How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Account-Based Campaigns in Google Analytics

Part of being a successful B2B marketer requires a constant focus on measurement. But actually measuring your impact can be kind of tricky. Take a second to think about all the ways a B2B buyer can stumble onto your website. Display ads. LinkedIn. Twitter. Word of mouth. How do you know which channels are the most effective in attracting your target accounts?

To better understand the performance of these channels, you’ll need to tag each one of your campaigns with UTM parameters—tags added to the end of a URL, which, once clicked, send data back to Google Analytics. UTM codes allow you to determine which element of your online marketing strategy is most useful in getting your target audience to your site.

UTM parameters are particularly important because B2B buys differently than B2C. Most B2B purchases span multiple departments, which means that there are multiple stakeholders involved in any buying decision. This requires you to run a series of ongoing advertising and social campaigns to drive engagement with an account and its buying group. UTM parameters will help you understand which channels and campaigns are most effective in reaching these target buyers.

3 Elements of UTM Parameters

With UTM parameters you can track the three following things:

1. Campaign: all of the content from one campaign in your analytics

Example: utm_B2BBuyer

2. Medium: the type of traffic

• CPC – paid traffic

• Organic – from a search engine

• Referral – from a non-search engine site

• Direct – has no referral information

Example: utm_organic

3. Source – the referring site, search engine or direct

Example – utm_bannerad

Without specific campaign tags, you don’t have a clear idea of how to measure marketing tactics beyond referral URL. So it’s best to use campaign/date specific UTM parameters with strong naming conventions to organize the data flowing into Google Analytics.

Use Cases for UTM Parameters

Today’s B2B marketers have more choices than ever to get their message in front of the right eyes, and it’s become easier than ever to run a variety of campaigns.

Here are a couple of ways you can use a combination of UTM codes to compare and contrast those efforts:

• Determine whether links in your Twitter posts or LinkedIn profiles are more effective for named accounts

• Track which email newsletter performed best in bringing your target accounts to your site

• Track which element of that newsletter benefited your campaign the most: the banner in the email, a product image or some other CTA

• Determine which banner ads were most effective

How to Set Up UTM Parameters

You’ll need to use the Google URL Builder and add the URL, Campaign, Medium and Source information.

Here’s a sample campaign we’ve built and its components:

Campaign source = Demandbase

Campaign medium = Banner

Campaign content = size of banner or information about the offering

UTM_parameters

It’s as easy as that! Once your UTM parameters are up and running, you’ll get actionable insights into how your channels are performing. From there, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions to better support your marketing programs.