If you’re an aerospace marketer, chances are you’re running online ads in industry publications. And based on our extensive experience in the aerospace marketing industry, chances are you also have a tight marketing budget. Which leads us to our most frequently asked question: “What publications should I be advertising with to get the most bang for my buck?”
Of course, you should be researching publications to determine credibility, audience, reach, circulation and other important details for your niche to help narrow down the choices. But you should also be evaluating your channels after they have run. Doing so will help you determine where you should be spending your limited budget in the future.
That is where Google Analytics and UTM Codes come in.
What are UTM Codes?
A UTM code (or UTM tag) is a snippet of text you can attach to the end of a URL. This allows Google Analytics - and you - to track where your searchers are coming from and what campaign or channel brought them to your site.
Publication Metrics vs UTM Codes
Your marketing campaigns will only be as good as how well you analyze the data. There are two primary ways to measure how well a campaign is performing.
- Metrics provided by publications are usually limited to a click-through rate (CTR) and impressions. While these can be valuable, we aren’t able to grasp a full spectrum of our audience’s engagement or interest in our ads. Additionally, these metrics are vanity metrics – meaning they are easily manipulated and do not necessarily correlate to actionable numbers.
- UTM Codes combined with Google Analytics provide us with metrics that better explain the quality of the traffic coming from a publication. These metrics include: Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, Average Pages Per Session, Conversions (if applicable), New Traffic, and Total Sessions. Through these numbers we are able to better assess true audience interest, leads, and publication value.
How to Generate UTM Codes
Step 1) Go to: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
Step 2) Fill in the required information (see below):
- Website URL This is the final destination for the ad - where you want the user to go post click.
- Campaign Source This is where your ad will be seen or how it will be delivered. Specific Website, Enewsletter, Eblast, etc. (Examples: AIN Website)
- Campaign Medium What is the format of your ad? Banner, CPC, Email, etc. (Example: 728x90 Banner)
- Campaign Name Is your ad associated with a specific campaign? This will help you identify the website traffic when reviewing the results. (Example: Helicopter Discount Campaign)
- Campaign Content If you have multiple ads per campaign, this will help you differentiate between ads. We recommend using ad numbers, names or descriptors. (Example: Ad 3, Blue Helicopter)
Step 3) The URL will be automatically generated. This is the URL that needs to be supplied to the publication with the ad.
Pro Tip: UTM Codes do not need to be generated each time an ad is submitted. You can use the same UTM code month after month as long as the ad remains the same and the final destination URL does not change.
Google Analytics Tracking & Reporting
In order to gauge true performance, an ad should run for a couple months before analyzing data. When analyzing data, it should be pulled monthly from Google Analytics. This allows us to see trends and also differentiate between higher and lower performing months, while accounting for events that may have happened during a month that caused an increase or decrease in performance (industry trade shows, holidays, etc.)
To pull metrics from Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns. From there you can compare and analyze the performance between various advertising channels.
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