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The Data Episode That’s Not Scary – Using Your Performance to Figure Out What’s Working (part 1)

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Part 1 of our 2 episode deep-dive on using data! WE LIVE FOR THIS STUFF.

We talk about:

  • (1:00) Sephora vs Ulta: loyalty program comparions and what you should link to during the sale
  • (8:00) Q&A: how to use trending products in a way that will convert your audience
  • (15:00) How to figure out what content is and is not working for you

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The Transcript

[00:00:00] Michelle: Cause it’s kind of like saying, Oh, if mini dresses are trending and then you’re like, I’m going to post a ball gown. Like 

[00:00:10] Monica: that might not 

[00:00:11] Michelle: work, but a different mini dress could work. So just keeping that context, I think is really important. 

[00:00:20] Monica: Hello and welcome back to inside the click where Monica and Michelle.

[00:00:24] Monica: And we are here to give you the latest on creator economy, news, insights, analytics, everything to make sure that you are breaking through the noise and able to make your business a business. Michelle, how was, how was your long weekend? 

[00:00:40] Michelle: Long weekend was great. Um, well, actually it’s not going to be a long weekend.

[00:00:44] Monica: It was. Oh, it was two weeks ago when this movie released. Yeah, that’s so true. Did you do any of the sale shopping? I did 

[00:00:52] Michelle: makeup shopping. Okay. That’s like pretty much what I spend my money on. Ulta 

[00:00:56] Monica: and Sephora. Yeah. They were both running sales at The same. Oh [00:01:00] yeah, 

[00:01:02] Michelle: we had a little post about that. Yep.

[00:01:04] Michelle: Check that out on our IG. But yeah, I’m officially Diamond at Ulta. Okay. Okay. Which, by the way, the loyalty programs, the differences between Sephoras and Ultas is wild. Oh, Sephora’s trash now. Yes. When I lived in New York and in Boston, like in cities, that’s just where Sephoras are, so I was always a Sephora person.

[00:01:27] Michelle: And they can be a little more premium than Ulta, though Ulta’s like very 

[00:01:32] Monica: close. 

[00:01:35] Michelle: Oh, yeah, literally, I got to diamond and I was like, Oh, and then in my first few days, they’re like, you get a free diamond gift. And I’m like, Oh, thank you. The 

[00:01:48] Monica: stuff is so bad. It’s like you get like a trial size that’s like this big.

[00:01:53] Monica: And unfortunately, that’s where all my points are because my mom and I share an account. Which is a great way [00:02:00] to rack up points, but not when their program is now trash. That’s 

[00:02:04] Michelle: what’s nice about Ulta, is that the points add up so fast, and you can redeem so much stuff. 

[00:02:12] Monica: Yeah, it’s great. I think this is an interesting thing when it comes to deciding if you’re going to link to Ulta though, or link to Sephora.

[00:02:22] Monica: Because as a creator, you might have your preference, but what if you are sharing like all these Sephora links and really all your people are then being like, okay, I need that screenshotting it to remembering it and then putting it in their Ulta card. It’s like, do you think people should just be pulling their audience?

[00:02:39] Monica: Specifically calling out the loyalty program because everyone’s going to say they shot 

[00:02:43] Michelle: both. You could literally just post both links. Because two, if you think about it, if you pull your audience and like, I even have a little bit of a complex, like right now I’m Rouge for Sephora. I’m getting no benefit.

[00:02:57] Michelle: Nope. And I’m probably not [00:03:00] gonna hit it come this year. Like, I, I can’t imagine spending, I think I still need like 400 more dollars at Sephora or something. I’m just like. two things, but. I also think if you pull your audience, like people might say Sephora, even if they’re really old talk. Isn’t 

[00:03:16] Monica: that amazing branding for Sephora that they’ve like gotten into people’s heads that much that they just default to buy makeup at Sephora?

[00:03:25] Michelle: That’s wild. Do you, would you do that? That’s what I do. I don’t think it’s that much extra effort. You can open up Ultra, open up Sephora, make this two links, one for each. And then if you’re posting an Instagram stories, for example, just post like one is Ulta. And then you can even say Sephora on the next page.

[00:03:46] Michelle: One is Sephora and just give your audience the option to do whatever. Plus also with different loyalties, like I’m so terrible that. Maybe if I saw the same thing at Ulta and Sephora and I’m like, well, if I [00:04:00] spend a little more in Sephora, maybe I can get Rouge again. So it’s just, there might be those different circumstances that people are working through, so they might like the option to choose.

[00:04:10] Monica: Yeah, that’s a good point. But anyway, I’m excited for today’s episode because we’re talking about data, which I think we work in anyway, but how to understand. Your analytics and what to even do with them. And we know that getting into the weeds of this is a lot. So we’re going to break it out where we’re not just going to like go through tables and like talk about numbers.

[00:04:37] Michelle: Yeah. Yeah. We want to make this very digestible and just easy to follow because it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s really just about figuring out what’s working, what’s not working. So. Let’s get into 

[00:04:51] Monica: it. We have to do the Q and a we’re not going to forget it. So the question is how can you [00:05:00] leverage trend reports and customize them, so to speak for your audience?

[00:05:04] Monica: Like you can’t just copy paste. I think the question is essentially like someone says Samba sneakers are trending. Well. Does that mean you have to post Samba sneakers or can you do some more like deductive reasoning out of that and using that as like inspiration for something that might work better?

[00:05:24] Michelle: Yeah, it varies based on what you have shown works for you. So if you have never posted that brand or if you have never posted a sneaker Then it could be I mean anything’s always worth trying But I don’t know if you could for sure say this is a slam dunk because it’s trending Yeah, i’ve even seen some influencers that will post that and be like This item is trending, and I’m 

[00:05:53] Monica: like, does that even work?

[00:05:55] Monica: Yeah, so maybe it’s like, let’s say it’s the Adidas Samba sneaker [00:06:00] again. A scenario could be, well, if this is trending, maybe people are thinking about sneakers just in general, and my audience might not like those either, so I’ll share with them the sneakers that I actually do wear. Would that work or is that starting to take a trending product and trying to force it to work?

[00:06:19] Monica:

[00:06:19] Michelle: think that you might have to apply one more layer where it’s like, okay, if it’s the Adidas Samba sneaker Then understanding what the sneaker looks like, what its uses and seeing then how that could translate for a product that is at a brand or a retailer that you know, your audience likes, that could be how you translate it.

[00:06:45] Michelle: Cause it’s kind of like saying, Oh, if mini dresses are trending and then you’re like. I’m going to post a ballgown. Like, well, that might not work, but a different mini dress could [00:07:00] work. So just keeping that context, I think is really important. 

[00:07:03] Monica: That’s true. One example I’m thinking about is with this Adidas Samba sneaker.

[00:07:10] Monica: To me, I’m like, well, this is a complicated personal situation with me and Adidas shoes, but basically they don’t fit me well. But I’m like, okay, let’s say. It is the right vibe for the style I have. So my audience might like that. What is it that I do have from Adidas that I love that they’re going to be on the Adidas website anyway, that maybe like they add to cart.

[00:07:34] Monica: And like, I have this Adidas white sweatshirt that I’m obsessed with. I have two of them in the same color. And I’m like, okay, maybe you just play with the actual retailer rather than the item itself. Yep, I like that 

[00:07:48] Michelle: a lot. Playing with the actual retailer and even with other items that could complement the trending 

[00:07:54] Monica: item.

[00:07:55] Monica: That’s true. That’s a good point too. It’s almost like you don’t even have to [00:08:00] necessarily talk about that trending item itself. If the Samba sneakers are just not your jam, but what are things that go with that Samba sneakers that you’re, since it’s a trending product, then chances are your audience might be shopping it, but they’re not coming to you for it.

[00:08:13] Monica: They want to know something else that goes along those lines. 

[00:08:17] Michelle: Yep. And you could even, like, I know that at Collective Voice, they have looks and so you could spin up a look and say like, okay, I know that this one product in the look is trending, but I’m going to put more emphasis on like some of this other stuff.

[00:08:32] Michelle: And then you can just indicate there are some trending shoes in here. If you buy them, you might be on the trend, but then you can say, this is what I really like. And Hey, all of these things match and go together. You can also look at your own data. And once you get enough data to have like year over year trends, then you can see what happened, what happened in September of last year and look at some [00:09:00] of those trends and even compare to August, like, Hey, this is what worked last month, last year, then this is what transitioned and worked well for me in September of last year.

[00:09:10] Michelle: So now what worked well for me this past August and then can I apply that past year behavior or performance or takeaways to this September? And then just use it. 

[00:09:24] Monica: Yeah. So my massive experiment that I did was create a brand new account from scratch. Because one thing I did know about my Instagram account is that when I took a break from all this blogging stuff and didn’t post or.

[00:09:41] Monica: Months, it killed my account. I lost like 10, 000 followers. So that automatically is a huge ding because it’s just this account that doesn’t post and it’s just losing followers. Um, and then they make all these algorithm changes in the time that I’m not posting. So Instagram has no idea what my account is even [00:10:00] about, and it’s never really recovered from that.

[00:10:02] Monica: So my reach has always been super, super low. even on stories. So I thought, okay, what if I create a brand new account, start from scratch and compare the data. So I did like a real deep dive for about two, three months, I believe comparing the two side by side. And essentially the conversion I was getting an engagement on the new one was equal to what I was getting on the old account that had like 7, 000 more followers.

[00:10:31] Monica: Now here’s like the big. Question. And like the whole existential crisis is okay. But then if I ignore my account with 7, 000 followers, that means I lose access to certain programs where you have to have a minimum amount for sponsored posts. And I had upcoming sponsored posts that I still had to do. So I couldn’t risk damaging that relationship and all these other things.

[00:10:57] Monica: So then I was like, I’ll just try to get the new account [00:11:00] to equal. Old account and call it a day then and switch over as exhausting because I still have to manage the other account. So at the end of the day, I chose the vanity metric over the conversion. And I think that you could argue both ways. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong.

[00:11:19] Monica: I just, because I already had some sponsored posts I was working on. I had to choose that. over what this other account may or may not be. Maybe it never really would grow to the point that I needed to fast enough. 

[00:11:34] Michelle: Actually, question though, if you were to put out some paid content, And basically like through Essentially paying for eyeballs, but then it would kind of right set you.

[00:11:47] Michelle: Did you try doing that? 

[00:11:49] Monica: Yeah, I would boost a lot of posts. Sometimes I would do ads And I also bought the blue check mark for two months and it didn’t help I mean it [00:12:00] not really not to the percentage that it should the percentage is there enough that I Do get to work with brands. It’s not good enough that I want to pitch myself to brands.

[00:12:11] Monica: I’m embarrassed by it, you know? Cause it’s like, I like, I’m convincing XYZ brand to use me. I’m not going to get them the results that are worth their money. I mean, if I just was like delusional about all this, I’d be like. Yeah, I’m amazing. And I have like this Instagram following and I can make a really cute picture and video for you.

[00:12:31] Monica: And it doesn’t even matter how, what my conversion is, because you’re just going to love working with me so 

[00:12:37] Michelle: much. One reason why I do like data in this industry, because you can’t necessarily always like measure your impact. Let’s even say that I post something and I’m not going to use a link, right? Like that’s not.

[00:12:52] Michelle: I’m not an influencer. I just study influencers basically, but. I’m sure that one of [00:13:00] my friends would be like, Oh yeah, like I saw that you use Stanley water bottle. So, I saw that they were on sale when I was at Target and I got one. There’s impact like that, that happens all the time. that you’re not privy to, that you don’t see, you could also be influencing things in that way.

[00:13:19] Michelle: And there would not really be any way for them to measure it or whatnot, but that is still why it’s valuable for brands to be in this whole ecosystem because it does give this underlying desire for someone to buy the thing because they saw someone else doing it. Even if they’re not like click. Go to the website purchase it can like come to life in other ways 

[00:13:47] Monica: The my favorite example of that for my own account is my favorite nighttime snack is a bowl of popcorn But then I throw other things in it like goldfish hot cheetos Reese’s and it’s like [00:14:00] my little Someone called it a something salad like a monica salad or something like that.

[00:14:04] Monica: Yeah, and I Used to post it pretty frequently, not thinking anything of it other than like this is completely unhinged, but whatever. And then like randomly people will post on their stories of like their own version of it and tag me or just I’ll be scrolling through and like someone will like have mentioned that they saw it.

[00:14:27] Monica: And then over in Mexico, the Flaming Hot Cheetos came up in a conversation. Someone brought up the extra hot ones, and I was like, I’ve never had the extra hot ones. And someone else interpreted that as I’d never had them. And one of the girls was like, yes you have, you make them in your, your bowl every night.

[00:14:45] Monica: And it’s like not close friends that I was on the trip with. So it’s, you’re right, like little things like do stick with people. 

[00:14:52] Michelle: Yes. And that’s why it’s also important that all of the content that you post is not just like link, link, sale, [00:15:00] link. Even in zooming a step out. If you look at your performance for something, don’t forget looking a few days before or even like a few weeks before what types of content did you post that’s leading to higher engagement.

[00:15:15] Michelle: And honestly. Doing that analysis can be a little time consuming because it’s really the best way to do that is to go pull your data up and then literally put pictures of your content up, like either like above or below your impression volume or the engagement rates or something, because. I always love doing this and this is even what you can do when looking at data or like data visualizations.

[00:15:45] Michelle: If you relax your eyes, you should be able to kind of just tell what’s happening. So if you put all of your like high performing posts over on one side, like the images of them, like drag them over in your, I don’t know, like Apple [00:16:00] notes and then put all of your low performing images by each other or posts even, right.

[00:16:06] Michelle: If you do like text posts. And then you should be able to see, Oh my gosh, my high performing ones, like feature my family a lot, or they’re of me with my car or whatever. And that is like what works for you versus, Oh, the images that are really dark or images that are just of me or my selfies. I feel like usually selfies actually do well, but let’s just say 

[00:16:30] Monica: people’s 

[00:16:30] Michelle: faces.

[00:16:31] Michelle: Yeah. But let’s just say that in this instance that they, that the selfie was not good. So. Yeah. Then you’re like, okay, like I shouldn’t really post selfies. I mean, I still see some creators posting text posts on Facebook and it drives me nuts. Awful. No one’s gonna click on that. No. No one’s gonna even see it probably.

[00:16:53] Michelle: So what? It’s happening. The whole world is visual and even like leading visual, [00:17:00] AKA video. Yes. So yeah, I would definitely, that’s a worthwhile exercise that everyone can do. Pull all of your stuff down, pull your metrics down and then put the post by their metrics. It’s high and low and even mid, cause that’s content that’s consistent and you should be able to see here’s what works.

[00:17:21] Michelle: Here’s what doesn’t work. 

[00:17:23] Monica: I love that. That’s such a good idea. And even talking about this, I just had an aha moment where if I take my Instagram account when it was successful, when it was doing what it needed to do, and I have done this exercise before actually, where I looked at that and I looked at what I’m doing now.

[00:17:41] Monica: I am not doing the same stuff. What worked when I had a successful Instagram account was I wasn’t on stories all the time, chatting with my audience about random things that happening in my day to day. Like there was one instance where I, so I love Hallmark [00:18:00] Christmas movies and Hallmark had released an app so that you could start checking off.

[00:18:07] Monica: Which ones you watched, and I was like, yes, challenge accepted. Now, they added another layer that said that you could add it to your calendar when it’s out so that like you remember to catch it. What it didn’t say was if you choose to do that it’s going to add every single movie to your calendar throughout the day and mark it as busy.

[00:18:30] Monica: So I got on Instagram stories and I was like, y’all, you need to help me like a mass delete all this for my Google calendars, like telling this whole situation. I was having like followers as boyfriends, like trying to like help tech solve this, like this whole thing. And there was always something like once a week, ridiculous like that, that I would do where like, I would go.

[00:18:54] Monica: to brunch and then drunkenly buy a plant and like get in a taxi home, taxi, an [00:19:00] Uber back to my apartment. DC was perfect for this type of content because in a city where you’re walking around all the time, something ridiculous is always going to happen. Yeah. So that’s what worked and that’s what kept people engaged to that point is if anyone else is listening and they’re frustrated.

[00:19:20] Monica: I would say almost like do kind of that exercise that we just did here, too. It was just thinking like, when I enjoyed being a content creator, like, let’s say your burnout, think back to when you enjoyed being a content creator. What were you doing? Because there’s probably something that happened between then and now that made you start to alter something.

[00:19:44] Monica: It might not be necessarily why you started this in the first place and it’s time to go back to that. 

[00:19:50] Michelle: Yeah, it’s weird too when it becomes more of like a job. That’s what’s always really tricky is that sometimes [00:20:00] And I know that there’s people that like make it out there as like musicians and like models and whatnot.

[00:20:08] Michelle: But when you go from doing something for fun to trying to make that your career, it can take all of the fun right out of it. It’s kind of counterintuitive because the saying is, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It kind of takes going to a different place mentally where versus if you’re a creator on the side and you’re just like, I’m going to share my nightly popcorn.

[00:20:34] Michelle: Like, that’s like fun. And you’re not like, okay, I need to do this and that. And then I need to make sure that this post makes me 5, 000. And it removes a lot of the creativity. So people that are trying to take that next step. I think that that is why looking at data is very important so you can figure out here’s the money makers.

[00:20:58] Michelle: Here’s what I need to [00:21:00] do. You can kind of take care of that in a planning tool or whatever, and then you have more time to do the fun stuff that is like what you really enjoy. Stay tuned for part two of our Data Deep Dive coming to you on Thursday of this week.

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