Google wins big through content marketing with Analytics Academy

Google Analytics Platform Principles completion certificateToday I took (and passed, yay!) the latest course from Google’s Analytics Academy: Google Analytics Platform Principles. The second in a series of analytics tool courses, Platform Principles is a brilliant example of content marketing that generates interest for the analytics application. Through scarcity and gamification, Google incentivizes digital marketers to engage with Google Analytics by offering them attractive course material, testing, online resources and certification for a limited time.

Platform Principles takes analytics professionals and hobbyists through four course units focused on the following:

  1. Analytics Academy Platform Principles course screenshotPlatform components and the data model
  2. Differences in data collection for website, mobile and measurement protocol (think connected devices other than lap/desktop/tablet/mobile) environments
  3. Data processing and configuration
  4. Reporting relationship between dimensions and metrics, how to use API data and the purpose of data sampling

Utilizing scarcity and gamification
Today was my first experience with Analytics Academy. Already a fan (and follower) of Google Analytics on social media channels, I heard about the course through Google’s email marketing efforts as well as their activity on Google+. To create scarcity and utilize gamification to drive engagement, Google has offer the ability to attain a certificate of course completion for a limited time. Certificate eligibility is currently open for Platform Principles through March 27th, after which the course will be open for self-study. During the open enrollment period, Google is facilitating discussion on the course through Google+ and facilitating Google hangouts to discuss the course with the course creators, creating buzz and increasing engagement.

Analytics Academy Google Plus activityWhy is this considered “content marketing?”
Providing converted fans, casual users and those interested in the platform with intuitively executed, memorable educational videos and quizzes on how the tool works, Google is able to strengthen brand awareness and loyalty for their analytics product. Though Google already holds a dominant position in the enterprise web analytics market with 63% of Fortune 500 company websites utilizing the platform, Analytics Academy exemplifies Google’s commitment to invest in their users through education that demonstrates the power of Universal Analytics in web, mobile and other connected-device/appliance environments. If and when those exposed to Analytics Academy become influencers / decision makers in an organization with a need for an enterprise analytics product, Google has invested in them in a way that resonates in order to increase the likelihood these potential customers choose the most familiar option, Google Analytics Premium.

Call me a fanboy, I’m hooked
Though I missed the opportunity to attain a certificate of completion for the first course from Analytics Academy, Digital Analytics Fundamentals, I had reviewed many of the tutorial videos from those course sessions as Google shared them with their social communities after the course closed. After completing Platform Principles today, I consider myself converted as to the power of Analytics Academy and plan to keep up with future courses as they are released.

If you’re interested in Google Analytics and consider yourself a new or intermediate user, I highly suggest you register for the Platform Principles course and complete it before March 27th to get your certificate.