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Why Google Analytics 4 is a Game Changer
Late last year, Google announced a major upgrade to Analytics—Google Analytics 4. They called the completely updated platform “the next generation of Google Analytics.” We’re calling it something even more exciting: a huge step forward in the way we ensure the best ROI for our clients. Here’s why.
A Clearer Picture of Customer Interactions
With machine learning at its core, the new and improved Analytics tracks trends among your customer base. This “modeling” process collects data to make predictions about audience behavior. For example, the program calculates churn probability for your e-commerce customers. With that insight, you’ll know the best places to invest in order to retain customers.
Deeper Integration With Google Ads
Analytics 4 houses a much deeper integration with Google Ads, which takes audiences targeting to a whole new level. The new features let you nail down your audiences with unprecedented precision, so you can be sure your ads are reaching customers with the most relevant experiences.
Better Visibility For Conversions
The wait is over! With Google Analytics 4, you can finally see conversions that happen both in-app and on the web. No back and forth needed. No kidding: conversions from YouTube videos, Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email– all in one place. If you want to understand the combined impact of your marketing efforts across all channels (and who doesn’t?) this update makes viewing that data that much easier.
But wait, there’s more….
More insights into user behavior mean even more data to back your marketing efforts. With Google Analytics 4 updates you’ll be able to…
- Run analyses that help you understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others
- Gain insights to help identify your high-value customers
- Have a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from awareness to the acquisition, conversion, and retention
- See what channels are driving new customers to convert and understand the actions that make them stick around
Google Analytics 4 is just the first step in the future of analytics and lays the foundation for later updates on the platform. If you think this is some powerful stuff (it is), just imagine what you’ll be able to do with what comes next!
Wait a sec, you’re not an Analytics expert? No worries—we are. Contact us to discuss digital and data strategy for your business.
4 Ways to Make Your Social Media Posts More Accessible
For most people, accessing content on social media is easy—almost too easy. In a world of bathroom-break Twitter sessions and before-bed Instagram scrolls, your preferred content cocktail is rarely farther than a click away. But for many people living with disabilities, breaking into the social media world can feel like an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are many ways you and your brand can be sure your content is accessible to all.
Add Alt Text
Alternative (alt) text adds a written description to an image, allowing screen readers to read the descriptions to visually impaired people. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all have easy-to-use options for adding alt text to your pictures.
- Twitter calls alt text “descriptions.” When posting a photo to the platform, simply click the “add description” button below your image.
- Facebook automatically creates image alt text using object recognition technology. These tools are pretty cool, but they still make mistakes and can be too vague. You can modify or add detail to your description by clicking on the photo, clicking the “…” button and selecting “change alt text.”
- Instagram offers the option to either opt-in for automatic alt text or manually type alt text for each image. To manually edit your alt text, click the “write alt text” button on the last editing screen before posting.
Cut Back on Emojis
Emojis first showed their cute faces on Japanese cell phones in the late 90s. Today, 92% of online consumers regularly use them. And not without good reason. Emojis can add a lightness to your posts and encourage engagement, but this isn’t entirely true across the board.
When a visually impaired person uses a screen reader to read an emoji, they hear the description assigned to the picture. That means when you caption a hilarious Instagram meme with 😂😂😂😂, a visually impaired person is hearing “face with tears of joy, face with tears of joy, face with tears of joy, face with tears of joy” from their screen reader — which could easily lead anyone to more tears than joy.
No, emojis won’t make it impossible for visually impaired users to access your posts, but too many can become tedious and unintelligible. Instead of going for overkill with a ton of hearts and smiley faces, sprinkle in emojis where you think they’d best add effect or emotion.
Use CamelCase for Hashtags
Social media just wouldn’t be the same without #ThrowBackThursday or #Selfie. We love hopping on a hashtag trend. And even better than adding alt text, making your hashtags accessible only takes one small fix.
When visually impaired users read hashtags, a screen reader can only tell when to separate words if the first letter is capitalized. An all lowercase hashtag may look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s often an incomprehensible mess to a user on a screen reader.
The solution is easy: camel case, i.e. capitalizing the first letter of each word in your hashtag. #AccessibilityIsAwesome
Caption Your Videos
It’s pretty well known that platforms like Youtube offer captioning to accompany your videos. But your captioning habit shouldn’t halt at YouTube. Here’s how some of the top social media platforms support the use of video captions and subtitles:
- Facebook allows you to upload closed captions as SRT files. After uploading a video, simply edit the post and upload a file with corresponding captions. Upload additional files to provide closed captions in other languages.
- Twitter, similar to Facebook, supports the use of subtitles uploaded as SRT files.
- Instagram doesn’t offer the option to insert SRT files for captioning. Therefore, the only way to make Instagram story videos, IGTV videos and traditional video accessible is to provide captions using third-party apps.
Looking for expert assistance with your accessibility?
Going Viral: Optimizing YouTube Video Descriptions
Back in the early days of YouTube all you needed was a cat and camcorder to go viral. But going viral in 2021 requires a little more than an appearance from Mr. Mittens to get your video off the ground. With more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, your videos will need to be creative, entertaining and, yes –– optimized. Here are five smart tips for optimizing your YouTube descriptions.
Start With Keywords
Keywords are the search terms that help YouTube link your content with what users are searching for. They’re the main reason videos of puppies show up when you search “puppies” or why Youtube knows what to suggest for you “up next.” They help choose what videos are relevant to the search.
Pick a few keywords that best represent your video and scatter them within the description. Two or three keywords are perfect – any more could end up harming your SEO ranking, while less could make it hard for your video to rank. Another tip? Try popping one or more keywords in the title too.
Spice Up Your Descriptions
YouTube descriptions should be…well, descriptive. No one expects the next great American novel, but your descriptions should definitely be more than just a few-word summaries. This is also your chance to link viewers to more content or call them to action. Remember the beginning of your description is on display when users are browsing through videos. Use this space. Hook viewers into your content, display your keywords, entice them to click and save your killer CTA for the finale.
Write an Irresistible Call-To-Action
If viewers like your video, they’ll probably love your other content too—but not if they don’t know it exists. Use your descriptions to encourage users to like, comment and subscribe. Or, go ahead and lead them to your website, other videos, playlists or social accounts by linking URLs in the description. If you want your audience to do something, tell them with clear verbiage. Hit that like button. Comment below. Subscribe.
Stay Away From Clickbait
Clickbait is the catfish of the Youtube universe. Although clickbait titles compel users to click through to your video, they’ll just as quickly click away when they realize it’s not what they thought it was. When users bounce from your upload without seeing it through to the end, your content isn’t being seen and your SEO rankings can take a hit. Keep your titles, descriptions and thumbnails honest and you’ll have the retention rate to show for it.
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5 Budget-Friendly Nonprofit Social Media Strategies
Working towards a big mission on a small budget is the hallmark challenge of running a nonprofit. Lucky for change-makers everywhere, social media can be one of the most affordable marketing tools out there. But even the most budget-friendly marketing tools can become a time suck if your team lacks a concrete strategy. Whether you’ve let your social pages develop a thin layer of dust or you simply don’t know where to begin, these five nonprofit social media strategies will have you engaging your audience like a pro (without breaking the bank).
Connect Content With Your Cause
Your purpose drives your nonprofit; it should drive your social media content too. For every genius post you draft, take a second before you publish to ensure that it reinforces your cause. That doesn’t mean sticking to serious subjects all the time. Just be selective about what you share, and even when you post something more lighthearted, be sure you’re still touching on what really matters most.
Ask, Receive and Return
Clarify how you’d like your viewers to react to your content. If likes, comments or shares are the goal, ask your viewers to do so with a call-to-action (CTA). But don’t forget, communication is a two-way street. If someone says “Hi!” on your post, say “Hi!” back. Responding in a timely manner will build trust and confidence in your brand.
Consistency = Credibility
Credibility is absolutely foundational when establishing trust in a brand— whether nonprofit or for-profit. Consistency helps you build credibility with your audience. Establish clear brand guidelines to give all your communications a cohesive look, feel and voice. Create a schedule so you can post quality content on a regular basis. Stick to these basics, and you’re on your way to generating big-time social media cred.
Respect Your Limits
Sharing your nonprofit on as many social platforms as possible is the goal, right? If managing every Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube and Reddit account sounds like a breeze, then absolutely. But if reading that sentence made you reach for the Advil, then no need to overshoot. It’s always better to be consistent on a few major platforms than to fall short on a lot of them. If juggling six different social profiles is more of a burden than your team has time to bear, dial back to two or three.
Need someone who understands all the ins and outs of social strategy (so you don’t have to)?