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As a content marketer, you often write posts about products which are not yours. Consequently, the financial outcomes resulting from those posts are reported in the products referral programs but can't be attributed to specific posts. Knowing that your posts will get traffic from search, social media, and your newsletters, the ability to attribute the returns to each of those channels becomes increasingly difficult.

  • LJ

    Lucas Johnson

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Laurent,

    For affiliate programs, depending on the software they use, I would think you could just create different links for each post, which could help track revenue per post.

    I've started writing case studies about other companies (and their product) and how they use webinars. We're a webinar platform, but so far, none of the companies I've written about use our platform (yet). I can't say much about the affiliate side of things, since we don't do that, but I think I can shed some light on how we track our financial return on these case study posts.

    It's actually quite simple in theory, but I'm sure it wasn't the easiest to set up. Basically, we have tracking (Google Analytics) setup on our site so when an account is created or upgraded - whether free trial or paid - we know from which page they clicked to sign up for the account (we have CTA's in the posts, as well as a button on our nav bar). If they get a trial account, we then track whether they upgrade to a paid account, and we attribute that as revenue from the post itself. We don't yet have a great system for tracking the upgrades after they're on the trial account, but we're working on it.

    We've just released our free trial accounts, but once we have a good understanding of our free trial to paid conversion rate, we will be able to estimate the revenue from each post based on how many free trials it generates, which is a lot easier to figure out than using our current system to track each trial and see when they convert. Eventually, we will probably get a better system (maybe something like Kissmetrics) to track our customer journey all in one easy place.

    I know that's not the most well-written answer, but I hope it gives you a little insight into our process for tracking our revenue from our blog posts :)

  • VS

    Vivek Shenoy

    over 2 years ago #

    Great question! We've worked on extensively tracking links via UTM codes and Google Analytics.

    Here's a tool that you could use for developing such URLS - https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

    Every UTM parameter helps capture the source from where you have got referrals. If you want to track clicks to products, you could create redirections to see how much traffic your post sends to the product your are promoting.

    Hope this helps!


    (I write at www.vivekshenoy.com)

  • LM

    laurent malka

    over 2 years ago #

    I'm aware of the UTM and standard web analytics;) My point being that you've got several dimensions in the attribution. You want to attribute the $ to the initial touch point - where the ad / link was initially posted - ad, social network, email campaign etc...

    When you sell the product on your site, the GA and kissmetrics do a fine job. But when you need to attribute the revenue that is reported by an affiliate program (cj, clickbank, ebay etc...) Those services are limited as they have no visibility as to what happens on the advertiser's website.

    Let's say you publish a post via buffer through twitter / facebook.

    Your GA will show:
    PostXYZ got traffic from :
    source/twitter & medium/social
    Source / facebook & medium/social

    Then you've got two products on your site: If I follow your suggestion, I will have
    Product 1 / link "postxyz"
    Product 2 / Link "postxyz"

    Where I know from the affiliate / referral program interface that "product 1 / link postxyz" generated $X in revenues, but I will not be able to attribute the revenue to a specific source / medium (unless i inject a script on the page that can append the utm parameters to the affiliate links - and here again, each affiliate link behaves differently)