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The Thing about Direct Traffic...Yoli's Tip for Marketers - Yoli Chisholm - Sr. Marketing Executive with 20 years Experience

Hey everyone! it’s Yoli Chisholm and
welcome to the Yoli Chisholm show where
I talk about marketing past and present
and tools tactics and technology that
I’m excited about and today I want to
talk about direct traffic let’s talk
about it
hey so before we get to the show I do
want to mention that if you’d rather
listen to me on a podcast as you
navigate your way through your day
please do you can reach me at podcasts
Yoli Chisholm comm and I’m available on
iTunes and Spotify look for Yoli
Chisholm so let’s talk about direct
traffic before we can go there what we
need to talk about are the three
different types of social the first is
OpenSocial that is the environment that
we typically share our content in
publicly when we share on platforms like
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter etc when you
share a link in that environment and
somebody clicks on that link and lands
on your website typically in your web
analytics it will show as a social
referral the second type of social is
closed social now clues social typically
refers to the environment like Facebook
Messenger or whatsapp or an email if you
click a share button and share in any of
those environments hey New York the
metadata is preserved and in your Google
Analytics you will be able to see that
that traffic that was clicked through
that link even though we’re sharing an
email or shared in a closed social
environment is attributed to social the
third area is called dark social now the
reason why dark social is so important
for you seasoned marketers you’re not in
your head you know exactly where I’m
going with this but for those of you who
might be novice is or who might not be
aware of this with dark social which is
actually where mo
of the sharing happens over 80% of all
the social media sharing of our content
happens in the dark social environment
this is when you copy and paste a link
and paste it in your in a text and a
text message or you paste it in an email
this is typically when somebody clicks
on that link and lands on your website
your web analytics tool is not able to
achieve it it to social so how do you
track your dark social traffic well
here’s a tip I’m gonna give you so for
those of you who look at your website
analytics on a regular basis you will
see that typically the way it’s
categorized whether it’s in Google
Analytics or any other analytics
platform is that you see your direct
traffic you see your traffic that came
through search you see your traffic that
came through social and other referring
links direct has typically been defined
as the the traffic that came through
people just literally typing in your
website URL and typically that has kind
of been a a measurement of how well your
brand is in terms of how you’re growing
sort of your brand awareness and your
brand equity etc if people are able to
sort of just know your brand and type
directly your website directly sometimes
people use that direct traffic metric as
a measurement of how well they’re brand
awareness is growing the challenge with
that is that actually this is where your
dark social traffic shows up you’ll
notice if you click into the direct
traffic link in your analytics tool you
will see that indeed there’s some
traffic attributed to your initial
domain so your homepage but you will
also see
if you have been doing inbound marketing
and if you have been improving sort of
your social and gaming engagement with
your content you will see other URLs
that people landed on directly and this
is typically what you would have been
able to attribute to dark social because
what it means that is somebody had
essentially shared the link shared the
content but the metadata that should
have attributed it to social did not get
preserved and so the web analytics tool
is achieving it to direct and so I don’t
want you thinking that your direct
traffic is is has that narrow definition
now you should really and why this is
important is you know as we do more
social and as we have to justify doing
inbound marketing this is yet another
way you can sort of make the business
case and have some semblance of ROI of
your social and inbound marketing
investments because you are actually
getting traffic from social more than
what your typical analytics – is
actually showing you if you do not know
this particular nuance about open social
close social and dark social and it’s
connection to your direct traffic so I
just wanted to make sure that you are
savvy marketers and you are able to be a
little bit more precise about your your
analytics and your website analytics and
the ROI on the social and content
activity that you’re doing so I hope
that was helpful I’d love to hear from
some of you give me a comment and if
there’s any other nuance that you want
to share with
the rest of the folks please do so I do
want to give you a little bit of
anecdote the folks the that kind of
helped me to this notion of dark social
were probably first probably around 2012
and I was working with an ad platform
that had this unique technology where
they were able to target the share graph
I won’t mention the ad platform because
they’ve since rebranded and there were
some shenanigans but their technology
was quite innovative and they had some
they actually have a patent on this
technology that allows you to retarget
the people who you shared your content
with who actually clicked through that
content because the click and the
sharing implies intent and interest
right and so they are so not only do you
are you able to target the people who
saw your car your addition dish
initially targeted the content too but
they actually those who they then shared
that content with and ultimately clicked
on that content
essentially what they defined is your
share graph which is the broader your
friends friends and that’s and and so it
was very interesting so though that
organization hipped me to this notion of
dark social and I always have to kind of
remind myself of the connection between
a dark social and direct traffic and
make sure that I’m not a over sort of
attributing direct traffic to the work
that we’re doing on the brand side of
things which has oh you know there’s all
kinds of factors that affect your direct
traffic growth but I want you
be aware of this one which really should
be parsed when you do your analytics and
attributed to social I hope that was
helpful and if you want to keep
listening to content like this please
make sure you connect with me you can
listen to my podcast I’ll put the link
here or you can listen to me on youtube
youtube / yoli’s Chisholm or yoli
Chisholm comm or at Yoli Chisholm on all
of your favorite social media networks
let’s talk to you soon

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As the Marketer and Speaker - Yoli is available for Keynotes, panel discussions, podcasts, interviews, guest appearances and more on Modern Marketing, Digital Transformation and the impact of technology in marketing performance management.

As the Author - Yoli talks to women, young people and professionals about navigating the corporate world with intention.

As the Advisor - Yoli is interested in Advisory roles for Technology businesses BtoC and BtoB where she can provide guidance on growth and go to market strategies.
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