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The WHAT, WHY and HOW of Conversion Tracking
Conversion tracking is an integral part of any well-planned digital marketing campaign. It provides an edge to which all forms of traditional advertising can not replicate.
Broadly speaking, conversion tracking is the measurement of the performance of your digital marketing campaigns with regards to your overall goal (conversion) of your campaign. This conversion can take many forms, such as purchases, mailing list signups, or leads. Fundamentally, conversion tracking will help us record which and how many users have purchased or signed up after having seen an ad.
This is achieved primarily through the inclusion of tracking ‘pixels’, ‘tags’ or scripts that can be obtained by the ad channels that you are using (i.e. Facebook or Google). Each will be a small piece of code that will inform the ad channel of successful conversions, along with additional information (age, platform, device) about the user who triggered the conversion.
But what exactly is it? Why is it so important? And how does it work?
2. Campaigns Optimized for Return
If you can track the ROI of a campaign, you can then optimize for it - ensuring that you get the best possible result. As the campaign runs, you gain insights as to the demographics - such as age, interest or region - of users that resulted in successful conversions. Additionally, you will see which exact ads are performing best with certain demographics. Using these insights, you can target users with a higher probability to convert (buy). This results in a campaign that improves as it runs and gains insight, yielding higher a significantly higher ROI.
So what do you gain by integrating conversion tracking?
BENEFTIS OF CONVERSION TRACKING
1. Measurable results
First and foremost, conversion tracking allows you to see the quantitative performance and Return on Invest (ROI) or Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) of your digital marketing campaigns. Without conversion tracking, you can only know how many people interacted with and clicked on your ads - how many interactions led to your desired result will remain a mystery. Using conversion tracking, you are able to follow a user’s journey from an ad view or click, through your own website and can record if and when they trigger a conversion. By doing so, you are able to report with certainty exactly how many conversions are directly attributable to your digital marketing campaign. By using the ratio of how much value they generated, and the total invested in ads, you are given an accurate ROI.
3. Customer Insights
Yet another benefit to the use of conversion tracking in your digital marketing campaign is the insight you can gain into your customers. In addition to the usefulness in optimizing the campaign as mentioned above, the data on successful conversions can help you to build insights as to the age of your customers, their geographic regions, or what subjects they may be interested in. This data can be valuable in the planning of future events or campaigns.
2. Large providers
Many large ticketing providers - such as Eventim or Ticketmaster - will not handle such tracking integrations automatically. Instead, you will have to submit a request to the provider - through a request form which you can get from your client manager - and allow their tracking team to integrate it on your event. They will likely require some details about yourself, your business, and the tracking code you wish to integrate.
HOW TO SET UP CONVERSION TRACKING
Now that you know the many benefits of conversion tracking, you may be eager to set it up for yourself. But how would you go about that? There are a few methods that we will go through. For the purpose of this example, we will be talking about ticketing shops, but the principals are widely applicable.
1. Self Service
Many self service ticketing providers such as Eventbrite or Universe have made it easy to set up conversion tracking within their environment. For example, Eventbrite has a section in their management console allowing you to add your Facebook and Google conversion pixels/tags, and Eventbrite will handle the tracking integration for you.
If you have full control over the code in your ticketing shop, there is good news and bad news: The good news is that no one will stop you from integrating tracking. The bad news is that it will be the most technically involved of the three options. You will have to extract the appropriate tracking code from each of your ad channels (i.e Facebook and Google) and integrate them into your site individually.
Alternatively, we at Stagelink offer a simplified process, allowing a single line of code to integrate all of your tracking pixels from your ad channels.
2. Campaign Optimization
Ensuring that your campaign is getting the best performance for your budget can be an enormous task. Even running a campaign on just three channels can leave you with tens of thousands of data points to analyze, interpret, and convert into actionable improvements for campaigns. This is no small task, and one even professional marketers still struggle with.
This led us to the development of a new form of campaign optimization. Using machine learning techniques, we analyze all ads across all marketing channels, and determine the best performing ads and optimal budget each and every day.
CHALLENGES IN TRACKING
Conversion tracking is not without its challenges to overcome. Here are some of the main obstacles we have encountered at Stagelink through our experience running digital marketing campaigns.
1. Who gets the credit?
When you’re running a marketing campaign through multiple ad channels (as you should!), the problem arises of who gets credit for a successful conversion. If a user views both a Facebook and a Google ad before their conversion, which channel should get credit for that user? Often both channels will report a successful conversion, leaving you with an inflated ROI. Without solving these problems, it is difficult to tell the true value of your campaign, and which channels are performing the best.
At Stagelink, we have endeavoured to solve this using a proprietary conversion and attribution model, allowing us to screen out over-reported conversions, and distribute them appropriately over their most relevant channels.
Though conversion tracking in digital marketing is not without its obstacles, it offers performance improvements, measurable results and insights that cannot be matched by traditional media. By adding conversion tracking to your digital marketing campaigns, you unlock the potential for efficient, highly performant campaigns that offer you verifiable results - a promise you cannot get any other way.
If you’d like to learn more about how we do conversion tracking at Stagelink, don’t hesitate to contact us!
3. Privacy Compliance
Since the EU began enforcement of the GDPR regulations in 2018, the internet has been quickly adapting to new conventions, allowing users more control over their personal information. This applies heavily to conversion tracking. Prior to any data being stored, the website implementing the tracking will need to acquire the user’s permission. If this permission can not be acquired, then no tracking data can be recorded for this user.
Larger ticketing providers such as Eventbrite or Ticketmaster will be able to take care of this compliance for you, but those implementing this alone will need to take care to ensure that they are following all necessary regulations.
Split test vs. multi-armed bandit: simulation, source code and ready-to-use app
When and when not to A/B test
This article discusses the differences of A/B or Split tests and multi-armed bandits for variant testing. It can be used to e.g. choose the best performing set of ads for a digital marketing campaign. Simulating and measuring the performance of both methods in various experiments shows that in most scenarios the Bandit dominates the Split and should be preferred. In addition to the simulation results, all of the required source code is provided plus a simple web app for variant optimization using the Bandit method.
Putting some effort into the search of the right keywords can make a real difference to your online marketing campaign. You want to be addressing your most relevant audiences in the most efficient way possible. And although your keyword planning is a task not to be underestimated, if you follow the basic tips explained in this article, you are definitely on the right track.
Hot to use the Google Keyword Planner