What is campaign tracking?
In the context of web traffic and analytics, campaign tracking is the process of measuring the success of content campaigns by monitoring associated data points. This data can include where traffic is coming from, what actions visitors take on your site, and how much revenue those campaigns generate.
What is campaign tracking in analytics and why do I need it?
Campaign tracking monitors and measures the success of marketing campaigns. By monitoring campaign data, you gather actionable information about user engagement and ways to improve it.
For example, campaign tracking data can help you learn:
- which channels users come from to view your content
- which mediums users come from to view your content
- how ad campaigns perform across channels and mediums
- how content campaigns perform across channels through mediums
Campaign tracking helps you understand which campaigns perform well and which ones need help. By monitoring campaign data, you can optimize your content strategy in real-time and optimize your efforts for your various distribution channels.
Types of campaign tracking
Campaigns can be tracked by several methods. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to decide which ones work best for you.
As a baseline rule, use a tracking method that allows you to track which platforms the campaign is running on, whether it’s paid or organic, and how much traffic it’s sending back to your site.
Here are the most common types of campaign tracking:
This method adds specific parameters to your URLs. UTM parameters can be used with any type of marketing channel. If you need help setting up your UTM strategy, check out our blog on UTM parameter best practices.
Pixels are small pieces of code placed on your website to track conversions and other activities like email opens or social media interactions. The benefit of using pixels is that they can be placed on specific pages, allowing you to track the customer journey start to finish. Pixels can be used with any type of marketing campaign, but they are most commonly used for paid advertising.
Cookies are also small pieces of code placed on your website and stored on a user’s computer. This code tracks conversions and other activities, including what pages a user visits, ads a user sees, and what products they add to their cart. If you’re relying on cookies for campaign tracking, remember that the third-party cookie will be phased out by 2024.
What marketing channels use campaign tracking?
Campaign tracking can be used with any type of marketing campaign, but it is most commonly used for online advertising. This includes search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, and email marketing.
Social media campaign tracking
Social media campaign tracking shows you which social posts drive the most traffic and conversions. To do this, marketers add UTMs to each post URL.
PPC/ad campaign tracking
PPC campaigns are paid advertising on search engines or other websites. Here, the goal of PPC/ad campaign tracking is similar to social media campaign tracking.
Like social posts, each PPC ad has a unique URL. By adding UTM campaign tracking parameters to these URLs or a pixel to each ad, businesses can see which ads drive the most traffic and conversions.
Email campaign tracking
The best method for email campaign tracking is to add UTM parameters to the links in your email. This shows you how many people click each link and which email led to the most conversions.
You can also track how many people opened your email. This information can help you improve your email open and click-through rates.
Campaign tracking in Parse.ly
With Parse.ly as your analytics platform, you can easily track campaigns by adding UTM parameters to the links in your emails, social media posts, and other marketing materials.
When people click these links, that will be tracked in Parse.ly as part of your campaign and displayed in a pleasant and understandable dashboard view. This data is available in real time in the Parse.ly dashboard.
With this easy access to detailed campaign data, you can:
- measure and test campaigns
- track cross-channel traffic
- balance your paid and organic efforts
- customize reports