Asking the Right Questions: How to Better Navigate Google Analytics


If you own or manage a website, you likely know the power behind Google Analytics. While the powerhouse platform is still largely misunderstood, its vast capabilities allow business owners to monitor the success of their digital presence and online marketing efforts. 

In truth, Google Analytics is a lot more robust than most people think. The platform provides comprehensive data tracking and analytical reporting to solve or improve almost any question or issue circulating within your business’ digital marketing efforts.

So, how does one use Google Analytics to solve issues or confusion that are hindering progress and goals? By asking the right questions, of course!

Question 1: How can I use Google Analytics data to track the progress of company goals?

Answer: Set up goals in Google Analytics.

The goals feature in Google Analytics allows users to track specific patterns and behaviors taken by users visiting the website. Goals can help account owners track contact form submissions, conversion rates on purchases, and more. By configuring goals, it becomes easier to monitor progress and discover what is hurting and helping the current strategy. Additionally, Google Analytics allows primary and secondary goal tracking, which are also labeled macro and micro conversions. Generally, there are five types of goals in Google Analytics:

  1. Smart goals: Goals generated by Google Analytics when an account does not have enough data to complete optimization.
  2. Destination goals: Loading a specific web page.
  3. Pages per session: The number of pages viewed by a single user in a single session.
  4. Event goals: Sharing, button clicks, adding items or services to a cart, etc.
  5. Duration goals: Session times that last over a certain amount of seconds or minutes. For example, users on the page longer than two minutes.

Question 2: How can I use Google Analytics to better track the effectiveness of my email marketing campaigns?

Answer: Utilize the campaign tags feature.

Email campaign tracking is a bit different in Google Analytics than one might expect. With properly implemented campaign tags, account owners can track accurate referral data. However, without campaign tags, it becomes hard to accurately track a website’s referral data. For example, visits from desktop apps such as Outlook tend to appear as direct traffic in Google Analytics. Instead, this visit should be calculated as a referral. Similarly, visits from webmail providers that default to a secure server like Gmail also do not appear as referral traffic in Google Analytics. This small misunderstanding can lead to inaccurate data when tracking the success of email marketing campaigns. 

Question 3: Is there a way to track how much of a blog post visitors are actually reading?

Answer: Yes, by installing Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system used to track different tags on a website. A tag is a snippet of javascript that collects data from the website that is then sent to Google Analytics. So, if you’d like to track how much of a blog post visitors are reading before exiting the page, you may want to install a scroll depth trigger using Google Tag Manager. With this tag, you’ll be able to track where users exit the page when reading the blog post.

Question 4: How can I more closely monitor transactions completed on my website?

Answer: Set up Ecommerce Tracking.

If you own an Ecommerce website, implementing Ecommerce tracking is essential if you would like to more closely monitor your website’s value. With Ecommerce tracking, website owners can see:

  • The total revenue generated by each product
  • Revenue total
  • Total number of products sold
  • Quantity of specific products sold
  • Conversion rates
  • Total transactions
  • Number of unique purchases made
  • Average price per product
  • Average value of orders
  • Date wise performance data
  • Number of days and sessions leading to a transaction

By tracking these metrics, account owners can better assess the overall effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and the progress on their goals, thus leading to healthier conversion rates.

Question #5: Is there a way to find out what users are typing into Google before they visit my website?

Answer: Yes, by linking your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts.

Google Search Console is a free service that provides loads of vital insight for website owners, SEO specialists, and digital marketers. Once the Google Search Console is successfully linked to Google Analytics, account owners can better understand how their website is performing in organic search results on Google.

They may also better track which pages of the website are shown in search results, which pages are most visited, and who is visiting on desktop vs mobile. These metrics can help account owners better optimize their content to increase traffic from Google.

YouTube and Display Ads Upgraded to Include Data-Driven Models

Google Ads Updates

Google makes adjustments to its algorithms at least once, if not several times a day. But how often do they make adjustments or upgrades to their most important source of cash, Google Ads?

The frequency might surprise you, but Google is always looking to make sure that the ads delivered to users of its search engine continue to have the best experience possible.

If you’re looking for ways that Google has been improving both the advertiser’s and the user’s experience, here are some of the most recent updates that are worth special attention.

Attribution Models Now Support YouTube and Display Ads

When it comes to the buyer’s journey, many people who are conducting searches will interact with many different types of ads from the same or multiple advertisers.

The journey may even look like this: say a potential buyer is looking for a new washer and dryer. He sees multiple YouTube ads from different companies, reads customer reviews on competitor websites, and then ultimately uses Google to search for brand names or features of specific appliance sets that he likes. 

In that last step, they’re more than likely going to click on a display ad or text ad through Google’s SERP (search engine results pages) or on the partner display network.

Google Ads could not attribute the impact of other ads that were a part of the same campaign until August 9th, when they upgraded non-last click models, including data-driven automation, for YouTube and Display ads.

Now an advertiser will see how much of an impact each channel within their campaign is.

The new model will even measure how many engaged views a YouTube advertisement gets, which helps marketers understand how long potential buyers are paying attention to their video.

Using Data-Driven Attribution with Google Ads to Improve Conversion

Okay, YouTube and Display ads can show their full impact with this new upgrade. So what? How does that make the advertiser’s life better?

For the advertiser, this will show more data points within the attribution models, which allows them to see which ads have been the most effective throughout the campaign.

It also means that automated or manual bidding strategies can help drive additional conversions at the same cost per acquisition (CPA) compared to the last click when coming from those sources.

But what about the user?

With any Google ad, the user is the single most important person. Google will even deliver better-performing ads at a CPA less than their competitors to ensure that searchers will have the best experience.

Enabling attribution for YouTube and partner Display ads means advertisers can make even more adjustments to their campaigns, showing less of what isn’t being interacted with and more of what users are looking for before completing a purchase.

To deliver a better experience, Display ads or YouTube videos with poor engagement will be shown less often.

Compare Attribution Models to Increase Conversions

Now that an advertiser can see all the different attributions from YouTube and Display, they’ll also be able to compare which attribution models will have the best success for their campaign.

The “Model comparison” report looks at the return on ad spend and how each model’s cost per conversion is different. 

That way, they should easily understand which of the pieces of their campaigns will have the most significant impact on their conversions.

Which Attribution Model Is Right for Me?

There are a handful of attribution models: last-click, first-click, linear, time decay, position-based, and data-driven.


This attribution model gives all the credit for a conversion to the last advertisement clicked.

Considering this method was one of the very first attribution models available to marketers, it’s no surprise that many companies still use it.

The most significant problem with last-click is that it doesn’t give marketers a great understanding of their customers.

Most of the time, people who make purchases don’t base their decision only on the last touchpoint of the campaign, so giving credit to only the last clicked channel can be misleading.

This attribution model could be appropriate for commodities like laundry soap or a toilet bowl cleaner with very low involvement in the buying decision.


Opposite of the last-click attribution model, the first-click model gives the first point of engagement all of the credit for the conversion. 

Identifying that point is essential if a company wants to determine what method or strategy drives the most new customers.


This is where all of the attribution credit for a conversion is evenly throughout the entire campaign.

If multiple channels are pulling in conversions, this is a great model to look holistically at all channels simultaneously.

Over time, a marketer will see trends as to which channels are converting the most successfully.

Time Decay

Most marketers are really interested in conversions. So it’s vital to know which channels are delivering the most conversions regularly.

Time decay is helpful because it increases the credit given to each channel, which drives a customer closer to the actual conversion.

It’s an excellent method to understand which channels are driving conversions and which are, more often than not, top-of-funnel channels.


A campaign is launched that gets users from Google Ads onto a landing page. They go through the landing page to download an eBook. In exchange for the eBook, the user gives up their email address, which is added to a drip campaign. Miraculously, they convert on the first email sent.

This particular model gives partial credit to each of the points between the first and last clicks but gives most of the credit to the first and last points of the campaign.


Now for the mother load: the data-driven attribution model.

With all the other models, there have been weights set for individual channels that aren’t necessarily showing which of those attributions are having the most impact on conversions.

That’s where the data-driven model comes in.

Using technical algorithms and weighted credit, this model gives credit to the channels that are driving the most success in getting conversions.

Data-driven attribution is the most effective model in identifying which channels are a waste of time or are driving conversions and increasing ROI.

Advertise Online With Pintler Group

Pintler Group is based in Missoula, Montana. We’re a performance-based marketing shop with expertise in paid search, paid social, email marketing management and retargeting. Our superpower is designing customer marketing solutions for mid-size clients looking to grow.

Marketing Techniques Perfect for Fall

Road surrounded by fall trees.

As the person in charge of marketing your small business, it can be easy to fall into a rut of doing the same marketing every day, all year round. You might be using the same copy and sticking to familiar channels day in and day out, but the quick approach of the holidays is a great time to mix things up to gain new customers, followers and fans.  Here are a few, simple ways you can change your marketing plan to fit the season. 

Fall leaves, pumpkin and socks

Seasonal Products

Once you see Starbucks start to promote their Pumpkin Spice Latte, you know it’s time to jump into fall. As seen with this special, seasonal drink, people are so excited about the changing of the seasons and the start of sweater weather. Take advantage of this excitement by offering a seasonal product or simply making a seasonal twist to one of your products. This might be a new flavor, a new color or a new service specific to the needs of your customers in the fall. 

Where Your Customers Are

Chances are, your customers aren’t on the ski hill quite yet, but they also aren’t spending as much time on the beach. Understanding how the weather and season affects your customers location, both physically and digitally, can help you reach them more effectively. For example, your customers might be college students who are heading back to school for the year or stay-at-home moms who are spending more time on Pinterest looking for Halloween costumes. Recognizing the location and attention of your customers allows you to create relevant ads, place them on platforms they are using and geotarget their physical locations

Coffee Shop

How Your Customers Feel

As I mentioned above, fall is full of strong emotions. Some people might feel cozy with their chunky sweater and apple cider, some might feel spooky with their Halloween decor and pop-culture costume, while others might feel dread with the promise of winter around the corner. Understanding your specific customers and how they feel about fall can help you speak their language in your digital marketing efforts. It also allows you to easily address the pain points and fears your product or service is designed to fix. 

Nurture the Giving Spirit

Fall also brings around feelings of generosity and thankfulness as holidays like Thanksgiving sneak up on us. One way you can use these happy feelings to impact your marketing efforts is by partnering with other companies. Once you find a company who has a similar customer base as you, consider partnering up to host a giveaway to your audiences.  Another way to use these feelings to impact your marketing efforts is to make your product or service an easy and desirable gift.  Maybe you give a free $5 gift card for every $20 gift card purchased, or maybe you offer a unique gift wrapping option. 

Creating a Marketing Plan Perfect for the Season

Whether you decide to offer a seasonal product, partner with other local businesses or offer gift incentives, creating a marketing plan specific to the fall season is an important way to grow your business. It is estimated that over $1 trillion is spent on Christmas gifts each year in America alone. By segmenting your marketing based on demographic, location, and yes, season: you’ll stand out and gain a competitive advantage from the marketers of the world that set it and forget it. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to our team! 

Digital Marketing in Montana

Sunset over mountains.

From the towering Rocky Mountains of the west to the rolling plains in the east, Montana is a beautiful state home to wonderful people and thriving businesses. Montana residents take pride in their slower-than-the-coast way of life and love to support small businesses. When it comes to marketing to these 1 million residents, here are three things to keep in mind.


Montana Landscape

No. 1: Montanans Love Local Businesses

Montana is a state full of small, local businesses and supportive consumers who do their best to purchase from these local businesses. When marketing to these consumers, focus on how buying from your company will support other Montanans. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Highlight local employees on social media to share how a purchase directly impacts a real Montanan.
  • Use words like “Montana Made,” “Locally Sourced” and “proud Montanans” in your copy and advertisements to relate to your audience. 
  • If you use local materials or ingredients to build a product, share where they are from and why you chose to support that brand.

Partner with other local businesses to host events or giveaways to show you are serious about supporting other Montanans yourself.


Boutique Interior

No. 2: Montanans are Diverse

Montana is home to city dwellers and rural ranchers alike. The state is also home to 7 Indian reservations and many unique cultural pockets, such as the Irish population in Butte. Because of this, marketing campaigns targeting Montanans can not be one-size-fits-all. Here are a few ways you can appeal to the diversity of Montana in your marketing:

  • Know who your target customer is and where they are likely to live. If you are targeting college students, spend more of your time marketing in Missoula and Bozemen, while if you are targeting ranchers you might want to exclude the larger cities from your marketing.
  • Take some time to learn about the cultures in Montana and represent them respectfully in your website copy, social media posts and advertisements. 
  • Use a website geopersonalization software to show relevant information to relevant website visitors. 


Old Barn

No. 3: Montanans are Spread Out

With over 147,000 square miles and just over one million people, there are only seven people per square mile in Montana. Many Montanans have to travel an hour or more to get to their nearest shopping mall or big-box store. This means that when these people trek into town to shop they likely won’t be back for a while. It also means that online orders are growing in popularity as companies begin to deliver more frequently to rural areas. Here are a few ways you can address this unique situation in your marketing:

  • Be straightforward about your locations and shipping abilities so Montanans know what to expect when buying your product. 
  • If your target customers live in a rural area, put effort into marketing in their area so you are sure to be on their shopping list next time they go into town. 

Create partnerships with small grocery stores, gas stations and other rural businesses so your product is easier to purchase.

Marketing in Montana

From loving local businesses to embracing diversity and long drives to the grocery store, Montanans are quite a unique group to market to. Here at Pintler Group we love marketing in Montana and are proud to call ourselves residents of the state. With a small office in central Missoula and clients all over the Big Sky State, we are the team you want to work with when choosing a marketing firm who knows and understands the unique Montana market.

Tourism Marketing: Tracking Actions

Woman being photographed in front of hundreds of hot air balloons.

You’ve taken the time to brainstorm, strategize, and build your digital campaign. You’re now able to see how people are interacting with your ads. But what about the campaigns that drive traffic to your website? Ever curious about what actions users who clicked on ads are taking?

Tracking actions, such as button clicks or form submission, on your website can inform you a lot about web visitors. It signals an activation of interest in your services or products. To track actions, you will want to have a Google Tag Manager account. Tags are segments of code that you can configure and track actions like button clicks. With tags, you can track how many times a button for Australia trips is clicked or see how far down on a Travel Package page a user scrolls down.

This article will focus on how to track a form in Google Tag Manager and how to monitor the tracking in Google Analytics.

Form Tracking in Google Analytics

Step 1: Create new tag

  • Under Tag Configuration, select Google Analytics: Universal Analytics tag type
  • Track Type: Event
  • Event Tracking Parameters: Here you will create how Google will identify the tag. What you put into these fields will be how to find this tag in Analytics, so make sure it is clear what you are tracking.

  • Under Google Analytics Settings, select your Google Analytics Tracking Variable.
    • If you don’t have one set up in Tag Manager, select New Variable on the drop-down list. Name the variable “Google Analytics Tracking ID” and add the tracking code to the Tracking ID field. To find the tracking code, open a new tab and go to Analytics, Admin Settings, Property Settings, Tracking Info, and select Tracking Code.

Step 2: Create new trigger

  • Select Form Submission as the trigger
  • Select Some Forms
  • Here is where you determine how the trigger will fire. For form submissions, there are a few ways to accomplish this. One way is to find the form ID within the web page code.
    • Open a new tab and navigate to the page that has the form you want to track. Right click on the form and click on Inspect. This will open up the site code. You want to search for where the code refers to the form. It should be encompassed within a <form> section.
    • Look for id = “contact_form ” or class = “contact-form” that falls within the <form> section
    • Copy the text within the “ ”

    • Set the trigger to fire whenever the Form ID contains “contact_form”

  • If you don’t see any Form variables, you will need to enable variables in the list of built-in variables. To do so, click on Variables on the left sidebar, click on the Configure button under the Built-In Variables section, and select the variables you would like to turn on.

Step 3: Testing the Tag

  • Go back to the Tag Manager Dashboard
  • Click on the Preview button on the top right – this puts your browser into Debug Mode

  • Open the web page with the form you want to track in a new tab
    • A second window should pop up on the bottom half of the web page. If not, then there is an issue with the way the Analytics tag was set up.
  • Test the tag by filling out the form and checking to see if the tag moves from the Not Fired section to the Tags Fired section

Step 4: Publish

  • After testing successfully, click on the Publish button (next to the Preview button) and write a description of the tag. Now tracking is live on the form!

Step 5. Create Goal in Analytics

  • In Analytics, click on the Admin Settings button (looks like a gear switch) on the bottom left sidebar
  • Select the correct Account, Property, and View where you want to create and track the goal. Under View, click on the Goals option.

  • Create a new Goal
    • Select Custom
    • Name your Goal
    • Select Event as your Goal Type
    • Goal Details is where you add the details for the tag you created. It is case sensitive so make sure that you input the exact information on the tag to the goal.
      • Keep the Event Value as Conversion turned on

Step 6. Monitoring After Tag is Live

  • Under Behavior, click on Events > Overview
  • Here you can monitor your new tag. Click on Event Label to identify the form and see how often the form is submitted.

Tourism Marketing: How To Find Qualified Audiences

View of sunset and plane wing from plane window.

You dove into the data and you read the industry reports. You talked to existing customers and got their feedback. It’s clear that you’ve done the research into determining who to market your travel destination services to. This now begs the question: how do you target these individuals digitally?


Digital marketing platforms, such as Google and Facebook, make it easy to target ads to your ideal audiences. This guide is designed to explain the targeting options available and how to acquire qualified customers through strategic targeting.


Google Audience Targeting

As of 2019, Google controls about 75% of search share on the internet. For those using Google Ads, paid ads convert 50% better than organic search results. It’s safe to say that Google Ads is a powerful platform for targeting ads and reaching the right people at the right time. 


Google has spent many years improving and adding features to Ads, and its targeting options are no exception. Allowing for more options than just demographics, Google Ads can also help hone on interests and behaviors of potential customers.


Search Network

  • Affinity Audiences: What the user’s interests and habits are. This option focuses on patterns and behaviors of the user, such as noticing when someone travels a lot for work. Tourism-specific options include:
    • Business Travelers
    • Travel Buffs


  • In-Market Audiences: What users are actively researching or planning. Adding this audience option allows for your ads to potentially be shown to those seeking related services. Possible audiences for tourism agencies to focus on that fall under in-market include:
    • Air Travel
    • Bus & Rail Travel
    • Car Rental
    • Cruises
    • Hotel & Accommodations (include or exclude vacation rentals)
    • Trips by Destination (this option allows for you to break down by country, region, and major city)


  • Remarketing: How the user has interacted with your business. This option focuses on retargeting those who have already visited your website or have had some contact with your brand.


Display and Video Network

In addition to the audience options available on the Search Network, display and video ads also have the following option:

  • Custom Intent Audiences: Similar to in-market audiences, custom intent allows for you to compile a list of keywords related to your industry, brand, and services. These keywords can include ones you are not bidding on, as well as your paid keywords. 


Linked Sources

If your website is set up on Google Analytics, this can be another valuable source for remarketing audiences. When selecting the remarketing option in Ads, you can choose to select the audience from your Ads source or your Analytics source, therefore pulling from a pool of organic or paid traffic users.


Facebook Audience Targeting

With 2.5 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook is an almost unlimited source of potential customers. Similar to Google Ads, Facebook Ads allow you to target users based on demographics, such as age, location, and gender. However, it offers its own unique targeting options that provide you the opportunity to reach qualified prospects from another angle.


Custom Audiences

I consider this to be one of their best features for targeting. Facebook allows you to upload your customer lists directly and target based on personal information, like email addresses and phone numbers. With custom audiences built in Facebook, you can retarget existing customers, exclude existing subscribers when running campaigns for new subscribers, and expand your reach by including a custom audience.


Lookalike Audiences

An option only available thanks to Facebook’s matching algorithm, a lookalike audience is built off a custom audience and finds users that are most similar to it. Simple to set up, Facebook will give you the option to adjust the “broadness” of the audience from a range of 1% to 10%. The lower the percentage, the more strict the lookalike audience will be identifying similar users. The higher, the broader and wider the audience will be.

Detailed Targeting

Facebook Ads have the advantage to better target users based on personal information since Facebook provides users a platform to follow, create and share personal content. Detailed targeting can include a user’s job title, company, what pages they follow, life events, behavior, and more. Here you can create an audience based on the personas you uncovered in your research.


Suggestions for targeting travelers using this option can include:

  • Followers of Facebook pages of competitors
  • Those who recently returned from traveling
  • Followers of travel-related Facebook pages



And there you have it! Now you can take the next step of reaching a more qualified audience by using any of these targeting options available through Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Tourism Marketing: Getting Started with Data

Kayakers on an alpine lake surrounded by rocky mountains.

When vetting a new digital marketing scope, it’s common practice for us to always start by conducting research. It’s one thing to sit down and identify what the goals and objectives are of a campaign. It’s another to identify and develop personas of existing consumers in order to target a likely-to-convert audience. When faced with a scope specific to the tourism industry, we want to focus on understanding those who are currently paying to travel and visit specific destinations. This understanding of existing consumers can help expand into uncovering new markets of opportunity based on similar behavior and demographics.


So how can one uncover and support these markets with data? You analyze data sources you have access to, draw insights from existing audiences and develop strategies geared towards reaching these personas. 


Don’t Sleep on Descriptive Statistics


First things first – let’s look at the basics of data analysis. If you’ve ever taken a statistics course, there’s a good chance that you are familiar with what descriptive statistics are. If it’s been a hot minute, then here’s a quick rundown on what exactly descriptive statistics are.


As the name implies, a descriptive statistic is a single term that quantitatively describes, or summarizes, a piece of data. The plural form of descriptive statistics refers to the process of analyzing those statistics to learn about a  sample of data. The most common descriptive statistics derived from raw data include: mean, median, mode, count and standard deviation. 


When it comes to analyzing data, using descriptive statistics can really help paint a quick picture of the sample data. For example, say we have a data set on the demographics of those who have worked with a US tourism agency in the past five years. By getting descriptive statistics of certain fields, such as age or gender, we can see quickly what characteristics stand out and whether they appear to be a population more susceptible to using tourism agency services.


Where to Find Data Sources

Next, how do we find the right data sources? If you have access to your agency’s database, then great! You’re ready to dive into the data through a program of your choice.


If you don’t have access to internal data, then this next step may be a bit of a challenge. Depending on the industry, this can be either a very easy or a very difficult thing to accomplish. Data privacy is a concern that everyone is invested in and isn’t always available to the public, which can make it hard to find raw information on the industry. 


Thankfully, a lot of industries already do the work for you and often release reports that are available for the public to peruse. Statista is a great source for data across a number of industries, including tourism in the United States. These reports can get you started on the right path of identifying audiences in the industry.


Other sources for public data sets include: 

  • Census data. This can be a great place to start if you’re researching opportunities within the United States population.
  • US Government data. Covering a wide range of industries, this website contains a ton of data to analyze.



Use Your Digital Sources: Paid Search + Social Media

If you are using Google Analytics on your website, then you already have access to a valuable pool of data. Ranging from information on the audience of web visitors to specific actions taken on web pages, the amount of insights you can draw from this data source is incredible. If linked correctly, Analytics can help you dive further into your Google Ads campaign data. This allows you to understand where and how web visitors are being driven to your website.


The amount of data available in Analytics can quickly have you lose track of time going through each tab on the sidebar. To avoid getting overwhelmed, we prefer to connect this source with a data visualization tool, such as Google Data Studio or Tableau. These types of tools provide a better overview and allow for quick analysis.


Another valuable source of data falls under the realm of social media. If you have a Facebook or Instagram business account for your organization, then you have access to Insights. In the platform itself, you have the ability to browse data about your followers. From this source, you can see how your followers engage with your page, followers’ reactions to posts, where they are from, and more. As with Analytics data, you can take this data one step further and connect it with a data visualization tool. 



Data Visualization

Considering that our agency uses Google Suite programs, it’s no surprise that Google Data Studio is our data viz tool of choice. What’s great about Data Studio is its ability to seamlessly connect with a number of internal and external sources of data and blend sources painlessly. 



With this tool, you can build visually appealing and insightful reports that can answer questions about your existing audience quickly. Consider the following image. We can quickly see a snapshot of where our followers are, thus prompting us to consider expanding our efforts to these markets.  



Still not convinced? Try for yourself using one of our simple web traffic report templates.

Step 1. Go to this template report .

Step 2. Click on the Duplicate icon on the top right and on the pop up, select Copy Report.

Step 3. Select any graph and under the Data tab on the right side panel, click on the [Sample] Google Analytics data source, and click on the Create New Data Source at the bottom to connect to your Analytics data. 


Community Building Online: Five Places to Start

Students sitting in a circle on the lawn.

The final traction channel in the book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares is community building. Many of the traction channels in this book seem to overlap and build on each other. But this is a channel that more often seems to stand alone. Community building is when you are purposefully fostering relationships and connections with your customers. This encourages them to bring others into your circle. An easy ma and pop, brick and mortar type example could include hosting an offline event, or opportunity for your customers to get together, bring their friends, and talk about how much they love your product, but what happens when you are an e-commerce or tech company that would like to take advantage of their community and help it flourish? Here are five online locations you can implement community building in a tangible and impactful way.


Reddit is an enormous and ever-growing collection of forums where users can post about news and other content as well as comment on posts made by other people. The world of Reddit is huge and easy to get lost in. But, when used strategically, it can be a powerful community builder, especially through subreddits specific to your business.

In case you aren’t familiar with the platform, subreddits are the individual forums within the larger site. Subreddits are free to create and can play many purposes for businesses. For startups, creating a subreddit can help customers give feedback and connect with each other, helping the company grow and gain traction. For existing businesses, subreddits allow customers to connect with each other and members of your team, enter giveaways hosted by the business and simply chat about what they love (or hate) about the product or service. With over 330 million users, Reddit is sure to be a place where you can build a community for your business. 

Community on Reddit
Blog Comments

Similar to Reddit, popular blogs provide an online space for people to discuss specific topics that interest them. As mentioned in our blog post about SEO, writing quality blog articles can help your website show up higher in search engine results, ultimately leading to higher amounts of organic traffic, but this is not the only benefit of a good blog. Once a business establishes a blog that provides meaningful information to its readers and brings traffic to the website the blog can become a very powerful tool for community building. If users are finding value in your blog they are more likely to interact with you by leaving comments. These comments can then create conversations with different customers and with your team. Getting engagement can be difficult at first, but here are a few tips to hook your first few commenters: 

    • Ask questions in your article. Readers are much more likely to comment when there is a question for them to answer. 
    • Use social media to share your blog posts. Then encourage your followers to comment on the article instead of the social post. 
    • Talk about your readers or customers in your post. If something that is shared interests you and the community talk about it on your blog.
    • Respond to all comments when they first start to be made. This will provide value to those who are commenting and encourage future comments.
Pioneer Woman Blog

While most millennials grew up being told that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for scholarly papers, it still proves to be a site that is read by many when searching the internet for an answer to a question. It might surprise you that Wikipedia actually doesn’t have any employees. Any knowledgeable person with access to the computer can create the content. This is the exact reason many teachers advise students to avoid using the site as a reference. The lack of proof that professional research has gone into a Wikipedia article is concerning to academia, but, for your business, this open-source information is a great opportunity to encourage community building. Having a Wikipedia page specific to your business can allow your current customers who are subject matter experts on your business to share information and encourage discussion of your product or service.

Trader Joes Wikipedia Page

Topic Specific Forums

Even though it’s hard to believe, forums still exist outside of Reddit! Creating a forum that allows your current and prospective customers to discuss, ask questions and give advice about your product, service or other topics pertaining to your business is a great way to create community. Hosting a forum allows you to directly interact with the people who post on it similar to how you could reply to a blog article, but it also allows for readers to communicate with each other on an even higher level. Another way to leverage forums is to comment and interact with customers in an existing one. Find a forum that has a topic that resonates with your brand and start a conversation with participants.

Amazon Community
Facebook Groups

Facebook is arguably the most popular online community and can easily be leveraged for your business, especially through the use of Facebook Groups. Here at Pintler Group, we love putting all aspects of Facebook to use for our digital clients, including the groups feature. Creating a group for your business is easy. It allows you to share posts, images and other pieces of content with the group’s members. You can decide if the group is private and invitation-only, or open to any interested parties. Consider your intended audience and create a group that creates value specific to these individuals. If you have multiple audiences you would like to reach, create multiple groups. This way you can cater even more directly to individual audiences.

It is also important to remember that these groups do not need to be all about your business. Try creating an open space where members can talk about various topics that relate to your business. Cast a wide net to catch anyone interested in the topic rather than only people familiar with your brand.  

Instant Pot Facebook Group

For more on community building and the other 18 traction channels, check out our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise and our YouTube channel.

Offline Events and Online Tracking

Offline events bring people together to learn more about or to support your business. They can be anything from large trade shows to local concerts or races that raise funds. Even small workshops with limited seats qualify. Businesses can host, sponsor or even simply attend offline events such as these to gain traction.

Businesses savvy in digital marketing often overlook offline events. But at Pintler Group we celebrate the good news that offline and online efforts don’t have to live in separate bubbles. In this article, we look at how digital efforts can take your offline events to the next level. 


Offline Event: Board Meeting


Offline Fundraising Event

Many restaurants offer sponsorship opportunities to local clubs and non-profits. Typically, the restaurant will offer to donate a certain percentage of sales on a specific day to the organization, but the kicker is that many times, the orders only count towards this percentage if the customer mentions the fundraiser or hands over some sort of flyer or coupon to indicate their involvement. Recently, Montana Council BSA hosted an event like this at all Buffalo Wild Wings locations around the state of Montana. Customers presented a flyer to have the funds donated.

To effectively track, the flyer lived on a specific landing page that email and ad campaigns lead to. The page’s analytics can provide insight into attendance and campaign effectiveness.

While the method of creating a specified landing page for a ticket, flyer or coupon that corresponds with an offline event isn’t foolproof, it can give businesses a better idea of who is attending the fundraising event. This information helps you know which events are the most popular. Additionally, it identifies the most powerful targets.


Offline Event: Concert


Facebook Offline Events

We’ve all been “suggested” an event near us on Facebook. The feature is one that is proving to be quite powerful in the digital marketing space. Facebook Events are great for both large and small scale events and allow for tons of interaction from potential customers or participants.  When a company creates a Facebook Event they are able to select the time and location, connect it to their business page, keep their followers updated on event information, promote the event and, most importantly for this article, they are able to encourage and track RSVPs to the event.

When someone indicates they are “interested” in or “attending” an event, Facebook shares that information with a person’s friends. Facebook will then remind all who indicated they were “interested” or “going” that the event is coming up. People that attend can also let their friends know when it starts. Not only do Facebook Events allow you to track RSVPs, but they also act as a great tool to promote your event by allowing participants to share with their friends in multiple ways. 


Offline Event: Fundraiser


Sourcing Online Details at Offline Events

Once the offline event begins, there are still ways you can leverage online, digital marketing efforts. One specifically powerful digital way to use offline events is to collect information such as email addresses during the ticketing process or even at the event itself. Event participants are opting in to experience your event. Collecting their email addresses can help you track the number of participants who attended the offline event, but also allow you to continue to target them with future digital campaigns. And highly specialized audiences are more likely than not to be qualified leads.


Want to learn more about using offline events as a traction channel? Watch this video.

Learn more about the 19 traction channels and other digital marketing topic by listening to our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Geofencing: Attracting Customers at Trade Shows

Map on wall with pushpins.

As we discussed in a recent podcast, the marketing strategy geofencing, or delivering advertising messaging to people in certain locations using cities and zip codes, has many applications. It can be especially useful when trying to use digital to influence physical activities, such as a trade show or conference. How can we impact attendance at a booth or panel in a huge conference center? What are the ways to get the word out about awesome things you’re doing as a company? 

It’s crucial as marketers that we go to where prospective customers are rather than assuming they will come to us. When operating within the trade show traction channel you’ve already identified where those customers exist. You’re halfway to the finish line. You certainly can try and talk to everyone individually. Or you could use geofencing to make sure everyone in the conference center or hotel sees your messaging! We recently ran Facebook geofencing advertising campaigns for two clients with different goals, but similar results.


Geofencing on Facebook

Case Study #1: Trade Conference Awareness Advertising

One of our clients, a Montana chapter of a national organization, was preparing to attend a yearly conference. Given chapters from around the country would be attending they were interested in getting the word out about the great stuff they were doing. Think of it as a bragging campaign.

For the targeting, we geofenced the convention center where the conference would take place. We ran the ads starting the morning of the first day, turned them off for non-show hours and ended as the conference ended.

As for the creative, we gathered the most appealing imagery we had, knowing that even if someone didn’t engage with the Facebook ad the visual would leave a lasting impression. Our text was very direct, highlighting what sets this chapter apart from others.

The results were impressive. At a very small budget, we were able to reach over 11,000 people and drive 700 ad engagements over a three day period. As an added bonus it drove additional likes on the Facebook post.

Finally, an offshoot of the campaign came in the form of one of our core values: delight. The members of the chapter who attended saw their own ads. That brought the campaign to life for them and validated our work!

Case Study #2: Driving Traffic to a Booth at a Trade Conference

This example is where digital truly meets the physical. One of our clients was new to their industry and looking to have a big coming-out party at a conference. They spent a lot of time and energy building out a flashy booth and printing brochures to give away. Being the little fish in a very big pound, though, they needed to get foot traffic.

We took a multi-faceted approach to the campaign. First, we geofenced hotels affiliated with the conference and offering blocks of rooms. These ads started in the days leading up to the conference, knowing many arrived early. The creative specifically urged people to visit the booth.

Once the conference started the targeting switched to geofencing the convention center itself. Again, the call to action was to visit the booth. Additionally, simultaneous to this ad set we were also running Google Search ads in the city of the convention. The hope was that people who were exposed to signage or Facebook ads would want to Google what the company was all about.

The results: a stellar amount of foot traffic to their booth (which can, of course, be attributed to many factors) and triple the number of website visitors during the conference compared to the previous period.

Facebook Ads

Setting up a campaign

The nice thing about incorporating geofencing into your advertising strategy is that it’s easy to set up and can be launched with a small budget. In the planning stages these are the key pieces of information you need to focus on:

    • Location: Where are the people you are trying to reach?
    • Timing: When will they be there?
    • Interests: Are you targeting everyone in the area or only people in the area that resemble an identified persona?
    • Action: Is your action online or offline?
    • Tracking: Put in place ways to accurately define success or failure

Enjoy your first geofence!


Check out this video for step-by-step geofencing instructions.

For more information on trade shows and the other 18 podcasts check out our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.