Using UTM tags for cross platforms targeting and optimizing bidding strategy

Recently across multiple platforms targeting, I have found UTM tags to be very powerful. Some of the ways in which UTM tags are powerful are

  • Audience segmentation
  • Audience creation
  • Similar or Lookalike audience creation
  • Deciding the bidding strategies for a different audience from different ad platforms etc.

This blog will be really helpful if you run campaigns across multiple platforms and you want to do target all the targeting audience. Here is the strategy with an example.

Using UTM tags for cross platforms targeting

Let us say we are running multiple campaigns over multiple platforms such as Google ads, Facebook, Quora, Reddit, Outbrain, Instagram etc. and these campaigns are a part of the branding campaigns. They can also be a part of the conversion-based campaigns but at the moment, it does not matter.

Use campaign URL builder to identify and segment your traffic

  • The first thing you want to do is use campaign URL builder to tag the final URLs with some UTM tags to identify the traffic in Google analytics.
  • In Google analytics, under Acquisition -> Campaigns,  you can see the overall performance of different paid traffic.

All UTM tagged campaigns in acquisition

  • The next step will be looking at the engagement or any other metrics such as revenue etc. from these traffic and decide these traffics in priorities.
  • Once you decide the topmost beneficial traffic for you in the order of priorities then you need to decide also that how much you want to spend in remarketing those audiences.

For example, according to the campaigns, the most engaging audience to you could be Quora followed by Google search, Facebook, Google display and Outbrain traffic. In this case, in your remarketing campaign, you might want to bid higher in the same order as mentioned before based on the analytics data.

Create Audience in Google analytics and target them

Follow the steps below to create the audience in Google analytics

  • Go to Admin,  Under property (middle column), Go to audience definitions, click on Audiences
  • Click “+new audience” button to create a new audience.
  • Under the audience source, select the view and click next
  • Under audience definition, click on “create new”
  • Select Traffic source and the left panel of the box and under the source, fill your exact utm_source.
  • For more details, you can also hover over the question mark for help as shown below.

facebook as source in audience builder

  • In the next step, create and share these audiences with ads platforms. In Google’s case, it will be Google ads. Once published, you can create specific remarketing campaigns and target those users.

There are two ways to create remarketing campaigns here. One is put all the remarketing audience, in this case, the audience from different platforms under the same campaign. This can be done if your audience base is not so big. However, if you have a much larger budget and a much larger audience base, in that case, you can create different campaigns with different platform audience with different budget.

Because under the same campaign if put, you cannot bid higher or lower on an audience. So, creating different campaigns or even different ad groups gives you such flexibility.

Create an audience on Facebook and retarget them

Only Google and Facebook in major ad platforms have their own analytics where you can create an audience and do many other things. That’s why, besides, Google analytics, I also wanted to include facebook audience manager as well to show you how can you replicate what we did with Google analytics. Follow the steps below to do the same.

  • Go to Audiences in Facebook Business manager and create a new custom audience
  • Select website traffic as the source

Creating a custom audience based on utm tags

Here you can create all the audiences in the same place if you think that the budget was less and the paid traffic generated was lesser too. However, if the number of audiences will be more then I would suggest creating a single audience for a single source.

Once created, you can also create a lookalike audience from these custom audiences. Later on, you can retarget those audiences in a single campaign, if the budget and traffic are less. Or, you can target these audiences in different ad sets and bid differently based on your observations and conversions from different sources.

If you think, I am missing some more strategical point of view, do let me know in the comments below.

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One Reply to “Using UTM tags for cross platforms targeting and optimizing bidding strategy”

  1. Greg Hadley

    Hey, your blog is dope. I want to subscribe but there is no option to and your contact form isn’t working 🙁


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