How These Nearly Invisible Data Collection Tools Can Boost Your Author Business
In today’s digital age, authors have many tools to increase book sales and reach their target audiences. One of the most effective ways to do this is using pixel tags. That’s right—those colorful little squares on your screen can do a lot more than you may think.
Although most simply make up part of larger images, the type of pixel we’re talking about is a small transparent image containing snippets of code installed on your website, email, or social media pages to track user behavior. The pixel, more accurately known as a tracking pixel, pixel tag, or web beacon, is loaded when a user visits the website or social media page or opens an email. Information about the user’s activity, such as the pages they visit or whether they open the email, is sent back to the website’s server. Pixels are commonly used to track website analytics, measure ad campaign performance, and personalize content.
Pixels Are Everywhere
Pixel data is invaluable for marketing and advertising, as it helps you understand your audience and tailor your ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. Pixels are integral to many modern technologies and applications; you might be using them without realizing it. Social media platforms use pixels to track user behavior and gather data for advertising. The snippets of code embedded in the pixels of images and videos you view collect information about your activity. When you feel like somebody’s watching you, they are—figuratively. Your activity, preferences, likes, and dislikes are being tracked, so businesses can serve you highly targeted ads.
One of the primary benefits of using pixels on your own site is audience targeting. You can create custom audiences for ad campaigns based on pixel data from user behavior on your website. By narrowing your advertising efforts to a specific audience, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and potentially drive more book sales. You can also identify trends and adjust your advertising campaigns by analyzing the data they collect, such as which pages on your website generate the most traffic.
Retargeting is another useful feature; with pixels, you can retarget users who interact with you by tracking user behavior on your website and social media platforms. Ever wonder why you see an ad over and over once you’ve searched for something or visited a website? The websites are using the data collected from your visit. Data suggests that it takes seven or more “touches” to turn a prospect into a buyer. This can help you stay top-of-mind with potential readers and increase the likelihood that they will eventually make a purchase.
Lastly, pixel tags can help you see which advertising campaigns are most effective at driving conversions by tracking book sales and newsletter sign-ups. This lets you make data-driven decisions about future marketing efforts and optimize your advertising budget.
Make Pixels Work for You
As an author, understanding pixel use can be beneficial in several ways.
- Understanding your audience: Using pixels, you can track how visitors interact with your website, what pages they visit, and what actions they take. This can give you valuable insights and help you understand their interests and behavior.
- Building your audience: Using pixel data, you can create custom audiences and target advertising campaigns based on people who have visited your website or engaged with your content. The Amazon Advertising Pixel can track user behavior and gather data about how prospects interact with your Amazon product pages and those of authors similar to you. This data can be used to optimize ad delivery to readers who are more likely to convert.
- Improving ad performance: By tracking pixel data, you can analyze the performance of your advertising campaigns and make data-driven decisions to improve their effectiveness.
- Retargeting: Using retargeting campaigns, you can show ads to people who have previously visited your website, encouraging them to engage further with your content or purchase your book.
By tracking user behavior and using this data to inform your marketing efforts, you can create more effective campaigns and ultimately reach more readers.
Integrate Pixel Tags with Platforms You Already Use
If you have a website, you can integrate pixels today. Most platforms have detailed instructions on how to set up their pixel tags on your website. Follow those, and you’re on your way to data city. Below are the links to popular platforms’ instruction pages.
- For Facebook and Instagram: Visit https://www.facebook.com/business/help and search for “Meta Pixel Installation” and “Meta Pixel Helper.”
- For TikTok: Visit https://ads.tiktok.com/help/article/get-started-pixel.
- For LinkedIn: Visit https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/insight-tag.
- For Twitter: In the Twitter Ads Help Center, search for “Conversion tracking for websites.”
- For Google: Visit https://support.google.com and search “Use the Google tag for Google Ads conversion tracking” and “Set up Analytics for a website and/or app.”
- For Amazon: Visit https://advertising.amazon.com and search “Measure ad performance with advertising analytics” and “Advertising solutions for books.”
Additionally, almost every platform will have an instruction page, discoverable by searching the platform’s name and the words “pixel tag.”
How to Access Pixel Data
Accessing pixels typically involves embedding a tracking code on your website or landing page. Here are the basic steps to access pixels.
- Choose the platform that is most appropriate for your marketing goals. Meta (Facebook), Google ads, Amazon, TikTok, and Instagram all use pixel tags, as do several other popular sites. Choose those that align with your marketing goals.
- Create a business account and follow their instructions to set up your campaign.
- Once you’ve set up your campaign, the advertising platform will provide you with a tracking code to add to your website or landing page. Meta will allow you to set up a pixel tag to track data without running ads. To do this, go to its help page, https://facebook.com/business/help, and search “How to create a Meta Pixel in Business Manager.”
- Copy and paste the tracking code into the header or footer of your website or landing page. This code will generate a pixel that tracks user behavior on your site, such as page views, clicks, and conversions.
- Once you’ve set the tracking code, monitor the performance of your campaigns and make adjustments based on the data collected. This will help you optimize campaigns for better results.
It’s important to note that accessing pixels for marketing requires compliance with privacy laws, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as ethical marketing practices. Review the policies and guidelines of your chosen advertising platform, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Accessing Pixel Tags’ Information
The information pixels collect is typically accessible through the provider’s dashboard or reporting interface. To access pixel data, you must set up the pixel tracking code on your website and correctly configure the pixel provider’s settings. Once the pixel is active, it may take some time for data to accumulate, so be patient and check back periodically for new data. Reviewing pixel data regularly and using it to optimize your marketing campaigns and website performance is important. Use the links above to learn more about each platform’s report access.
When to Make Adjustments
In a few instances, you might need to adjust the data pixels collect for your business, such as when you experience:
- A change in business goals: If you’ve changed your business goals or marketing strategy, you may need to adjust the data pixels collect. For example, if you are now targeting a different audience or promoting a different book or series, you may need to update your pixel events or create new custom conversions to track the actions relevant to your new goals.
- Changes to your website: If you make significant changes, such as redesigning your website, adding or removing pages, or changing your website structure, you may need to update your pixel code to ensure it is still tracking the correct information.
- Tracking errors: If your pixel is not tracking certain events or is providing inaccurate data, you may need to troubleshoot the issue and adjust your pixel code to ensure it functions correctly.
- Changes to data privacy regulations: If you want to access more information on this topic, https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa and https://gdpr.eu/what-is-gdpr/ are both good resources.
It’s a good practice to review and adjust your pixel tag’s settings regularly to ensure it collects accurate and relevant data for your business goals.
The Cost of Pixel Tracking
The cost of using a pixel on your website will depend on the pixel provider you choose and the features you require. Here are some factors that can affect the cost.
- Different pixel providers have different pricing models. For example, Facebook Pixel and Twitter Pixel are free whereas Google Analytics offers free and paid versions.
- Some pixel providers charge based on your website’s visitors. You may need to upgrade your pixel plan to accommodate more traffic as it grows.
- Some pixel providers offer advanced features like real-time analytics, advanced targeting options, and customer segmentation. These features may come at an additional cost.
- If you need to integrate your pixel with other marketing tools, such as marketing automation software or email marketing platforms, there may be additional costs associated with those integrations.
It’s important to note that while most ad platforms provide free pixel tags, there may still be costs associated with pixel tracking, such as the time and resources required to set up and maintain the pixel on your website.
Utilizing Pixel Information Effectively
You need a website to use pixel tags since the code must be installed on a site to track user behavior. Having a website provides a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior, as you can track users as they navigate through different pages on your site. A website also provides a “home base” that you own, so no matter what any platform does, your readers always know where to find you.
Overall, pixel tags can be powerful tools for authors who want to increase book sales and connect with readers. By targeting specific audiences, retargeting users who have interacted with your website in the past, optimizing your campaigns based on data, and tracking conversions, you can make more informed decisions about your marketing efforts and increase your chances of success as an author.