Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge advocate of digital marketing strategies because it’s easy to tie a value to each lead or sale and determine the ROI of such an investment. In the past, it’s been very difficult to apply this same methodology to your offline marketing strategies, however, with advancements in technology, its become easier to do so. It’s not perfect, but it gets you closer! In today’s post, I want to discuss call tracking and campaign tagging via Google Analytics.
Phone Call Tracking
Phone call tracking is nothing new, however, the advancements in technology that I discussed above, have made it much easier for small and medium businesses to deploy such tracking and manage it through an easy to use, online dashboard.
The way call tracking works is, you are assigned a unique phone number for every marketing tactic you execute. That means if you have a billboard, newspaper ad, radio ad, or vehicle decal, you can have a unique phone number on each piece of collateral and track the number of phone calls coming from each one.
You can even use phone call tracking for all of your online marketing tactics and compare the effectiveness of all tactics in your marketing mix to one another. Doing so will allow you to truly understand how you are spending your marketing budget and determine if you need to reallocate resources to more profitable tactics.
To get started with call tracking, I recommend using a provider like Century Interactive. They can run you through a demo and help you get your account setup.
Campaign tagging through vanity URL placement is another way to track the effectiveness of your offline marketing efforts. Let’s first talk about what each of these are, before we talk about how to implement them.
First, campaign tagging is simply adding custom parameters to a URL that are then displayed in your Google Analytics reports, so you can see which campaigns drive visitors and conversions. The different parameters available are Campaign Source (referrer), Campaign Medium (marketing medium), Campaign Term (used to identify keywords used for paid search), Campaign Content (used to differentiate ads), and Campaign Name (the name of the campaign).
Second, a vanity URL is a URL which was created to point to another URL. You can think of it as a personalized URL that is easier to remember than a random URL. They are often times used to point to a specific product or advertising campaign URL.
Every piece of marketing collateral should have a unique vanity URL tied to it. If I’m a real estate agent running a home refinance campaign and I am marketing through a billboard and direct mailer, I might have a URL for the billboard such as http://www.example.com/low-rates/ and a URL for the direct mailer such as http://www.example.com/rate-checker/. Each of these vanity URLs should then be 301 redirected to the long, ugly, campaign tracking URL. Upon loading in the web browser, Google Analytics would then capture the tags and display the data in their dashboard. It’s really as simple as that.
To get started with campaign tagging, you can check out this free tool provided by Google called the URL builder.
So there you have it. Tracking your offline marketing efforts isn’t as hard as you might have thought. If you have any questions about either call tracking or campaign tagging, please leave a comment in the section below and I’d be happy to help.