As B2B marketers, it’s important for us to know how effective our marketing efforts are at generating more leads. Because, ultimately, that's what this is all about! Understanding our campaign KPIs and how to measure them becomes critical when it's time to explain a campaign's outcomes to decision makers. Thankfully, as savvy marketers, we have tools like HubSpot and Google Analytics to give us the data we need to help us with reporting.

While you have access to these tools, you don’t always use them to their fullest potential. Here are 3 ways to do better campaign tracking.

1. Use UTM Codes to Track URLs

It’s Monday morning and you decide to take a look at how well things are going for the quarter so far. You’re in your HubSpot “Sources” report and you see that social media is bringing in lots of traffic and converting well. That’s great!

You drill down further into social media and find that LinkedIn is the main driver of your traffic and leads, but then you quickly realize you’re not sure what that means. Are your LinkedIn posts responsible for the traffic? Could it be one of the LinkedIn advertising campaigns you’ve launched and if so, which one? Have you ever been in this scenario?

Don’t panic. Using UTM codes to track URLs is the solution to this problem. UTM parameters are simply snippets of code added to the end of your landing page URL that help tools like HubSpot and Google Analytics track the success of your content. You’ve probably seen UTM parameters in URLs whenever you’ve clicked on something in an email or an article on your LinkedIn feed.

Here is an example of a UTM code for one of our recent articles: &utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

The bolded text above is the UTM parameter, and it's telling your reporting source that the campaign is "B2B tips 2017," the type of marketing medium is "social" and the source of that medium is "LinkedIn."

You can get more in-depth in your tracking so that it’s easy to parse out your different marketing campaign efforts. In fact, you can track five different types of information, including campaign, source, medium, content and term. These last two are generally used for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

How to Create Your Own UTM Parameters on HubSpot and Google Analytics

Creating UTM parameters for your URLs is easy if you have the right tools. In HubSpot, go to Reports Home > Tracking URL Builder > Create New Tracking URL. Fill in the required fields and use the shortened version of the URL in your marketing efforts. When reporting time comes around, go to the “Other Campaigns” section of the “Sources” report and see how successful those efforts were.

If you’re using Google Analytics use the Campaign URL Builder, where you wil go through a similar process as the one described above. This campaign builder also allows you to shorten your URL and track your URLs in Google Analytics.

Before you begin launching your next campaign, remember to use UTM codes to build trackable URLs so you can see which specific efforts are responsible for marketing outcomes.

Now when you’re looking in your HubSpot Sources report or Google Analytics report, you will have a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.

2. Use The Same Naming Conventions for Campaigns

Now everyone on your team has a common understanding of the importance of campaign tracking. Your work here is done! Oh, if only! If you have a marketing team that consists of multiple people handling different aspects of your marketing campaign, things can get tricky fast! Let’s think of a real-life scenario:

Your email specialist is creating an email blast for your five-year company anniversary. She uses “five-years” as the UTM campaign variable in the trackable URL.  Your social media guru is writing LinkedIn posts and uses “anniversary-year-five” as the UTM campaign variable. When you report campaign results, you'll be confused because different campaign values are used.

If you had determined the naming conventions before starting the campaign, both the email and the LinkedIn posts could use the same variable, resulting in clear tracking.

That’s why it’s critical to ensure everyone responsible for marketing is naming everything the same way. On the other hand, if you’re the only person responsible for campaign tracking it’s still best to take note of the exact name you used for your campaign so that you keep everything orderly for future reporting.

Pro tip: Use a shared spreadsheet to determine common campaign variables before starting any creative so everyone uses the same values.

3. Consider Targeted Personas for Campaigns

This tip should really come in handy as you’re starting to think through what your campaign is going to be about. With your business objectives in mind, think through who you want to reach to best meet your business goals.

You have customer personas, don't you? You put a lot of effort into collecting data and writing your personas, and it's time to use them. Developing campaigns that target a specific customer persona can help you determine how you'll reach them, what messages to use and what information to promote.

But, how do you track this?

If you use HubSpot, make sure that you’re attributing a customer persona to your campaign. First, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve entered your customer persona information into the HubSpot tool. Once that’s done, you’ll use HubSpot’s Campaign reporting tool to assign your persona to the campaign. Tracking how well your campaign performed with your targeted persona will allow you to see how they responded to specific efforts, which can allow you to tweak your approach for future campaigns.

You can also track customer personas in Google Analytics, but this can be a much more difficult task. You’ll want to make sure you’re skilled in the platform and are comfortable with using "custom dimensions."

Final Thought: Use HubSpot’s Campaign Reporting Tool

If you’re a HubSpot user, you might have seen the roll-out of their latest Campaign tool. This tool consolidates all campaign data including URLs with UTM parameters, personas, goals and other valuable data and metrics contributing to the success of your campaign. Use this tool to save time reporting on your campaign and to wow your audience at your next reporting meeting.

Want better performing campaigns? Request a marketing opportunity review to get an in-depth analysis to gauge your digital marketing effectiveness from an online business expert.

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