How to improve content with data analysis




Strategy Talks is a social media strategy TALK SHOW, hosted by Dorien Morin-van Dam. Dorien was joined by her fourth guest, Tim Campbell Smith for a conversation about how to Improve Content with Data Analysis.


Below, please find the 20 minute video + the transcript





TRANSCRIPT


Dorien:

This is episode four of Strategy Talks and I have an amazing guest. Let me tell you a little bit about Tim Campbell Smith. He has the best bio I've ever read!


Tim Campbell Smith is so extroverted, he puts the social back in social media. Tim's love language is local restaurants, and Time Magazine describes him as someone we've literally never heard of. Having a passionate love affair with Pinterest, which I can relate to. Tim's dogs Monster and Mini describe him as the world's greatest social media consultant and says, "He knows a lot about YouTube and gives us treats."

Tim also felt obligated to share he's consulted for hundreds of businesses worldwide, published books in the areas of marketing and small business, and completed training with honors in both adult education and digital marketing management. I know you're agile certified. He also now teaches at Fanshawe and Conestoga College.


Welcome Tim.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Thank you for having me.


Dorien:

That is really one of the best bios I probably think the best bio I've ever read. I absolutely love it. I might need to hire you to write my bio. How about that?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

I thought about it for a second.


Dorien:

I think that'll be good. We're going to talk, Improving Content with Data Analysis. You call yourself a social media or digital strategist, which...


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Marketing in the last year and a bit. Yeah. I've branched out to do more broad stuff, so digital really, but I come from social.


Dorien:

Okay. Let's talk content. What do we need? What do we need data and how can data be fun? Because you're fun. Data is boring. I want to ask our audience actually, one of the questions that I have, put in the comments, if data geeks you out or freaks you out, I thought that was a good question. Let us know. Does it geek you out or does it freak you out? Tim, I'm assuming since we're talking data, it geeks you out.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yes. Yes. You know what I'm love about data. One, I love seeing a transformation in people who don't love data right away, who it freaks them out. And then the second we get talking about it, seeing them geek out about it, the main way I see people move from freaked out to geeked out, that is gold, by the way, I'm going to use that.


Dorien:

Totally. That could be a book.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

From freaked out to geek out. I'd buy that. Let me know when you're publishing it.


Dorien:

All right. I know, I know. I thought of that when we were talking about it, because I'm that person, I used to be freaked out and now I'm geek out.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yes. The main way that I find people start to geek out is when they realize that data can answer almost any of their questions. A lot of clients, a lot of folks I work with, we start off by talking about their social media, their digital marketing. And there's a lot of, "I think this." or "I suspect." And I remind them, data will give you those answers any of your... And not just digital marketing questions, your business questions, your analytics, your data will give you the answers to those questions. And the second people start asking questions and seeing that they can get answers from their data. I'm like, "Oh, ding, ding, ding, there's our winner." That's why I love data. I love data.


Dorien:

Okay. Sarah's here, Emma's here. Sarah says, "I feel a new marketing title is in the works." Sarah Munro. Let's talk content specifically, because I know there's data, if you talk about digital marketing, paid email, there's so much data that we are looking for and that we know about. We know about opening rates, we know about headlines, we know about conversion. We know that's data, digital marketing data.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah.


Dorien:

Content is a little bit different. How can you improve your content? What kind of data do you need to do that, Tim? Let's get to the card with that.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah. You know what data I look for with my clients and the folks I work with, we look for data that shows what got us the most followers, what got us the most engagement and what got us the best click-through. Those are usually the starting points because they're thinking about their followers. We're thinking about what's getting us followers.


Dorien:

Sure.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Followers, the easiest organic content can be an easy way to get new followers. But then I'm here to say, "Well, we also need the engagement. We need the click-through. We need the purchase." That's why we're in business, to make money and the data can tell us that. Most platforms will tell us that. I have to admit, the bane of my existence and please anybody weigh in on the comments, Doreen please weigh in. LinkedIn, the personal profile analytics and some of the organic analytics on LinkedIn pages, not my favorite.


Dorien:

No.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Kind of lacking. All the other platforms are giving you goals. But LinkedIn, it just breaks my heart.


Dorien:

I know, but yet LinkedIn personal profile it tells you the reach, right there on each post. Yeah, it doesn't give you this fancy dashboard, but you get instant feedback.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah.


Dorien:

This one works really well. Yeah, if you're doing a data analysis with a client and you have to go to their personal profile and log in as them, or they have to ask them for the content.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah.


Dorien:

Because we are able, for those of you watching, we're able to schedule content for personal profiles, as a social media manager through a tool. Right. But we don't get the data because the data is for that person. Then I have to either ask my client, "Can you get me to data?" Or ask for screenshots. But the cool thing about it is its instant. I look to see how many reactions I get, how much reach I have. And then you can see who's seeing your content, because LinkedIn will tell you it's people from corporations or in this country. And they do tell you that. That is kind of... But I hear you about not having a dashboard and not being easy accessible on the data there, for sure.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

As robust. Yeah. Yeah. But then, and please build on this Dorien because you're the expert here. I love organic data though and organic content data because I use it to, with my clients, we use it to mitigate risk in our paid ads. We look at what posts, what content got us the most followers, got us the most click throughs. We're not just testing ads out of nowhere. We're taking content that we have the data to prove this worked, put the money behind that, put that into email and then we have less risk and we have more rewards, faster. That's why I think everyone should be talking organic data these days as [crosstalk 00:08:11].


Dorien:

That's tip number one and I totally agree. You test things organically. You see what people love, what they click on, what stops the scroll, what they react to, where you have conversations and engagement and whatever does best organically, you pull that into an ad.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Exactly.


Dorien:

Brilliant.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

There it is. There it is.


Dorien:

Yeah. This is interesting because I know this is not the topic, but I talk about this organic social media does and works better when you have a paid strategy. And a paid strategy obviously is going to work better when you have organic content on the page. If you are only running ad and there's nothing on the page that people can talk to you about, that doesn't work very well. If you are a Facebook ad agency, you need to work with an organic specialist. If you're an organic specialist, you go and make sure you are connected to an awesome Facebook ad specialist who can put ads out for your client, but then work together instead of just building an ad campaign with new assets and you don't know if the images work or if the content, the copy works. Look to the organic, it's brilliant. It's brilliant, Tim. Yes.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

And you know what? To build on that because I love that so much. I remember, I don't know, what would you say maybe 2017, 2018, we still had people asking, "Should I focus on organic or..." It was an either or question. "Should I focus on organic or should I focus on paid?" Those days are gone. We need, I would argue this tooth and nail, I would die on this hill, we need both organic and paid.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

You wouldn't build a theme park with only extreme roller coasters. You would have a couple gentle rides and a couple of restaurants. We need it all. And the data from both can tell us because the opposite is also true. We've also seen where we ran ads, we ran paid campaigns and things worked that we didn't expect would work, and worked in ways we didn't think would work. And we import it into our organic strategy, way easier to put it in organic and to watch the data from organic. And you're not paying for that data like you are with paid, we need both.


Dorien:

Right. No, that's a really, really good point. And consumers these days are pretty smart. And I don't know if you work like this, but if I get a really well targeted Facebook ad, and you let me know in the comments if this is you. You go somewhere on Amazon or you see something or there's a targeted ad and I just bought something off of Facebook ad, $300 purchase. It was super, super targeted. But what I did before I bought, I click through to the Facebook page. I wanted to see what people were saying on the page. If they were engaging, if they were talking to people, if there were customer service issues. Because I wasn't going to go give them my $300 if something was wrong. And if I wasn't going to be able to reach them. You need that organic presence, you need somebody to be there if you're going to sell something on Facebook.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yes, yes. I do that with services. I thought I was the only one who did that. If I'm looking for a service, I will go look at that and I will actually look at reviews, which isn't even content. That's just pure social media strategy, making sure you're getting that social proof. You're talking to people, you're responding to them. Yes, yes, yes.


Dorien:

Okay. What else can people do? We've got about 10 minutes left in this conversation. How else can we improve content with data analysis? And let's talk a little bit more about the different platforms. You already said you don't love LinkedIn analysis for LinkedIn profiles. Where do you see a huge opportunity to improve content? Is that Instagram, is that Facebook, is that Pinterest? Where do you think, if somebody's just starting out, they're spinning their real, they're putting out tons of content, they're not sure it's working. They want to improve their reach, their conversions, their engagement, where should they start? What would you recommend?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

You know what? I wouldn't actually start with one platform. I would actually start by documenting it. This is the other thing I tell folks all the time, "Document your data analysis." If you don't document it, literally pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, put it in a spreadsheet somewhere, you have nothing more than a gut feeling. And that's what I love about data, you can't argue with data. If you've got a reach of 1000 and 3 comments, you had a small engagement rate, period. No way of arguing it. Start by documenting it.


I don't know about you all, put it in the comments. My favorite words in the world are free and cheap. I will that up on Excel spreadsheet or a Google spreadsheet, some kind of spreadsheet and document your analytics and document them on a frequent and scheduled basis. Once a week might be a little... some people might struggle to keep up with that frequency, but once a month, no longer than every three months. If you're waiting every three months to measure your data, you're waiting too long. That's not agile, I would argue that's not even fully effective, but document your data first.


Dorien:

Okay.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

And then-


Dorien:

Go ahead, go ahead.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

And then whatever platforms you're on. I really start with, "What do you actually want to know?" Measure that. Sometimes, and I did this too when I started really getting into data analysis, I just looked at data for the sake of looking at data because it was cool. And everybody who ever taught me anything about data analysis always reminded me, "Always have a business question, always be in pursuit of something that supports the business."


Dorien:

Okay.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

What are your followers worth? How often are you converting them? And then we're looking at follower counting, we're looking at engagement rate, we're looking at click through. Platform to platform, measure what you really actually want to know, is where we should start.


Dorien:

That's awesome. We've got a couple people here. I want to say hi to Adina Jippa. She is co-owner at Social Insider, which is a data analytics tool, which I'm very familiar with and I love them. And if you ever do a social media audit, which is looking at your data or you want to do competitors' analysis, looking at your data versus other people's data, that's a great tool. Shout out to Social Insider.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Oh, can we also give another quick shout-out? Why I appreciate Social Insider so much right now?


Dorien:

Go ahead.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Actually, I saw it from you first, put out a report about Instagram, were counter to everything I had been taught and seen before, the report that said, "More conversions happen in stories than in newsfeed." had all of my clients start switching to try for conversions and stories. Worked like a charm and the data showed us that because of that report from Social Insider. Thanks Social Insider for that.


Dorien:

That's awesome. That's amazing. That's great. We have a question from Iva, I'm going to put it up on the screen and I'm going to read it because there's going to be some people here that might be listening to the podcast. Her question is, "Does a client get data for paid marketing in this Facebook ad? I constantly get this sponsored ad of a local company, searching new employees and people commented, mocking them for searching all the time. And now this ad goes around with these comments." That's interesting. Is that just a case of somebody not paying attention to their ads or having an ad go wild and they're not looking at it?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah. I recently was looking at social media campaigns and the way companies handle their social. I can't help but wonder if this company's adopting... I do not agree with the logic of this, but I'm open to feedback. Companies will not respond on social media. Pepsi for the longest time would not respond to people on Twitter and on their social media, unless they absolutely had to. I don't know why. I'm wondering if this company's following suit with that.


Dorien:

I'm wondering if they just don't have a customer service rep or a community manager who looks at these comments. If you're running ads and you're not monitoring what's being said, that's part of the analysis, isn't it?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you know what? Iva touches on something that I really want to highlight. When it comes to showing our data and how we talk about it, I think it's always important in your reports, I think there should be some source data so you can say, "Here's the actual data on reach on spend or whatever, whatever, whatever." But then you should have something like high level highlights that includes affect. You should be able to hand someone a report on this ad, on the job posting, for example, and say, "We're getting a lot of comments and they're negative. We should do something about this. The data tells us this, the insights tell us this. And it's right in front of us. There's a negative effect here. We should deal with this."


Dorien:

That's awesome. Adina says, "Thanks for sharing the story about Social Insider." And I have a question for you, Tim.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah.


Dorien:

And that relates to this. Let me take this off the screen. You said you read a case study from Social Insiders about this data. This was a big Social Insiders takes 50,000, 100 000 posts. They analyzed a huge chunk of data. You then went and applied this to every single client you shared.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yes.


Dorien:

Is that smart? Is that something that we all should do? Is that something that you tested with your own or you're, "It's proven, this was a case study and we're just going to try it." Or did you think, "It's worth a try, I'm going to do that with every client." It's basically a mini case study that you're doing. And then how long was the experiment and how fast did you see results? I just wanted to come back to that because I thought that was fascinating.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah. In my case I started small. I'm a huge fan of... And you all, if anybody on this watching or listening, doesn't know what agile methodology is, talk to Dorien, she's the expert. But I went agile with it. I tested it on myself first by trying to get people to sign up for a free event, and that worked. Then I did present it to clients, but I told them. I said, "I want you to know this is experimental. I don't..." And I have to admit, at the time I didn't really know much about Social Insiders. I said, "But there's this data that's counter-cultural to what we believe about Instagram and ways we've been doing Instagram. And I think we should try something new, to see if there's credit."


And a couple of clients said, "Yes." A couple said, "No, I don't want to try something experimental." The experiments went well. And then I was able to go back to everybody else, the ones who said, "No." the ones who were on the fence and said, "Look. Now we've done this on a few different accounts. Let's try it." The whole process took about three to four weeks.


Dorien:

That's a short process. That's amazing. We're not talking [inaudible 00:19:34] today, but we're definitely coming back to that at some point. You're going to come back and we talk about it, but it's making small changes in a fast-paced environment to improve. Small iterative improvements in data, in content, for example, based on data that you get. And then you make small tweaks, sometimes as much as every day. If you're running a paid ad campaign and you have six versions or 10 versions of an ad running for Black Friday and only one is doing really well, why are you spending money on six ones?


Turn all the other ones off and make the one that runs the best, put all your money behind that one. That's improving the content with the data analysis. I love that Tim, we just only got a minute or two left. What else can you tell us? What else have you experimented with? What was another cool tip? If you have anything left, we would love to know because this has been a great conversation.


Tim Campbell-Smith :

Yeah. For anybody who could converts and converts most often, not on social media. And I know this isn't quite social media, quite content, but it is connected to content. Make sure you have external platforms that aren't social media connected to your data analysis. Maybe Google Analytics or any other from websites. Social media analytics will tell you what's going on in the social media platform and when people leave. Google Analytics and web analytics will tell you when they arrive and what happens on the website. Combining data sources, combining data sets usually gives us better analysis, better data and more insights. Where possible, make sure that you're not just relying on the social media, use your web tools. Things like Google Analytics, as well and in conjunction.


Dorien:

All right. That's a great place to leave it because we didn't get to that. But it's very important, especially if you're creating content like blog content or putting videos on your website, you want to know exactly what videos people go to, how long they watch, you want to know what blogs do well, what where the headlines, how long did they stay? Did they click through while they were in the blog? And what did they go see, did they go to your event? Did they buy a product? You need all of that data. And then you can also find out with your Google Analytics, how people arrived on your website, correct?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yes, yes. And the other, my favorite, to plant the seed in everyone's ear, is I love the Behavior Tree and actually seeing what is the typical flow of behaviors? And you can see that visually. Oh, that is fascinating. And usually when I teach my clients it, they love it too.


Dorien:

They love it.


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Watch that as well.


Dorien:

That's great. Okay. I've got a couple of rapid fire questions for you. You ready, before we leave? All right. Video meetings or in person meetings?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

In person.


Dorien:

Okay. Visual learner or verbal learner?


Tim Cambell-Smith:

Visual.


Dorien:

Group feedback or one-on-one feedback?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Ooh, one-on-one.


Dorien:

Okay. Awesome. That was great. If you have any questions about improving your content with data analysis, Tim, I'm going to put your banner up so people can connect with you on LinkedIn. Where else are you active, most active on social media if they want to connect with you? Because guys, if you're watching this, whether you're live or on the replay, Tim is amazing. He and I met by accident in a Facebook group, sort of. He reached out and it's been an amazing, fun relationship. At some point, sometimes we are going to meet in real life, but I feel like I already know you. That's really cool. Where can people meet you?


Tim Campbell-Smith:

Yeah. I'm also super active on Instagram @timcampbellsms and on my YouTube channel at Tim Campbell, SMS, Tim Campbell's Strategist.


Dorien:

All right. Awesome. Thank you so much, everybody for watching. I will be back next week with Maria Ganta, who is with Social Insider. We're going to talk about how to start a podcast, which is... I just started one, right? She's going to give us some insights. She started a podcast last year for Social Insiders. That should be a great conversation.


Tim, I always love talking with you. This was amazing. And thank you so much for listening, if you were here listening to the podcast. I'll be back. That should be more episodes to listen to, for sure. And thank you Tim, for letting a us geek out a little bit with this data and making it sound fun, on figuring out what content works for ourselves and for our clients. I really appreciate your time today. Thank you for those who are here live and thank you for those who are watching on the replay and are listening. Thank you so much. And I will see you all while next week. Bye everybody.



My guest, Tim Campbell Smith, Tim Campbell-Smith is so extroverted he puts the social back in social media. Tim’s love language is local restaurants, and Time Magazine describes him as “someone we’ve literally never heard of.” Having a passionate love affair with Pinterest, Tim’s dogs, Monster and Mini describe him as “the world’s greatest social media consultant” and says “he knows a lot about YouTube, and gives us treats.”


You can connect with him on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/timcampbellsms/



Would you like to carry on the conversation? Join the Strategy Talks Facebook Group HERE

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