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COMSTRAT 310 Syllabus - Spring 2020

COMSTRAT 310 - DIGITAL CONTENT PROMOTION (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                Email: batwood@wsu.edu Of...

Setting Up Analytics for your Campaign Site

Once your site is built and ready, you'll want to ensure that it is connected to one of the many analytics options that allow you to better understand the actions and behaviors of your website visitors.

One of the gold standards of website analytics is Google Analytics. We'll be discussing GA in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, you can get started by installing the tracking code on your campaign site.

Note: Depending on which website CMS you are using, the instructions may vary. In some cases, you may need to use an alternative to GA. For the purposes of this class, any analytics platform that you use should be adequate for the completion of the necessary campaign analysis in your final report.


WIX INSTRUCTIONS

Wix only allows accounts with a connected domain to add Google Analytics. Unfortunately, this means you need a paid premium account in order to install GA tracking code.

If you have a connected domain, then use these instructions to get started.

No custom domain? There are also free alternatives to consider, such as StatCounterHere are instructions for installing the tracking code on Wix. There's also Visitor Analytics - just search for "analytics" in the Wix Marketplace to install the free version.

WEEBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Super easy. Follow these instructions.

WORDPRESS INSTRUCTIONS

Unfortunately, Wordpress.com requires an upgraded plan in order to add Google Analytics tracking. There are several plugins that allow you to add GA, but the ability to install plugins is disabled for non-paid plans. For more information on how to install and use GA with paid Wordpress.com options (such as Business, Pro or E-Commerce), see these instructions.

WordPress.com does have built-in stats tracking with reports that offer quick, at-a-glance views of the traffic on your site. New posts, likes and comments are shown alongside visitor activity. These stats are tracked automatically (no install needed) and can be found on your edit dashboard under Stats (or just click here if logged in).

April 2 - Guest Lecture from a Social Media Manager

On April 2, we will have a live guest lecture from a prominent social media manager. Details will be shared via email including the access link to this private Q&A.

WEEKS 9, 10 & 11: SEO Basics, Mobile Optimization and Social Media Marketing Basics

SUMMARY:

Over the next few weeks, we will:
  • Continue to work on our primary campaign website including optimization for mobile devices
  • Continue to optimize content for search engine rankings on our media campaigns via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Learn about social media marketing plans and begin work on the creation of one with the goal of driving traffic and awareness to our campaign website.
  • Learn about the importance of monitoring your business reputation on Wikipedia
  • Learn about landing pages and how to create them
HOMEWORK:
  • Continue to revise your work-in-progress website. Reminder: Please send me your published link, if you have done so already!
  • Begin to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan (final version due May 1)
  • Continue to work on and revise your campaign website, including modifications to help optimize your content for search engine indexing and rankings.
  • Do an SEO audit on your campaign website
  • Create a landing page with content themed around either a key user persona or non-branded campaign keyword/phrase - Please include this link in your final portfolio!

Creating a Landing Page for your Campaign Site


A landing page can be used to target a niche or specific audience or user persona type for your campaign. Here are some examples of landing pages for the same product -- yet each has content themed specifically to a different type of use case or audience:


From an SEO perspective, landing pages are also valuable since they help calibrate your content around a specific phrase or keyword. This can help with achieving higher relevancy on those terms for keyword indexing by the major search engines.

To build a landing page within your existing site, you can simply create a new page for your website using a content strategy that includes editorial and design elements optimized for a specific user persona and/or campaign keyword or phrase.

Special instructions for Wix users: If you are using Wix, see these instructions. As an alternative, you can create a new landing page template as a separate site using one of these templates.

Optimizing your Campaign Site for Mobile Smartphones

How does your campaign site look on a mobile device or smartphone?

One should always think about how their site appears on multiple types of screens. A mobile device has smaller screen real estate than a full-sized computer monitor associated with a desktop computer. Given the rise of smartphones, some people even have a "mobile-first" strategy where mobile is prioritized over desktop access in the design choices. One option is "responsive" design:


Did you know that your existing Wix.com and Weebly website content can be modified slightly so that it displays more correctly on mobile devices?

WIX & MOBILE:

Using Wix? Watch these videos to learn more about mobile-optimization:





WEEBLY & MOBILE:

Using Weebly? To see how your responsive site will look on mobile, you can toggle between mobile and desktop modes using the pull-down option on the PC/mobile icon on the top menu.







RELATED LINKS:

Wikis and PR/Advertising Campaigns

Wikis and PR/Advertising Campaigns


Wikipedia.org has become one of the most popular information Web sites – despite the fact that it is a nonprofit, user-edited resource. Many people use the site for research and many companies are monitoring how they are represented on their respective entries on the site. This week, we will take a closer look at the Wikipedia format -- and the role it might play in PR and/or advertising campaigns.

To become familiar with the wiki format, register with the site so that you will have permission to edit and/or create an entry. There is a “Create Account” link at the upper right-hand side of the homepage or you can simply click here.

Once you are registered, you can use the search box to find an existing entry on your selected topic.

On that page, you will find an “edit” link that allows you to add your text or image to the existing page.

To create a new entry, there is a page that will help you establish a new entry topic here

If you want to add an image, click here for information on uploading.

Does your client already have a wiki page? If so, make a contribution to it. If not, find a related theme or topic and make a valuable contribution to the wiki entry.

Here is a great Wikipedia "cheat sheet" for formatting of your text.

CONTENT GUIDELINES:

If you do edit or create any wikipedia entry, it is important to remember that each article is meant to document existing research -- it is not meant as a place for "original research" and/or opinions. The voice and tone should be neutral and all information presented should be verifiable with attribution.

Click here for a downloadable "best practices" guide for PR professionals using wikipedia (.pdf file)

CONTROVERSIES:

There have been many controversies over use of wikipedia for PR and/or political purposes. Here are a few articles that documents some of these issues:

Additional resources:
  • Looking for even more tips on "best practices" for wiki creation and campaigns? Click here.
  • A complete online tutorial to creating your own wiki page is here.
  • There are also some general tips to help you here.  
Related Links:

Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Here's this week's lecture about Social Media Marketing Campaigns. It is approximately 30 minutes and the related slides are below the video.



Note: If the above video embed does not work, then you can also visit it directly on YouTube at https://youtu.be/tY9wHfteagc

The slides referenced in the lecture above are also embedded below (without lecture narration).

 

Here is a handy "Creating Valuable Content" checklist that you can use in consideration of your content development strategy (courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute):
As a reminder, here are more examples of previous semester Social Media Marketing Plans:

What should be in your social media marketing plan?

Your final social media marketing plan should include the following sections and elements:
  • Executive Summary/Overview
  • Social Media Presence
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Target Market
  • Tools & Implementation
  • Monitoring & Tuning
  • Budget & ROI
In addition, your Social Media Marketing Plan should include documentation of the research and planning of your campaign, including:
  • Branding research (logo/name survey results)
  • User Personas
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Wireframe(s)

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN RUBRIC

Using elements of a “Research, Writing, and Creativity” rubric – your work will be evaluated using the following criteria:
  • Research and Preparation: Student demonstrates thoughtful preparation and research
  • Content: Meets all the criteria for the assignment. All content is in the students’ own words (or cited appropriately) and is accurate.
  • Complete and Thorough: All aspects and sections of the assignment are completed in full with no holes. Demonstrated the ability to research to complete all tables, templates or outline requirements
  • Creativity: Students demonstrate creativity and innovation in completing the assignment content and any layout or design elements. The final product is unique, powerful, effective, and compelling.
  • Conventions: Document is easy to read and all elements are very clearly written, labeled. The document has no misspellings or grammatical errors. All template elements or outline sections are complete and thorough.
Examples of Previous Semester Social Media Marketing Plans:

WEEKS 7 & 8: Website Creation & Optimization - Workshops, SEO & More

SUMMARY:

Over the next couple of weeks, we will:
  • Begin to use a website creation tool, such as Wix, Weebly or Wordpress, to build an original campaign website.
  • Learn ways to improve search engine rankings of content for our media campaigns via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
HOMEWORK:
  • Continue to get familiar with and use your chosen website builder (e.g. Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, etc.) to work on your site.
  • Publish your work-in-progress website and send me your link so I can review it no later than midnight on March 13.
  • Optimize your site for search engine optimization 

Generation Like



"GENERATION LIKE" DOCUMENTARY
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/

Please watch the PBS "Frontline" documentary "Generation Like."

The full hour-long video is also available online for free.