Last Saturday, Jody and I attended MeasureCamp, an Analytics unconference held at TVNZ and this was the second year it was being held.
To be honest with you, after a long week of meetings and deadlines, it was a last thing I wanted to be doing. But I had Jody and some other old friends meeting me there; so on went the big boy pants.
Surprise, surprise it was a really cool day. Just seeing the variety of presentations and talks from Data Scientists to visiting Googlers, I had a lot of fun and I think the volunteer organisers did an amazing job!
I wanted to give a quick run down of three talks that I found super useful myself and share the insights I got from the day.
(Also these may be the talks where I took photos of slides and I remember what they were talking about :P)
First up, I attended a session by Emily who works over at MBM and helps a lot with YouTube in terms of running YouTube Channels as well as YouTube advertising.
She gave a great high level overview of the channel and some great advice.
Emily advised that YouTube's goal is to keep you on YouTube watching video's for as long as possible. This does not necessarily mean that you need to watch all of a video, because that doesn't necessarily correlate to watching more ads.
And to keep you on YouTube, the recommendation engine is so important. What are the factors that YouTube looks at to decide on recommending video content?
After giving a good understanding of the goals of YouTube and core elements, she also gave some great advice on how to take advantage of the recommendation algorithm. For example, what do you need to have in your thumbnail image??
Apparently, shots of people that are just about to talk make for amazing high click through thumbnails.
And then once you've got your organic channel going, how about scaling that reach?
Emily also mentioned that although usage of YouTube in NZ is high, advertising investment hasn't matched that usage. And I tend to agree. I think that the cost for attention on YouTube is really under-priced currently.
Next up, I took a wrong turn and slipped into this talk by a data scientist I think?
I'm so sorry I don't remember the name of the presenter. She was presenting a talk from her research on how to break down answers from a survey she did from web respondents using scientific models. And how to then use that data to make specific recommendations.
This went way over my head, but I thought it'd be interesting to show you the variety of talks that were available.
Needing more coffee at this point...
So I'm thinking, I need to get back to my roots here.
Ash from Google was discussing Google Analytics Setup Basics, yes! I've also always been a believer of constantly reviewing the fundamentals.
And this turned out to be my favourite talk of the day.
It wasn't that I learnt a lot of new stuff technically, but the way that Ash described event or goal tracking, the difference between ecommerce and enhanced ecommerce was brilliant.
He'd obviously done it many times before and I learnt a lot about how I could explain them to my own clients.
Starting off, lets go with a brief recap of Event & Goal tracking. Note the parts shaded in blue as the main differentiators between the two types of tracking. Event is tracking a non-page load type of user interaction. This is because by default Analytics uses page load to track things.
The difference between Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce tracking - How much of the purchase funnel do you want to see? What I remembered from this part of the conversation was that Ash said he worked for another company before Google where they implemented Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and from the code being on the page - It took another six months before they could say they had successfully implemented the tracking!
Oh this was super cool, an actual real life example of what custom dimensions should be captured and what they can be used for.
In general, if you're using a default analytics setup, it's not that well configured to your business and unlikely to tell you what you need to know to drive your business forward.
Ugh, I'm so annoyed that I took this picture a little blurry but I felt it was too important to leave out. A really simple flow chart on what kind of tracking you need to be thinking about when thinking about interactions, goals or conversions on your own site. Brilliant.
Finally, engagement scoring on content. Breaking down Cardinal Path's engagement score and what goes into it. I can't remember the name of the guy giving this talk, I'm sorry!! But if anyone does know, please leave a comment.
This talk was about how Cardinal Path - A World Leading Analytics agency based in the US - use engagement scoring to see what content is working and what isn't.
I've had the pleasure of attending a few Google Trainings by Alex Langsheur, one of the founders of Cardinal Path and I can tell you that they are amazing at what they do.
If you attend Google conferences, you'll probably have seen Dave Booth, who I always find hilarious.
Quick slide on why you would do this research at all - My personal opinion is that there is so much content out there. Really understanding what's working for you will help keep you ahead of the competition. It's too easy with content to do so much without achieving your objectives.
Rough breakdown of the engagement score and how it's calculated. So much maths that day...
The final slide I'm showing talking about what the research has shown and how the research can be used to optimise your content marketing. One caveat that I got from this talk, you probably only need to go to this level of understanding if you have a large volume of visitors and content to your site.
Phew, ok, I think that's about it. I caught up with lots of old acquaintances and friends there. It was a terrific day and I hope that if you didn't go, you'll consider attending the next one! If you did go, I'll see you again next year!!