The 2022 Digital Marketing Trends You’ll Run Into

In today’s digital era, online marketing has become crucial for businesses. People can browse articles, email friends, and search for information on the web, so sharing content and interacting with the content is a large part of digital marketing.

With today’s technology, so much is possible. From SEO to email marketing, successful digital marketing strategies aren’t just something that should be read or heard; they should be seen, felt and experienced.

Here are some emerging digital marketing trends that may be useful to your campaign:

1.  The Use of AI and Automation

Automation has changed the way many websites are designed. People can now schedule posts, send emails and update social media accounts without human interaction. Through automation, businesses can build trust, create leads and retain customers without worrying about the time investment or human error.

On the other hand, the use of AI is becoming more advanced, making it an essential aspect of digital marketing. AI can help you to market better by providing you with information and data that can be used to improve your SEO and reputation management, among other aspects.

2.  Storytelling in the Digital Landscape

People keep scrolling down their Facebook or Instagram feed and are exposed to a variety of posts from brands that they love. However, most of them don’t even see the post. The reason? Too much clutter. Brands are constantly creating content that is not relevant and doesn’t target the right users.

Brands should focus on the three key elements of a story to create the perfect story instead of just publishing content. The three key elements are characters, plot and perspective.

3.  Influencer Marketing Getting Stronger

Influencer marketing is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Companies can to hire influencers to promote their products to their followers. This allows them to reach their desired audience and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Influencer marketing is growing fast, and companies are finding it hard to choose the right influencers. The influence score has been introduced as a way to measure an influencer’s social following and the quality of their content.

4.  Shorter Videos

YouTube and other platforms have made it possible for brands to create videos that are shorter than 15 seconds. These videos are called micro-videos, and they have gained popularity in the last few years because they are quick and easy to produce.

They are similar to the old-fashioned GIF, but they are better because they are more attractive to viewers. While they may appear to be a bit strange at first, they are actually good for brands since they will help connect with audiences faster.

Conclusion

As the digital landscape is constantly changing, the way brands market themselves is also changing. New trends are popping up all the time, so it is necessary for you to follow the right digital marketing trends to keep your customers engaged and coming back to your website.

This is why you need to work with the best if you want to achieve success for your business.

Get the results you want from your digital campaign, with the help of a digital marketing agency in Calgary. We’ll help you come with a clear strategy that will help you reach your goals.

Connect with us, and cut through the noise!

Essential Digital Marketing KPIs To Track In Your Next Campaign

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Nowadays, there are more metrics than ever that marketers can use to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns or broader marketing efforts. Choosing the right digital marketing KPIs, then, is a critical first step in terms of measuring the return on investment of your various marketing efforts. From SEO to bounce rate, customer lifetime value, marketing ROI, customer acquisition cost, click-through rate (CTR), and many more, we asked several of our key partners and experts in various marketing activities to offer their thoughts on the essential key performance indicators for your digital marketing in 2022 and beyond.

Importance Of Choosing The Right KPIs For Your Marketing Goals

Our panel consisted of experts from several fields, including marketing strategy, social media, PPC, SEO, email marketing, and numerous other digital marketing categories. And most of them started their KPI advice for 2022 (and many years to come) by pointing out the importance of setting goals for your digital marketing metrics before you began measuring and analyzing the results. 

“One of the most important things to consider when tracking and measuring KPIs is how clear goals and objectives are to the entire process. Without a clear sense of what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to properly interpret the data. And KPIs should be used in conjunction with other data points to get a complete picture of your marketing efforts.” – Natalia Osorio Quintero, Digital Marketer at NataliaOQ

There can be as many KPIs and metrics as there are types of marketing collateral and outlets. If lead generation is your goal, for example, there may be different measures that help paint a clear picture of your campaign success than those you’d use if retention rate or brand awareness is the goal. Regardless of the specific goals, you have for your marketing investment, clearly establishing your goals will often dictate the right mix of KPIs and measures of success. 

“A business can’t accurately assess whether a marketing investment was viable or wise if there isn’t an observable benchmark for what kind of dent the campaign made for them. The right KPIs, collaboratively established during discovery, quickly and succinctly give business owners a clearer picture of the campaign so they can observe growth, then scale or pivot if things aren’t converting as they want.”

– Max Zoghbi, Founder & Creative Director at Loupe Theory

“Campaign success, while generally subjective, is based on whether or not a brand can meet or exceed its goals. KPIs are put in place to measure progress, hence the term. They’re meant to be adjusted over time.”

– Ceara Milligan, Social Media Manager at STIR Advertising and Integrated Messaging

And while your organization may tweak the important digital marketing KPIs that you set for your campaign, the types of campaigns you plan to run will help you narrow down the list of important metrics that matter. 

“It depends on the type of campaign you are running. For search engine optimization campaigns, it is important to measure the site health, organic keywords, organic keyword position, organic traffic, keyword ranking position, and so on. For ads, you want to know the impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per conversion. And these are just two examples of how different KPIs vary depending on your campaign type.”

– Masha Kaprian, Principal at iMedPages, LLC

While different types of campaigns and marketing channels can have different goals, businesses still need to drive revenue. And measuring digital marketing KPIs for any kind of campaign will tell you exactly what’s working, what isn’t, and where you can make changes that strengthen your campaign.

“Even if the main goal of a campaign is not sales or conversions, the ultimate goal of any business is to make enough money. The ad can be beautiful, the landing page can be breathtaking, and the copy can be engaging, but if new customers and established customers are not taking the action you want them to take, the campaign is not generating the results you need.”

– Blake Nolan, Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Storm Brain

“Everything can be measured, whether it be phone calls, emails, form fills, account signups, app downloads, product sales, and cart abandonment. But many businesses and agencies are only reporting on total-number site metrics such as time on site, page views, new users, and so on. Proper conversion mapping will not only showcase real-time results (including customer engagement and sales), it will also show lost revenue opportunities and areas where conversion rate can be improved.”

–  Dave Taylor, Cofounder of In Front Marketing  

In addition, measuring your digital marketing campaign goals is important not because it will point out failings, but because they tell you about the opportunities that exist and ways that you can improve performance. 

“KPIs should come with goals that you want to reach. That will ultimately tell you whether or not your campaign is a success. But if you do not meet your goals, that does not mean your campaign is a total failure. Rather, it shows that you have an opportunity to continue to improve your campaigns, so next time you run a campaign you know to make small tweaks that can lead to incremental improvements.” –

Nick Mattar, Founder, and CEO at Digital Detroit LLC 

Specific Digital Marketing KPIs And Metrics To Consider In Your Marketing Campaigns

As you can see, our experts agreed that goals will play a huge factor in determining which KPIs matter the most. Just like your digital marketing strategy overall, choosing the right measures of success requires spending some time evaluating what your metrics for achievement are. From there, however, many of the panelists and marketing experts did have specific recommendations for the key marketing metrics and measures to consider for your current and upcoming campaigns. 

“Start with Customer Lifetime Value. CLV will dictate which prospects you should be focusing your campaigns on. From there you can move on to tactical KPI metrics, such as Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CLV is key guidance in regards to determining who your campaigns should be targeting, while RoAS and CPA will empower you to judge the effectiveness of the campaigns.” – Alonzo Foreman, SVP of Marketing at OppGen Marketing      

Measuring the effectiveness of channels was a key takeaway from our conversations with marketing leaders and digital experts, as it fed into several other metrics and it can help determine the best places to increase or decrease spending. 

“Two metrics that help determine which channels are most effective are ROAS (return on ad spend) and CAC (cost of acquiring a customer). These metrics help us determine the LTV, or lifetime value, of a customer. Since we know how much it costs to acquire them, we can measure that against the average life of a customer or how much a customer spends with us. This helps us know how profitable each channel is.” –  Nicole Denson, Marketing Manager at Big Leap

Just as was the case with our discussion of goals above, your KPIs are very dependent on what you want your campaign to achieve, and what you consider to be a measure of success. Ecommerce campaigns will undoubtedly call for different metrics than a brand awareness campaign, for example. 

“From an SEO firm’s perspective, two primary KPIs to track in a digital marketing campaign include search engine keyword rankings and organic website traffic. If a company is executing a sound on-page optimization strategy, complete with value-add SEO tags that align with relevant industry terms and detailed, long-form content on landing pages, these factors can help improve search engine rankings.” – Asad Kausar, CEO at Dabaran Inc.                 

“I think that link CTR, CPA, and CPM are three of the most critical metrics to track in all digital campaigns. Your link CTR is the gauge that allows you to truly see if your creativity and messaging align with your market. Your cost per acquisition will help you determine if your campaigns are profitable and worth running depending on what a client is worth to you. Finally, your CPMs can help dictate if you have a fair bid in your advertising campaigns.” – Ashley Monk, CEO of Onya

With many different options and different places to start, the metrics you choose to track most closely may shift and change as you continue to develop and implement new campaigns. But certain measures provide anyone with a solid assessment of how your marketing campaign is impacting your business goals. 

“Total revenue and average conversion rate can act as the anchor of your marketing initiatives. When doing A/B testing, a simple comparison of these macro metrics will spotlight which campaigns performed better overall. It’s essential to track, define your goals, and build them out in your preferred analytics system.” – Edan Ben-Atar, Founder of WebLime

“Website traffic and lead-to-visitor conversion rates are two of the most important KPIs for digital marketing campaigns. It’s important to have a healthy mix of new and returning site visitors, as well as to make sure that the traffic we are driving is relevant traffic based on search intent and keyword targeting. And while website traffic on its own is a great metric, it only tells half the story. If you are seeing an increase in site visits but not an increase in conversions, this could mean that some adjustments need to be made.” – Ashley Ismailovski, CRO & Operations Manager at SmartSites

“My top nine most important and most essential KPIs that every digital marketer should use to measure the success of their campaigns are: Web Traffic Sources; Leads; Page Views; Cost per Lead; Returning Users; Conversion; Goal Completion Rate; Click-Through Rate; and Customer Acquisition Cost.” – Joe Smith, SEO Expert at Market Media Connect

Some of the most valuable metrics for your campaign may not be strictly numerical, too. There are some insights that you may not get from Google Analytics, but which are incredibly important for helping you see how well your marketing budget is being put to use. 

“Lead sources. You should investigate the source of your sales. This is one of the most crucial marketing KPIs for your company’s long-term success. If all of your leads originate from one source, a server outage or a store closing could be disastrous for your business. Diversifying your lead sources now may help secure your business in the future.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy

“Qualified website traffic (or qualified leads) is always a primary KPI for any online campaign. This metric measures the number of website visitors (and potential customers) that result from your marketing efforts. By tracking website traffic, you can gauge the overall reach of your campaign and compare it with other marketing initiatives.” – Andre Kay, CEO at Sociallybuzz

And the quality of your leads, if that’s one of the metrics you choose, is even more informative than the raw number of people who found your site or the number of leads your form generated.

“Consider Profit Per Action rather than cost per action. Cheap leads are not guaranteed good leads. To assess the performance of a campaign, we should be looking at how much profit the campaign is bringing in, instead of focusing on the raw number of leads.” – Justin Chan, Senior Business Developer at Coding Bull Web Redesign Agency

“When looking at conversion rate, it is helpful to look at how many actions were real leads and not just bots or spammers. We look at where traffic is coming from, which pages they are taking action on, and what types of action are most often taken (e.g. phone calls, contact form submissions, email sign-up, etc.).” – Charity Maddox, Owner of Carve Digital Marketing

Finding Out How Your

Campaign Measures Up

Whether you’re launching an organic search effort, upping your content marketing game, or simply ramping up your social media efforts, the bottom line is that you need to be able to see your marketing performance in terms of what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust with that information in hand. Our experts here have provided some great examples of key metrics and KPIs for you to begin your planning and strategy with, but this is only the beginning. Whether you need help with an inbound marketing campaign, lead conversion, or any other digital marketing and analysis project, our group of expert digital marketing partners is available to help you make the most of your marketing spend and see the results.

Important Components of an Effective Marketing Plan

The internet has brought with it an unprecedented amount of competition. As more and more consumers utilize the internet to find, evaluate, and choose products and services, businesses need a competitive edge to draw in and engage their potential customers. By using digital marketing, companies can offer customers access to products and services that they simply could not get any other way.

Furthermore, digital marketing allows businesses to differentiate themselves from the

competition through niche targeting, often referred to as “micro-targeting.” By pinpointing certain groups of people within their targeted audience, businesses can cater their marketing campaigns directly to their consumers.

If you want your business to have a successful venture into the online world, you need to ensure that your digital marketing strategy has the following components:

1. Responsive Website Design & Development

Your online presence begins with an attractive and functional website. A user-friendly website is vital to building a powerful and long-lasting relationship with your potential customers.

Your website is the first impression you leave on potential clients. The overall design should speak to your brand identity and purpose, as this is where you can connect with existing clients, potential clients and create education across your industry and offerings. A professionally designed website should represent your brand and increase leads.

We take into consideration the user journey, while building your brand loyalty, as this speaks to client retention. All of our websites are built responsive so that you can access this from any device.

2. Solid SEO Strategy

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engines unpaid results – often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.

SEO is a technique that helps websites rank higher in search engine results pages. The goal of SEO is to make sure your site appears as high as possible on Google and other search engines for keywords related to your business.

If you have an e-commerce website, it makes sense to invest in SEO because it will help drive more traffic and sales. Adding this step into your strategy will allow you to stand out amongst your competitors more!

3. Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. Most consumers and brands already have social media accounts, so social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are valuable marketing platforms that large or small businesses should not ignore.

Companies can display their products and services through social media platforms, connect directly with consumers and build a following of engaged and interested customers! Sounds like a win-win for your digital strategy.

4. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an important part of any marketing campaign. It is cheap, simple to set up and can generate a lot of awareness for a product or a service.

Paid advertising is the most effective way to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness, along with conversions. It can be done through Google Adwords, social media ads, banner ads, etc.

Paid Advertising has been around for centuries and it is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

5. Video Marketing

Video is another growing form of marketing that is valuable in a digital marketing campaign. Online videos, such as YouTube videos, are able to attract more people than static images or text. Video content has become an integral part of many digital strategies, and it’s not just for the big brands anymore.

Online video has been around for a long time but it has only recently become an indispensable tool for marketers and business owners. The use of video content in digital marketing strategies has increased by more than 400% since 2017. In fact, 84% of marketers say that they plan to increase their

investment in online videos this year because it provides them with the best ROI (Return on Investment)

Conclusion

The digital marketing strategy is a comprehensive framework of various components that are used to create an online presence for your business. It is an essential tool in the modern business landscape.

A successful digital marketing strategy relies on the following:

Dynamic engagement with customers and potential new customers – Awareness of consumer behavior and preferences. Contact us now to discuss your needs further!

The Power of Organic Social for your Business

Social media trends move so fast it seems like the only people able to keep up are in middle school.

Facebook turns into Instagram, then Snapchat and TikTok and now Clubhouse and House Party are joining the, well, ahh, party (?).

It’s enough to make your head spin.

Brain GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

via GIPHY

The good news is, your business doesn’t have to chase the trends to make the most of your social media presence.

To help you get the most out of your social media, we talked with Tarila Uti, our Social Media Maven.

“Social media is basically about community building,” she said.

Why creating a community through social media is essential

Traditionally, media and advertising was unidirectional. Businesses created messaging to sell their brand and their product/service, but the person on the receiving end had no ability to respond.

But without extensive research with each step, this method can lead to a general disconnect from your clients that affects your advertising ROI.

But with social, it’s different.

“Social media is a two-way street,” Tarila said.

That makes it a very powerful tool for businesses as it can be used both to convey and gather information. 

According to Tarila, five of the greatest benefits of staying up-to-date with social media are:

#1: Establishes a solid online presence

With social media, you can create a richer experience for people who are looking to reach out to your brand.

“Your social media is like a second website,” Tarila said. “So when people first learn about your brand, they go to your website. After that, most people go to social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever to learn more about the company and understand it a bit more.”

That gives your business extra time to create a relationship with customers, build your brand, and walk a lead down the path to a conversion.

#2 Builds a stronger, more connected community

Every business works within a community or niche, and finding that community is one of the best ways to really make your advertising shine. When you know where your community is, how they talk about themselves, and what they’re looking for, you can not only improve your messaging – but laser-focus that messaging accordingly.

“Posting on social media is basically speaking to your followers and speaking to your community,” Tarila said. “So, with social media, you can build a good community, and build some hype around your business and about your brand.”

Social media also allows you to be a part of building that community to create new potential customers. Through search and hashtags, you can grow your audience by introducing your brand to new people.

#3 Allows you to truly listen to your customers

To build community, you cannot treat social media like advertising. Instead, you need to treat your community like a community, which is where that two-way street comes into play. Where before you simply talked to your audience, with social media, you need to equally learn to listen to what they’re saying – and let them know you hear them

“Social media is super duper important for listening and learning,” Tarila said. “Through comments, feedback, and looking at your insights, you can tell what people like and don’t like about your brand or about your products.”

This can include both responding in the comments section, following and interacting with the right people.

So, while a great website is a one-and-done experience, great social media requires consistency.

#4 Offers a direct communication tool 

As social media companies streamline direct messaging (DM) across platforms (like Facebook merging Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages), more and more people are using social media to speak directly with companies.

“Many customers today will go straight to a brand’s page to comment to say they had an issue,” Tarila said. 

With phone and email, this may seem redundant, but it’s often the first choice, and the choice they feel most comfortable with, especially for the younger generation. By giving your customers, and prospective customers their preferred option, you open a door they’re more willing to step through. That increased communication will give you greater engagement – a key performance indicator on social media.

#5 Creates a cost-effective approach to advertising

Perhaps the greatest reason to focus on social media is its ROI. With a wide reach and little upfront cost, social media can offer a striking return on investment for those who take the time to learn its secrets.

“If done properly, organic social can help you reach new audiences and increase your engagement rate which in turn leads to conversions,” Tarila said.

And that’s without paying for ads. That means your only cost is the time it takes to post and communicate with your community – which can be very enlightening anyway.

Our data-heavy approach to social media

Of course, the problem is: social media is so vast that it’s incredibly easy to get lost in the shifting seas of information.

For our clients, we combat this by front-loading our work with intensive research to ensure we’re headed in the right direction before we even begin.

“My approach is first of all understanding the business, what kind of business it is, and if they have any social media pages already,” Tarila said.

After talking directly to stakeholders in the business, and surveying any social media presence it has, the research phase begins.

Our social media team takes a deep dive into:

  • Follower demographics 
  • Competitor’s strategies
  • Ideal posting times and strategies
  • Hashtags
  • Brand voice
  • Which channels are right for your business
  • Who your business should follow

With a complete understanding of how to move forward, Tarila and the team then execute on it. 

“The goal is to drive engagement,” Tarila said, “loads of engagement. So, likes, comments, feedback, which in turn increase in leads and conversions.” 

The value of the right team

We talk with so many business owners who are ready to give up on social media because it requires such a diverse set of skills, such a consistent effort and, at the end of the day, it isn’t moving the needle.

Employing the right team changes all of that, and makes social media make sense. Currently, our team includes copywriters, photographers and researchers who consistently work to ensure our client’s social media is found by their ideal audience..

“We have dealt with a lot of businesses, and we know what works and what doesn’t,” Tarila said. ”We have the data, we have the research, and we have the experience to help.”

For more information on how you can take one item off your (very full) plate and make your social media presence shine, email Tarila or contact her on social media now or reach out to the IFM right now ~ Click Here.

IFM’s Top 100 Magazine Feature

We’re excited to announce we’ve been featured in the Top 100 Magazine in both The Top 100 Canadian Professionals and The Top 40 Under 40.

We first learned about this months ago but had to keep our lips sealed and wait for the actual magazine to come out. For those who’ve dealt with print magazines, you know this takes a long time – especially for someone used to instantaneous digital ads.

It’s been tough, but finally, we can tell everyone.

This is a great honour for us, and we’re so happy that taking the leap from employee to self-employed to push for a change in the industry has led to this.

From the ground floor to Top 100 in 5 years.

Since we started In Front Marketing in 2015, we knew we wanted to do things differently in the advertising arena. But, we never anticipated the success we’ve seen.

IFM started out as a way for both of us (Dave and John) to do advertising right. After working in the industry for years, we knew the then-current method of asking for money in exchange for a handful of promises and more ‘impressions’ wasn’t going to cut it.

With technology always advancing to gather more information, and our clients pushing for more from their ad-spend, we knew it was time to change. But the corporation didn’t.

That’s why we walked away.

That was a big step. The opportunity was there, but there were no guarantees for success.

Now, just five(ish) years later, we’ve been able to create change in our industry by focusing on data and the return on investment for every campaign and every client. As we’ve gained momentum, we’ve gone from self-employed to employers. This has been an exciting time as we grow to meet the needs of our customers and offer a great place for others with the same drive for excellence to work.

This honour is further vindication for those two guys (that’s us) who stepped out to make a change.

The prestige of the Top 100 Magazine

Read in over 30 countries, Top 100 Magazine publishes a range of career-specific content, highlighting industry leaders, academic institutions, Fortune 500 companies, private and public businesses, and social media influencers.

Those featured in the magazine are chosen through nominations or through proprietary software that searches social media, blog posts, peer reviews and Google indices. 

After the first round of nominations, the magazine’s R&D department manually analyzes each candidate to choose the businesses and individuals that will ultimately be featured.

With over 400,000 readers online and another 20,000 in print, this puts IFM, and our unique digital advertising approach, in front (sorry, couldn’t resist) of hundreds of thousands of people, including C-level executives, attorneys, doctors, entrepreneurs and academics.

We’re so excited at the chance to introduce our data-driven approach to new clients across the world.

Thanks for celebrating with us!

Death Of The Pixel

Long the Golden Goose for advertisers, the pixel has recently become the cookie monster under the bed.

For marketers, the third-party tracking completely changed the game online.

It gave us the power to track the ROI of advertising budgets, refine our campaigns, and show our clients exactly how online advertising made them money. And that was something traditional advertisers could never do.

In short, cookies and pixels took online marketing to the next level.

So, why are we celebrating the death of the pixel?

Because these days, third-party tracking is increasingly viewed with suspicion. 

With bad actors taking advantage of cookies, and major world governments creating laws around it, third-party tracking is quickly becoming the boogeyman of the internet.

This is why Google recently announced that Chrome will stop supporting third-party tracking by 2022.

As Google leaves the pixel behind, a consortium of advertisers and advertising organizations are moving on to create a new way forward: Unified ID 2.0.

What is third-party tracking?

Third-party tracking means an organization other than the website owner tracks the movements of a user.

This is done in two ways:

  • A cookie: a piece of code downloaded by the user’s browser that gathers information about the user.
  • A pixel: a piece of code existing on the website that gathers information about the user.

Essentially, they both accomplish the same task in different ways.

Website owners also use cookies to optimize usability, but they’re not a third-party so it’s untouched by this update.

What will be changing is third-party trackers (like yours truly), and any other advertiser out there, will not be able to track users with cookies or pixels in a few, short years.

Without another solution, i.e.: Unified ID 2.0, this would leave advertisers blind again, unable to target relevant ads to consumers, or tell if their clients’ campaigns are working as well they should be.

The ‘Wild West’ of Internet Tracking

Rewind to the beginning and it’s easy to see why there are so many concerns with pixels, cookies, and internet-tracking in general. It’s a chaotic mess of different codes, companies and methods.

It started when someone discovered lines of code could be placed within pictures that allowed websites to follow traffic, and then everything grew ad hoc from there. Different solutions were implemented to monetize various sites and other advertisers diverged – with even the best strategies carried out in a rather chaotic manner.

In short, it was the wild, wild west of the internet, where everyone did as they pleased with their pixels.

Today, the internet isn’t quite so cobbled together – but tracking still is. The result is sketchy companies, like Cambridge Analytica, have been able to push the boundaries of what is possible and what is morally acceptable within the confines of the online world.

This has made users and governments look at the mess and try to create some sort of order.

The Pixel Has Fallen; The Cookies Are Scattered

When the European Union started creating laws requiring websites to disclose their tracking, it was the beginning of the end for the pixel. 

The new laws:

  • Came with annoying pop ups

and

  • Made people wary of internet tracking

Today, for example, Mozilla Firefox defaults to blocking third party cookies trying to track you. But, arguably more important, Google has just announced that Chrome, which has a 60% share of the browser market, will disallow third-party tracking as of 2022.

That gives advertisers just two years to find a method that’s seamless and secure.

Unified ID 2.0 – a better way to internet

Unified ID 2.0 is a new solution to the confusing nature of the pixel/cookie world. Created and backed by a variety of huge internet advertising companies and organizations, like Nielsen of Nielsen Ratings fame, Unified 2.o makes tracking and advertising not only simpler, but more transparent for users across the board.

Instead of operating in the code users don’t see, Unified 2.0 relies on users to opt-in through a secured sign-in page, much like logging into Chrome. 

The first time they sign-in, they will be prompted to create an account with their email as a username. In that account, they will be able to control their settings, which will work across the internet

This makes life all-around better for both users and advertisers.

For advertisers

The thrown-together nature of cookies has worked fine for advertisers as we try to find out how users are interacting with our ads. However, because it’s hodge-podge, problems have been glaring from the get-go – one of the main ones being how cookies can’t track users across different platforms.

However, Unified 2.0 is built to allow advertisers to track cross-platform, solving one of the biggest issues for cookies. Because users sign in on all their platforms, Unified 2.0 will know if they see an ad on their computer, then search for the brand on their mobile device. This helps us to better track users so we can see how effective our ads are, and it also helps us better target consumers.

It’s also a much simpler system than the ever changing multitude of protocols we currently use. Because it is open source and interoperable, it will work across browsers and sites, making it a perfect one-stop solution.

For consumers

While Unified ID 2.0 looks great for advertisers, it’s even better for consumers. 

Just like everything with cookies, security was something of an afterthought. But, with Unified ID 2.0, security is baked in from the very beginning. To protect privacy, all login emails will be hashed and encrypted, with regular rotation of decryption keys to help maintain privacy. A code of conduct, governed by an independent body, will also ensure Unified ID 2.0 will remain open and respect its users’ privacy in an ongoing manner. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it will help speed up the user’s internet experience. Today, when a user lands on a website, anywhere from one to 100 trackers all start sending information. This not only takes up bandwidth, slowing down a user’s experience, but it also eats up their data.

Google Analytics 4 – Google Beyond The Cookie

As Google moves away from third party cookies and toward a new future in online advertising, it will make it easier than ever for business owners to track how consumers are interacting with their website.

And, with updates to Google Analytics (the most powerful free tool available), new, machine-learning software will improve its ability to spot and report on trends – even alerting marketers and business owners on high ROI advertising opportunities.

Combining this powerful tool with Google Ads and new movements in tracking software, like Unified ID 2.0, will give online business owners better options to find the right audience for their products and services.

How Can IFM Help Prepare You For The Future?

As big pieces of the puzzle start to change, it’s important to stay on top of how your website is performing. Increasingly, tracking is moving from ‘really nice’ to ‘absolutely critical’ for online businesses.

These days, you don’t need to be an expert to track how effective your site and your online advertising is. But, if you do need help, give us a call and we can walk you through how you can take advantage of the tools and data in front of you to make your advertising more effective. 

Looking Past The Click – Non-Unique Conversions – Know Your Data

The Importance of Non-Unique Conversions

Everyone’s after that unique click. It’s a simple, clear and easily trackable KPI for business owners and advertising firms that really makes it feel like digital advertising is moving the needle.

But, advertising isn’t that simple. Though it may feel good to look at all those brand new customers rolling in, a good advertising firm will help you drill down further to get the most out of every campaign.

Without digging deeper into your analytics, you’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.

And we all know how that worked out for the Titanic.

Poor Leo…

If you look beyond the ‘click’, you’ll discover reams of data that will help you hone your online presence.  

Understanding non-unique conversions is the first step to drilling down into your data to create the better web presence.

Before we delve any further into non-unique conversions, let’s take a quick step back to see how digital advertising interactions are typically tracked.

The different types of ad interactions – drilling into your data

Users can interact with your ad in a variety of ways. Sometimes, that means they see your ad, click and make a purchase. That’s the simplest road to conversion from an ad but it’s hardly the only one.

Everyone tracks the see, click, buy crowd. But, a good advertising firm goes beyond that, breaking down ad interactions into two, broad categories:

  • Post click or click through is when someone sees your ad, comes to your site, but leaves and then comes back later.
  • Post view or view through is when someone sees your ad, but doesn’t click. Instead, they find their way to your site at a later time through other means, such as a web search or coming directly to your site.

Each of these categories of ad interaction then lead to two, broad categories of conversions (whether that means purchases or calls).

  • Unique conversions: which are actions taken by first-time visitors to your site.
  • Non-unique conversions: which represent return business, or visitors who’ve been to your site multiple times before taking an action.

Whether post click or post view, unique conversions are often the most coveted, as they represent new customers. However, tracking only unique visitors creates a very shallow perspective on how your advertising is actually performing.

The importance of non-unique conversions

By tracking how non-unique visitors are interacting with your site and what actions they are taking, you can get a deeper, more holistic view of your web presence.

Wading through all that data can reveal:

  • How often buyers come back to interact with your site
  • Points of friction on your website that are causing you to lose sales
  • The impact of your full campaign, including retargeting ads
  • How strong your relationships are with your customers

This understanding gives you the ability to refine your whole online presence, from advertising to specific web pages. 

The key to understanding an abandoned cart – an example

Perhaps the easiest way to show the importance of non-unique conversions is the very common abandoned cart scenario. 

Let’s say you run an ad campaign for an e-commerce website. Someone sees the ad, fills their cart up with goods, then at that crucial moment of click to purchase – they get cold feet and nuke the tab. Perhaps they want more information on the products they purchased, or maybe they want to shop around to see if they can get a better price – either way, they’ve left a cart full of goodies just waiting for that final click to make the purchase.

If they come back to hit that button, that’s a non-unique conversion and if you’re not collecting that data, you’ll never know why they came back. 

  • Did they see your retargeting campaign? 
  • Did they shop around only to discover that you have the best price?
  • Did they just need some time to think it over before making a big purchase?

All of this information is invaluable because it can help you hone your retargeting campaigns, abandoned cart emails and more. It also allows you a backstage view to see if this scenario is playing itself out over and over again. 

From website tweaks to new ad campaigns, all this extra data gives you the ability to pivot your digital presence to create more conversions.

After all, that’s why you started advertising in the first place.

More data = smarter advertising 

At In Front Marketing, we’re big fans of data. 

We track every action on our client’s websites so they can understand how prospective customers are interacting. 

But more than that, we comb through that data to make sense of everything that’s going on,  then give you feedback not only on your advertising, but your digital presence as a whole.

For us, that means a lot of back end work for us so we can create a clearer view of how your advertising is performing.

For you, that means a better understanding of your advertising ROI and a clearer return on advertising spend.

Take a deeper look at your web presence with In Front Marketing.

Let’s Talk.

[email protected]

Dave Taylor       /  John McColman
(403) 891-9295 / (403) 861-9727

Suite 401 – 255 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB, T2S 2T8

The Flexibility of Google Ads The IFM Way

Search drives sales.




Whether it’s a search inspired by billboards, banner ads, podcast placements, if you don’t pop up on the search engine results page when your audience looks for you, your ad isn’t as effective as it COULD and SHOULD be.

The flip side is if your business runs well-placed ads, you can be there at every stage of the sales funnel, walking with a prospective client from initial want/need all the way to purchase. 

This ability to tie together the whole digital ecosystem of advertising makes search ads an integral part of any ongoing campaign. Done right, your campaign will excel, done poorly and the ad will cost more than it’s worth.

Search is essential

Every ad in the digital ecosystem – the whole advertising ecosystem – drives search. That’s because people navigate the internet with search – overwhelmingly, with Google (who owns around 87% of the market).  

That means most buyers’ journeys begin with a Google search. Looking for a product? Google. A service? Google. Want to know when you have a better chance at getting into your favourite restaurant on a Saturday? You guessed it: Google.

So, when someone sees your banner ad, a video on YouTube featuring your product, even a traditional billboard that grabs their attention on their morning commute you can bet their next step typing, texting or talking to Google. 

We see this every time we place an ad for a client. The audience may not click the first time they see it – or even the second time –  but when we follow that traffic long enough and we see the true value of banner ads laid out in search traffic. 

Suddenly, all those people we’ve targeted and re-targeted with ads are searching for that thing you sell.

But if you’re not there, those ad dollars spent essentially driving customers to search for you are much less effective. In fact, they may end up driving traffic to your competitor simply because they appear at the right time on the results page. 

The bottom line is, you have to be at the right place at the right time, i.e.: when someone searches.

Finding the right keywords

The power and problem with Google Ads lies in how flexible they are. Whatever search terms you want to appear for, Google gives you the chance to bid and make it happen. 

Choose the wrong keywords to bid on and it will get expensive fast – especially in a bidding war over big-ticket words. Done correctly, you can leverage every dollar you spend to outperform any high-dollar keyword. 

The first step to creating that high ROI campaign is to understand what your customers search for. This can include:

  • Terms from your ad campaigns
  • Branded words
  • Competitors
  • Information they need before making a purchase

You can try to guess what your client will be looking at based on your knowledge, but the best way to ensure you’re where you want to be is research. That means utilizing every piece of data you have access to in order to track and understand what your clients are looking for. So, when it finally comes time to secure your keywords, you can make data-based decisions you can be sure about.

Flexibility to stay within your budget

While Google Ads can get very expensive, very fast, they can be remarkably effective even on a tight budget.

With the proper plan in place, you can place hard lines around your ad spends, then track the ROI of each campaign to make sure each is effective. If you find one campaign isn’t making the return it needs to, you can change it quickly, without penalties.

Touchpoints throughout the funnel

One of the most powerful aspects of Google Ads is its ability to find your customer at the very end of the funnel – just before they make a purchase. But, that shouldn’t be your only goal when setting up a Google Ads campaign. 

Properly utilized, Google Ads are there with your customer on every step of the buyer’s journey, from the initial idea, through research to the final purchase.

If, for example, you own a furniture business, you may target young people who are moving out on their own with an ad for a coffee table. Your ideal client may see this ad two, three, even four times before deciding they need a coffee table.

Then they search, and you’re there. Now they’re browsing your selection of furniture, along with other stores, and you can see where they go, and what they seem to like. Now, you’re retargeting with the understanding they’re looking for a tasteful, but inexpensive coffee table. 

Each step of the way you’re there, so you can understand what they want, and offer it to them. Then, when they’re ready to purchase, and make that final search, they’ve already interacted with your website. They’re familiar with you, and how you work, making you the frictionless choice.

Optimizing your campaign – the IFM advantage

At In Front Marketing, we love Google Ads because we love data. 

The reams of data that come through Google Ads allows us to constantly tweak and optimize every keyword and KPI created. From the moment someone clicks on an ad, we can track their behaviours with a pixel, which helps us understand where they’re going, and what they want. Using this data we can optimize your Google Ads campaigns as well as your ads throughout the entire digital ecosystem.

And of course, because we believe you have a right to your own data, we share it all with you.

Then, once we can see there’s traction, we work with you to create goals and KPIs that will guide us through the process of further optimization.

So, if you have a superstar sales team boasting a high rate of conversion over the phone, we can make that first call a priority. If you’re a brick and mortar shop that just needs more foot traffic, we can build your campaign around that goal. Whatever your need, we can track and optimize KPIs to ensure your campaign does its job.

By understanding the process, and doing all the research and heavy lifting at the very beginning, we can work with you to create goals and optimize your campaigns constantly. So, whatever your advertising spend, audience or purpose, we can add lift with Google Ads. 

Like what you hear? Reach out, call us for a free no obligation discussion or just to chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dave Taylor – 403.891.9295 – [email protected]
John McColman – 403.861.9727 – [email protected] SEARCH

Welcome Mathew to the IFM Team!

Mathew Pust – Digital Campaign Manager / Traffic Appreciator

Mathew is our ‘Traffic Appreciator’ – the man who takes all the separate pieces of a digital campaign and fits them together to ensure every ad converts. He likes to dive into those reams of data headfirst, swimming around way in the deep end to create a strategy that elevates every ad.

With a double major in both marketing and general management, Mathew offers the perfect combination of management and strategy to create and cultivate digital campaigns that really make an impact. With access to new talent after joining our team, Mathew is excited to continue to learn and grow and to be part of the downtown energy of our office.

“In Front Marketing has a one of a kind culture with a team full of energy and drive. It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to work with such a dynamic group right here in Calgary. I can’t wait to be a part of the journey.”

When not playing in traffic, Mathew likes to hit the road and see where it takes him, from flights abroad to trips to the wilderness to hike, ski, camp or see what other kinds of trouble he can get himself into.

Experience

  • BBA from Mount Royal, Double Major in Marketing and General Management
  • Worked brand and market strategy for various local organization such as Fahr, Eau Claire Distillery, Fiasco Gelato, and HULL Services
  • Ran UnearthYYC, a content marketing startup for Calgary musicians
  • years playing in traffic

Specialties: market research, market strategy, film production, campaign management

Experience

  • BBA from Mount Royal University, Double Major in Marketing and General Management
  • During his time at MRU Mathew had the opportunity to work on Brand and Market Strategy for various local organizations such as Fahr, Eau Claire Distillery, Fiasco Gelato, and HULL Services. Additionally, Mathew has continued a post-graduation study to Co-Author a Gig Economy Market Research paper with two of his professors within the Marketing and Research Departments at MRU.
  • Has spent the last 7 Years working in AHS – focusing heavily on bettering patient care experiences. Recently Mathew took on a new role within the AHS management & Leadership team in the midst of the pandemic. It was important for him to double down during times of uncertainty and support his co-workers and patients.
  • Mathew has an entrepreneurial background running a business focused on content centered marketing for local musicians, UnearthYYC.
  • Throughout the last 4 years of University Mathew was gigging and playing in traffic for various local campaigns and short term special events contracts such as The Gathering – Music & Hawkers

Specialties: market research, market strategy, film production, campaign management

Google Analytics: The Most Powerful (Free) Tool Available

Google Analytics: The Most Powerful (Free) Tool Available

Before you start reading this article, we have one question:

Do you have Google Analytics?

If you answered ‘yes’, read on to get a better understanding of your analytics. 

If you answered ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’, stop reading and call or text us. We can check whether you have an account set up for your business, and, if not, set one up for you – often on the same call and always for free.

Some of you probably answered the above question with a shrug, but are still forging on, trying to understand why you should have Google Analytics. The answer is: your online presence needs Google Analytics just like your house needs a foundation.

You can build your online presence without Google Analytics, but just like a house without a foundation, it will be weak and ineffective. To create a robust digital footprint, Google Analytics is no longer an option – it’s a requirement. And, because it’s free, there’s absolutely no reason to put off activating your account right now.

So now that everyone knows they have Google Analytics set up on their website, we’ll walk you through its benefits and the best ways to get those benefits.

Benefits of Google Analytics

Go back a couple of decades in advertising and campaigns were based on gut-feelings and guesses. Large ad agencies full of executives in grey flannel suits talked clients into big ad spends based on little more than their own enthusiasm and salesmanship.

But, in the new world of digital marketing, data is king. With today’s technology, we can get a clear picture of how effective every dollar of an ad spend is doing. This allows marketers to tweak successful campaigns to become even more successful, plan future campaigns around past successes, and (most importantly), cut any marketing with a low ROI to free up more budget space for marketing that works.

That makes today’s advertising much more effective.

The first step to getting the all-important data that can bring your advertising out of the Don Draper-era and into today’s more effective advertising is setting up Google Analytics so you can start using it. 

With the variety of tools available through that platform, you are able to track how users are interacting with your website, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking at (and so much more). Not only can those numbers show you how healthy your digital presence is, they can also reveal how well your marketing, both digital and traditional, is doing.

Whether a prospective client/buyer sees an ad online, or a billboard on the side of the road, their buyer’s journey usually goes through your website. That means, if that radio ad you paid for is doing well, you’ll see it in your web traffic just like the effects of the banner ad you’re running or other digital marketing you’re doing.

But, of course, when you start looking at your digital footprint, Google Analytics becomes even more powerful. By tracking your visitors you can tell:

  • If your social media presence is bringing buyers
  • If your website is effective at converting 
  • Who is interested in your product
  • How each small change you make increases or decreases your traffic

These numbers will give you the information you need to make the best decision for you in your media-buys, so you can be confident in your ad ROAS (Return on Actual Spend).

The most important step in using Google Analytics

If you’ve worked with a developer or ad agency in the past, there’s a chance they set up your Google Analytics and still own, or have access to it. While it’s fine to let people and agencies into your analytics so they can pull data from it to better focus your advertising efforts, you should never allow any other business to control your data.

If you have control over your data, you are free to change marketers at will, and take that all-important information with you to your next marketer. However, when another company owns your data, moving becomes a tricky negotiation. Somehow, you have to cut ties, while maintaining access to your data, which is often impossible. So instead, you lose all of it, which puts you back at square one with your new agency. And there’s no reason for that to happen. 

So, before you go any further, jot down a note to yourself:

*Make sure I’m in control of my data.”

Because, the earlier you take control of your data, the more information you’ll have if you decide to move.

Effective practices 

Now that you know why it’s important to both have and control your Google Analytics page, let’s take a look at how to make the most out of this by going over a few frequently asked questions:

1. How often should I be logging into my Google Analytics account?

The more often you log in, the more effective you can be in tweaking your digital footprint. However, few business owners have the time, or employees, to check their analytics daily. 

At a minimum, we recommend logging into your Google Analytics account 2 to 4 times a month. If you have the time, a couple times a week is even more effective. After that, you’ll hit diminishing returns.

2. What are UTM codes, and how can I use them to make Google Analytics more effective?

Simply put, UTM codes are small bits of code added to the end of links that tags traffic coming through that link. It might be easier to grasp to think of UTM codes as door-greeters asking visitors where they’re from and then recording it.

So, if you started a Facebook campaign, you could create a UTM code, then paste it onto the end of the url link in that campaign. That way, your analytics can tell when a visitor came to your site via that link, allowing you to measure how effective it is.

With UTM codes you can track five different parameters, including:

  • Source
  • Medium
  • Campaign Name
  • Content
  • Keyword Term

UTM tracking can help you understand which ad campaigns are working to drive traffic to your website, and which ones need to be tweaked, or cut completely. 

What should I be looking for on Google Analytics?

Logging into Google Analytics can get overwhelming quickly, especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. For business owners who are in charge of their own analytics, we recommend tracking via four data points:

  1. Traffic levels and sources
  2. What your traffic is looking at: products, pages, content
  3. Bounce rates and time on site
  4. Where your visitors are from

*Bonus: If you have an ecommerce site, set up Advanced Ecommerce tracking to track where your online sales are coming from, and what’s bringing them in.

This gives you a good snapshot of how well your campaigns are doing, and if you’re appealing to an audience that is actually converting.

Your best snapshot of how your business is doing.

If there’s only one thing you take away from this article it is:

Google Analytics is a requirement for a modern business.

Since it’s free and easy to set up your self (and free to get us to do it for you), you have no reason to avoid it.

Once you’ve gone ahead signed up and signed in, things can get a little more difficult. With the ocean of information available. it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed by Google Analytics and give up. But, you don’t have to learn what every single number means to bring your business into the new age of advertising.. 

The two most important things to remember once you have Google Analytics is:

  • You should stay in control of your data
  • All ad campaigns, on and off-line, should move the needle on your analytics

If you can keep control of your data, and monitor where your traffic is coming from, and how your advertising campaigns affect it, then you’ve made a big jump forward in your advertising, and you’re empowering your business to do better.

The best part is, you’ve done it for free with minimal investment in time.

If you want more from your analytics, call us to get clarity with a free digital consultation with our experts. SEARCH