Are you using UTM values?

In marketing and advertising campaigns, clients are understandably keen to see results, but, when it comes to online marketing campaigns, this has been traditionally quite difficult to produce.

Campaigns take on different guises, whether they’re online, offline, inbound or outbound, so, how can you tell which specific style or individual campaign is working for you and what isn’t? One way that marketeers are able to present their results to their clients is through the use of Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes, which, through a unique URL, link individual campaigns to Google Analytics to get the data you needed. You can discover where searchers come from (which medium, which campaign etc) and what it was that directed them to you.

To do it, you simply attach a small code to a URL to identify it and this will allow Google Analytics to know where the traffic to your site came from, from what campaign, where and how. By doing this, it can save you time on creating totally new landing pages for each campaign and avoid wasted budgets on projects which are going nowhere.

UTM values are best used for inbound marketing campaigns (this being ones which bring the people you want to engage with to you, rather than you going out to them). By using UTM values you can discover how your target audience engages with content you have placed elsewhere and which were the pieces that brought them to you.

Yes, adding a piece of code to a URL can serve to make it longer and therefore less appealing and memorable, but there are some massively useful tools such as bit.ly and ow.ly which allow you to minimise them into easier to use bite size URLs. (This is particularly effective where there are restrictions on the number of characters you can use, such as a Twitter campaign).

So, we’ve established that using UTM values is vital to marketing, but there’s one thing to remember too. Ultimately, the best way to make the most out of using UTM values is to ensure you do something with that information once you receive it. So, look to choose a time, perhaps once a month, to look at the data and amend or adapt your marketing strategy around it.

In Google Analytics, you can track your offline campaign through Standard Reporting then Traffic Sources, Sources and Campaign. As such, you can monitor the effectiveness of each budget spend and how much ROI it is bringing in.

A simple way to create UTM values is by using the Google Analytics URL builder, which will enable you to create a unique URL for each campaign, medium etc, allowing you to know instantly which is successful and which is less so.

The tools to get the information you need are out there, but it’s what you do with them that is up to you.