How to Create a Meaningful Marketing Plan for Your Business

I’m sure you know what you want to achieve—but do you know what to focus on to get you there? Daily marketing tasks are some of the most important parts of your business when it comes to getting new customers. But you might be spending your time and money on the wrong marketing mix.

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Reporting to Marketers after a Sponsored Post

You’ve been hired to do a sponsored post. Congrats! But now what should you do after (and before) you publish the post to best serve your new clients? Today I’m talking all about how to best work with marketers for sponsored posts.

It takes a bit of preparation before hand to do a sponsored post well. In fact, it’s almost always more work than just any other regular post. Watch this week’s vlog to find out how you can be a better blogger, work great with marketers, and score even more sponsored posts.

What to do After a Sponsored Post

Today I’m talking about what kinds of statistics to share with marketers who hired you to do promotional posts.

This week’s question comes from my gal pal Susannah over at Feast & West. Thanks Susannah!

She recently did a promotional post, or native ad, with a juice company and wrote to me asking about what to do after the post is published to report back to the company that hired her. She asked:

  • What kinds of stats should I be sending brands after I collaborate with them?
  • What’s the best way to present them?
  • How long after the post?

Why Bloggers Must Charge for Sponsored Content

Before we dive into stats for sponsored posts, I want to underline that bloggers should always charge for sponsored content. Sure, you could write posts in exchange for product and many bloggers do this. Keep in mind that marketers are asking you to provide a service for their clients. It’s work and you absolutely deserve to get paid for it!

Now that I’m off my bloggers should charge soapbox, let’s talk about what kinds of stats marketers are looking for.

What Marketers Want from Bloggers

The first thing to know is the purpose of the campaign. Marketers seek sponsored content for a number of reasons. It might be:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Building brand aesthetic
  • Increased sales
  • Or something else

Generally, marketers are hired by companies to increase sales, no matter what path they choose to get to that point. Always keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to produce a lift, or what those in the business call increased sales. Since I’m in Arkansas where Walmart is headquartered, I’ve worked with a number of national brands doing these kinds of campaigns.

Keeping that in mind, it will dictate what kind of stats you hand back in after the post is published. Be sure to ask what the goal of the campaign is before signing on and it’ll help dictate your content so you can perform better for them!

What to do after a sponsored blog post and how to report back to marketers who hired you from @bearandbeagleWhat Kinds of Statistics Marketers Want from Bloggers

I’ve created a short little worksheet gives you a list of all the stats you should send to marketers. Just put in your email and it’ll arrive in your inbox so you can refer to it as many times as you like.

Grab the Worksheet

How to Present Stats After a Sponsored Post

Marketers are busy people who have to sort through tons of information, synthesize it together, and make sense of it for their clients to tell the story the client wants to hear. So what can you do to help them?

Instead of just sending the stats along, provide a short narrative of no longer than about 200 words on how your post went, what the stats can say about the product, and any recommendations on what marketers can change for the future for the campaign to be more effective.

When to Report to Marketers After a Sponsored Post

Generally, marketers have a timeline they want to stick to so finding out this information ahead of time is important. It’s also important to understand what’s expected of you for the campaign.

  • How many times will you promote it on social media after publication?
  • How long after the post is published will you still be working on getting traffic to the post?
  • How long is the marketer running the campaign?

Basically, think about the projected life of the post and report back to the marketers when the post is towards its end. Typically, that’s a few weeks out from when you publish it but can be as long as a month.

Get Testimonials For Your Work!

As a final tip here, be sure to send along a quick questionnaire with your stats to the marketers about how you did. It’s important to gather testimonials for your work so you can entice other marketers to pay you. If you have a proven track record of working well with marketers and helping them better serve their clients, you’re well on your way.

Video Tutorial: Enable Demographics & Interest Reports

You’ve probably heard me talk about Google Analytic’s Demographic & Interest reports in the past. It’s a super easy process to enable these reports on your website. All you need is access to your Google Analytics code, your Google Analytics account, and the ability to change your privacy policy. You can do this task in about 15 minutes and get lots more information to help you better serve your audience.

How to Enable Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reports Tutorial

Hey guys and welcome to the Build Your Blog Vlog. I’m Kim Herrington of Bear & Beagle Creative. Every week I answer blogging questions sent in by readers, from our Google Plus group, and ones that folks just ask me. This is one that folks have asked me a lot.

How do you actually add demographics and interest reports to your Google Analytics?

If you’ve ever gone into your Google Analytics, if you look down here on the left hand side, you would have noticed Demographics and Interest reports. If you’ve ever taken a look at them you’ve probably seen this. There’s normally a blue button here that you can click enable.

You actually have to install these reports and add a one line of code to your analytics code to get Demographics and Interest reports.

Adding the Demographics Code to Google Analytics

To do that, if you’re on this page, you want to click learn more about the code. It’s going to take you to a Google help page. You want to check your code first and see what kind of code you have. Today we’re going to be working on a website I’ve just launched. There’s a place in their theme that adds the analytics code to the header.

If you look at your code you’ll notice that it’ll say different things in it. This one says analytics.js which means that it’s the universal analytics code. If you see ga.js you probably want to update to the universal analytics code because you get better tracking.

The one line you have to add is just right here in bold. Highlight and copy it. Then to add it, you just want to edit in between the two GA commands that are here in between your tracking code number and send. Go back to the analytics code and just add a line and paste it in. And that’s it!

I add spaces because I want it to be on the same line but you don’t have to. Then simply save changes.

If you have your analytics code somewhere else, you might not have it in your theme, you might have had to add it to your header tag. There are all kinds of different places it can be your site. You want to find it and just add that one line.

Updating You Disclaimer Policy for Google Analytics Demographics Reports

The next thing you need to do is add to your disclaimer policy some information that Google requires. It says here you need to update your privacy policy. If you click through to that, it tells you all the different information that you need to include.

If you’re looking for a good way to make a disclaimer and privacy policy, I have a great post on my blog that you can use. Here’s the privacy policy that I’ve created for Ace Archers, Inc. which is this website, acearchers.com. That’s pretty much all the information you need to include there.

Again, if you need this text just go ahead and hop over to that blog post that you’ll see pop up here. That will be the information you need to add. Once you’ve taken those two steps, we’re going to go back to Google Analytics.

Validating Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

Click validate tracking code. Sometimes it can take, you know, up to 24 hours. You just want to check to make sure you put it in the right spot. Hit save changes. Sometimes you need to actually activate it by going to the website and executing the code. This is their brand new website.

You can click around a little bit so it loads the analytics code a couple of times. Doesn’t really matter where you go to. Let’s try validating the tracking code again. See unfortunately, sometimes it takes some time.

It says “Note:if you made this change in the last 24 hours, you can wait and try later or skip validation.” We’re going to skip validation because I know that I’ve done it right. If you want to wait, just go ahead. You want to test out your Analytics by clicking around to pages. It does take a while for this information to appear. It’s just not coming in yet. But if you trust Analytics it will appear after a while. You just need to give it some time.

What are Google Analytics Thresholds?

If you’re wondering, if you’re looking at your reports and see this “Some data in your reports may have been removed when a threshold was applied” that has so with they want to make sure you can’t tell who the individual is that’s looking at the website. They want to keep people’s person and private identities safe.

Because I’m the only one who has looked at it, it would be very easy to tell that it’s just me based on the location information and demographic information. That might also be why your data isn’t appearing.

When you’re testing it out, you want to give it a couple of days usually. Check back every so often to see if it’s started to work for you. When it does start to work you’ll see some information here in the Demographics and Interest Reports. You’ll be able to use that to find out more about your users.

That’s all for today. If you ever want to find out more about blogging tips you can join the Google Plus group that’s listed below this video. You can also send in your questions to info at bear and beagle creative.com Until next time, Keep Blogging!

What Is Bounce Rate: Video

Wondering what bounce rate means? Don’t know what to do with bounce rate to make your website better? This week I’m talking about why you should focus on your bounce rate and what it means for your website. It’s all about how visitors engage with your content!

What is Bounce Rate & How to Fix Bounce Rate Transcript

Hey bloggers! I’m Kim Herrington of Bear & Beagle Creative. I answer questions about blogging every week sent in by readers and viewers. This week’s question comes from Susannah of Feast & West. She asked:

Can you help me understand bounce rates? What number is a good bounce rate vs. an undesirable one? How can I make my bounce rate go up or down? Does it even matter?

Well Susannah, that’s a really common question. Bounce Rates come from Google Analytics. This number is the number that tells you how well your content is performing to get people to click around your website.

The bounce rate is the percentage of people viewing only one page out of your total visitors. What this means is if you have a high bounce rate, people are coming to your website, reading one page, and then moving on.

What is the ideal bounce rate? For one, it varies on the kind of website you have. Some blogs see in 80% bounce rate and some experts say this is totally fine. I think you should shoot for between 60 and 75% for blog-based websites. Other websites see as low as 20% bounce rates. It all depends on how your readers interact with your content.

Do your readers read every single one of your blog post every day or do they read many in one session? If readers return often to your website, your bounce rate is going to be very high. But your engagement numbers on your Frequency and Recency report will give some clues. If you see a high number of returning visitors that have 0 or 1 days since the last session, you have a loyal readership! If your return visitor engagement is low and your bounce rate is high you need to make a change.

Ultimately, it doesn’t what the number is. Your goal should be to work on reducing your bounce rate. It doesn’t matter as much what your number actually is just as long as it’s going down.

What impacts the bounce rate?

Well it has a lot to do with how relevant your content is, how loyal your readers are, and if you have clear actions for new visitors to take when they visit your website for the first time. Take for example someone gets your website through Google or another search engine. They start at one page and if it completely fills their need without asking them to further engage, they’ll exit your website. If you integrate a strong call to action for your readers to click through to other related articles, your bounce rate will likely be lower.

One way to reduce your bounce rate is like creating series of content that attracts lots of search traffic. Present that content as related articles and ask your visitors to continue reading your content. When people are more engaged with your website, they’re more likely to remember who you are later or even buy your products.

I hope this answers your beginning questions about bounce rates. Don’t forget, you can always send in your blogging questions to info at bearandbeaglecreative.com or join the G+ group to get in on all the blog building action.

Till next time, keep blogging.

How to Differentiate Your Blog: Video

One of the most common problems for bloggers, both new and veteran, is making sure that their blog is unique and differentiated from everyone else’s. You need to differentiate your blog comes by showing your unique style and life experiences that formed you into who you are!

In this week’s Build Your Blog Vlog, I answer this problem with some tips on how to better differentiate your blog.

Video Transcript

Hey bloggers!

Welcome to the Build Your Blog Vlog.

I’m Kim Herrington of Bear & Beagle Creative.

Every week I answer questions about blogging, content marketing, and SEO sent in from readers or from discussions in our G+ group. You can join the G+ group to meet other bloggers and find solutions to common blogging questions together. Or you send in your questions via email to info at bearandbeaglecreative.com.

I recently met with a friend who is at the beginnings of her lifestyle blogging journey.
She was a party planner in LA and is struggling with transferring the experience of planning ninety-thousand dollar children’s parties to our area where people just don’t spend that kind of money.
She’s looking to blogging to build up her reputation but told me that she’s worried she won’t be able to differentiate herself from all the other party planning bloggers out there.

She’s right to be worried! There are thousands of blogs offering up party planning tips. Almost every blogger encounters this problem.

How can you differentiate yourself from everyone else?

Think of it this way—there aren’t very many party planners who worked in LA, have the same style and ideas about how to put a party together, who also have the same background as her. Her ideas of how to have a successful party, although they might be really similar, are all her own based on her life experiences.

No one has the same life experiences as she does!

Part of the differentiation problem is there is only so much knowledge out there. You can give information or tips that are unique and all your own for whatever you’re writing about but it’s only a matter of time before someone else does the same thing.

We’re creatures of habit and replication. We repeat the habits of those around us as children and develop into adults that use the same copy behavior to find success.

So what makes you different as a person if we all tend to copy everyone else? It’s how we do the same things with a slightly different twist after experimenting and finding something different. We’re curious and inspired to try new things—and that can lead us to different life experiences. When you combine together what your life has been and your unique way of doing something, you develop a unique perspective on life.

Turning your uniqueness into a blog is a really difficult task but is the secret to differentiating your blog from everyone else’s. It comes down to the combination of elements from the moment a reader enters your space on the internet.
The goal is to present a strong personal brand that’s all your own, from the design and layout of your website, to the visuals you use, to your words and way you style your writing. Show your unique perspective on your content and you’re differentiating yourself from everyone else.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What makes me unique as an individual?
  • What are my strongest traits?
  • What experiences have I had in life makes me different than other people?
  • How can I translate that into my online work and presence?
  • Which individual elements of my online presence aren’t speaking to my strong traits and unique life experiences?

Of course, this is just the beginning of what it means to build a unique brand for your blog. Take some time to really reflect on what it means to be you and how that translates into your online content.

Do you have a blogging question? Be sure to send it my way by joining the Build Your Blog G+ group or emailing it to info at bearandbeaglecreative.com. You should also subscribe so you get these weekly Build Your Blog Vlog videos or get even more blogging tips at bearandbeaglecreative.com.

Till next time, keep blogging!