At this point you have defined your target audience and developed your acquisition plan/tactics. It’s almost time to release your strategic masterpiece into the marketing wilderness but first, you need to take a queue from animal conservationists.
Animals are typically fitted with a chip, radio collar or tracking device allowing researchers to monitor their whereabouts. The same holds true for tracking your online event promotions with “urchin tracking module” (UTM) codes. Think of each marketing tactic as an individual animal requiring their own code, as including these within your campaign URLs will allow you to monitor:
- Traffic patterns e.g., which distribution channels are getting the most/least traction
- Accessibility and placement e.g., how is the audience finding you
- Message effectiveness e.g., which online event announcements are resonating
Typical campaign set-up requires populating your source, medium, content, and campaign parameters that will sort each deployed tactic neatly within Google Analytics or the analytics tool of your choice. Click here to access Google’s URL builder.
For example, an event announcement graphic placed on Twitter would be set as source: Twitter, medium: social, content: announcement, campaign: registration. A helpful best practice is to wrangle of all your UTM codes into a spreadsheet to help you decipher campaign performance regularly. Because we care, here is a handy template to make your life easier.
After your codes have been generated and your tactics have been deployed, it’s time to monitor them to ensure campaign success. Think of campaign optimization as a tactical wellness check. If you notice a particular tactic is struggling, thanks to your proactive tracking, you will be able to intervene, optimize and adjust to get things back on track. Here are a few common red-flags along with optimization recommendations:
- Registrations aren’t trending with last year: evaluate the placement of your event ads/announcements to determine performance and adjust messaging, placement etc.
- Cost-per-click is over budget: adjust your bid strategy to lower cost or remove and reallocate funds towards a more successful campaign.
- Email open rates have taken a dip: compare low performance subject lines and copy with more successful campaigns, review timing, communication frequency etc. and adjust for future campaigns.
- Content engagement is low: evaluate how length, format and accessibility correlate with shares, reposts, comments and registrations to optimize your content strategy.
After all the planning, strategy, careful monitoring and wild success of your online event there is one last step in the audience acquisition journey, the post-event analysis. Stay tuned…