Digital marketing news

Tips to promote mobile apps through digital channels

Promoting mobile apps

Making a app is not the final step to reach a broad mobile audience. In fact, your amazing app can be discovered only by a few friends if you do not push it in the market – or better, in the right market segment(s) – hopefully catching the right multipliers to benefit from a viral exposure. Here are some guidelines to boost your app reach.

 PLATFORMS (Facebook and Twitter)

  • Ok, an obvious but fundamental step: always check if links to app stores work, in particular if you are using short links like bit.ly or goo.gl
  • If you have Facebook Page(s) or Twitter profile(s) you can add covers to promote your App. Please consider covers do not have a broad reach since users tend to engage with your social media content directly on their timeline.

FACEBOOK ONLY

  • Geo-target posts by selecting only people in the country with a relevant age range (e.g. 17-30). This way the target audience will be smaller but more consistent, increasing the conversion rate of relevant goals (e.g. clicks to the App store, downloads, usage of the app, clicks to your transactional site, transactions=hard goal) and the engagement rate (likes, shares, comments). As a result, there will be an increased post’s edge rank and, consequently, its organic reach. Geo-targeting is also a good way to avoid reaching fake fans that in some pages can easily be spotted by looking at the country of origin, different than your primary target country (in particular for pages with a high geographical focus).
  • Image size matters. Ideally, shared images for Facebook posts (free or paid) should be 1200×1200 (they will have a max width of 504 with a variable height) while shared links should be 1200×628 (they will be 484×252). Remember the 20% text rule: no more than 20% covered by text or they will not be enabled to be boosted as promoted post/image/app/whatever.
  • After changing the Facebook Page cover you should add a brief description with a short link to so if people click (or tap) on the cover to find out more, they will still be able to get straight away to the app store. I have noticed that Facebook page visitors on average about 1% of all page like(rs) and, if you are running promoted posts reaching a wide audience, page visitors can be something like 0.05% of your total Reach. A social media page should never be considered as a website; you can look at it as a repository of content that will be seen from another point of views, surrounded by other content that you cannot expect because each social media user has a different surfing experience. You can now add call-to-actions to Facebook covers but please remember to keep text under 20% of the entire space – check your cover here.
  • offers ways to promote directly. Please do not boost links to app stores because they will not be approved as ads since they would violate their regulations. Here are the guidelines to run Paid Ads for Apps through Facebook Advertising platform:
    https://developers.facebook.com/docs/ads-for-apps
    To go further and measure App downloads, the Apps has to be registered and linked to the FB Ads account. More info here:
    https://developers.facebook.com/docs/ads-for-apps/mobile-app-ads/register-your-app

Anyone running Google Adwords campaigns can benefit from Ads extensions to enrich their content. Such extensions also include links to App stores (iTunes or Google Play respectively, depending on the user device).

Here is an example:

App extension

Google Adwords App Extensions, an example

APP POPULARITY AND RANKING

App ranking is made of many factors. No. of downloads is just one of them, and it varies by country. Number of Downloads are not a good indicator of an app popularity, whose ranking is influenced mostly by “current installs per user”. Important indicators are also rating (up to 5 stars), positive comments, no. of app uninstalls (negative factor) and how fast users delete the app (it tells how attractive it is). A boost in the first 72 hours, benefitting of being listed among “new” apps, is just one of the factors in effect.

I am sharing a screenshot of Google Play insights. This app has more than 100 downloads but in fact, the number of real users is about 50%:

Android app insights

Android app insights

For this reason, it is important to invite people to download and give five stars plus an excellent comment and possibly keep the app on their device(s).

The App should be categorised in the right category (free or paid), and its description and associated keywords should be relevant and translated into as many languages as possible otherwise, they will not be available in some App Stores (either iTunes or Google Play). Therefore, when a user clicks on an ad in a given country he/she will see an annoying message saying something like “App not available in this country”.  The description and keywords should include relevant words also in foreign languages if appropriate wherever needed to increase the chances to be found by prospective users.

There are a few ways to check App ranking in different country mobile stores. One is Applyzer.com where you just have to create a free account to access details by country and sector.

For example, these are the top Education apps for iPhone in Italy in October 2014:

App ranking checker

App ranking checker

It is interesting also to check performance of the same app in different countries:

Check your app performance in different countries

Check your app performance in different countries

Unsplash: free do-whatever-you-want hi-res stock photos

Unsplash free photos

In the era of copyleft and open source, there are still many cases when people steal images for their private purpose with no quoting, no link (or not followed link), no request for permission not to mention economic contributions.

If not the ultimate solution it seems an excellent resource for anyone looking for great, catchy, free, high-resolution images for posting. The risk is that some of them might get very popular at the end, reaching an iconic status, but it worth trying unsplash.com, as I did here.

Here is their “legal stuff”:

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

free image stock

 

How to add a Facebook Conversion Pixels through Google Tag Manager

Facebook Pixel in Google Tag Manager

The right way to implement Facebook Pixel through Google Tag Manager

Facebook Conversions Pixels are great tools not just to monitor website or mobile apps conversions – those can also be controlled through after tagging URLs – but they are also one of the tools needed to optimise campaigns (e.g. cost per conversion) or to build Lookalike audiences (see image below) that tend to reduce your spending on Facebook advertising by creating target audiences made of users whose interests are similar to the ones of whoever has already reached a goal relevant to your business. On average I have noticed a conversion rate always higher than other generic audiences, sometimes even double.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

To implement Facebook Conversion Pixels (FBCP) you have to create it for a particular Ads account activated in your site and populated with users info (it is said that you need at least 100 conversions to build a lookalike audience list). Once created it can be shared with other Ads Accounts and it can work for different Facebook Pages managed through the same Ads Accounts.

Google Tag Manager makes possible to add Conversion Pixels whenever and wherever you need, into any web page or mobile apps, depending on specific conditions. The Conversion Pixel has to be placed into the HEAD of your web page but, as you know, Google Tag Manager (GTM), has to be placed immediately after the opening BODY tag.

The question is: will Facebook Pixel works if implemented through a GTM Custom HTML tag?

The answer is yes! After implementing FBCP, you can check if it is working using the FB Pixel Helper, a free extension for Google Chrome.

Facebook Pixel inserted through Google Tag Manager is working (source: FB Pixel Helper, Google Chrome free extension)

Facebook Pixel inserted through Google Tag Manager is working (source: FB Pixel Helper, Google Chrome free extension)

NOTE – However, I have noticed that if “support for Document.Write” is not active for the HTML tag, the FB Pixel apparently takes longer to load – however, it still work – and the result is as follow:

GTM support document.write off

GTM support document.write off: FB Conversion Pixel takes too long to load

How to increase Facebook organic reach: content and audiences are two key factors

Facebook Organic Reach, October 2014

Organic Reach is still alive if content is interesting.

IS FACEBOOK ORGANIC REACH DEAD? Interesting insights by Kimanzi Constable in his post “5 Reasons Why Social-Media Marketing is Overrated“. However, I don’t take for granted his first assumption telling that “Organic reach is pretty close to zero” because evidence can show something different (see above screenshot). For example, I could still reach more than 20% through organic, in October 2014, way more than the 2.71% declared in the article.

SWITCHING TO PAID CONTENT – It is true that Facebook organic reach has been decreasing year after year, in parallel with the growing Facebook Ads market – Twitter to follow very soon – but organic reach can still have a relevant impact regarding engagement and conversions if wisely managed.

DON’T FORGET THE LONG TAIL – It is good to monitor content performance periodically but not constantly because the long tail should always be taken into account: posts’ reach is not always skewed. A good exercise is to identify and classify by topic and type the top performers, rather than posting like a machine. We are dealing with humans after all and our prospective customers don’t want to be overwhelmed with content that is not bringing them any real opportunity, inspiration or value in general. Patronising users’ expectations is still a good way to gain support, but apparently Facebook knows that such content is not valuable, but only aimed at generating a soft engagement (e.g. Likes) by confirming a point of view biassed in a particular custom audience.

CONTENT RULES – If you post too much content the average page engagement rate will decrease, also penalising good posts. Same if you target the wrong audience, therefore your activity has to be very focused or, if exploring new target audiences, modified. To reach new users, build your audience with paid content first, then play with free content later. Paid content has better targeting features than organic; you might guess why… Think of good content, use words and images that catch your target audience attention or inspire them, add relevant if needed and make your post length short (try to be under 90 characters). This way you can quickly increase your organic reach.

INSPIRE YOUR (VERY WELL TARGETED) AUDIENCE – Post content reminding about opportunities like competitions, free resources or local free events, using strictly geo-targeted audiences and city tags (sometimes adding photo of the most recognisable places): it will show a higher engagement rate and, in many cases also higher conversion rate when talking about business and the whole page will benefit, also gaining new likes for free. Sometimes users spread the work simply by tagging their friends in a comment on a post telling about exciting opportunities. Empower your current users by giving them the chance to spread the word of what you are offering them: they will be glad to contribute to your success.

QUALITY FIRST OF ALL – These facts lead to the conclusion that Facebook tends to boost the organic reach when the content sounds interesting/attractive/inspiring for its users, despite it has not been paid. Always ask the magic question: what’s in it for me?

TAG TO TRACK – Last but not least, in particular if you have an e-commerce or a site where you try to lead users: do not forget to add URL parameters when linking to your site or you won’t be able to track your social media content ROI on . Use standardised and meaningful tags for campaign, source, medium and, to go deeper, also content and, when moving from organic to paid, just update them through tools like the PowerEditor to measure differences in performance for the same content.

 

MoreMetrics imports additional Social Media metrics into Google Analytics

 * The service MoreMetrics has been discontinued * 

MoreMetrics is a new free service provided by the Italian startup Bryo to help you importing some core Social Media metrics like Facebook fans or Twitter followers into any Google Analytics property.

Wouldn’t be nice to have Facebook Page Fans stats in Google Analytics? Tired of checking your KPIs on different sites? Do you love Google Analytics as much as we do? Let’s give MoreMetrics a try.

At the moment of launch there are the following options: Facebook Likes/Fans, Twitter Followers and Youtube Views/Subscribers. MailChimp is expected soon.

more metrics options

MoreMetrics options available (June 2014)

Once such data is imported into your GA, you can then create a Widget in a custom GA Dashboard to show a timeline of your SM trends.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Click on Dashboards, choose a dashboard and click on Add Widget.
  2. Give a Widget title matching the type of SM metric, for example “Facebook fans”
  3. Choose Standard/Timeline
  4. Choose “Event Value” in Graph the following metric over time
  5. Filters using the following three conditions:
    a. Only show Event Category Exactly matching MoreMetrics
    b. Only show Event Action Exactly matching the type of metric you want to show (e.g. FB Fans)
    c. Only show Event Label Exactly matching the [Event Label]
  6. Save

Some additional notes:

  • normally such metrics are not available in Google Analytics, not even in the Acquisition/Social report.
  • data are sent once a day therefore data will be available in about 24 hours
  • Universal Analytics is needed since the tool uses Measurement Protocol
  • Event value is the sum of all likes (or followed) day by day therefore you need to look at the daily value, not its aggregate: you need a dashboard widget to explore such data into Google Analytics

Update – some examples of GA dashboard widgets built through MoreMetrics:

more-metrics-google-analytics-social-media-facebook-likes-twitter-followers

Timeline and daily amount

 

more-metrics-google-analytics-social-media-facebook-fans-twitter-stats

A comparison between Facebook and Twitter

Try MoreMetrics now.

Did you know Google+ Ripples? It helps you monitor shares of a post on Google Plus

Google+ Ripples

+ Ripples for a very popular post by Matt Cuts: “The decay and fall of guest blogging for

UPDATE: Google+ Ripples has been terminated on 20th May 2015.

 

Last 20 January, the Google webspam team leader Matt Cutts posted about decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. Whatever he says in his blog sound like the Bible for the SEO industry. Despite some times (like the above case) he might change his mind.

The above screenshot taken directly from Google+ Ripples shows the public shares of such popular post on Google+.

Google+ Ripples (in Italian Google+ Eco) creates an interactive graphic of the public shares of any public post or URL on Google+ to show you how it has rippled through the network and help you discover new and interesting people to follow.

Ripples shows you:

  • Who has publicly shared a post or URL and the comments they’ve made
  • How a post or URL was shared over time
  • Statistics on how a post or URL was shared

A link to Ripples for web pages / posts shared through Google+ is now available also in under “Acquisition / Social / Data Hub Activity”

Google+ Ripples accessible directly through Google Analytics

Google+ Ripples accessible directly through Google Analytics

You can see Ripples for each post just by adding its URL at the end of this one, in your browser bar:

https://plus.google.com/ripple/details?url=_________

and SEO are getting closer day by day and guest blogging apparently is decreasing in popularity – if Matt has said so, it’s true.

Let’s imagine a link between number of shares and author(ship) rank for each of such shares. It would certainly give an idea of the weight of such an important ranking factor like Google+ activity.

Here is my Google+ Author Rank measured with the experimental tool by Virante that calculates a score based on the content linked to my Google+ profile via Authorship. It does not currently include any measure of authority due to my actions within Google+.

Google+ Author Rank

Google+ Author Rank

You can monitor Author Rank for any of your (Google+) friends.

UPDATE: Google+ Ripples has been terminated on 20th May 2015.

Periodic Table of Content Marketing free download

La tavola periodica del Content Marketing (scarica gratis l’infografica)

Dopo la SEO e Google Analytics, è giunto il momento del Content Marketing. Ultimamente le tavole periodiche sono davvero di moda per fornire una panoramica (quasi completa) di importanti settori del digital marketing.

Chris Lake ha da poco rilasciato la prima versione della sua tavola, in realtà un’infografica orizzontale pubblicata dal  Econsultancy.

La Tavola Periodica del Content Marketing, di Chris Lake – scarica gratis (immagine in formato png)

La Tavola Periodica del Content Marketing - scarica gratis

 

La tavola non è definitiva (come informa anche l’autore) ma del resto anche l’ambiente a cui fa riferimento è soggetto a frequenti cambiamenti, talvolta radicali, che non consentono di costruire rappresentazioni valide per periodi medio/lunghi. Tuttavia, la tavola è un’interessante panoramica che può fungere anche da check list delle attività di Content Marketing condotte a qualsiasi scala.

I suoi elementi sono stati divisi in 8 aree principali:

  1. Strategia
  2. Formato
  3. Tipo di Contenuto
  4. Piattaforma
  5. Metriche
  6. Obiettivi
  7. Condivisioni
  8. Lista di controllo

Si può dire che sia completa?

 

Periodic Table of Content Marketing free download

The periodic table of Content Marketing: free infographic download

YAPT! (=Yet Another Periodic Table!)

After SEO and Google Analytics, it is time for Content Marketing. Recently periodic tables have become a very fashionable way to provide an (almost complete) overview of digital topics.

Content is king after all – many expert keep on saying – and Chris Lake has just built its periodic table, an interesting infographic published by Econsultancy.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing, by Chris Lake – free download (png image)

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing - free download

 

The author stated that the table is far from being definitive – the whole environment is affected by frequent changes after all – but it seems a very good overview/check list of such important area for all (digital) marketers.

Its elements have been divided into 8 main areas:

  1. Strategy
  2. Format
  3. Content Type
  4. Platform
  5. Metrics
  6. Goals
  7. Sharing Triggers
  8. Checklist

Can we say “that’s all folks”?

 

periodic table of google analytics

Google Analytics under a chemical perspective: the periodic table (free pdf download)

Can periodic tables be considered infographics? Whatever your answer is, what I am going to present here reminds me of the SEO periodic table published some time ago (and constantly updated).
It is an useful overview that can help beginners to spot whatever has not been considered into their work/analysis/knowledge. 
Have a look at the elements of such an interesting visual guide about Google Analytics main features seen from a ‘chemical’ perspective. It has been made and published by the certified GA expert Jeff Sauer @ Jeffalytics.
GA elements have been splitted into four main categories: Product, Metrics, Reports, and Features.
Are you aware of all its elements? Anything missing?

Little update – On 20th Feb Google Analytics has  redesigned its UI again. Accounts are now listed on a dropdown menu placed in the top right corner.