For some time now, I have been building my business online. It’s a new experience to me but sometimes managing my online marketing campaigns is tiresome. This is because online marketing entails so much to its name. 

To plan effective marketing campaigns, I have to calculate my Customer acquisition cost. 

It was easy for me to manage my marketing strategy when I was starting my business. There is only one social media platform where I was marketing my products. 

The moment I started to expand my business across multiple social media platforms, it became difficult. I failed to understand which marketing strategy on which marketing platform performed well or needs improvement. 

I was stuck and needed an easy way out of it to understand the marketing dynamics on all the social media marketing platforms. 

I never knew that it would be very easy for me to manage my marketing campaigns on all the social media platforms, and here is how I did it. 

I started using UTM Parameters. Yeah, that’s it. Nothing more than what you just read. Are you asking yourself, how can marketing be this easy?

This article will break it down to understand how UTM parameters work for you with analytics to decide your future strategies. 

But first thing first. What is the UTM parameter? UTM parameters can be defined as a unique identifier in your weblink built to track your marketing source’s performance. 

A famous Peter Drucker quote states, “what gets measured gets managed.” So be it Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform to measure your marketing campaign performance. 

You can create as many as you want based on your marketing strategies. Now let’s dig into the science of UTM Parameters.

Components of UTM Code

So by now, you already understand that UTM Parameters helps in meaning performance and track clicks, leading to sales of ad campaigns running on different social media platforms. 

UTM parameter looks like as mentioned in the following example:

UTM parameter is a subsection of UTM Code which consists of two key components:

  • UTM parameter
    • In your weblink, UTM parameter starts with utm_.
    • There are five types of UTM Parameters used for analytics.

We will be discussing the UTM parameter types in more detail later on.

  • Tracking variable
    • It consists of the traffic source.
    • In your weblink, the tracking variable starts with =.

Tracking variable serves only one purpose and, i.e., to help analytics understand and record your user’s source. 

Types of UTM parameter

As mentioned earlier, UTM parameters can be divided into five categories. Following is the pictorial representation of subcategories in UTM parameters.

Let’s get you some understanding of these subcategories. For me, these categories are all I do while evaluating marketing campaigns.

Here is how they work. First, you have to run a campaign. To do so, you need a platform that will act as your source. Source requires a medium. The medium is how you approach your customers. 

So for unpaid marketing, you need a source, a medium, and a campaign. So confused, no problem, let’s get a little deeper into these categories and look for what they mean with examples.

  • Source

The first and the most important category for the UTM parameter is called Source. To have a fixed investment, you need to know your customer acquisition cost. 

To know your customer acquisition cost, you need to know where the customer approached you. In other words, which source was used by the customer?

To identify the source, you simply need to add the parameter “utm_source” in your web URL. This new URL with source extension helps you identify and track which social media platform was used by the customer.

  • Medium

To have a perfect marketing performance analysis, you also need to know the medium to which the customer has approached. The medium can be a referred customer coming to you via email. 

It can be your social media platforms or advertisements on other websites. To identify the medium used by the customer to reach you, you need to add the parameter utm_medium in your URL. 

  • Campaign

Last but not least, Google suggests you have a campaign characteristic as well. It helps you with the very basic and simple analysis of how your campaigns are working. Irrespective of how many campaigns you have, these tools help you analyze all of them.

To separate all campaigns, you need to give specific names to remember the campaigns on all social media, email, and ads. 

For paid marketing, you get to have two additional categories. You don’t need to use these two components. As these are for paid marketing only, you get to choose to use either of them, both of them or none of them, depending on your needs.

Let’s dig in and see what these are and whether you should be using them or not:

  • Content

Before getting into these optional UTM parameter characteristics, I have to tell you that this additional characteristic comes with detailed tracking inside. 

It is made to be used in conditions where you suggest multiple links of either one product or multiple products on place, ad, or email. 

In this case, the content code from your URL will help you identify which link has been clicked for your analysis of further effective marketing. It is very simple to add in URL, which can be done by adding “utm_content” in your URL. 

  • Keyword 

I very highly doubt that you already don’t know about keywords. Everyone, literally everyone living a virtual life on the Internet, uses this term “keyword.” 

Like others, you can optimize your marketing by looking into the keywords which are being searched on your website. Isn’t that great? All you need is to add “utm_term” in your URL, and that’s it. 

It will give you all the insights based on the words or terms searched on your website for better social media marketing. 

Three of these categories (source, medium, and campaign) need to be used per Google analytics requirements. Using the remaining 2 (content and keywords) depends on you. 

Everything has advantages and some disadvantages. Nothing comes without drawbacks. Let’s gossip a little about the advantages and disadvantages of using UTM parameters. 

Advantages of using UTM Parameter

  • Save customer acquisition cost:
    • It helps you to minimize customer acquisition costs.
    • It helps you to maximize customer-centric marketing for increased sales.
  • Channel performance optimization:
    • It allows you to review a holistic view of all your channels that are being used for marketing your product. 
    • If any channel is not performing well, then you can discontinue or stop campaigns on that channel.
    • If any channel performs more than your expectations, you need to put more resources and focus on that.
  • Content performance optimization:
    • It allows you to see how well the content brings more and more user interaction to your website leading to increased sales. 
    • It allows you to reshuffle content and sees the results.
    • It is flexible with options, and you can choose any of them to adjust your content for user ease. 
  • Team performance optimization:
    • It helps you create healthy competition between your sales teams.
    • It helps you come up with a new strategy almost immediately.

Bottom line

Let’s have a quick recap about UTM parameters. They are the key source of information to optimize your marketing strategy. To get the full benefit from UTM Parameters, you need to follow the following instructions:

  • Clearly define product-wise UTM parameter naming convention
  • Please choose and use names for customers to understand
  • Don’t forget to shrink your URLs with link shorteners
  • Plan everything from the start

What are you waiting for? Let’s go and design your campaign!


Nikita is an expert SEO Content Writer, with expertise in creating unique write-ups in DIGITAL MARKETING.