From Launching to Reporting: How to Track a Campaign
By Gemma Joyce on December 7th 2017Read this article on our full site
Knowing how to track a campaign in a way that gives you enough insight to act and improve as you go is vital to creating your most impactful work.
They say you should spend at least the same amount of time promoting your content as you did creating it, and that’s great advice.
While there’s a lot that comes with planning promotional activities – social media posts, emails, briefing colleagues who can share the content with clients and prospects – there’s also plenty that you can’t prepare for. While you may have spent a while crafting the perfect social media post to share your content with, you need to be ready to adapt if it fails to gain traction.
Brandwatch React’s blog post promotion strategy has certainly been refined over the years, but you can’t prepare for everything and each blog commands a different approach.
We’re going to share the story of how we tracked the progress of a recent blog post, improving as we went, and ending up with and thousands of retweets, celebrity shares and a somewhat surreal appearance on Japanese TV.
How to track a campaign: Getting started
To start with, prepare.
If you don’t know how to track a campaign, make sure you get some set up in place before you release it so you know what sort of metrics you’re looking out for and don’t end up missing data.
While it often depends on the blog post (sometimes we’ll focus more on Reddit than Twitter), Brandwatch React is concerned primarily with unique page views and where they’re coming from, as well as link shares/retweets and mentions of our content from verified tweeters.
We’ll make sure we know about the state of each of those numbers as our content promotion goes on with a Brandwatch Analytics dashboard covering link shares and retweets of @BW_React content and Google Analytics running constantly, mapping where our traffic is coming from. If we’re going to share on Reddit we’ll sometimes use special UTM parameters so we know exactly which subreddits the traffic is coming from as it appears on GA.
Got it all ready? Now hit publish on everything and keep an eye on the numbers.
Keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t
The example we’re going to illustrate this post with is our annual “Most influential men and women on Twitter” blog post.
Once we had our blog ready, we began tweeting.
Things didn’t go well initially.
Our initial tweet got hardly any engagement and the post wasn’t gathering a significant number of page views in the first few hours. There was no real pulse.
We’ve got some experience in activating fandoms surrounding celebrities like Justin Bieber, so we thought we’d try a name drop.
After that whopper, we authored a few tweets that named the top ten women and, separately, the top 10 men. Again, they were generating hundreds of retweets.
Overall we got about 4.5k tweets about our influencer data (10k views, 7k of which came from Twitter). If we hadn’t realized the power of the name drop it would have been far less.
Get alerted when major events happen
We have Brandwatch Alerts and Signals set up so that when verified Twitter authors mention our content or if our @mentions begin to increase unusually we’re immediately alerted.
We were happily surprised to find out that Haruka Nakagawa, the 7th most influential woman on our list, shared the post.
She even pinned the post to her Twitter timeline.
And that wouldn’t be the last alert we got from Brandwatch about our post.
Ricky Gervais, the 7th most influential man on our list, also shared the article. (And at one point Piers Morgan retweeted it, prompting another alert).
With 2/20 of the people on our most influential male and female tweeters lists, we were pretty happy. Our PR team reported on press coverage from all over the world and after Haruka Nakagawa tweeted our link we were even invited onto Japanese TV to discuss our findings.
Our data has been splashed across the television screen before but this was particularly surreal.
Telling the story of our Most Influential Men and Women on Twitter article
All the while, our Vizia screens showed how the Brandwatch conversation was evolving over time, and we watched as the sleek visualizations charted our progress when some of Twitter’s biggest influencers began to join in.
A couple of weeks on we were able to summarize the campaign’s success by visualizing it simply with a few captions, explaining how the post took off and why it had dominated Brandwatch-related conversation for a while. It took little time and told the story of the blog post in a way that everyone in the company could understand.
With the tools and tips we’ve discussed, now you know how to track a campaign.
Got questions? Comment below!