videos from one platform.

Learn More

The post A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-video-tools/

If you aren’t already incorporating social video into your marketing strategy, it may well be the technical side of things that’s holding you back. After all, while 84 percent of professional marketers have recently used video marketing, according to Animoto, only 55 percent of small and medium-sized business owners have done so.

While professional marketers have access to larger budgets and high-end video tools, it can be harder for smaller operations to get a social video marketing plan off the ground.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free and inexpensive social video apps and tools that businesses of any size can use to create compelling videos for use on all social media channels. From quick text animations to photo-based video slideshows to movie-like video storytelling, here are eight social video tools that can help you create your first marketing video before the end of the day.

8 social media video apps for marketers
1. Animoto

The promise: “Turn your photos and video clips into video slideshows, quickly and easily.�

The price: Professional plans start at $26/month; 14-day free trial.

Animoto allows you to simply choose a pre-built storyboard and start adding photos and video clips. You can use the collage and split-screen tools to show several photos at once, or photos and videos alongside one another. Add your voice-over, or choose from a library of 2,000 songs. Then, add some text and share or embed the video directly from the Animoto interface.

Best feature: Option for square videos using pre-built storyboards optimized for mobile.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

2. Biteable

The promise: “Make animations completely online in minutes.�

The price: There’s a free plan, but businesses will want to upgrade to the premium plan for $99 per year to get rid of the Biteable watermark and access additional social media video tools.

Biteable bills itself as “the world’s simplest video maker.� With a library of pre-built scenes, including animations and real video footage, it does make creating a video as easy as dropping elements into your storyboard and adding some text. You can upload your own footage if you like, but Biteable really shines for those who are looking for someone else to do most of the heavy lifting.

Best feature: The ability to create complete videos, including real video footage, without ever picking up a camera.

Available for: Browser only

3. GoAnimate

The promise: “Make professional animated videos.�

The price: Plans start at $39/month ($299/year), but business will want to upgrade to the GoPremium plan for $79/month ($599/year) to remove the GoAnimate watermark and access additional social video tools; 14-day free trial.

GoAnimate is different from Biteable in that it allows you to create your own scenes in which customized animated characters interact with and speak to one another. When you record your own dialogue, the characters’ mouths will automatically sync up to match the recording.

You can add your own logo, images, and audio files to match your video to your brand, and export the video straight to YouTube and other video hosting sites, or download so you can share to social. You can also use the suite of video tools to create whiteboard animations, or video infographics.

Best feature: Ability to create custom characters using the character creator, so you can make a digital version of yourself, your target customers, or any of the key people in your company.

Available for: Browser only

4. iMovie

The promise: “Turn your videos into movie magic.�

The price: Comes bundled with a new Mac; iOS app $4.99; macOS app $14.99.

iMovie is the classic video editing app for the Apple generation. It’s a robust video editing program with advanced options like picture-in-picture, split screen, and ability to use green screen filming to add in custom backgrounds. There’s a library of included music, title sequences, and sound effects, along with a suite of 10 filters to customize the look of your video.

You can post directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, or export a file to upload to other social channels.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Apple.

Best feature: You can seamlessly start your your video project on your iOS device and finish editing it on your Mac.

Available for: Mac or iOS

5. Legend

The promise: “Words move people | Legend moves words.�

The price: $1.99

Unlike the other social media video apps on this list, Legend does not allow you to combine photos or video clips. Instead, Legend is all about animating your words. The animated videos, which can feature just one background photo or video clip, are a maximum of six seconds long.

You can save your animation as a GIF or a video, then post directly to Instagram or download to post on other social networks.

Best feature: It takes as little as two taps (plus entering your text) to create your video.

Available for: iOS and Android

6. Magisto

The promise: “Magisto turns your everyday videos and photos into exciting, memorable movies you’ll want to watch again and again.â€�

The price: Plans start at $2.49/month, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to the business plan ($9.99/month) or marketers plan ($49.99/month) for expanded social media video tools and the ability to add branding; seven-day free trial.

Magisto uses artificial intelligence to create videos with virtually no editing work on your part. You upload photos and video clips, and video tools like facial recognition and speech recognition work with the “AI-based storytelling engine� to stitch things together. You can make manual tweaks if you’re not happy with the automatic edit.

Best feature: Fully automated video editing allows you to create videos in record time.

Available for: Browser, iOS, and Android

7. Ripl

The promise: “Create eye-catching animated posts and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with one tap.�

The price: Ripl offers a free option, but marketers will likely want to upgrade to Ripl Pro ($9.99/month) to replace the Ripl logo with their own branding and access other premium social video tools.

This video app combines up to eight photos with your text to create a short animated video that you can post directly to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or download to post elsewhere (Pro plan only).

Best feature: Create quick, catchy videos from still photos, with no editing skills needed.

Available for: iOs and Android

8. Spark Video by Adobe

The promise: “Make compelling animated videos—in minutes.�

The price: Free

This free tool has solid functionality. To start, choose a pre-built theme and customize your layout, colors, and fonts. Add icons, photos, and video clips—your own or a selection from the extensive library of photos and icons—then complete your video with animated text overlay. You can add your own narration, choose from the provided audio clips, or import your own music, then share directly to your social networks.

A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money | Hootsuite Blog

Best feature: The video templates guide you through creating a compelling video, with hints about how to set up an effective narrative structure based on your video’s goal.

Available for: Browser or iOS.

If you’re keen to put these social video apps and tools to use but don’t know where to start, check out our quick tips for creating compelling social videos and our post on how to optimize video for different social media channels.

Note: All prices listed are U.S. dollars.

Ready to put your video marketing plan into action? With Hootsuite you can upload, schedule, publish, promote, and monitor your social videos from one platform.

Learn More

The post A Social Video Toolkit to Save You Time and Money appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/youtube-advertising/

Digital video advertising budgets were expected to grow 28.5 percent to $9.84 billion by the end of 2016—$2 billion of which would be spent on YouTube ads.

Continue reading to find out the benefits of YouTube advertising, the types of ad options available, and best practices for running a successful campaign.

Why your brand should be running YouTube ads

YouTube already reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable network combined. And by the end of 2017, video will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. It’s obvious—the demand for video is only growing.

Big businesses know this. With 100 percent of the top 100 global brands running YouTube ads in the past year, it’s no secret that YouTube advertising is a serious marketing tool. As Concept5 explains, “The best brands use targeted YouTube advertising on an ongoing basis as it extends reach, drives channel engagement, and grows subscriber audiences.�

As the second largest search engine (after Google), YouTube is also a prime platform for discoverability. With YouTube ad formats such as TrueView Discovery Ads, advertisements appear on mobile search results pages and in other search results across devices. As CPCStrategy explains, “This is the first time advertisements have been optimized for discoverability in mobile search engine results pages, though Discovery Ads will also show on desktop SERPs.�

YouTube advertising formats

Whatever your business’ goals, there’s a YouTube advertising format to fit your needs.

TrueView video ads are the standard YouTube ad type. Brands who use TrueView see views of previously existing content increase by up to 500 percent after posting new videos.

There are currently three types of TrueView ads: TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and Bumper ads.

There are many benefits to TrueView ads:

You only pay per view. Creators only pay for people who have watched their ad all the way to the end and are actually interested in the content, and viewers get to see the videos relevant to their interests. Google explains, “Because you choose what you want to pay for a view, you get the right audience at the right price. Unlike cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing, you won’t need to pay every time your ad is shown.â€�
The ads are customizable. You decide on everything from video run time to different content types (such as how-to videos, product highlights, customer testimonials, and more.)
They have great reach. While the main focus is YouTube, TrueView ads can also appear on other publisher sites in the Display Network. “The Google Display Network is comprised of Google properties like YouTube, Google Finance, Gmail, and others that offer display advertising, as well as a network of millions of partner sites and mobile apps on which you can place your ads.�

TrueView in-stream ads

TrueView In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads are video ads that appear before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and Google’s channels. If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, you’ve seen a TrueView in-stream ad.

After five seconds of viewing, audience members have the option to skip a TrueView in-stream ad.

As an advertiser, you pay once the viewer watches 30 seconds or if they interact with the ad, which can mean website visits, or clicking on a CTA clicks or banner.

For a step-by-step guide to creating a TrueView in-stream YouTube ad campaign, see Google’s helpful resource page.

TrueView video discovery ads

TrueView Discovery Ads

Previously called “TrueView in-display ads,� TrueView video discovery ads help advertisers promote their videos in areas where audiences find relevant videos. These spaces include search results on YouTube, the Youtube mobile homepage, and the section containing related videos.

TrueView video discovery ads show a thumbnail image of your video—chosen from one of four automated images—along with up to three lines of text inviting audiences to click to watch your video. Advertisers only get charged when viewers actually click the thumbnail to watch your ad.

For a step-by-step guide and detailed specs on TrueView Video Discovery Ads, see Google’s resource.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are non-skippable clips of up to six seconds that appear before other YouTube videos. Due to their short and snappy format, they’re optimized for reaching a mobile audience.

As YouTube explains, “Bumpers are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, ensure your message is seen and heard (with nearly all YouTube ads viewable and audible), and keep you top of mind.“

YouTube recommends using Bumper ads when “you’d like to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.�, which makes them useful for driving upper-funnel goals like ad recall and brand awareness.

With Bumper ads, viewers currently have to watch your entire ad before the video can be viewed and can potentially frustrate users more than skippable ads.

5 best practices for advertising on YouTube
1. Keep your audience engaged with playlists

If your video ad doesn’t hold your audience’s attention, chances are they won’t convert. Using YouTube playlists—curated lists of related videos—is a great way to keep them engaged.

Organization in the form of playlists plays a huge role in discoverability, as YouTube’s Creator Academy explains, “Great playlists can increase watch time and create another asset that will appear in search results and in suggested videos.� Make playlists to help TrueView video discovery ads appear in-sync with other results.

How to create a playlist in YouTube:

Find a video you want in the playlist
Under the video, click Add to and then select the black plus sign
Click Create new playlist
Enter a playlist name
Use the drop down box to select your playlist’s privacy setting—don’t make it private, as your audience won’t be able to find it when they search YouTube
Click Create
You can find your new playlist from the Library in the Guide on the left side of the screen

2. Label your video ads with relevant titles

Viewers get their first impression of your brand from your video’s title. They aren’t going to feel compelled to click on your ad and watch your video if it isn’t relevant to what they are looking for.

Your video ad’s title needs to be:

Short and to the point (clear and concise)
Relevant (to your brand)
Informative (explain what the video is about)

Don’t mislead your audience with a keyword-stuffed name or a clickbait title. Keep it clear and concise, and establish your brand as a trustworthy source.

3. Pay attention to ad specs

Having a YouTube ad with a higher production value boosts brand reputation, trustworthiness, and helps a video stand out from the crowd.

A key component to better-quality videos are the specs. You want to make sure your YouTube ad appears consistently across devices. To help you out, Google provides a thorough guide to YouTube ad specs.

4. Create content your audience will find useful

With video, you have the ability to tell compelling stories and provide value to your audience. Create ads that are more than just ads.

Ninety-eight percent of viewers say they’ve watched a video to learn more about a product or service, and 74 percent of users who watched a how-to video to learn more about a product or service went on to buy it.  

Upload and share how-to videos, product demos, and other dynamic content that will entice your viewers to buy your product or service—these approaches tend to be much more engaging than an overtly sales-focused ad.

ZAGG, a leader in mobile device protection products needed a way to demonstrate what is effectively an invisible product. To keep their audience interested, they upload and advertise an average of 100 videos every year. These include product demos, installation tips, and how-tos.

With their YouTube advertising efforts, ZAGG has seen a 75 percent rise in conversions.

5. Target the right audience

YouTube offers a variety of targeting options so you can reach the audience that matters most to your brand. These include:

Demographic group targeting: choose from traditional demographic filters such as age, gender, income, or parental status.

Interests targeting: choose your audience based on their interests in certain topics.

Affinity audiences: reach those who have already shown interest in relevant topics and brands. You can also choose custom affinity audiences to target audiences even more specifically tailored to your brand. With custom affinity audiences, you can define your audience based on more specific keywords (using free form interests) and/or using URLs as a “proxy for interest bundles.�

In-market audience: choose an audience that is already actively seeking information on a product similar to yours. “To qualify someone as being in-market for a specific product or service, Google takes into account clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, along with the content of the sites and pages they visit and the recency and frequency of the visits.�

Video remarketing: target an audience based on their previous interactions with your videos.

Placement targeting: choosing to place your ads on unique channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites (such as YouTube channels, and sites on the Display Network.)

Topics: targeting your video ads to reach a range of videos, channels, and sites relevant to topics of your choosing.

Keyword targeting: showing your video ad to a targeted audience based on phrases and related keywords.

Online store Shoppers’ Choice, owners of The BBQ Guys YouTube channel, increased their daily views from 800 to over 5,300 by targeting customers interested in grilling. The focus on a very specific audience segment meant higher quality leads and an increase in conversion rates.

Video marketing is a must for any digital campaign in 2017. Video ads let you share more information than traditional static ads, and can help drive engagement, leads—and revenue.

Easily manage YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram videos with Hootsuite.

Get Started Now

The post The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/youtube-advertising/

Digital video advertising budgets were expected to grow 28.5 percent to $9.84 billion by the end of 2016—$2 billion of which would be spent on YouTube ads.

Continue reading to find out the benefits of YouTube advertising, the types of ad options available, and best practices for running a successful campaign.

Why your brand should be running YouTube ads

YouTube already reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable network combined. And by the end of 2017, video will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. It’s obvious—the demand for video is only growing.

Big businesses know this. With 100 percent of the top 100 global brands running YouTube ads in the past year, it’s no secret that YouTube advertising is a serious marketing tool. As Concept5 explains, “The best brands use targeted YouTube advertising on an ongoing basis as it extends reach, drives channel engagement, and grows subscriber audiences.�

As the second largest search engine (after Google), YouTube is also a prime platform for discoverability. With YouTube ad formats such as TrueView Discovery Ads, advertisements appear on mobile search results pages and in other search results across devices. As CPCStrategy explains, “This is the first time advertisements have been optimized for discoverability in mobile search engine results pages, though Discovery Ads will also show on desktop SERPs.�

YouTube advertising formats

Whatever your business’ goals, there’s a YouTube advertising format to fit your needs.

TrueView video ads are the standard YouTube ad type. Brands who use TrueView see views of previously existing content increase by up to 500 percent after posting new videos.

There are currently three types of TrueView ads: TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and Bumper ads.

There are many benefits to TrueView ads:

You only pay per view. Creators only pay for people who have watched their ad all the way to the end and are actually interested in the content, and viewers get to see the videos relevant to their interests. Google explains, “Because you choose what you want to pay for a view, you get the right audience at the right price. Unlike cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing, you won’t need to pay every time your ad is shown.â€�
The ads are customizable. You decide on everything from video run time to different content types (such as how-to videos, product highlights, customer testimonials, and more.)
They have great reach. While the main focus is YouTube, TrueView ads can also appear on other publisher sites in the Display Network. “The Google Display Network is comprised of Google properties like YouTube, Google Finance, Gmail, and others that offer display advertising, as well as a network of millions of partner sites and mobile apps on which you can place your ads.�

TrueView in-stream ads

TrueView In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads are video ads that appear before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and Google’s channels. If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, you’ve seen a TrueView in-stream ad.

After five seconds of viewing, audience members have the option to skip a TrueView in-stream ad.

As an advertiser, you pay once the viewer watches 30 seconds or if they interact with the ad, which can mean website visits, or clicking on a CTA clicks or banner.

For a step-by-step guide to creating a TrueView in-stream YouTube ad campaign, see Google’s helpful resource page.

TrueView video discovery ads

TrueView Discovery Ads

Previously called “TrueView in-display ads,� TrueView video discovery ads help advertisers promote their videos in areas where audiences find relevant videos. These spaces include search results on YouTube, the Youtube mobile homepage, and the section containing related videos.

TrueView video discovery ads show a thumbnail image of your video—chosen from one of four automated images—along with up to three lines of text inviting audiences to click to watch your video. Advertisers only get charged when viewers actually click the thumbnail to watch your ad.

For a step-by-step guide and detailed specs on TrueView Video Discovery Ads, see Google’s resource.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are non-skippable clips of up to six seconds that appear before other YouTube videos. Due to their short and snappy format, they’re optimized for reaching a mobile audience.

As YouTube explains, “Bumpers are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, ensure your message is seen and heard (with nearly all YouTube ads viewable and audible), and keep you top of mind.“

YouTube recommends using Bumper ads when “you’d like to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.�, which makes them useful for driving upper-funnel goals like ad recall and brand awareness.

With Bumper ads, viewers currently have to watch your entire ad before the video can be viewed and can potentially frustrate users more than skippable ads.

5 best practices for advertising on YouTube
1. Keep your audience engaged with playlists

If your video ad doesn’t hold your audience’s attention, chances are they won’t convert. Using YouTube playlists—curated lists of related videos—is a great way to keep them engaged.

Organization in the form of playlists plays a huge role in discoverability, as YouTube’s Creator Academy explains, “Great playlists can increase watch time and create another asset that will appear in search results and in suggested videos.� Make playlists to help TrueView video discovery ads appear in-sync with other results.

How to create a playlist in YouTube:

Find a video you want in the playlist
Under the video, click Add to and then select the black plus sign
Click Create new playlist
Enter a playlist name
Use the drop down box to select your playlist’s privacy setting—don’t make it private, as your audience won’t be able to find it when they search YouTube
Click Create
You can find your new playlist from the Library in the Guide on the left side of the screen

2. Label your video ads with relevant titles

Viewers get their first impression of your brand from your video’s title. They aren’t going to feel compelled to click on your ad and watch your video if it isn’t relevant to what they are looking for.

Your video ad’s title needs to be:

Short and to the point (clear and concise)
Relevant (to your brand)
Informative (explain what the video is about)

Don’t mislead your audience with a keyword-stuffed name or a clickbait title. Keep it clear and concise, and establish your brand as a trustworthy source.

3. Pay attention to ad specs

Having a YouTube ad with a higher production value boosts brand reputation, trustworthiness, and helps a video stand out from the crowd.

A key component to better-quality videos are the specs. You want to make sure your YouTube ad appears consistently across devices. To help you out, Google provides a thorough guide to YouTube ad specs.

4. Create content your audience will find useful

With video, you have the ability to tell compelling stories and provide value to your audience. Create ads that are more than just ads.

Ninety-eight percent of viewers say they’ve watched a video to learn more about a product or service, and 74 percent of users who watched a how-to video to learn more about a product or service went on to buy it.  

Upload and share how-to videos, product demos, and other dynamic content that will entice your viewers to buy your product or service—these approaches tend to be much more engaging than an overtly sales-focused ad.

ZAGG, a leader in mobile device protection products needed a way to demonstrate what is effectively an invisible product. To keep their audience interested, they upload and advertise an average of 100 videos every year. These include product demos, installation tips, and how-tos.

With their YouTube advertising efforts, ZAGG has seen a 75 percent rise in conversions.

5. Target the right audience

YouTube offers a variety of targeting options so you can reach the audience that matters most to your brand. These include:

Demographic group targeting: choose from traditional demographic filters such as age, gender, income, or parental status.

Interests targeting: choose your audience based on their interests in certain topics.

Affinity audiences: reach those who have already shown interest in relevant topics and brands. You can also choose custom affinity audiences to target audiences even more specifically tailored to your brand. With custom affinity audiences, you can define your audience based on more specific keywords (using free form interests) and/or using URLs as a “proxy for interest bundles.�

In-market audience: choose an audience that is already actively seeking information on a product similar to yours. “To qualify someone as being in-market for a specific product or service, Google takes into account clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, along with the content of the sites and pages they visit and the recency and frequency of the visits.�

Video remarketing: target an audience based on their previous interactions with your videos.

Placement targeting: choosing to place your ads on unique channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites (such as YouTube channels, and sites on the Display Network.)

Topics: targeting your video ads to reach a range of videos, channels, and sites relevant to topics of your choosing.

Keyword targeting: showing your video ad to a targeted audience based on phrases and related keywords.

Online store Shoppers’ Choice, owners of The BBQ Guys YouTube channel, increased their daily views from 800 to over 5,300 by targeting customers interested in grilling. The focus on a very specific audience segment meant higher quality leads and an increase in conversion rates.

Video marketing is a must for any digital campaign in 2017. Video ads let you share more information than traditional static ads, and can help drive engagement, leads—and revenue.

Easily manage YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram videos with Hootsuite.

Get Started Now

The post The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Ken Reno

Originally at: https://warriorplus.com/o/view/b78kj7/rss_main

FREE DOWNLOAD: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – Click Here: http://eastsherman.com/EmailMarketingCheatSheet/special.html…

Read more

The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers

Originally at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/youtube-advertising/

Digital video advertising budgets were expected to grow 28.5 percent to $9.84 billion by the end of 2016—$2 billion of which would be spent on YouTube ads.

Continue reading to find out the benefits of YouTube advertising, the types of ad options available, and best practices for running a successful campaign.

Why your brand should be running YouTube ads

YouTube already reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable network combined. And by the end of 2017, video will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. It’s obvious—the demand for video is only growing.

Big businesses know this. With 100 percent of the top 100 global brands running YouTube ads in the past year, it’s no secret that YouTube advertising is a serious marketing tool. As Concept5 explains, “The best brands use targeted YouTube advertising on an ongoing basis as it extends reach, drives channel engagement, and grows subscriber audiences.�

As the second largest search engine (after Google), YouTube is also a prime platform for discoverability. With YouTube ad formats such as TrueView Discovery Ads, advertisements appear on mobile search results pages and in other search results across devices. As CPCStrategy explains, “This is the first time advertisements have been optimized for discoverability in mobile search engine results pages, though Discovery Ads will also show on desktop SERPs.�

YouTube advertising formats

Whatever your business’ goals, there’s a YouTube advertising format to fit your needs.

TrueView video ads are the standard YouTube ad type. Brands who use TrueView see views of previously existing content increase by up to 500 percent after posting new videos.

There are currently three types of TrueView ads: TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and Bumper ads.

There are many benefits to TrueView ads:

You only pay per view. Creators only pay for people who have watched their ad all the way to the end and are actually interested in the content, and viewers get to see the videos relevant to their interests. Google explains, “Because you choose what you want to pay for a view, you get the right audience at the right price. Unlike cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing, you won’t need to pay every time your ad is shown.â€�
The ads are customizable. You decide on everything from video run time to different content types (such as how-to videos, product highlights, customer testimonials, and more.)
They have great reach. While the main focus is YouTube, TrueView ads can also appear on other publisher sites in the Display Network. “The Google Display Network is comprised of Google properties like YouTube, Google Finance, Gmail, and others that offer display advertising, as well as a network of millions of partner sites and mobile apps on which you can place your ads.�

TrueView in-stream ads

TrueView In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads are video ads that appear before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and Google’s channels. If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, you’ve seen a TrueView in-stream ad.

After five seconds of viewing, audience members have the option to skip a TrueView in-stream ad.

As an advertiser, you pay once the viewer watches 30 seconds or if they interact with the ad, which can mean website visits, or clicking on a CTA clicks or banner.

For a step-by-step guide to creating a TrueView in-stream YouTube ad campaign, see Google’s helpful resource page.

TrueView video discovery ads

TrueView Discovery Ads

Previously called “TrueView in-display ads,� TrueView video discovery ads help advertisers promote their videos in areas where audiences find relevant videos. These spaces include search results on YouTube, the Youtube mobile homepage, and the section containing related videos.

TrueView video discovery ads show a thumbnail image of your video—chosen from one of four automated images—along with up to three lines of text inviting audiences to click to watch your video. Advertisers only get charged when viewers actually click the thumbnail to watch your ad.

For a step-by-step guide and detailed specs on TrueView Video Discovery Ads, see Google’s resource.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are non-skippable clips of up to six seconds that appear before other YouTube videos. Due to their short and snappy format, they’re optimized for reaching a mobile audience.

As YouTube explains, “Bumpers are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, ensure your message is seen and heard (with nearly all YouTube ads viewable and audible), and keep you top of mind.“

YouTube recommends using Bumper ads when “you’d like to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.�, which makes them useful for driving upper-funnel goals like ad recall and brand awareness.

With Bumper ads, viewers currently have to watch your entire ad before the video can be viewed and can potentially frustrate users more than skippable ads.

5 best practices for advertising on YouTube
1. Keep your audience engaged with playlists

If your video ad doesn’t hold your audience’s attention, chances are they won’t convert. Using YouTube playlists—curated lists of related videos—is a great way to keep them engaged.

Organization in the form of playlists plays a huge role in discoverability, as YouTube’s Creator Academy explains, “Great playlists can increase watch time and create another asset that will appear in search results and in suggested videos.� Make playlists to help TrueView video discovery ads appear in-sync with other results.

How to create a playlist in YouTube:

Find a video you want in the playlist
Under the video, click Add to and then select the black plus sign
Click Create new playlist
Enter a playlist name
Use the drop down box to select your playlist’s privacy setting—don’t make it private, as your audience won’t be able to find it when they search YouTube
Click Create
You can find your new playlist from the Library in the Guide on the left side of the screen

2. Label your video ads with relevant titles

Viewers get their first impression of your brand from your video’s title. They aren’t going to feel compelled to click on your ad and watch your video if it isn’t relevant to what they are looking for.

Your video ad’s title needs to be:

Short and to the point (clear and concise)
Relevant (to your brand)
Informative (explain what the video is about)

Don’t mislead your audience with a keyword-stuffed name or a clickbait title. Keep it clear and concise, and establish your brand as a trustworthy source.

3. Pay attention to ad specs

Having a YouTube ad with a higher production value boosts brand reputation, trustworthiness, and helps a video stand out from the crowd.

A key component to better-quality videos are the specs. You want to make sure your YouTube ad appears consistently across devices. To help you out, Google provides a thorough guide to YouTube ad specs.

4. Create content your audience will find useful

With video, you have the ability to tell compelling stories and provide value to your audience. Create ads that are more than just ads.

Ninety-eight percent of viewers say they’ve watched a video to learn more about a product or service, and 74 percent of users who watched a how-to video to learn more about a product or service went on to buy it.  

Upload and share how-to videos, product demos, and other dynamic content that will entice your viewers to buy your product or service—these approaches tend to be much more engaging than an overtly sales-focused ad.

ZAGG, a leader in mobile device protection products needed a way to demonstrate what is effectively an invisible product. To keep their audience interested, they upload and advertise an average of 100 videos every year. These include product demos, installation tips, and how-tos.

With their YouTube advertising efforts, ZAGG has seen a 75 percent rise in conversions.

5. Target the right audience

YouTube offers a variety of targeting options so you can reach the audience that matters most to your brand. These include:

Demographic group targeting: choose from traditional demographic filters such as age, gender, income, or parental status.

Interests targeting: choose your audience based on their interests in certain topics.

Affinity audiences: reach those who have already shown interest in relevant topics and brands. You can also choose custom affinity audiences to target audiences even more specifically tailored to your brand. With custom affinity audiences, you can define your audience based on more specific keywords (using free form interests) and/or using URLs as a “proxy for interest bundles.�

In-market audience: choose an audience that is already actively seeking information on a product similar to yours. “To qualify someone as being in-market for a specific product or service, Google takes into account clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, along with the content of the sites and pages they visit and the recency and frequency of the visits.�

Video remarketing: target an audience based on their previous interactions with your videos.

Placement targeting: choosing to place your ads on unique channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites (such as YouTube channels, and sites on the Display Network.)

Topics: targeting your video ads to reach a range of videos, channels, and sites relevant to topics of your choosing.

Keyword targeting: showing your video ad to a targeted audience based on phrases and related keywords.

Online store Shoppers’ Choice, owners of The BBQ Guys YouTube channel, increased their daily views from 800 to over 5,300 by targeting customers interested in grilling. The focus on a very specific audience segment meant higher quality leads and an increase in conversion rates.

Video marketing is a must for any digital campaign in 2017. Video ads let you share more information than traditional static ads, and can help drive engagement, leads—and revenue.

Easily manage YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram videos with Hootsuite.

Get Started Now

The post The All-In-One Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Read more