How Parse.ly tracks campaign data

Parse.ly tracks five categories of campaign parameters: Campaign, Medium, Source, Content, and Term.

When a Parse.ly Tracker collects and sends URLs to the Parse.ly analytics server, we parse out parameters and their values by examining query strings at the end of URLs. For instance, in the URL https://www.parse.ly/?utm_campaign=launch_promotion:

  • The query string is ?utm_campaign=launch_promotion
  • The parameter is utm_campaign
  • The parameter’s value is launch_promotion

Parameters and their values are displayed in the Parse.ly dashboard. utm_campaign is categorized as Campaign (1) and synd_digg (2) shows up in the list of campaigns.

Supported parameters

Parse.ly supports the following parameters and maps them to five categories.

Category Supported parameters
Campaign* utm_campaign
mbid
utm_cid
cid
pk_campaign
cmpid
WT.mc_id
c
c_id
campaign_id
Campaign
Medium utm_medium
Source utm_source
Content utm_content
Term utm_term

*In the case of the Campaign category, Parse.ly will run through the list of supported parameters in order. Once we detect a parameter, we collect it and don’t collect data on any of the other parameters. For instance, if we detect utm_campaign, we won’t run through the rest of the list.

If you use a parameter that’s not listed, get in touch. We’ll consider supporting new parameters as long as they can be mapped to one of the above categories.

Parsing Campaign parameters with multiple pieces of information

Some analytics tools advise including multiple pieces of information in the Campaign parameter, like this:

?cid=<campaign_name>-<source>-<medium>

Parse.ly will register this parameter as is, but we suggest splitting these pieces of information into separate parameters by implementing dynamic pageview tracking.

var params = PARSELY.$.param({
    utm_campaign: campaign,
    utm_medium: medium,
    utm_source: source});
if (url.indexOf("?") == -1) {
    params = "?" + params;
} else {
    params = "&" + params;
}
PARSELY.beacon.trackPageView({url: url + params});

Tracking campaign data for videos

To track campaign data about your videos, you don’t need to do anything beyond what you’re doing to track campaign data for your posts. A campaign, medium, source, content, or term “gets credit” for driving traffic to a video when a visitor watches a video on a web page with campaign parameters in its URL.

For instance, many visitors watch a video called “iPhone 7 Review” on https://cellreviews.com/iphone-7/, but some arrive at the page through a Twitter campaign, and others come from an email newsletter. Each URL is tagged with UTM parameters:

?utm_campaign=iphone-7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
?utm_campaign=iphone-7&utm_medium=email&utm_source=gadgets-weekly

The number of visitors, video starts, and minutes watched for “iPhone 7 Review” are split up and attributed to whatever campaign, medium, source, content, or term appeared  in the URL.

You can see how marketing campaigns impact your video metrics by navigating to the Campaigns page and toggling from Posts to Videos.

Note: You must have video analytics enabled to see video data in the Parse.ly Dashboard. Talk with your success manager or contact support@parsely.com to learn more.

Do you have an urgent support question?