Most B2B marketers fail at this
By Tim Davies
I’m going to take a stab in the dark here;
- You have Google Analytics tracking on your company website… AND
- You share company content on the internet, including social… BUT
- You have no idea which social platforms and digital ad campaigns are working for you
If this sounds like you, clearly you have a problem. You’re missing an opportunity to track your digital activities, your spend and your ROI. Fear not my busy marketing buddy – you’re not alone.
I’ll also give you access to the spreadsheet we use to generate tracking code URLs, for free, to help you get going!
Here are the top 3 reasons why marketers aren’t utilising Google Analytics campaign tracking;
- Most business marketers have no idea it exists
- Marketers don’t know how to set it up and don’t fully understand the benefits
- It seems too tedious to bother
Let me address each of these objections in order.
1. Most business marketers have no idea the functionality exists
I guess you don’t know what you don’t know; but I do find it a little odd (embarrassing?) how few marketers I work with really understand digital marketing and are aware of tools like Google Analytics necessary for tracking digital marketing ROI.
What is Google Analytics campaign tracking?
Without getting too technical, I’ll give you a brief insight into what the tracking code is.
By appending ‘variables’ to the URLs you share anywhere on-the-line (funny if you’ve seen the movie ‘The Internship’), you can provide specific information to Google Analytics about that visitor.
Let’s say for example, I was sharing an article in a LinkedIn group. This is what a URL with Google Campaign tracking code appended may look like.
It looks complicated but it’s really not. Let’s break it down.
Google offer a URL builder to do it for you, if you need it.
Or you can save yourself a few hours and download the spreadsheet we use at One Rabbit, to simplify setting up the general protocol and also automate the building of URLs for you.
2. They [marketers] don’t know how to set it up, and don’t fully understand the benefits
What’s most important about Google Analytics campaign tracking is that when you set it up, you stick to a deliberate set of rules to keep all the links in your company ordered.
There’s no use everyone in the organisation making up their own campaign tracking code URL structures, because the data you collect won’t end up grouped.
It’ll then be a nightmare trying to make head or tails of it, and you’ll be back in the same frustrating place as you were pre-tracking, probably leading to no action at all.
What you see in Google Analytics when it’s set up properly.
You can see below with Google Analytics campaign tracking structured properly, you can simply log into your profile, select ‘Campaigns’, and you’re able to view the effectiveness of campaigns regardless of whomever (in the company) or wherever you’re sharing your content.
You can then dive in further to identify what’s working in each individual campaign.
Below, I’ve drilled into ‘social_media’ to show you how we can specifically see what content is driving traffic to the site. I’ve applied a filter to only show ‘Tim’s’ social media activity.
Conclusions from the data.
Although the sample size above is small, there are still broad conclusions I can take this;
– Twitter is a pretty good traffic generator
– Google+ and LinkedIn send more relevant and ultimately engaged traffic (more page views per visit, greater time on site)
– Featured posts pinned to my LinkedIn profile don’t generate much interest
The real gold however is this; when you have both ‘goals’ and ‘campaign tracking’ set up in analytics, you can see exactly where conversions on your site are derived from. Above, you can see content I shared in a LinkedIn group, led to a ‘Landing Page Signup’ goal completion.
Over a greater period of time, and with more company members’ data aggregated you’re able to see quite definitively, what content is working and what not. You then know where the best place to invest your time and resources is.
3. It seems too tedious to bother
The two really tedious things about managing campaign tracking codes in your business are 1) setting up the rules that everyone sharing will stick to 2) being disciplined to add tracking code on everything you share.
All I can say is you need to bother. The value in the insights is too great and once you make it a habit, it’s really not that hard.
At One Rabbit we have one spreadsheet we all share on Google Docs where we can simply add our name and the link, and the tracking code is output for us.
See below how simple it is for us to generate our own link, for all the platforms we share on? I’ve highlighted one link below which I’d use if I was sharing for example on a LinkedIn Group.
Save yourself hours of experimenting with protocols and generating links, download the spreadsheet above and get started today. Add the link, your name and easily change the ‘source’, ‘medium’ and ‘campaign’ where you need to. The spreadsheet will do there rest. Copy and paste the URLs and you’ll be tracking data like a ninja in no time.
Note: if you use www.bufferapp.com to share content it overrides some of the variables, and you want to let it do this so it manages the platforms your sharing on – see above, there’s a specific link for anything you share in BufferApp too, to any platform!
My next article will help to learn how to create custom short links, so you don’t have to share these massive long URLs you’ll be creating. Your short links can look like this – http://1rabb.it/ga-tracking-download
When you click it and pay attention to the URL that you go to; you’ll see how you can have a ‘pretty’ short link like this one, which still carries through the underlying necessary campaign tracking code.
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Image Credit: Flickr user ‘sepblog’ under lincence, CC BY 2.0
How to use short links in your #ContentMarketing for #ProfessionalServicesFirms
By Tim Davies
If you read my previous blog post, you’re hopefully starting to implement campaign tracking code to start measuring what’s working for you (content marketing wise) in your professional services firm. You may have also discovered that you get some massive long URLs when you add all those campaign tracking variable to your links. As promised……