You’re showing up. You’re doing the podcast interviews, you’re speaking at the summits, you’re showing up outside of your own business brand to spread the gospel that is your exclusive awesome sauce. Woot! Woot!Which is great and all. But what’s the pay-off? Like, literally. What is the return-on-investment or what the cool kids call ROI – on the promotions and marketing campaigns that you collaborate on? Because yes, there is a very official analysis-on-auto-pilot way of tracking the return on all your visibility and I’ll show you how.

FIRST, WE CRACK THE CODE

While you do need some technical understanding, let’s glaze over what you “need to know” like a donut, shall we?UTMs are a simple code you use to give you insights on the people who click your links. They’re designed to help you better understand where your audience is coming from and how they engage with you. You can add them to any URL you direct traffic to.
TL;DR :: UTMs give you clairvoyant vision as to how your biz future will shape up. #tarotcardsnotincluded

Specifically, we’re going to crack the UTM code. I have a whole post detailing how UTM codes work here. However, the TL;DR on this is you’re essentially encoding everything you’re sharing in a way that tracks 1) exactly what they clicked; 2) where they came from; and 3) which marketing strategy or campaign got them there.

For instance, let’s say I’m promoting {AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS} in the fall. I’ve trying some different approaches on Instagram Stories to see what people like about me to swipe up. Do they respond better to 15 second clips of Airtable in action? Or do they like my dad jokes? Maybe they don’t like me at all and it’s the testimonials that make them take action?

The five UTM parameters available to use are as follows:

We’re going to code the above scenario as ::

  • My medium is social;
  • The source will be instagram-stories;
  • I’m calling this campaign ALAB-fall (for Airtable Like A Boss); and

To test the response to these 3 specific types of content delivery, I’m going to need 3 UTM codes. They’ll look like this ::

  1. http://www.airtablelikeaboss.com?utm_source=instagram-stories&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=alab-fall&utm_content=content-preview
  2. http://www.airtablelikeaboss.com?utm_source=instagram-stories&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=alab-fall&utm_content=being-funny
  3. http://www.airtablelikeaboss.com?utm_source=instagram-stories&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=alab-fall&utm_content=testimonial-showcase

By the way, you don’t have to rack your brain trying to build these. Click the link below to get my UTM code generator and P.S. unlike other generators, this one is designed to work like a library, too. This way, once you’ve created a code, it’s an easy-access library full of copy-and-paste done-for-you formulas. 

NEXT, WE THINK OUTSIDE OUR BOX

If the idea of creating these from scratch seems tedious – you’re right!
And if you think tedium sucks – right again, boss!

But what happens when you don’t control the links being used? After all, you can’t be dropping a crazy link like the ones we generated above when you’re on a podcast or doing an Instagram take-over, right? Right!

What you can do, though, is prepare a genius-as-all-get-out strategy that will work in the exact same way. To pull off this magic trick, you’ll need three things :: 

  • A specific URL or a super-memorable domain name that you will reserve for the exclusive use of these broadcasting opportunities
    For instance, yourdomain.com/ig-takeover or newmemorabledomainforpodcastinterviews.com
  • The ability to redirect traffic coming to your site
    You could use a redirection WordPress plug-in such as Redirection.
  • A UTM code to identify that specific traffic you’re generating. Let’s say you’re aiming to funnel that podcast traffic to your most popular opt-in. Your UTM will therefore look something like yourdomain.com/popular-opt-in/?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=offline

The below video will walk you through bringing all the pieces together. In essence, though, here’s the explanation of how all of this is going to go down ::

  1. You will create a redirect from the super-memorable domain name/link to the UTM you created above;
  2. That super-memorable domain is what you’re going to drop on all of your podcast appearances and you can ask the hosts to use it in their show notes. I also encourage you to emphasize that they’ll get something exclusive by using this link – either a discount or maybe extra free resources – but the goal is to provide listeners with enough incentive that they want to use the link you provided rather than going to your generic home page;
  3. Finally, when you’re looking at your goals, you can easily identify how many sales and how many leads you attracted from your podcast interviews.

You can use one link for all podcasts – which is a great starting point from a data-collection point of view – but you can get very granular here, too! For instance, if you’re a guest on Awesome Podcast, you could have “an exclusive offer for Awesome Podcast listeners” at yourdomain.com/awesome-podcast. You would then identify this campaign with the UTM :: yourdomain.com/popular/?utm_source=offline&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=awesome-podcast

Here’s how that set-up looks like in action ::

While you may be thinking that you could skip the extra step of using that UTM code and just re-direct your link to your opt-in page – you could! But you’re missing out on some key insights if you do.

For instance, you can compare how all of your OFFLINE campaigns compare to your ONLINE campaign performance. Or you can compare how podcasts perform for you versus Instagram take-overs. This would be difficult and messy to analyze when you’re doing it manually and from memory, whereas the report would be no more than 2-clicks to generate mad-insights on.

FINALLY, ABOUT THOSE INSIGHTS…

The report is your Mona Lisa and yes, it is my belief that your reports should be at least as beautiful. (After all, if reporting was “just” about the data, you’d log into your Google Analytics more than once a year.)

As a creative entrepreneur, I know that you appreciate the functionality of data and analytics… but it doesn’t exactly inspire you to seek them out unless you need them. Because I want you to want them – insert Cheap Trick karaoke here – I created a Key Performance Indicator report for your goals. 

So when I say that you can start seeing the ROI on your offline marketing campaigns? I mean it literally – in dollars deposited and in leads subscribed to your list! You can start attributing a number value to the time, effort and energy you’re putting into these offline strategies to see if they actually are paying off for you and by what amount.

If you want to learn more about what I call your ride-or-die, non-negotiable goals and how to track them, you can read more about that here. Because listen – yes, this is a tedious process to put in place. What’s more tedious, though, is working on something that has no return for you or worse, not realizing how valuable one segment of your work actually is.

Constant outreach to put yourself in front of every audience who will have you isn’t a visibility strategy; it’s a formula for burn-out. By dedicating a degree of upfront focus into tracking what works for other audiences (so you don’t have to work quite so hard by spreading yourself thing among them all) positions you to constantly improve how you’re showing up. Which TL;DR is the best ROI you can have!