What Minecraft Taught Group Nine Media About the Importance of Analytics

Social media expert and Group Nine Media audience development director Erin Weaver served up wisdom backed by personal flare at PRNEWS' Digital Bootcamp yesterday, emphasizing the value of content and illustrating for the audience why excelling at Google Analytics is a goal worth prioritizing.

By transferring raw data into excel spreadsheets and learning about the purpose of data analytics, Weaver made a name for herself by gathering and translating insights as a social media manager at Thrillist, as well as in positions at Men’s Health and Sports Illustrated.

Drawing conclusions about audiences at all levels of engagement and loyalty is essential in making your company the chief beneficiary of its own content strategy. Weaver noted that the metrics, graphs and numeric tools provided for free by Google Analytics don’t just provide past performance feedback—they give you the keys to your future as a brand. 

As the market-wide trend pendulum sways toward tech with great velocity, communicators can best acclimate by sharpening this skillset. Weaver used YouTube’s video retention graph to examine detailed viewer habits and VidIQ, a Chrome extension, to observe which tags are being used on video material. The retention graph is in fact the marketing pro's favorite Google tool, and there’s a good reason for that. Group Nine Media learned a valuable lesson in the power of intentionality and a custom-tailored viewer experience when its ‘moon-base’ video attracted masses of Minecraft players instead of its intended crowd of science fanatics due to the gamer world's domination of the keyword "moon-base." Weaver said this example shows that rather than focus on what’s been working well, you need to think of ways to improve shortcomings. 

The responsibilities of Weaver's roles at Group Nine Media have further finessed her communications expertise. She has used services like the Audience and Behavior tabs in Google Analytics to optimize reach and impact, staying true to her belief in following the journey of the audience. Taking full advantage of the Google Analytics toolbar is a sure-fire way to gain better understanding of not only how people are moving around your site, but what pages brought them to your page. Using that information, Weaver explains, brands can custom tailor the platforms they target to reach their desired audience.

The universality of social media is reflective of brand potential in the Google age. YouTube and Google's are similar in format and accessibility, making it easier than ever to manage vast amounts of data about what people click most. Weaver's team was especially grateful for these analytics when a pool of birthday emails was sent to the wrong group of recipients, a technical flaw Thrillist's CEO quickly discovered and the team fixed. In situations like that faced by Weaver's team, the evidence that analytics are the past, present and future of brands speaks for itself.